Looking back at the KwaLanga hostel redevelopment project

08 September 2023 | Words Lerato Maduna. Photo Lerato Maduna.

Clarence Mahamba, Yolisa Gqirana and Evelina Nomnikelo Sukwana, who were members of the Hostel Dwellers Association, with University of Cape Town (UCT) veteran architect Julian Cooke. They are some of the surviving members who were part of the KwaLanga hostel redevelopment project that began in 1985. The project created 3 000 housing units but did not convert all hostels into living quarters as some of the old infrastructure still serves as housing to families in KwaLanga. Some of the archive belonging to Gqirana shows images of former UCT vice-chancellor Dr Mamphela Ramphele and the late Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson. Read senior writer, Helen Swingler’s, article on the KwaLanga hostel redevelopment project.


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KwaLanga Centenary 2023

KwaLanga Centenary 2023

The Western Cape’s oldest township, KwaLanga, is marking its centenary in April 2023, presenting an opportunity to reflect on the township’s rich history and heritage. The University of Cape Town (UCT) has a history of engaging with KwaLanga residents, conducting research work, and collaborating on community initiatives.


“The local people need to know that this is a place that houses their history,
and they should use opportunities to come and reflect on where we’ve come from.”
Thami Sijila, Langa Heritage Museum curator and tour guide


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