“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply… For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.” Alan Paton
Each day thousands of forced migrants flood into Johannesburg in search of a better life. Many are foreigners who have risked their lives to cross the border to South Africa.
Some find their greener pastures, however most face violence, discrimination and oppression, and in their desperation, individuals forsake their identity, their rights, and their health to survive. Finding work dictates where people can afford to live. The demand for accommodation for the poor in the inner city of Johannesburg is insatiable. Hundreds of buildings are hijacked, some are run by slum lords who demand rent from tenants, despite there being no water or electricity in the buildings.
The slum buildings are vertical squatter camps –far more dangerous, far more over crowded – where the fight for survival is brutal and unrelenting.
In creating this documentary, our objective is to gain an all-rounded perspective on a complex social issue, and therefore chose to interview a wide selection of slum building residents as well as other stakeholders who are active in the city; including NGO’s, property developers, urban planners and the City Council.
Our hope is that this documentary will bring all stakeholders to one table, to combine the creative minds of the city to address the urgency and desperate needs of the people of the inner city of Johannesburg.