In a new series for our website we will provide readers with greater insights into some of South Africa's most well known regions. In this update we take a look at the area in the Northern part of Gauteng and which falls under the City of Tshwane municipality, Soshanguve.
Statistics South Africa has the following to say about Soshanguve. "Soshanguve is a word that is formed from parts of the words for the following languages: Sotho, Shangaan, Nguni, Venda (ie, So-Sha-Ngu-Ve). Originally called Mabopane East, it was renamed Soshanguve in 1977 when its counterpart, Mabopane West, was renamed Mabopane and incorporated into the then newly established bantustan of Bophuthatswana."
This page will provide greater details regarding the demographics and size of Soshanguve, based on data collected by Statistics South Africa. They have a treasure trove of data and we feel it is not mined and used enough. And we would like to change this by showing readers just what kinds of information is available from the Statistics agency.
Soshanguve in numbers
According to Statistics South Africa there were 403 162 people living in SOWETO at the time of the last Census (2011). There were 106 057 households in SOWETO, 10,4% of residents aged over 20 years had a higher education, only 58.7% of Soshanguve residents had piped water inside their dwelling, while around 91.9% had electricity and lighting, and around 85.3% had access to a flush toilet connected to a sewerage system. The image below provides a graphical representation of the data mentioned above.
The racial breakdown of Soshanguve, is as readers might expect, dominated by Black African population, as during the apartheid years, Black Africans were forced to live on the outer edges of cities, thus Black African's dominates the population profile of Soshanguve. The image below shows the population groups as a percentage of the total population in Soshanguve.
Black Africans make up 99.2% of the population of Soshanguve, with Coloureds making up 0.3%, Indian/Asian, Whites and other race groups making up a mere 0.6% of the total population of Soshanguve. Males make up 49,3% of the population in Soshanguve, while Females make up 50.7% of the population. The languages spoken in Soshanguve is pretty diverse though. the table below shows the percentage of each language spoken in SOWETO.
Sepedi, being the most spoken language in Soshanguve with 28.2% of citizens speaking it, and Setswana being the second most spoken language spoken in Soshanguve out of the 11 official languages in South Africa with 16.7% of citizens speaking it. No surprise that Afrikaans is not very high in this list as this is a language mostly spoken by coloureds and whites. Surprising though is small percentage of English being spoken in Soshanguve with it only making up 2% of the language spoken in Soshanguve.
The table below shows the percentage of households that owns various household items in Soshanguve
In today's smartphone driven world, it is hardly surprising to see that 94.6% of households in Soshanguve reported to own cellphones, while only 7.6% reported to own a landline telephone. Surprising is the fact that even though Soshanguve is seen as a very poor area, almost 30% of all households own Satellite TV. And when one drives past poorer areas one sees shacks and poor housing facilities but most of these houses have satellite dishes on their roofs
Soshanguve is known for being extremely close to very affluent areas, yet the majority of those living in Soshanguve are extremely poor, and the graph below provides an indication of the percentage of Soshanguve''s population earning between various income groups. And as can be seen from the graphic a large proportion (roughly 17%) of Soshanguve's population earns absolutely no income. And only 3% of SOWETO's total population earns more than R307 600 a year.
This in stark contrast to a very wealthy areas close to Soshanguve and it speaks to the legacy of apartheid which forced Black Africans out of central business hubs and made access to work difficult. South Africa has a long way to go to address these types of inequalities. Talking about inequalities take a look at the Sandton in Detail page or the Stellenbosch in Detail page and compare it to this or the Soweto in Detail page.
As mentioned in the introduction all data used in this article was obtained from Statistics South Africa