Feature

In the business of building shacks

Sheffield Road, one of the busiest roads in Philippi, has become one of the city’s best-known places to buy a shack. Here, builders make a living providing affordable housing for township residents.

Joyce Xi and Mary-Anne Gontsana - 14 October 2014

Ebola: Where are the sick and dying?

The driver puts his fist on the hooter insistently, indicating to oncoming vehicles, people and animals to move out of our path, which is obscured by lush forest at every corner.

Kathryn Stinson - 7 October 2014

Khayelitsha toilet audit finds “dire” results

One in four of the Khayelitsha public toilets, which are supposed to be cleaned by the City of Cape Town's janitorial services, is not working, a social audit by the Social Justice Coalition has found.

GroundUp staff - 1 October 2014

How a group of Cape Flats women is trying to make their community safer

During the day, a group of six women from the Retreat area enjoy beadwork, looking after their grandchildren and helping the aged, but at night, they take on the streets in one of the most notorious gang-ridden areas of the Cape Flats.

Barbara Maregele and Katy Scott - 28 September 2014

The state of South African Sign Language

The last full week of September, which is Deaf Awareness Month, is the International Week of the Deaf. This year the theme is ‘Strengthening Human Diversity’.

Katy Scott - 26 September 2014

Why I am going to Sierra Leone to fight Ebola

It’s been a month since I applied and now it’s a matter of days until I go. I head to Europe for briefing before landing in Freetown, Sierra Leone next Tuesday.

Kathryn Stinson - 26 September 2014

Understanding epilepsy

Traditional Xhosa views on epilepsy clash with medical experts.

Zintle Swana - 22 September 2014

What is UCT’s new admissions policy?

The University of Cape Town is changing its admissions policy to take into account disadvantage as well as race. The new policy is complex. We have tried here to explain it accurately and simply.

Katy Scott and GroundUp staff - 8 September 2014

The slow rise of the female DJ

There are very few top female DJs in the official charts, but things are changing; being a DJ is no longer a boy’s club. For Women’s Month, Zethu Gqola speaks to two Cape Town trailblazers, DJs Sideshow and DJ Ruthy Pearl, on what it means to be female on the decks.

Zethu Gqola - 28 August 2014

School transport a nightmare

Every day hundreds of parents depend on private transport operators to get their children to school and back home. The quality of service varies. GroundUp found some disturbing stories.

Mary-Anne Gontsana - 27 August 2014

Police use live ammunition on shackdwellers

Police used live ammunition against unarmed shackdwellers who fiercely resisted eviction in Philippi East today. It was the most violent day of clashes between police, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement and shackdwellers since forcible evictions started off Symphony Way, in response to a land invasion, two weeks ago. At least one person was shot with live ammunition from, according to eyewitnesses, a police service pistol.

Daneel Knoetze - 22 August 2014

Dumping on the poor in Siqalo

Rubble dumping on the fringe of Siqalo informal settlement has forced hundreds of shackdwellers to evacuate their homes. Boulders have rolled into shacks; dumping has prevented winter rains from draining, leaving dozens of households flooded and abandoned. Yet the dumping carries on unchecked.

Daneel Knoetze - 5 August 2014

So long and thanks for all the fish

Clans living near Kosi Bay have used an ancient fish trapping system to create a livelihood for themselves and their families for centuries. But as population pressure rises, increasing the twin stressors of poverty and unemployment, how long will the fragile balance between humans and nature provide a bountiful catch? Mandy de Waal travelled to uMhlabuyalingana for GroundUp. Jon Pienaar took the photographs.

Mandy de Waal and Jon Pienaar - 31 July 2014

Montagu family on brink of losing home

Darkness falls on the Koo valley. Andries Joostenberg, 63, and his son hang up their axes, stack the last logs of cut wood and trudge indoors. The temperature drops. In the farm cottage's kitchen a family huddles in semi-darkness around a wood stove. The electricity has been cut, so too the water: final instalments in a siege designed to drive Andries off the land.

Daneel Knoetze - 25 July 2014

Apartheid’s Nuclear Shame

During apartheid, a nuclear weapons programme at Pelindaba used workers from nearby settlements. Decades have gone by and millions of rands have been spent on investigations, yet questions remain and hundreds of workers who claim to have become ill after exposure to hazardous material are still fighting for compensation.

Mandy de Waal and Jon Pienaar - 27 June 2014

Accusations fly as Strand homes demolished

“The law is the law” said a spokesman for the South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) yesterday as hundreds were left homeless in the rain after the demolition of their shacks on SANRAL-owned land near Strand.

Barbara Maregele and Adam Armstrong - 4 June 2014