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khayelitsha | by killthebird
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khayelitsha

taken in the khayelitsha township about 20 minutes drive from Cape Town proper.

 

the townships here are where the african people come to live while looking for work in the Cape Town area. most of these people have come from their "homelands" which are their original tribal areas. some of these people have been living here as long as 18 years while waiting for affordable government built housing.

 

the townships are nothing but shanty towns. homes are nothing but structures made of tin, aluminum siding and anything else they can find to provide for shelter.

 

i was at first a little skeptical about visiting here. many of the people i met in cape town warned against coming here. they said it's dangerous for a variety of reasons, but especially because i was white.

 

coming here was one of the best parts of my trip. to see these children living under these conditions but at the same time so fully of joy and life was a beauty of wordless proportion. i felt no danger. the only danger to me was of the battery in my camera dying. these children were scrambling for elbow room in front of my lens. they all kept shouting "Suga, suga." it's pronounced with an S like Sam and not an S like SUGAR.

 

since apartheid ended in 1994, the government has been building affordable homes for townships' residents. these homes are nothing but square concrete structures but they are an amazing improvement over the shantys i saw. unfortunately, the building of these homes is slow while waiting lists are long.

 

i found this website which details life in khayelitsha alot better than me. it's definitely worth a read. website here.

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Taken on June 9, 2005