Soweto is a sprawling township, or more accurately a cluster of townships on the south-western flank of Johannesburg. In the 1950’s, more black people were relocated there from ‘black spots’ in the inner city – black neighbourhoods which the apartheid government had reserved for whites. With a population of over 2 million, the township is the biggest black urban settlement in Africa with a rich political history. Soweto was the centre of political campaigns aimed at the overthrow of the apartheid state. Many of the sights of this route therefore have political significance. From the footbridge of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest on the continent, one can get a panoramic view of Soweto. Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, built in memory of the people who died that day, 16th June 1976. Nelson Mandela’s humble little house in Orlando West, Soweto, now called the Mandela Family Museum, is an interesting stopover for those keen to imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world’s most famous prisoner. The museum, contains a rather electric assortment of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela Family as well as a collection of honorary doctorates bestowed on Nelson Mandela from universities and institution from around the world. You can even have a glimpse of the mansion belonging to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in an affluent part of Orlando West.
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