Located about forty five miles from Cape Town, Ocean View
township was formed in the late 1960’s to 1970’s
during the Group Areas Act; all coloured people were
forcefully relocated from the ‘white communities’
of Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek and Noordhoek to this settlement.
It was ironically named Ocean View, with residents
being removed from their previous sea-side homes and views.
What is a township?
a township was a racially segregated area in South
Africa established by the government as a residence
for people of color.
Although apartheid has
ended, millions of people still call these townships
home, as they lack the finances to move to higher-end
homes in more affluent neighborhoods.
As a result, its history is embedded in apartheid,
and there is still much bitter resentment among many people.
The coloured people of Ocean View originate from the Khoi-San
group, and so have a unique, separate heritage from black
Today there are close to 30,000 people
who live in Ocean View in brick houses and apartments.
Consequently, because housing is not such a concern in this
township, they face many other problems.
Thousands of lives are being destroyed
by the local drug culture, where a drug called tik (crystal
meth) is being sold for as little as R5 (less than $1).
Many children are embroiled in this drug, with
the issue affecting all ages and generations within society.
Gangs and violence stem from the drug problem; Ocean View
has a high rate of crime and gangs are a main source of violence
in the township as they attempt to manage the drug trade and
For decades the coloured community has been caught stranded
between the whites and the blacks, and so has been neglected
This attitude is a major cause for the struggles Ocean View
faces. Youths and adults alike lack hope and aims
for improving their lives by getting an education or working,
and so problems such as unemployment swell. People
turn to other sources of income such as crime, drugs and prostitution
just to make ends meet.
HIV is also a problem; there is a lot of stigma attached
to it and so it is not discussed openly. The estimate for
infection rate is about 8-13%, but is hard to gauge because
of the unwillingness of people to talk about it.
Ocean View has a number of facilities but is still extremely
ill-equipped for the needs of the community; currently these
include a number of schools, a library, community centre,
clinic and a range of small shops. There are almost 200 churches
and church groups within Ocean View but these are limited
in effectiveness by division and factions, and many
live a Sunday-life focused on rules, and a week-life where
they behave as they wish.
The main language spoken within the township is Afrikaans,
but most also speak English.
Although Ocean View is a community ravaged by social problems,
some residents are beginning to stand up and fulfill the potential
that has been suppressed for decades.