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“I don’t want my kids growing up in this place” – Blikkiesdorp resident

by: Tatum-lee Louw - 24 June 2016

Blikkiesdorp_June 2016_©Onele-33Blikkiesdorp was established as a temporary relocation area (TRA) in 2007 by the City of Cape Town. But nine years later, it is still home to about 30 000 people who are yet to be moved from what was meant to be their temporary home. We visited the residents to find out what their thoughts are on their living conditions ahead of the upcoming municipal elections.

“Voting changes nothing”

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“I registered, but I am not sure that I will vote because nothing ever happens when people vote. If I do vote, who do I vote for? I have been living here for eight years. Come and spend a night here, it is dangerous especially for girls. Many of my friends who stay here did not complete school. If only the municipality can spend a night here and see what happens.” – Candice Pedro, 19

“The government doesn’t care about us”

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“This is my sixth year in Blikkiesdorp. I am not voting. I don’t feel like there’s any change I can make and I also have never tried. I know it counts, but to tell the truth, I am not interested. If voting helped, I would have been out of here a long time ago. It just doesn’t make sense. The government doesn’t care about us.’’ – Albert Mbenya(28)


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“No vote, no houses”

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“I registered and I must vote. I’ve been here for three years now and I know voting will make a difference. I want a better future. No vote, no houses. Just look at how people live here.” – Ashley Daniels(28)

“…maybe voting can make a difference”

Blikkiesdorp_June 2016_©Onele-3“I always vote, maybe it can make a difference. I just have one wish: for people to get houses. People get robbed, and houses get broken into. My house has not been broken into yet. I am one of the lucky one’s. I am looking forward to voting.” – Chevone Kleinsmith (30)

“I don’t want my kids growing up in this place”

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“I am voting, I think it’s important. I don’t want my kids growing up in this place.That is why I think voting will make a difference, to get us out of here. I am really voting to get something good out of this area. I have three daughters and they were robbed twice, even of their takkies.” – Lenore Michaels (35)

Here are some more images from Blikkiesdorp. Photography by Onele Liwani and Elzane Campher.

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A child jumping over building material near a construction site.

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Two women having a conversation at a tuck-shop.

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The community hall being built for residents.

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Inside Candice’s small home which she shares with 7 other people.

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An outdoor tap and toilet shared by 4 families.

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One of the dusty gravel roads.