The relaxation of the previous strict racial segregation laws in the late 1980s led to many squatter communities mushrooming seemingly overnight on vacant land around the Cape Peninsula. This is how Khayelitsha, now Cape Town’s largest township, came into existence. Services such as water and electricity are being installed in areas where previously there were none, but many of its inhabitants still live in shacks and have to use communal taps and toilets. These shacks are constructed of corrugated iron, plastic bags and any other available material. Many sidewalks are crowded with hawkers and many homes operate spaza (“hidden” shops) offering a wide range of goods. Shebeens (unlicensed and informal taverns) also operate from some homes. Obtain the services of a registered tour guide and discover the singular attraction of this place in the company of someone with local knowledge.

Art And Crafts

Khayelitsha Crafts Centre: Local women bring their craftwork to the centre, located at the Anglican Church, to sell. The prices of the articles, such as African dolls and leatherwork, are very reasonable. Often, the voices of the church choir can be heard in the background, creating a quietly devotional atmosphere.

Philani Women’s Project: This project in Walter Sisulu Road, Site C, Khayelitsha was established to help local women support themselves and their families. A visit would therefore not only help people to earn a living but would also allow you to take home unique and lovely works of art, such as rugs or tapestries.

Zenzele (“Do it Yourself”) Enterprises: This training centre on the corner of Bonga and Spine Roads offers courses in sewing as well as in doll making and pottery. The handmade articles are for sale to visitors. This attraction is best visited in the company of an experienced tour guide

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