A Day in Tafelsig:

 

I spent a day in Tafelsig (Cape Flats) documenting the livelihoods of locals and gangs in a poverty stricken area. I cannot post all of the photos in order to protect the subjects and to remain loyal to the community that was so welcoming. I was overwhelmed by the abundance of drugs and the nature in which they were abused. The streets were riddled with aftermaths of violence and gangster symbolisms. Most of the women loitering around were either on 'tik' or searching for it. The street statistic is that 90% of woman in this area are using or recovering from drug abuse. Children that should be in school were ironically the biggest informers of the gang problems. One child told me how gangsters break holes in the walls to shoot from, another how he saw a man get shot 6 times in the back.

 

Above all of the many experiences I had this day, the event that shocked and saddened me simultaneously, was that of witnessing the contrast between kids playing outside the walls of a crèche to those within. On the outside, children were using fire crackers to re-enact the sounds of gun shots while pretending to be the shooters. On the inside, children lay low for protection during a whistle drill to the sound of ‘gun shots’. This is the everyday life of children in Tafelsig and I ask the question, Why is more not being done to help? One organisation that is making a huge difference in these communities is Catholic Welfare and Development. 

All Images © 2018 Justin Sullivan. All Rights Reserved

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