Friends Ethan (r) and Justin (l) smoke a hookah pipe in what was once the morgue at the Helen Bowden nursing home. The building is now being occupied by a community of several hundred activists and evictees looking for an affordable place to live within striking distance of the city centre.
Since 2017, the Reclaim the City movement has been supporting the occupation of various abandoned buildings in central Cape Town in order to protest against gentrification and the lack of affordable housing near the city centre, and to provide a refuge for those being evicted from their homes. During the apartheid era non-white residents were forcibly removed from much of central Cape Town. Nearly three decades later the city remains chronically divided along ethnic and socio-economic lines, while South Africa remains the world's most unequal country, according to the World Bank.