Khayelitsha, South Africa

The largest slum in South Africa, Khayelitsha, is a township just outside Cape Town. It’s composed of around 400,000 residents, most of which are Xhosa.

It’s so much different from the expected mental image of an African slum, as it’s both on the beach and cold and windy. Residents walk around in parkas rather than t-shirts, at least in the winter, and the ground is white sand rather than clay or mud.

Just a few miles up the road, towards the mountains, the geography suddenly turns into perfect wine country (Stellenbosch).


Conditions have improved since the ANC (African National Congress) came to power in South Africa in 1994, but it’s still an impoverished place. While most of South Africa is as advanced and progressive as most of Europe, the slums are a few years behind.


Schoolchildren in Khayelitsha slum
Schoolchildren in Khayelitsha slum