Hermanus & Zwelihle
Hermanus is a seaside town about 120 kilometres from Cape Town travelling toward the famous South Africa’s Garden Route. It is an area well known internationally for its beautiful coastline, amazing flora and land based whale watching. It is well known for its artistic community, highly renowned vineyards along the nearby Hemel-en-aarde valley and its superb setting on the Walker Bay Maritime Sanctuary surrounded by mountains. It has become a popular residential area for retired South Africans and tourists alike but, like many areas of South Africa, the quality of its residential areas contrasts strikingly with the shacks of Zwelihle only three kilometres away.
In 2000/2001 a project was launched by the Overstrand Municipality to rezone the derelict local Hermanus airport area, now Zwelihle, to provide 1500 houses for what was expected to be a population of 5,000 persons. However, this saw the beginning of a sizeable and continuing migration of people from the Eastern Cape as well as an influx of migrants from other African countries. As a result, the population of Zwelihle is currently estimated to be in excess of 50,000 and growing. A side effect of this overcrowding has inevitably been a degree of social strain and unrest. Happily, Yomelelani has largely been unaffected to date, due to the good relations the the General Manager and Principal have maintained with the local community and Municipality.