Upgrading Lives in Cape Town's Informal Settlements
One third of Cape Town's 3.7 million residents live in slums, or “informal settlements,” with limited access to basic services, such as water, electricity, and toilets. Shack fires are common — and deadly — as residents rely on candlelight and firelight. At night, a bucket under the bed is the only toilet available because fear of deadly crime prevents people from walking a distance to a toilet.
In Flamingo Crescent, a settlement of 400 people, the inimitable "Aunty" Marie has been instrumental in bringing about change and transforming the lives of her community. After years of development, working with Cape Town City and NGOs, Flamingo Crescent has been "upgraded;" to a toilet, tap, and electricity supply for every shack.
In the Santini settlement, 22 km away, local politics have have slowed a similar upgrade project to a standstill.
With 900 million people living in slum conditions worldwide, Flamingo Crescent sets a precedent for global slum redevelopment. This film explores how lives can be changed, one settlement at a time.