'Is Blikkies home?' A documentary about access to information

Posted in Blog

“Is Blikkies Home” was filmed throughout the course of 2015. The aim of the documentary is to follow the process that the residents of Blikkiesdorp went through, together with ODAC and a coalition of organisations including The Right to Know, The Development Action Group, the Community Law Centre and the Legal Resources Centre to gain access to information from the City of Cape Town about the plans for their housing and relocation.

Located 30km from Cape Town on the N2, Blikkiesdorp, which means Tin Town in colloquial Afrikaans, is a temporary relocation area that was created by the City of Cape Town in the 2007 as a temporary place for people with housing problems.

The houses at Blikkiesdorp were meant to be used for a period of 6 months and yet some of the residents have been living in the houses for over 7 years. Made from tin, the houses have no indoor shower, bath, toilet facilities or insulation and are therefore either very hot in South Africa’s summer, or freezing cold in winter. As there are no indoor ablution facilities, up to 10 residents have to share outside ablution structures that often don’t work, and are rife with diseases.

The residents of Blikkiesdorp have been moved from their previous communities to the area as a temporary housing solution. The community is made up of a variety of different people that were moved to the area by the City of Cape Town due to ‘emergency situations’, including victims of xenophobic attacks, unstable housing structures or are people that were previously homeless. Many residents have been moved far away from their previous employment locations and have subsequently lost their jobs, resulting in the fact that in 2015 73% of residents have no form of formal work or income.

The documentary tells of the residents’ journey to gain access to the information around the plans the City of Cape Town has for them, where they are going to be moved, and when.

This is the story of the Blikkiesdorp community:  


 Part of the Blikkiesdorp community’s key concerns are the plans by the ACSA  to expand and improve the runways. The Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Cape Town and the Airport Company sets out a plan for the development of alternative accommodation for the Blikkiesdorp residents – but there seems to be no plan to deal with the increase in noise from airport – which will exceed international guidelines and will affect nearly 400 000 people. The major problem with the plans in the MOA is that the City has no trime frame for moving the community.

To see what areas will be affected see our article: How will Blikkiesdorp be affected by the new Airport.



(Photo credit: Images kindly supplied by Lizane Louw: Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer. To view Lizane's website click here, to visit the Blikkiesdorp community Facebook page click here.)