Hostels in South Africa

Hostels in South Africa

Spaces of Perplexity

eBook - 2017
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This book examines the transformation of KwaMashu Hostel in Durban, South Africa, from a single-sex men’s hostel to family accommodation in community residential units, as an example of how hostels illustrate the shift from apartheid. It details how hostels were first designed as housing structures to enable migrant African mineworkers to live close to mine sites, away from their families and alienating them while allowing them to live cheaply and send money home, but that they have become “spaces of perplexity” that are full of contradictions, confusion, and resistance, as issues of migration, labor, employment, gender, sex, socially and geographically extended families, housing, and politics have changed over the last 20 years. He shows that the post-apartheid era KwaMashu Hostel has become one of these spaces that is at odds with official schemes in government-introduced community residential units (the new name given to these hostels), and that there is a difference between what policy makers say compared to what hostel-dwellers do and how they live. It considers gender, generational, and employment status to show how government-initiated programs play a role in changes since apartheid. It discusses hostels as spaces of perplexity, the persistence of migrancy, the everyday struggles of migrants, and how the reconstruction and redefinition of cultural, political, social, and spiritual associations in reconfiguring rural-urban connections are key drivers of the changes in the lives of migrants. It describes challenges migrants encounter in their livelihoods, including strategies related to the sexual economy and criminality, and issues of identity and belonging, gender issues, and household and housing dynamics. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Portland : University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2017
ISBN: 9781869143725
Characteristics: 1 online resource (263 pages)


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