Duduzile Gumede
2 minute read
20 May 2020
7:20 am

Lockdown Diaries: I won’t say no to some free land

Duduzile Gumede

Amazingly, most shack-dwellers can afford a satellite dish, television set and even a small car – much to the envy of many debt-ridden working-class fellows.

Shacks and satellite dishes in Alexandra in Johannesburg, 31 March 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Shacks have become a symbol of poverty, but most shack dwellers believe it to also be a ticket to a government-sponsored RDP house. Amazingly, most can afford a satellite dish, television set and even a small car – much to the envy of many debt-ridden working-class fellows. So how is this possible that the poorest of the poor can afford such luxuries? I drove past one such informal settlement where there were satellite dishes all over, which contradicted the lifestyle of shack-dwellers as we historically know it. Not long after seeing this, I called a friend, just to check on...