ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP (JOHANNESBURG). This is South Africa’s oldest townships, it has just celebrated its centenary on the 22nd of May 2012. The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, joined in these celebrations as most of them stayed in Alexandra during the apartheid years, and the struggle against the racist regime. It carries deep scars of history. Nelson Mandela once rented a room in the 1940s, when Alexandra was called the “Dark city” due to no electricity when the rest rest of Johannesburg was lit up at night.
It only got electricity in the early 1970s. But 18 years after the beginning of democracy, the celebrations were still disrupted by protesters who complained that the government was not doing enough on service delivery. In may 2008, the frustration was directed against immigrants coming from all over the continent (Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Somalians,...). The xenophobia attacks which left 62 Africans dead started in this township, and later spreading to other parts of the country. They accused the foreigners of depriving them job opportunities.
Plastic toilets which are shared by several families in Alexandra township in Johannesburg.