Bush of Evil: A look into the Cape’s temporary slum

Blikkiesdorp residents are fighting to be heard by the government. This documentary follows their journey.

“People die here,” says a resident of the crime infested Blikkiesdorp, a temporary settlement in Delft, Cape Town. Poor sanitation, tin shelters with no insulation, crime, and an unemployment rate of 73 per cent have earned the settlement the nickname, “Bush of Evil”. As one resident explains, the area is a dumping ground for the living and the dead.

Created by the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) Right2Know, The Development Action GroupThe Community Law Centre and The Legal Resources Centre, this documentary follows the journey of Blikkiesdorp residents who are fighting to be heard by a City they say does not care for the poor.

The area is made up of people from all over Cape Town who had been evicted from their homes and placed in temporary shelters. Some have been living this way for almost 10 years. Now, the area’s proximity to the airport threatens to bring about even more instability. A new runway development could see residents living even closer to the booming sound of airplanes, which are too loud for the human ear to endure in such close proximity. The residents are also not sure where the City will move them to or when the move will take place.

The residents have voiced their concerns that the City of Cape Town had not attempted to meaningfully engage with them on the new development and what it would mean for the residents of Blikkiesdorp and other surrounding settlements. While dealing with this uncertainty, the residents are still forced to deal with the stigma of being a Blikkiesdorp resident, the threat of gang violence, and an unresponsive police force.