30 minute drive from Kempton to Soweto (South Western Townships)
I invited 2 guests from the USA for a Soweto day trip. They were excited about this as they had never been to a township such as Soweto. My guests were Linda Bates from New Jersey and Jenny Ashton from Florida. The Safari With Us driver and guide (Mdu) fetched us from a our Safari Club guesthouse in Kempton Park just outside Johannesburg. It was about a 30 min drive from the guesthouse to Soweto, which borders the mining belt to the South of Johannesburg. We would learn that Soweto is an acronym for South Western Townships. Soweto is a city within a city. This sprawling township is more than a township. In fact it is a city within its own rights and a city of contrasts at that. We entered Soweto at the Diepkloof extension. Mdu (our guide) had extensive knowledge regarding Soweto and its rich history. He elaborated on some history and interesting facts regarding Soweto and the Diepkloof extension in particular.
Soweto Diepkloof Extension
Diepkloof was our first stop during our Soweto day tour outing. The first Diepkloof extensions were built during the Apartheid era in the early 1980’s. The last phase was built during the mid to late 90’s and is a more exclusive and private part of Diepkloof. Much of the initial accommodation in Diepkloof was in the form of hostels for black mine workers. Only black men were allowed to live here during the apartheid era. Today the hostels are shared by various families. These and other 2 and 3 bed-roomed units built here were given to residents free of charge. Some units remain empty and unallocated – the guide did not know why. Diepkloof is an interesting mix of poor and middle class housing and accommodation as can be seen from the images below.
|Poor accommodation||Hostels and Units||Middle Class Housing|
People and Politics and Infra Structure in Diepkloof Soweto
Diepkloof is primarily a residential area with limited business activities. There are now some B&B’s, a few restaurants and some home-run tuck-shops. Roads are tarred and well maintained. Generally the area is more suburban with suburban issues such as crime and taxes being more of a concern that typical township issues. Most residents of the Extensions are relatively indifferent when it come to politics and interaction with local councils and authorities. With this knowledge of Diepkloof we depart for our next stop which is Freedom Square (Walter Sisulu Square) Book a Soweto Day Tour