21 February 2019

Africa: 'We Live Like Peasants in Our Own Country' - Tales From the Forgotten People of South Africa


In the months leading up to elections, Daily Maverick will tell the story of those people who feel disenfranchised, who for years have waited for their lives to improve but who find themselves still living on the edges of society. Meet the Honose family who lives on the banks of the Klipspruit River in Kliptown.

Gweva Honose, 58, stands at his pigsty, a few metres from his small three-roomed shack, on the edge of the Klipspruit River in Kliptown. It's raining, and he should be indoors but the rising water keeps him watchful.

"I am always on the edge when it rains," Honose says, "I can't go back into the house. I feel like when I'm standing outside, somehow I'm delaying the river from swelling up fast." It's already been raining for days when Daily Maverick visits Honose and the risk of flooding in the area is high.

A swollen Klipspruit River following incessant rain in Johannesburg. Photo: Bheki Simelane

To get to his house, Honose has to trudge through a sea of dark, stinking sludge.

"If you have no good reason to step out of the house here, you stay indoors unless you are prepared to wade into the...

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