|Mitchell's Plain lies beyond, further to the West.|
|Municipality||City of Cape Town|
|• Total||43.51 km2 (16.80 sq mi)|
|• Density||7,600/km2 (20,000/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2001)|
|• Black African||99.5%|
|First languages (2001)|
|Time zone||SAST (UTC+2)|
Khayelitsha (pron.: //) is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa, located on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town. The name is Xhosa for New Home. It is reputed to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa.
Cape Town initially opposed implementing the Group Areas Act passed in 1950 and residential areas in the city remained unsegregated until the first Group Areas were declared in the city in 1957. When Cape Town did start implementing the Group Areas Act, it did so more severely than any other major city; by mid 1980s it became one of the most segregated cities in South Africa.
The discrimination and black population control by the apartheid regime did not prevent blacks from settling in the outskirts of Cape Town. After the scrapping of pass laws in 1987 many blacks, mainly Xhosas, moved into areas around Cape Town in search of work. By this time many blacks were already illegally settled in townships like Nyanga and Crossroads. During 1983 and 1984 conditions in squatter camps like Crossroads and KTC worsened, exacerbated by official policing policy in which shacks were destroyed and the emergence of the Witdoeke, led by "Mayor" Johnson Ngxobongwana. The Witdoeke were actively supported by the apartheid government in its fight against the ANC-aligned UDF who had actively opposed plans for people to be moved to the new township of Khayelitsha. As the black population grew, the apartheid regime sought to solve the "problem" by establishing new black neighbourhoods. Khayelitsha was established in 1985 and large numbers of people were forcefully relocated there, mostly peacefully, but occasionally accompanied with violence.
The Western Cape was a preference area for the local coloured population and a system called influx control was in place preventing Xhosas from travelling from the Transkei without the required permit. After the historic 1994 elections hundreds of thousands moved to urban areas in search of work, education, or both. Many of them erected shacks made of tin, wood and cardboard.
Today Khayelitsha has an estimated population of 406,779 (as of 2005), and runs for a number of kilometres along the N2. The ethnic makeup of Khayelitsha is approximately 90.5% Black African, 8.5% Coloured and 0.5% White, with Xhosa being the predominant language of the residents. Khayelitsha has a very young population with fewer than 7% of its residents being over 50 years old and over 40% of its residents being under 19 years of age. In 2011 around 62% of residents in Khayelitsha were rural to urban migrants:6, most coming from the Eastern Cape.
Key statistics (2001)
- Area: 43.51 square kilometres (16.80 sq mi)
- Population: 329,002: 7,561.99 inhabitants per square kilometre (19,585.5 /sq mi)
- Households: 85,984: 1,976.31 per square kilometre (5,118.6 /sq mi)
Since the ANC came to power in the country in 1994, the ruling party claims that living conditions in the township have improved markedly. There have been many developments such as new brick housing being built, new schools being built, and the creation of a central business district in the Township. However many residents strongly dispute the claim that the quality of life has improved. They claim that crime rates remain very high and that only a small portion of residents see improvements as a result of infrastructure and welfare interventions.
Around 70% of residents still live in shacks and one in three people has to walk 200 meters or further to access water. Around 53% of Khayelitsha's total working age population is employed. The five most common forms of employment are domestic work (19.4%), service work (15.2%), skilled manual labour (15.2%), unskilled manual labour (11%), and security services (10.4%).:7. 89% of households in Khayelitsha are either moderately or severely food insecure.:13
Khayelitsha has been split into about 22 sub-sections or areas, depending on how one divides them. Khayelitsha is made up of old formal areas and new informal/formal areas. The old formal areas built originally by the apartheid government an are known as Bongweni, Ikwezi Park, Khulani Park, Khanya Park, Tembani, Washington Square, Graceland, Ekuphumleni and Zolani Park. These areas are mostly made up of bank bond housing and are home to middle-class / upper working class populations.
The newer areas have been built up around the older areas. They include Site B, Site C, Green Point, Litha Park, Mandela Park, Makaza and Harare. With the exception of Litha Park, these areas contain a high number of informal settlements, RDP houses, and informal backyard dwellers.
Notable informal settlements in Khayelitsha include QQ Section, TR Section, RR Section and Enkanini which have gained prominence due to their high-profile conflicts with government including protest actions such as road blockades.
International funding and partnerships
As Cape Town's largest township, Khayelitsha attracts funding from international aid agencies. A number of partnerships with international companies, governments and NGOs have been set up:
- A successful initiative at Ikhwezi Lesizwe Primary School has brought company support for Technology. UK based Ramesys have donated software and kit to allow good web communications. Smart Technology from Canada have donated an interactive whiteboard
- Another such group based in Zion, Illinois, USA is Partners Across the Ocean which has brought Khayelitsha high school learners to the USA and built a computer lab in Khayelitsha.
- The South Africa Community Fund has been active in the neighbourhood of Harare, Khayelitsha, bringing groups of students from Arizona State University and other volunteers for home stays and community immersions.
- German partnerships with the City of Cape Town through an organisation called VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading) is responsible for the building of community centers and gardens, and the sponsorship of soccer clubs.
- Khayelitsha was also the focus of the Community Exchange System when it launched in Cape Town.
- Canadian organization Golden Future South Africa volunteers in secondary schools in Site B. Within the schools, this organization facilitates conversation on the topics of health, life orientation and education. Outside the school, a business group aids local businesses in legitimizing their establishments.
Khayelitsha has a good transport infrustructure. Golden Arrow Bus Services, Metrorail trains, and many taxis all use routes to and from the township. Trains are the cheapest and most used form of transport. Khayelitsha has 6 rail stations: Mandalay, Nolungile, Nonkqubela, Khayelitsha, Kuyasa and Chris Hani. There are also a number of bus stations and taxi ranks, although most taxis still pick up passengers on the main roads. Khayelitsha's busiest roads are Mew Way, Spine Road, Lansdowne Road, Walter Sisulu Road, Bonga Drive and Baden Powell Drive.
Khayelitsha District Hospital is a brand new hospital opened in Khayelitsha in February 2012 this offers district level care including a large 24 hour Emergency Centre as well as medical wards, surgical wards, obstetric wards, gynaecology wards, paediatric wards and nursery.
There are three provincial government clinics in Khayelitsha. Khayelitsha (Site B) CHC (Community Health Clinic), Michael Maphongwana (Harare) CHC and Nolungile (Site C) CHC are the other provincial government clinics. There are also numerous small municipal clinics throughout the township. Services offered at these municipal clinics include child health, family planning, TB treatment, HIV testing, Pap smears and treatment and diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections.
Society and culture
|Image gallery of the FIFA Football for Hope centre construction in Khayelitsha|
Khayelitsha has one beach, Monwabisi, located on the coast of False Bay. It is known to be one of the most dangerous beaches in the area. It was recorded that one day, five people drowned at the beach. This is due to a wall that was built to create a calm cove. Instead it has made many dangerous currents. In the past 15 years over 50 people have drowned at the beach. On warm public holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year's Day the beach is known to become highly occupied.
Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Mandela Park Backyarders, the Treatment Action Campaign, the Social Justice Coalition, and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign all have a strong presence in Khayelitsha.
As part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup preparations, a Football for Hope centre was constructed in Khayelitsha. An Australian rules football development program conducted by the AFL South Africa also operates in the township. Bayanda Sobetwa became the first South African to be signed to an AFL club, when the Greater Western Sydney Football Club offered him a SportsReady traineeship in 2010.
Recently a tourist centre opened in the township on Look Out Point, or Lookout Hill  one of the highest hills in the area on the corner of Mew Way & Spine Road. There are also numerous organisations which offer "township tours", who support Khayelitsha through social tourism. There are also opportunities for social tourism as volunteers in numerous projects around Khayelitsha.