Klipheuwel is an informal settlement bordering the suburb of Durbanville in the Northern areas of Cape Town. It is an extremely disadvantaged community. The people live in informal structures (shacks) made out of second hand roof sheet metal and other second hand materials. The roofs are constructed from these old materials and usually leak profusely during the Cape winter rains. Many of these structures house whole families and consist of only one or two rooms.
For the last 19 years people have lived in this area without electricity. They cooked on gas cylinders and their homes were lit by candles or paraffin lamps. A few communal taps provide the only water. Often the taps are dry.
Sanitation is basic – small concrete structures outside their homes that house chemical type toilets. Many do not function properly.
Eventually, once the City of Cape Town acquired the land in 2017, the community was electrified in July of 2017. The community can at last cook with electricity if they can afford it. Electricity is provided on a pre-paid basis.
Jobs are few and not well paid in this area and so many survive only on meagre social grants. Children and adults often go without food. Transport into the closest shops and medical care is expensive and limited. Many are not able to travel regularly. Up until recently, the only medical care was a mobile clinic that visted once or twice a month.
Despite these hardships, the people of Klipheuwel are friendly, warm, loving people with a real joy for life.