TEAM Bekkersdal: A humbling experience

A few weeks ago we were tasked with the assignment of going out into the townships in West Johannesburg to relay the plight of the residents there to the academics that were going to attend the Ruth First Memorial Lecture at Wits. It was both beautiful and sad at the same time to see how fellow citizens in Bekkersdal were forced to live and survive like they are not entitled to the basic freedoms that other, more for fortunate South Africans are afforded. The people of Bekkersdal live day to day without running water in their homes, without electricity which is a great challenge in winter and without sanitation. Documented Below was a just fraction of our great experience.

SUNRISE IN BEKKERSDAL: We woke up at 4:15 am to make the sunrise which was scheduled by the weather report to happen at 06:50. We arrived at 5:30. It was cold. It was dark. It was a little intimidating but the sunrise was absolutely worth it. Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

SUNRISE IN BEKKERSDAL: We woke up at 4:15 am to make the sunrise which was scheduled by the weather report to happen at 06:50. We arrived at 5:30. It was cold. It was dark. It was a little intimidating but the sunrise begun to hover over the taxi rank was absolutely worth it.
Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

 

A VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE: An outsider's look into the township. Here is a picture of the informal settlements known as X Section. This is the area in Bekkerdal with no water, no electricity and little dignity for those who live in the settlement.  Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

A VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE: An outsider’s look into the township. Here is a picture of the informal settlements known as X Section. This is the area in Bekkerdal with no water, no electricity and little dignity for those who live in the settlement.
Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

THE BEKKERSDAL TEAM: Setting up shop a short distance from the mine to get some shots of it. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

THE BEKKERSDAL TEAM: Setting up shop a short distance from the mine to get some shots of it.
Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

READY: We set up our equipment. I think it was a wonderful abstract photo that had to be taken. Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

READY: We set up our equipment. I think it was a wonderful abstract photo that had to be taken.
Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

PRIVATE PROPERTY: When we were taking photos of the mine where were approached by a big man who wore a red beret and drove a big white van. We were told to delete our pictures of the mine for security purposes. But any good journalist knows never to just give in. We figure there are cameras all around the mine and that is how we were spotted. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

PRIVATE PROPERTY:
When we were taking photos of the mine where were approached by a big man who wore a red beret and drove a big white van. We were told to delete our pictures of the mine for security purposes. But any good journalist knows never to just give in. We figure there are cameras all around the mine and that is how we were spotted.
Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

FORBIDDEN FRUIT: A picture of the mine from a diffrerent angle. Again, a good journalist just does not take no for an answer. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

FORBIDDEN FRUIT: A picture of the mine from a diffrerent angle. Again, a good journalist just does not take no for an answer.
Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

TINKLE TIME: We went to one of the local grocery stores during filming to attend to nature's calls. The shop manager was happy to let us use her facilities but just one of the lavatories because the other had a cat inside? Interesting. Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

TINKLE TIME: We went to one of the local grocery stores during filming to attend to nature’s calls. The shop manager was happy to let us use her facilities but just one of the lavatories because the other had a cat inside?
Interesting.
Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

F*** CONVENTION: A young boy pushes around a pram close to his home. Why not a toy car or toss a football around? Because life in the township is indeed unconventional. Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

F*** CONVENTION: A young boy pushes around a pram close to his home. Why not a toy car or toss a football around? Because life in the township is indeed unconventional.
Photo:Rofhiwa Madzena

 

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