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Portraits: Lizane Louw

Caledon, South Africa: Mr Arnolds Plaatjies and his wife Alithea van Breda in their humble home on a farm near Caledon in the Western Cape South Africa.

During 2009 the farming communities in the Western Cape were once again under the Human Rights spotlight. Many stories were published about the poor living conditions of farm workers and questions were raised about their treatment.

Mr Plaatjies fell terminally ill on a farm and his elderly wife, Alithea van Breda, had to resign from her job to nurse her partner.

At the time of my visit, the farmer had threatened to remove them by force and leave them to live on the street. Mr Plaatjies has not received any medical treatment and lives without water or electricity. The house is torn and the elderly couple must fend off the elements and extreme conditions they are living in.

Sadly Mr Plaatjies passed away three days later.


Cape Town, South Africa: The Cape Town International Kite Festival took place on October 10 and 11. The blue skies were painted with amazing pictures, textures and creatures.


Cape Town, South Africa: Ouma Magdalena (90) is the eldest resident of Blikkiesdorp on the Cape Flats.

Blikkiesdorp: A housing project that provides temporary shelter for the poor and homeless on the Cape Flats.

Kalbaskraal, Western Cape, South Africa: Adriaan Andrew (12 lost both his legs in a train accident in 2006. He won a court case battle against Transnet and the company has to pay him compensation. Adriaan is planning to study law once he is finished with school.

Grand Parade, Central Cape Town: Mr Mustafa Parker sitting and eating fish and chips in his lunch break on the Grade Parade in Cape Town. There are a number of fish and chips shops that sell fish and chips to locals in their lunch break.

Belhar, Cape Flats, Cape Town: Zelda Schritten with her young boy Zievan.

The van der Westhuizen family lives in a shack in a veld in Belhar. They are living without access to fresh running water, electricity or toilets.

I spent some time in the beginning of 2009’s winter with a family that live in a veld in Belhar. The van der Westhuizens are one of seven families living on a piece of land that became their “Veld-Dorp”. The remaining seven families living in “Veld-Dorp” refuse to relocate to Blikkiesdorp. Many of the previous residents of this veld were removed and received temporary housing in Blikkiesdorp. Fear of robberies, rape and violence has kept these families from moving there.

All the families are dependent on donations of food packages and clothing for their survival as none of them are employed and they struggle to make a living of the state grants.

Belhar, Cape Flats, Cape Town: Janica van der Westhuizen lives with her parents in a shack in a veld in Belhar.

Stellenbosh, Western Cape: A historical tour in Stellenbosch South Africa will take you back to the early 1700s. The village has a variety of museums and galleries where interesting people are to be found.

Lizane Louw is a South African photojournalist. See more of her work at

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage