"Soweto - not what we expected" Top 5 Page for this destination Soweto by Rusket
Soweto Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 136 photos
But what did we expect? Not a city of 3 million people! In Soweto we found all kind of neighbourhoods, from "slum" to palaces, and all of what we saw was well organized. During apartheid black people were not allowed to own land, now they are, and people who have lived in a house for 30 years get it for free. Many a house originally built with one or two bedrooms, that were now taken over by their residents, were renewed and additional rooms built. Quite a few houses have pools and / or tennis courts. Winnie Mandela's new house is surrounded by a huge bricked wall, and armed guards were watching it.
This is Vilikazi Street, unofficially called the Nobel Street. The reason why is that two Nobel Peace Price winners used to live here: Nelson Mandela lived in the house behind the white fence on the corner, Desmond Tutu a bit further down the street.
For more info about Soweto, take a look at cybernation's home page and his Soweto page.
Even the "illegal" settlements we saw seemed well organized. In this area with 7000 inhabitants there are 200 portable toilets and 15 water faucets, even a kindergarten. Garbage is regularely collected, but there is no electricity.
Appr. 5% of Soweto's inhabitants live in settlements like this. Most of them are unemployed people coming in from the countryside or the neighbouring countries hoping to find work. They grow vegetables wherever possible and keep their surroundings tidy. Local authorities run housing projects to move people out from these settlements, but many of them prefer staying here since it is closer to Johannesburg and possibilities for getting a job.
We made a lunch break at Wandie's Place, a restaurant that was illegal during apartheid. The food was gorgeous! Probably the best food we had during our 8 1/2 months journey around the world!
The "wallpaper" consists of business cards, handwritten notes and postcards from thankful guests from all over the world.
- In a nutshell:A well organized city
A visit in one of the settlements is absolutely worth while. We ordered a Soweto tour through Drifters, with whom we... more travel advice
A memorial of the student uprise in 1976, which is considered to be the beginning of the end of apartheid. The monument... more travel advice
Rusket's Related Pages
Soweto Travel Guide
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