First published Al-Moharer 28/11/2006 Vol. 251
Being driven down a super highway
on our way out of Cape Town
past housing with high walls topped with razor wire
then past 14 kilometres of that other walled city
which is home to 1.2 million poor people.
The white driver boasts that now in Khayelitsha
most shacks have electricity.
Each pole has fifty or sixty lines running from it
to the jam-packed-make-piece shacks.
They are huddled so closely together that
because of the amateur way they are wired
fire frequently burns fifty to a hundred houses at a time.
I took a couple of photos as we sped by
on our way to wine-tasting at Stellenbosch.
We were spending more in an afternoon
than many of the families of Khayelitsha
would earn in six months.
Yes I understand privilege.
Yes I understand deprivation.
Yes I understand injustice.
And yes, I am part of the problem.
* The name is Xhosa for New Home:
Khayel means home
itsha means new.
Copyright © 2022 John Tomlinson