LAND STORIES Phumlani Vusani – the stonekeeper’s son


Production by Hannah Chibayambuya & Nontokozo Mchunu

Phumlani Vusani is a Hogsback resident who grew up on a commercial farm until the farmer asked the family to leave. After school he moved to Johannesburg, moved back to Hogsback then to Cape Town where he found a job. He has now returned back to Hogsback with the rest of his family and hope to find a place to a call home. Phumlani’s mother owns a grinding stone which she has kept for years from the old farm. The stone is a special symbol for the family and they intend to pass it on from generation to generation.

This film is one of six videos made to illustrate a range of typical Land struggles that people living in the Thyme River catchment in South Africa have experienced during their lifetimes.
A common feature in each of the six participants’ stories is the role and impact of insecure tenure on their own lives, their families and their communities. Although each family now has a ‘secure’ home, many of the participants have moved several times – between farmland, communal land, land owned by employers and as well as absentee landowners.
Despite the right to housing being enshrined in the South African Constitution, 24 years after the advent of democracy, the families have yet to secure formal tenure. Each of the stories highlight aspects of the ongoing struggle to ‘live a good life’ – many gained access to electricity for the first time in late 2017. The films provide a digital record for the young people in each family of how their parents struggled to have a permanent place called home.

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