• Image 1 of 13

The issue of housing

Heidi L. Augestad | Cape Town, South Africa

Mitchells Plain was created by the Apartheid government in the early 1970s as a Coloured township for middle-income families. Various forms of housing were provided including, freestanding, semi-detached and duplex housing. However, by the late 80's and 90's, major areas of Mitchells Plain have deteriorated into urban ghettos. Gangsterism and drug abuse has increased and a number of informal settlements has sprung up in several areas. Today there are approximately 300 000 people living in Mitchells Plain, however population numbers are uncertain.

 Behind the amazing facade of the Cape Town city you find severe social issues related to the housing of nearly 2 million people. Almost half of the population in Cape Town live in informal settlements or camps in houses build of cartboard, thin aluminium plates and plastic. People suffer from polluted water, sickness and insecurity. The crime rate in these areas are extremely high due to an 80% unemployment rate, poverty and hopelessness that follows. There are few opportunities to protect yourself from violence, rape and assaults. Still, people find ways of survival and build communitites based on a common hope for life to improve.These images were taken on a visit to the Housing Assembly, a local organization that is fighting for the governemnt to take its proper responsibility.

 There is never only one story to tell. On this trip I met with women, men, children, elders - and all are carrying different reasons and stories that made them end up living here, in Blikkiesdorp or in the informal settlements of Mitchelss Plain. They all are experiencing, and dealing with these housing conditions differently. 

 Norwegian People`s Aid, Housing Assembly, The Right 2 Know Campaign

 Heidi L. Augestad, email: heidiaugestad@gmail.com

Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments