8. My mother built this house

Posted: 29 June 2001

Victoria Mxenge was the first of the housing projects founded by the South African Homeless People's Federation in the 1990s in Khayalitsha, a huge sprawling township outside Cape Town. A small oasis in a seemingly infinite sea of squatter settlements, the project has several streets of neat houses, a creche, an office built from old, brightly painted shipping containers and a small shop selling basic essentials.

Behind it, and beyond the railway line that carries commuters into the city, the endless shacks stretch out to the distant horizon and the distinctive outlines of Table Mountain. Over 70,000 very poor women belong to the Homeless People's Federation, which was founded to transform the suffering of shack dwellers in South Africa and provide them with the opportunities and choices they'd been denied under apartheid.

In this film, director Toni Strasburg tells the stories of five members of the Federation who've worked to build up enough capital to build their own homes.

This film forms part of TVE's Life Series ll on City Life. For a copy of this 30-minute film, contact:

Distribution Office
Prince Albert Road
London NW1 4RZ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7586 5526
Fax: +44 (0)20 7586 4866
Email: tve-dist@tve.org

To order online, visit TVE's Moving Pictures catalogue.