The township where Project Playground/Play on Wheels operates is called Langa and is the oldest township in Cape Town. To give you an understanding of this area I am going to take you on a virtual township tour.
Firstly, like everything else in this country, the color association is an important part of any description, also of a township. Langa is a black township. Most of the people come from the Xhosa tribe, originating from Eastern Cape, a province east of Cape Town. Consequently, the township was given a Xhosa name. In Xhosa Langa means “Sun”.
The township is like a town itself, with a clinic, police station, small shops, schools, petrol station etc. With regards to the living standards there are both high – middle – and low class areas, the former two being called the “ Beverly Hills” areas J – from a township point of view. However, the majority of the people live in underprivileged, deprived low class areas, in informal houses – consisting of shacks, containers and very basic, bad constructed one bedroom houses. Not being bigger than a few square meters these “houses” normally accommodate a whole family PLthe space for each person is basically none! In addition, there is no running water or toilets inside. Shared toilets are placed here and there, fresh water for washing and drinking is collected from a common water collecting centers.
Moreover, the unemployment is extremely high.
Some try to make their living by selling drinks and snacks. Others are working as maids and domestic workers. For these people it´s a daily struggle to get food on the table. Other dreadful issues faced on a daily basis are the horrible, disgusting reality of domestic violence, crimes, drug abuse and rapes.
All of our participants in Play on Wheels live in this environment.
However, despite the problems people are experiencing you are usually met with smiling faces and a friendly attitude. Music is playing from the shacks and children enjoy themselves with self- made instruments. A joke is never far away.
Maybe that is why they choose to name their township “Sun”.
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