The Johannesburg city skyline is home to some of Africa’s tallest structures, such as the Sentech Tower, Hillbrow Tower, and the Carlton Centre. In 2015, Johannesburg was ranked 42nd by population among 992 urban areas of the world, with a metro population of approximately 5,000,000 people. June 16 is the South African public holiday of Youth Day commemorating the lives lost during the Soweto Uprising when police opened fire on 10,000 students who were protesting the government’s policy to enforce education in Afrikaans rather than their native language.
The Apartheid Museum tells the history of apartheid and the history of 20th century South Africa. The architecture of the museum is notorious for its design in storytelling, uniquely depicting the dramatic and emotional African experience. Adult tickets are R85 per person.
The Origins Centre, located on the campus of University of Witwatersrand, highlights the history of modern humankind and its origins in Africa. The museum showcases various archaeological evidence, such as fossils and rock art formations. Adult tickets are R80 per person.
Constitution Hill was originally built as a defense fort during the Boer Wars and was later used as a prison by British forces. During apartheid, the Hill also became a detention centre for any political activities who publicly opposed the apartheid regime. Today, the prison buildings are the sites of both museums and the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Soweto is often seen as a monument to the forced separation of various racial groups and the struggle of Black communities during the apartheid regime. Soweto refers to the collective of townships south-west of the city-centre set up to accommodate communities forcibly removed from other “white” suburbs of Johannesburg.