So far, my trip to South Africa is going great. I won’t have the opportunity to write much here until after I return in July, but I thought I would share a few highlight photos.
Our studio class is examining housing and economic issues in a small town about two hours from Cape Town called McGregor. Its boosters claim the town is the “best preserved 19th century town” in the Western Cape, however it is also facing a serious housing crisis.
McGregor is something of a mecca for so-called “earth building” technology in South Africa built using adobe or cobb. This home was being built by a local business owner using local materials (the earth is from the site) and local people with experience in the building techniques.
This man is stomping cobb:
These are historic homes, perhaps 100 years old:
Here is a government-built toilet, shared by the residents of 5 tin shacks (not seen, to the right) and the home to the left. These residents are lucky, many shack residents have no plumbing whatsoever.
In McGregor, perhaps a quarter of the total population live in tin shacks and pay roughly $20 a month to the land owner as rent. Millions more live in massive shantytowns surrounding Cape Town, Johannesburg, and other South African cities. (More on this later)
After spending a week in McGregor, we have returned to Cape Town to start work on the report.
We took the train to Simonstown to see the famous African penguins:
As well as took a drive around the peninsula to visit the Cape of Good Hope.