| ||A lawyer by training, Nelson Mandela was the only child in his family to have been able to get an education. In 1962, he was sentenced to life in prison for his political convictions, notably for his struggle against the policy of racial segregation known as apartheid, which had been imposed on South Africa by the white minority. Unconditionally freed in 1988, he served as the first democratically elected president of the Republic of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and embodies the struggle against apartheid. Famous for having been the heart of black resistance, the South Western Township (SoWeTo), some 10 mi (16 km) from Johannesburg, was founded early in the twentieth century to house black Africans who had come to work in the gold mines. The electricity produced by the Orlando coal-burning plant, built in the 1930s and now decommissioned, was intended for the city of Johannesburg, not the township. Here, as in the rest of the country, though social policy measures remain insufficient, the material living conditions of the most underprivileged have improved: new homes have been built, access to drinking water increased, the power grid extended, a system of primary health care put in place, welfare rights consolidated, and increased protection of employees legislated. About 1 million people live in Soweto, and despite a particularly high unemployment rate (about 50 percent of the population), it is slowly turning into a kind of residential suburb. Soweto is proud to be the only city in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners were born: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela.
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