Mamphela Ramphele trained as a medical doctor and anthropologist. She is the author, with Francis Wilson, of Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge as well as other books and articles, and is at present deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town.
Listed in: African Studies · South Africa · Emigration and Immigration · Poverty and Homelessness · Social History · Southern Africa · Africa
A Bed Called Home
Life in the Migrant Labour Hostels of Cape Town
By Mamphela Ramphele
· Photography by Roger Meintjes
In the last three years the migrant labor hostels of South Africa, particularly those in the Transvaal, have gained international notoriety as theaters of violence. For many years they were hidden from public view and neglected by the white authorities. Now, it seems, hostel dwellers may have chosen physical violence to draw attention to the structural violence of their appalling conditions of life.