Life in Cape Town’s most controversial informal settlement

Future of Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East in the hands of a judge

Photo of water flowing through Marikaa

The “main road” of Marikana is a canal of stagnant water.

By Masixole Feni

17 February 2017

This week the court case to decide what will happen to Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East concluded. Judgment is reserved. 60,000 people are living on private land that they began occupying several years ago. The land owners want the state to buy them out or compensate them. The state is reluctant. Nearly everyone agrees eviction is not an option. On Tuesday Masixole Feni photographed life in the settlement.

“They live here not out of choice. They live here out of desperation,” said advocate Irene de Vos representing the Marikana residents in the Western Cape High Court. But even in desperation, there is hustle, bustle and great effort to make life tolerable and dignified.