WALK THE STREETS OF ALEXANDRA WITH CEDRIC allows you a look at the Alexandra Township, a microcosm of South Africa and World issues, we immerse ourselves, in life outside of our Shark Cage Protection environment, that we live in.
For years have endeavoured to get white South Africans, and our International Visitors to walk the streets of the Townships with, and our focus area has been Soweto, as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary, our focus moves to Alexandra, nearer to central Johannesburg, a few km’s from Gautrain Sandton station, and a high density activity area, that allows you continuous interaction for a few hours, experiencing what it would take you days to achieve anywhere else in our Country.
Join Cedric and Nettie, as we take Responsible Travel to a new level, allowing the South African to participate in the empowering of the community, in exchange for self-empowerment.
A LOOK AT THE ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP AREA WE COVER
TASTE OF AFRICA CELEBRATES 15TH ANNIVERSARY:
My wife Nettie and I, South African, born 1949 and 1947, conservative, never anti-Apartheid, first visited Soweto in July 2004, we were trapped by the love, respect, and the energy of Africa, a lifestyle that was foreign to us.
It takes us ten years to understand the African, to understand the love, the respect and the energy that their lifestyle embodies, to understand, why we feel so comfortable in the African areas.
Our God, allowed us the enter the African community, with us showing comfort and trust, a behaviour pattern that the African drew our attention to, a behaviour pattern, that we did not fully understand for the first ten years, as a brother and sister, to the African community.
Today, 15 years since we first visit Soweto, Taste of Africa is operating successfully, I assess the poverty African group, that we have attempted to empower, and find that they have empowered us, yet, we have failed to empower them.
Empowerment of the African population, requires us to understand, just how the Western Capitalist developed our elite suburbanite lifestyle, the need for us, both South African and International visitors, to understand why we consider the African different, in order for the world to free the African, and in turn, free ourselves from the need to hide behind our hide security walls.
My South African white friends, whether here, or in your adopted land, when in Johannesburg, take a walk through Alexandra with me, follow the blogs under the primary category, Shark Cage Protection, you may believe that you know the African, that you don’t need to walk the streets of Alex with Cedric to be enlightened, you will be surprised, I learn a little more about myself, every day that I walk the streets of the African areas.
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY:
Alexandra, originally established as a white Township in the 1890’s then, when unable to sell land, the developer converted the Township to a black Township in 1912, sold all the land as the 1913 Land Act approached.
During the 1950s Alexandra was famous for the 2 American type gangs that controlled the area.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Alexandra, like Sophiatown, Kliptown and other areas in South Africa, was ripped apart by the expropriation of all residential land, and the forceful removal of residents to Diepkloof in Soweto, and other areas.
It was the Apartheid Government’s intention to use the land for Hostel Type dwellings, to provide accommodation for the labour force, and by 1963 the male and female hostels were built.
In contrast to the forced removals in Sophiatown, because Alex was due to remain a black area, the Council started to collect rentals on all accommodation that was not vacated.
This resulted in difficulty to remove the land-owners who preferred to stay, and great conflict existed through till the 1970s when Rev Buti was able to change the Council’s minds and the development of Alex was again started.
During the early 1980s, through some link by a financial institutions, contractors, and Councillors, property was re-sold to those who could afford bond homes. You paid a deposit, and an appointed contractor built the homes through a link to the building society.
Then, in 1984 conflict in the Townships, the 1986 the rent and services boycott, aimed at all the accommodation owned by the Council impacted on those Land-owners who maintained the control over their properties. To-date, no rent is being paid, and conflict exists in many ‘land-owner groups’ who claim ownership, in the face of Government Ownership.
This was followed by the removal of the restrictions on ‘influx-control’ and Alex was one of the first areas where informal shack accommodation swelled, resulting in the over-populated conditions we find today, high-density accommodation that the sewerage system can’t handle.
During 1990, when black on black violence, allegedly driven by outside forces, spread throughout the country, Alex, the ‘Dark City’ maintained relative peace. Then in March 1991 the IFP / ANC violence erupted in the area around the Mens Hostel.
Many died, and all non-Zulus were chased out of the area, all of them leaving all their belongings behind, as they flee.
This section today is still home to the Zulu contingent that occupied this enclave.
This is a brief introduction to the dynamics that we need to be aware of, and dynamics that should attract South Africans to visit the microcosm of South Africa’s scattered problems.
As we WALK THE STREETS OF ALEXANDRA WITH CEDRIC, he will walk you though the life of a white South African, born in 1947, never anti-Apartheid, today he understand that he is still racist, a racist in recovery, he believes that, like the alcoholic, his cultivated mind can never heal, and he needs to continue attending the forum, else he will fall off he wagon.
The western world, is divided into two groups, the Capitalist, and those who as yet, have not been integrated into the Capitalist structures, or, as Cedric will be heard to say, those, mainly African, who have been economically segregated from the western Capitalist structures.
Our walk will take you through the Western World’s history, as we fit the puzzle together, the visitor will pass through some of the following periods;
The Comparisons between the Western Roman Empire and the Capitalist Free Market period, are they going to suffer the same fate?
The Age of Discovery through the Age of Enlightenment, ending with the French Revolution, where the birth of our Western Democracy takes place, and how this Western Democracy, has become entrenched in Africa, never really freeing the African.
Who stole the land in South Africa, and how did it take place?
When did slavery end in South Africa, and has it in fact ended?
Who was the father of Apartheid?
How did the worth differentiation between that of the elite suburbanites, and the poverty African, take place.
We will end the walk, with lunch at the Madala Mens Hostel, a walk that will live with you for years to come.
Join Cedric and Nettie, in the spaces that they have found in Africa.
WALK THE STREETS OF ALEXANDRA WITH CEDRIC Cost and LOGISTICS OF THE MORNING WALK
Cost: 2 to 4 persons sharing, R 750 per person, including lunch at Madala Hostel, excluding local shared taxi, to and from Alex, and should we use inside Alex.
Cost: 5 to 10 persons sharing, R 600 per person, including lunch at Madala Hostel, excluding local shared taxi, to and from Alex, and should we use inside Alex.
Cost: 11 to 20 persons sharing, R 450 per person, including lunch at Madala Hostel,excluding local shared taxi, to and from Alex, and should we use inside Alex.
ALEXANDRA SLEEP A NIGHT IN THE FAVELA ON 6TH AVENUE
Should you wish to sleep ‘in the favela on 6th Avenue’, the cost per person will be an additional R 350 per person, for the shared accommodation, supper and morning meal.
Cedric will meet visitors at the entrance of the Gautrain Station in Sandton at 10:00 am, and we will use local shared taxi transport to Alexandra, immersing ourselves in the lifestyle and culture of he local African people.
Overnight meeting times by arrangement:
We will walk the area indicated in the map above, compliments of Google.
We will walk via the Woman’s Hostel grounds, we pass the Room where Nelson Mandela stayed in the 1940s on 7th Avenue, then depending on time, a look at a few of the lower Avenues, before we head to the upmarket Phase 2.
Should the visitor wish to get deeper down into Alexandra, a trip in one of the small ‘cockroach’ taxis, will allow us to move deeper into Alexandra, and head for the Mens hostel, where we will have lunch.
Lunch is African, meat, should you be a vegetarian, please give Cedric advance notice.
No where in South Africa will you experience the diversity that you will experience in the 1 square kilometre of the old DARK CITY, that is Alexandra Township:
Join us for an experience you will never forget.
While you are looking at Alexandra, maybe Soweto is your other option?
Walk the streets of Alexandra with Cedric