Soweto () is a township of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships.
Formerly a separate municipality, it is now incorporated in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Suburbs of Johannesburg. George Harrison and George Walker are today credited as the men who discovered an outcrop of the Main Reef of gold on the farm Langlaagte in February 1886. The fledgling town of Johannesburg was laid out on a triangular wedge of "uitvalgrond" (area excluded when the farms were surveyed) named Randjeslaagte, situated between the farms Doornfontein to the east, Braamfontein to the west and Turffontein to the south. Within a decade of the discovery of gold in Johannesburg, 100,000 people flocked to this part of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republic in search of riches. They were of all races and all nationalities. In October 1887 the government of the South African Republic (ZAR) bought the south-eastern portion of the farm Braamfontein. There were large quantities of clay, suitable for brickmaking, along the stream. The government decided that more money was to be made from issuing brick maker's licences at five shillings per month.