One of the oldest and possibly one of the fastest-growing black townships in South Africa is the vibrant community of Gugs, also known as Gugulethu, which is located about 20 kilometres outside of Cape Town. Gugulethu, which has been described as a mix of exuberant life, poverty, disease, and violence, has its roots in the apartheid era’s migrant labour system when the township of Langa couldn’t accommodate all of the migrant workers from the Transkei.
People were assigned rooms in hostels that were zone-designed in 1958, where up to three males had to share a tiny room. Poverty and congestion were characteristics, and they haven’t changed much since apartheid ended. The remnants of the former hostels, tin shacks that many people built for themselves to create seclusion, and brick-and-mortar homes owned by the affluent in Gugulethu make up Gugs today. Electricity and running water are also present.
Even though people share restrooms and other amenities, there is a vibrant sense of community, and the presence of restaurants and bed and breakfasts demonstrates the significant impact of tourism. The first information technology centre, located in Gugs, offers top-notch training in multimedia and youth development. Sports fields, community centres, and schools are also present, but the best way to experience Gugulethu is to visit the township yourself on a scheduled tour.