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Khayelitsha Township

Florence Gallez | Western Cape, South Africa

Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa

Created during Apartheid as a dormitory area for migratory workers, Khayelitsha is today the largest and youngest black township in Western Cape, located on the Cape Flats in Cape Town. While Khayelitsha, ‘Our New Home’ in Xhosa, is notorious for its high crime and unemployment, it is also a vibrant community, known for its entrepreneurial spirit and social development initiatives.

By the mid-1980s, Cape Town was one of the most segregated cities in South Africa. Khayelitsha was established in 1985, when the Apartheid regime forcefully relocated people from the growing black population around the city.

Today Khayelitsha has a population of 2.4 million, 90.5% Black African. Many residents still live in shacks and have to walk 200 meters to access water. Despite infrastructure and welfare interventions, only a little over 50% of Khayelitsha's total working age population is employed, and crime rates remain very high.

But more residents are now being moved to formal houses, and Khayelitsha has a small but growing middle class, with a growing business district and new entrepreneurs.

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