Khayelitsha, Cape Town

Khayelitsha is isiXhosa for 'New home'. Khayelitsha has become one of Cape Town's biggest tourist attractions, with tourists wanting to see for themselves the immense poverty which the people of Khayelitsha live under, the shebeens and community spirit. Khayelitsha is today (2006) the third largest township in South Africa, after Soweto and Sharpeville, both near Johannesburg.



In the early 1980's South Africa's apartheid government decided to move all 'legal' black people (people were defined as legal if they had had already lived in the area for ten years) from existing townships to a new township. The new township was called Khayelitsha which means 'New home'. At the same time the apartheid government planned to move all illegal people to Transkei, a homeland created in the eastern part of the country. People resisted this move and fighting broke out in townships between the government and people who lived there. This fighting caused people to move to Khayelitsha, saying they are forced to move to Khayelitsha because of the violence and moving to Khayelitsha was not their intention. It was exactly what the apartheid government wanted them to do.

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