South Africa - Two days in a township

Concordia township Knysna, Western Cape

Concordia township Knysna, Western Cape


It all started when I met Bongani…

This was supposed to be a typical holiday taking in the diverse and dramatic landscapes along our Garden Route tour of the Western Cape in South Africa.

After a long drive to the Western Cape Province called Knysna we checked into our guest house perched high in the mountains over looking the Waterfront on the Lagoon.

Bongani welcomed us into our temporary home for the next two days. His genuine warmth and enthusiasm was infectious as he showed us around the guest house and our rooms. 

Whilst we were on the balcony I spotted a township perched high on the mountain overlooking the town. The irony here was that from that location the residents living in poorly built ram shackled houses, closely packed together probably had spectacular views of the Lagoon and the Knysna heads. This would be of course a mere distraction from the plight of the daily struggle living in poor conditions in the township.

The scars of years of oppression and segregation of the black population in South Africa is a graphic reminder in the shape of these communities living in substandard conditions.

I wanted to learn how people in the townships try to make do with what they have, in the hope that a better future will be available to them after the recent disposition of the former President Jacob Zuma. 

Bongani offered to be my guide as he introduced me to the people in his community, how they live together, party together and the stark living conditions he and his wife have to endure in the township of Concordia.

I would like to thank Bongani for welcoming me to his community and allowing me to document their stories.

A video slide show of this story can be found here.