After Langa, Nyanga is one of the oldest and biggest black townships, having been founded in 1955. It is a sprawling, impoverished representation of Cape Town’s urban sprawl. It is located along the N2 near the Cape Town International Airport, about 26 kilometres from the city centre. Like the majority of townships in the nation, it sprang up as a result of the migrant labour system after Langa became overcrowded.
The township of Nyanga, which means “moon,” is bustling with activity and has one of the oldest taxi ranks. It has recently undergone renovations to make it safer and easier to access, and it exudes a genuine “township vibe” that has tourists from around the world taking tours through Langa, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, and Gugulethu in an effort to experience township life.
Despite recent government development initiatives to provide more brick homes, Nyanga is still a poor area made up primarily of informal settlements where people live side by side in shacks made of zinc, cardboard, and wood. Families here struggle to make ends meet.
Despite this, Nyanga is the centre of activity. Role models like Mama Maphosela, who takes in TB and Aids orphans, seek to combat the stigma associated with HIV, and organizations like Abalimi Bezekhaya encourage a culture of self-help through supporting food cultivation and environmental action. The major streets are lined with fruit vendors and informal traders in addition to the barbershops, hair salons, and tuck stores that have been opened by brisk businesspeople.