Gugulethu, Cape Flats
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The energetic community of Gugs, better known as Gugulethu, lies virtually on top of Cape Town’s International airport, about 20 kilometres outside of Cape Town - one of the oldest black townships in South Africa and arguably one of the fastest developing. Gugulethu has been described as a combination of vibrant life, poverty, disease and violence and has its roots in the migrant labour system of the apartheid era, when the number of migrant workers from the Transkei became too great for the township of Langa to contain.
Originally called Nyanga West in 1958, people were allocated rooms in hostels designed in zones, where up to three men had to share a tiny room, and poverty and overcrowding were a characteristic, one that has changed very little since the end of apartheid. However, today Gugs is a combination of what remains of the former hostels, tin shacks, which many people built for themselves to create privacy, and brick and mortar houses, owned by the wealthier in Gugulethu. It also has running water and electricity.
There is a lively sense of community, even though people share toilets and facilities, and restaurants and Bed & Breakfasts are indicative of the strong influence of tourism. Gugs was the first to have an information technology centre, which provides top class training in multimedia and youth development. There are also sport fields, community centres and schools but the best way to experience Gugulethu is to go and see for yourself, on an arranged township tour.
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Featured Attractions in (or near) Gugulethu
The Cape Care Route, situated in and around Cape Town, offers those who take it a chance to experience the 'other' side of Cape Town, and the creativity and innovation that have come out of the more depressed communities in the Mother City. Designed by the City of Cape Town ... more information
False Bay Ecology Park, FBEP for short, lies in Cape Town and is 1200 hectares that includes Rondevlei Nature Reserve and Zeekoevlei Nature Reserves, a strip of the coast, the Cape Flats Waste Water Treatment Works, and the Coast Park landfill site. Aside from being a major green lung within the city, and ... more information
Built to commemorate the death of seven young black activists from the Cape township Gugulethu (meaning our pride) on 3 March 1986, the Gugulethu Seven Memorial consists of seven solid and powerful granite statue-like constructions, sculpted by the South African artists Donovan Ward and ... more information
Liziwe Ngcokoto is the owner of Liziwe's Guest House. Before the establishment of the house she bought the plot, lived in a shack on the plot for five years in Gugulethu and then decided to build a house. Together with her husband, they worked towards building their home, one brick at a time ... more information
The Peace Park, known as the Manyanani Peace Park, which is Xhosa for 'to bring people together', lies in Khayelitsha. The development of the peace park on degraded land in the township was a bid to remove the conflict between two communities who subsequently became friends. The source of the conflict? ... more information
Mzolis is Guguletus most popular hang-out spot. Every Saturday and Sunday this is where people spend their afternoons, eating meat, chatting and just lounging around. At Mzoli's, seating is outside where you can get a view of everyone passing by. This way you get to interact with people while enjoying your meal. more information
One of the country’s oldest ornithological field stations, has some easy walks and fantastic bird hides that offers the bird lover hours of entertainment. Strandfontein’s Waste Water Treatment Works is yet another example of a significant wetland, supporting, for example, a greater bird life than St Lucia’s Estuary. more information
Things To Do in Gugulethu
Restaurants in Gugulethu
Events and/or Festivals in Gugulethu