South Africa, 25+ years since apartheid

I can’t put my finger on it. The awesome beauty. The rawness. The restaurants with amazing food. The poverty of the townships. The distrust. The incongruity of amazing riches and rampant dangerous street people. The seething anger just below the surface. Young kids, 12, 13, 14, working cars at traffic lights, begging for money. Our local driver says, “Don’t…those are just glue sniffers.” The crime in the papers. REAL CRIME. Violent murders, violent breaking and entry, violent sexual assault.  And barbed wire, bars on every door and window, and alarm systems maxed.

And this is the best of cities.

Khayelitsha is a township, one of the poorest areas of Cape Town with a median income per family of R20,000 (US$1,872) a year compared to the City median of R40,000 (US$3,743). Roughly over half of the 118,000 households live in informal dwellings. That’s a euphemism for corrugated metal sheds.