Soweto is a township, a urban residential area where only blacks were permitted to reside until the end of apartheid. The area remains almost exclusively black, are often underdeveloped and sometimes lack basic infrastructure.
I visited Kliptown, which is home to around 50,000 people. It is one of South Africa’s poorest communities. They have no official power supply or sewage disposal. There are around 50 water pumps for all of the residents’ water needs (laundry, drinking, cooking, washing, etc.)!
Living in one of the richest countries in the world, I have found myself the only woman at my tram stop not carrying a Louis Vitton handbag. While I know that’s not most people’s reality, Kliptown definitely helps put things in perspective. Geneva, Switzerland is a world away from Kliptown. The living conditions were startling and heartbreaking.
One lady was nice enough to let me tour her home. She was older and never saw herself moving. Her tiny home was extremely clean and just like us, she hung certificates and awards up. Although there’s no official electricity there, where there is a will, there is a way.
Nevertheless, any electricity is sporadic and unreliable.
The Orlando Pirates are one of the most popular area soccer teams in the area.
I also toured the Kliptown Youth Program. It is one of the pillars of this community. If you are looking to donate time or money to a charity, theirs is an excellent one.
They have a trailer with 6 computers for communication, information and to learn computer skills. They also provide tutoring, have a library, educational programs, garden, sports and recreational areas.
I can’t explain their watching John Travolta’s acting (or lack thereof).
They also provide meals to children who would otherwise go hungry. After seeing six women cheerfully getting ready to cook for hundreds in a tiny trailer, please don’t complain to me about the size of your kitchen.