Nombulelo Mdunyelwa (54) waits for customers at her tuck shop in Ahmed Kathrada House, an abandoned nursing home in inner city Cape Town that is now being occupied by several hundred people. Nombulelo moved in here after fleeing an abusive relationship and finding herself unable to afford anywhere to rent within easy reach of her work as a security guard. When she tried commuting from the townships on the Cape Flats, on the edge of he city, she spent almost all of her income on transport.
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.