The only saving grace in a township with high rates of unemployment, overcrowding, and a concerning reputation for high levels of gang activity is Manenberg, an essentially Colored community on the Cape Flats where clotheslines span across apartheid-government-built housing and children play in the streets with the back of Table Mountain visible in the distance. But not all is bleak. In the Proudly Manenberg campaign, locals have banded together with religious organizations, educational institutions, and community organizations to dispel the notion that the town is nothing more than a ghetto. The provincial government is investing resources and personnel in the campaign to improve the crime- and poverty-ridden neighbourhood through neighbourhood programs to positively rebrand Manenberg.
The coloured neighbourhood of Manenberg, built between 1966 and 1970 by the apartheid administration, is only physically separated from the black township of Gugulethu by a railroad. Graffiti, which is seen on numerous walls in Manenberg, shifts the official definition from one of crime to one of art, and many of its depictions include Tupac Shakur, known as the “king of rap.”
The renowned Club Montreal nightclub in Cape Flats has played host to some of the best jazz musicians, including Willie van Bloemenstein and Tony Schilder, and has produced musicians like Roy Davids, who currently performs for the counterpoint project.