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These Are The Biggest Townships In South Africa


Soweto-bungee
Soweto-bungee source: www.sowetotour.co.za

According to the World bank, as much as half of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships and informal settlements, accounting for 38% of working-age citizens, but home to nearly 60% of its unemployed.

Under apartheid, black South Africans were forced to live in the dormitory-style townships that were built as far away as possible from economic city centers.

Post-apartheid development policies led to the construction of townships filled with government housing, though the country has widespread informal settlements, particularly on the outskirts of urban areas.

While townships under apartheid were mainly reserved for for black South Africans, in a post-apartheid world the term has distinct a legal meaning in South Africa’s system of land title, which carries no racial connotations.

Greater Johannesburg, including all of its surrounding cities and districts, is by large the biggest metropolitan area in the country, boosted significantly by the wide net of smaller cities that make up the mega-city – including Soweto.

Looking at townships, however, the most recent population data from Stats SA shows that Soweto is by far the biggest in the country, located on the South Western area of the metro.

These are the 20 biggest townships in the country (Stats SA, 2011)

# Township 2011 Population Neighbouring town
1 Soweto 1 271 628 Johannesburg
2 Tembisa 463 109 Kempton Park
3 Katlehong 407 294 Germiston
4 Umlazi 404 811 Durban
5 Soshanguve 403 162 Pretoria
6 Khayelitsha 391 749 Cape Town
 7 Mamelodi 334 577 Pretoria
8 Mitchell’s Plain 310 485 Cape Town
9 Ibhayi 237 799 Port Elizabeth
10 Sebokeng 218 515 Vanderbijlpark
11 Manguang 217 076 Bloemfontein
12 Ivory Park 184 383 Midrand
13 Botshabelo 181 712 Bloemfontein
14 Alexandra 179 624 Sandton
15 Kwa-Mashu 175 663 Durban
16 Vosloorus 163 216 Boksburg
17 Mdantsane 156 835 East London
18 Etwatwa 151 866 Benoni
19 Meadowlands 138 345 Roodepoort
20 Tsakane 135 994 Brakpan
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Data provided by StatsSA in its 2016 community survey showed a gradual increase in the number of households living in formal dwellings over time from 65.1% in 1996 to 79.2% in 2016.

The percentage of households living in traditional dwellings has declined sharply from 18.3% in 1996 to 7% in 2016. Those living in informal dwellings – defined as a wood and iron structure – have decreased slightly from 16.2% in 1996 to 13.0% in 2016.

Province Formal dwelling Informal dwelling Other dwelling Traditional Total
Gauteng 4.03m 878 246 32 129 10 763 4.95m
KwaZulu-Natal 2.09m 245 167 20 166 520 244 2.88m
Western Cape 1.59m 320 022 10 302 94 001 1.93m
Eastern Cape 1.15m 130 885 15 828 471 699 1.77m
Limpopo 1.42m 77 371 18 304 81 747 1.60m
Mpumalanga 1.05m 135 039 14 747 39 992 1.30m
North West 977 031 229 544 18 799 23 146 1.2m
Free State 791 485 132 448 7 137 15 509 946 579
Northern Cape 295 318 45 246 4 858 8 245 353 667
South Africa 13.4m 2.19m 142 270 1.27m 16.92m

 

Source: Business Tech

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