Lwandle, Cape Helderberg

The informal settlement of Lwandle lies close to both Somerset West and Gordons Bay and people who live here are employed in the Helderberg Basin, largely within the building industry, although as many as 60% are still unemployed.

Many of those who live here originally came here under the migrant labour system during the late 1950s from the Eastern Cape province and most residents still live in shacks whilst the government puts approved housing projects into place.

The Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum has placed the settlement on many visitors’ maps. It is the first of its kind in South Africa to tell the story of hostel life and the migrant labour system - its trials and triumphs. It is housed in what used to be the community hall and a number of travel operators now run tours through the township to take in the museum on their route.

Visits here will include a tour by a local community guide so that there is personal interaction with members of the community, and might include a stop at a local restaurant or a food garden, such as that started by the Nceduluntu Sanctuary Trust for orphaned and vulnerable children, which, together with Mama Lumka, cares for a total of 60 children in 10 homes.

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