A recent court ruling in Johannesburg enabling a migrant black worker to qualify for residential status in large cities is likely to have large scale social effects in South Africa.
GVs Men's hostel in Soweto. (2 SHOTS)
SVs Men doing household chores in hostel camp. (6 SHOTS)
SCU PULL BACK TO GV East Rand Administration Board offices.
GVs Workers queue for permanent residents rights. (5 SHOTS)
SVs Administration board officials examine papers. (5 SHOTS)
GV ZOOM TO CU Engineering factory.
SVs & CUs Migrant Tom Rikhoto with khaki jacket at work in factory. (3 SHOTS)
CAMP NEAR CAPE TOWN
GV & SV Deserted camp with children playing beside barbed wire (4 SHOTS)
GV People waiting to move to new camp sitting outside a beerhall. (2 SHOTS)
TENT TOWN, CROSSROADS
GV Tent town.
GV Earth moving vehicle on new road.
SV Workers unload possessions. (4 SHOTS)
CU PULL BACK TO GV People move in. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: A recent court ruling in Johannesburg enabling a migrant black worker to qualify for residential status in large cities is likely to have large scale social effects in South Africa. Civil rights and labour groups urged the government - who were considering fresh legislation to avoid implementing the court decision - to abide by the ruling in favour of engineering worker Mehlolo Tom Rikhoto. The court ruled that a government regulation requiring migrant workers, like Rikhoto, to return to the tribal homelands each year did not interrupt the 10 years of consecutive service needed to obtain urban residence rights. Previously migrant black workers lived in shanty towns, squats and government camps around cities like Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. In the one featured here, several hundred men lived in a single-sex hostel. Barbed wire was erected to keep out wives and mothers. Following the recent appeal court decision, the offices of the East Rand Administration Board in Germiston were besieged on June 7 by hundreds of optimistic migrant black workers, who like Rikhoto, are seeking permanent residential status. Estimates have put the number who want permanent rights at up to one million workers and their families. Previously, they had to return annually to their homelands, but Rikhoto, who had worked at a Germiston engineering factory for 10 years, successfully challenged the rule. In an effort to improve the conditions for blacks, the government recently completed the first stage of Khayelitsha - a new town, near Cape Town. Khayelitsha, which means "our home", includes 1,000 sites, covering several hundred hectares, with rudimentary services like gravel access roads, one water tap between every block of four houses, bucket toilets, street lights and refuse removal services. Officials form the Western Cape Administration Board say that permanent facilities like administration offices, schools, primary health services, a post office, shops and transport services may be built later. The authorities intend to move black residents from townships like this one near Cape Town, and also from Tent Town, Crossroads Nyanga and Guguletu to Khayelitsha. The vacated dwellings would then be used to house some of South Africa's coloured population, who were to be given a parliamentary chamber under reform laws. The government was also reported to be considering permitting blacks to buy their houses at Khayelitsha. At the time, blacks were not allowed to own the houses they lived in.