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From the Editors

One city, eleven people, ten ideas. This, in a nutshell, is what this issue is about

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That Religion Called Design

In 2014 Cape Town was awash with yellow branding. Why, and was the euphoria worth it?

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Water (In)Security

Demand for water in Cape Town is straining the existing water-supply infrastructure. A new paradigm is required to ensure water security in the future

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Geography and Memory

You will know black Cape Town by the hiss of yellow buses braking, people running for the hooting taxi, a block of two-storey flats with elaborate burglar bars

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Hie’s jou nannas

Cape Town hip hop quintet Dookoom have been vilified and lauded for their protest song about the plight of farmworkers and the lingering irresolution it flags

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The Transporter

Thabang Molefe started out as a minibus taxi driver. After assisting his father he set out on his own. It was hard work, dangerous too. But that is all history. Today Thabang is a key figure in a black economic empowerment project that is transforming public transport in Cape Town

David Schmidt

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The Last Harpooner

Cyril Fernandez’s father taught him to stand in the bows of an open boat and wield a harpoon. It was a valuable skill, knowing how to jump a southern right whale and kill it. Up until 1976, South Africa ran one of the most intensive operations in the history of modern whaling. But then the whale populations dwindled. Cyril witnessed this, and other things

Mike Nicol

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The Architect

Gita Goven is an architect and humanist with an experience of hardship. Gita’s biography has shaped her vision of architecture’s possibilities. Her studio specialises in the design of integrated and sustainable human settlements. It is urgent work. Housing and the restoration of human dignity are central to the post-apartheid project

Bekezela Pakathi

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The Principal

Alfonso Louw is the principal of St Agnes Primary in Woodstock. It is a good school with a diverse student body, hands-on leader and innovative learner-focussed projects. But St Agnes is also a poor school in a working-class neighbourhood, meaning the odds are massively stacked against its learners succeeding.

Janine Stephen

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The Unionist

For Mina Plaatjies, It is a delicate balancing act fulfilling her duties as domestic labourer, union organiser and weekend mom

Janine Stephen

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The Doppelgängers

Twin brothers Hasan and Husain Essop create art together as a collaborative duo. Their composite photographs show the observant Muslim brothers in various staged scenarios in different city settings around the world

Kim Gurney

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The Farmer

Urban farmer Kieyaam Ryklief has carved out a tiny niche in a food market dominated by conglomerates. His fragile harvest is an overlooked source of food for the urban poor

Leonie Joubert

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The Conservationist

Luzann Isaacs manages an environmental park in the low-income urban area of Philippi. Through her outreach, the park is shifting the racial and class connotations still attached to conservation

Kim Gurney

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Shadow of the Mountain

There are rote stories about Table Mountain that emphasise its daunting and picturesque qualities, but between these stories falls the shadow of another story

Ashraf Jamal

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The Entrepreneur

Christina Mtandana's home business selling vetkoek to passers-by in Sweet Home Farm is okay, but it could be better. She's constantly battling to get ahead in a constant battle against the weather

Leonie Joubert

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The Healer

Psychiatrist John Parker is at the frontline of treating methamphetamine-related psychosis and a multitude of social problems on the Cape Flats

Brendon Bosworth

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The Violence Interrupter

Colin Barends is not a gangster anymore. He works as a violence interrupter on the Cape Flats. His job is to get young men to rethink their code of violence, to staunch the flow of blood, nothing more. He approaches his job with an acute understanding of what it means to fall

Lee Middleton

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