“On the other side of the tracks, seven to ten families have to share one portable toilet”
Many tourists go on historical tours of the square, and I’ve convinced some of the official tour guides to let me take their customers on a little extension tour across the railroad tracks. I do this for free, to show them what it’s like to live here. They can see that large families live in small shacks, with spotty electricity that they steal from the other side of town, and that seven to ten families have to share one portable toilet.
Locals generally don’t feel at ease in the square. If they just hang out there – maybe stand in one place for a while – security will come and ask you to leave. When they’re on the other side of the train tracks, locals feel at ease; to go to the square, if they go at all, some people will take a bath first and try to dress like they’re not from Kliptown.
We should feel at home in our township. And it would be nice if some part of the square was used to improve the community for locals in some way – by setting up a library, for example, or a career centre, or a clinic, or anything! There were attempts at staging a few protests over the past few years to get more services, but it’s nearly impossible to get permits to demonstrate, and so protests are quickly scattered by police. Many people here are angry about this situation, but most have given up, realizing that this is just another broken dream.