Within easy reach of central Johannesburg and with a strong history and identity all of its own, Soweto is an increasingly popular choice for expats relocating to South Africa. In general, the cost of living in Soweto is much lower than in central Johannesburg. However, as much of the area is very densely populated, accommodation is often on the smaller side, though there is a variety of housing available, giving newly arrived expatriates a choice of options. One of the most imposing sights in this vibrant and lively part of Johannesburg is the Orlando Towers, a decommissioned coal fired power station now known as the largest mural in South Africa. Other attractions include the Hector Pieterson Museum, the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village and The Mandela House, home to the famous leader and his wife following his long imprisonment. For more ideas of things to do and places to see, have a look at the InterNations discussion groups or check out any features on Johannesburg in our content section.
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With good transport connections to Johannesburg, the easiest way to reach Soweto is via the transport hubs in the city center. InterNations expat members already based in Johannesburg may be able to advise you on the best places to live, what to look out for when moving to Soweto and help you to get settled in once you arrive. As Soweto is a large and densely populated district, finding your way around can take time. Before you head out and start getting to know your new neighborhood, it’s important to research the different parts of Soweto carefully to ensure that you stay safe and don’t stray too far from home. If you need more advice or information about moving to Soweto or abroad in general, why don’t you use InterNations to get in touch with fellow expats living in Soweto or other parts of Johannesburg? Our platform is a great place for networking, socializing and sharing information with other expatriates and global minds from across the world.
Though Soweto derives its name from the English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships, today it is very much part of Johannesburg and as such enjoys good transport links with the city center and business districts. As a result, many of the expats living in Soweto commute to Johannesburg for work. One of the largest employers in Soweto itself is the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the third largest in the world, with a capacity of 3,200 beds, employing over 6,500 staff and occupying a huge 173-acre site. Recent years have seen an increase in tourism in Soweto as well, with more visitors to Johannesburg venturing to the area and improved facilities and attractions for tourists to enjoy. This has lead in turn to an increased number of job opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sectors for locals and expatriates in Soweto alike. You can learn more about living and working in Soweto or other parts of South Africa on the InterNations website, where you’ll find forums and discussion groups full of people who have already made the move abroad. With a vibrant community, low cost housing and easy access to central Johannesburg, Soweto is an exciting option for any expats looking to relocate to the area.