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“We were demanding change and expecting change”- My life in Khayelitsha

Khayelitsha in the Western Cape is said to be the fastest growing township in South Africa. Plans to initially begin construction of the Khayelitsha were first announced by then Minister of Co-operations and Development Dr Piet Koornhof in 1983. By 1985, Site C, a subdistrict in the area, had 30,000 people living there. Khayelitsha was one of the apartheid regime’s final attempts to enforce the Group Areas Act and was seen as the solution to two problems:

  • the rapidly-growing number of migrants from the Eastern Cape and
  • overcrowding in other Cape Town townships.

At the 2011 census, Khayelitsha was reported to be the poorest area in Cape Town, with a median average income per family of R20,00 a year, compared to the city median of around R40,000 at the time. Roughly over half of the 118,000 households live in informal dwellings.

The name ‘ Khayelitsha’ is isiXhosa and translates to ‘Our Home’ in English. It is the home of Mawonga Gayiya who joins Keenan Williams on The Social Impact Podcast. Click the player below to listen to the interview…..

“My African story of life in Khayelitsha”
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