Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo October 13, 2016

South Africa: Around Alex

Media file: 20160820_140124_hdr_copy.jpg

The South African government is working to reform Alexandra Township, one of the poorest, most...


Since 2001, Johannesburg's Alexandra Township has seen vast changes, propelled in part by a national urban development project to improve the area, but also by an influx of rural South African and immigrant jobseekers who have further densified an already-crowded landscape. Still, there are deep strands of identity that have remained in place—residents whose families helped found the township over a century ago, or the informal settlement that has persisted for decades as a site of poverty and crime.

Presented in this slideshow are some of the people and places in Alex that tell the township's story and history: two rival organizations representing Alex's longtime property owners, both of which are suing the city in search of compensation for past injustice; a soup kitchen for drug addicts, run by a group of neighborhood women; and the structures—hostels, houses, and bridges—that have been built and renovated in the attempt to lift the community out of its longtime poverty.



teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees
teal halftone illustration of a construction worker holding a helmet under their arm


Labor Rights

Labor Rights

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues