Tourists flock to Cape Town, South Africa, every year for it’s iconic mountains, beautiful beaches and laid back lifestyle. However, this top holiday destination is much more complex than meets the eye. With countless activities such as hiking, surfing, skydiving, rugby matches and delicious food to try, it is easy to overlook the economic disparity only a short distance away.
Cape Town’s Complexities
South Africa’s education system was ranked 133rd out of 142 countries in the world by the World Economic Forum. The root of the issue takes us back to the apartheid era, when education was used as a way to keep ‘Blacks’ and ‘Coloreds’ at the low end of the socio-economic system. Some of the issues schools face are poor school infrastructure, teachers lacking basic knowledge in the subject they teach, and little to no government support.
According to statistics in 2015, out of group of 100 Grade 1 pupils, only 40 will reach Grade 12. Of those, 28 will pass matric and 4 will enter university. And of the 4, only 1 will graduate.
Inequality and Poverty
History plays a large role in why South Africa is known as the “world’s most unequal country”, which is easily observed just a few minutes from Cape Town in Khayelitsha; the second largest and fastest growing township in South Africa, with a population of 2.5 million registered citizens. Khayelitsha was originally established as an “apartheid dumping ground” and a part of the Group Areas Act. It is home to extreme poverty, caused by a 75% unemployment rate, poor community infrastructure and immense crime rates.
Informal settlements also line the beautiful southern coast of Cape Town, including a community known as Red Hill; an isolated farming community forced out of work and living in temporary housing without reliable sources of water or electricity.
How to Tackle the Complexities of Cape Town
Whether you are passionate about art, coaching sports or assisting a teacher in the classroom, African Impact’s Cape Town projects needs you! Together, we can educate and support the future generation of South Africa in an effort to help close the poverty and education gap.
As an African Impact volunteer you will be promoting sustainable change, learning about the local culture and creating strong relationships within the community. We are constantly blown away by our amazing volunteers and all they accomplish!