Exploring the Townships of Cape Town, South Africa

When you arrive at Cape Town International Airport, you’ll drive a 20km stretch of highway, the N2, to get to the heart of the city. While you cruise towards Table Mountain, towards a city with world-class shopping, resorts, and unparalleled natural beauty, you’ll begin to notice shacks flanking the highway along the outer edge of the city. This is Langa Township.

A neighborhood inthe township of Khayelitsha, South Africa / Photo by Hillary Fox
A neighborhood inthe township of Khayelitsha, South Africa / Photo by Hillary Fox

During the oppressive years of South Africa’s apartheid, non-whites were evicted from properties designated as “whites-only” and forced to relocate to segregated townships like Langa.

A man in his humble home in Langa Township, South Africa / Photo by Hillary Fox
A man in his humble home in Langa Township, South Africa / Photo by Hillary Fox

Informal settlements — those shacks you see from the highway — sprung up alongside the townships, with inadequate housing made from plywood and corrugated metal and lacking in even the most basic public services such as running water, sewage, or electricity. Nearly every town and city in South Africa has a place like this, sometimes disparagingly referred to as shanty towns or slums.

A child plays among the corrugated metal homes of Langa Township in South Africa / Photo by Hillary Fox
A child plays among the corrugated metal homes of Langa Township in South Africa / Photo by Hillary Fox

Located on the outskirts of towns and cities, in undesirable areas often divided along highways, these communities were underdeveloped and rife with social problems.

Post-apartheid, these shacks are being replaced with government-subsidized housing, dirt roads are being paved, and public services are slowly being installed.

A local small business owner sells handmade wares in Langa Township / Photo by Hillary Fox
A local small business owner sells handmade wares in Langa Township / Photo by Hillary Fox

Meanwhile, the rich culture of the South African people here continues to thrive. On an exclusive Loculars experience of Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa, you’ll explore different socioeconomic areas of the township, from workers’ hostels to informal settlements. You’ll get to learn and practice some phrases from the Xhosa language, greet local children, visit a church and small roadside markets.

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