Did you know?
'Khayelitsha' means 'new home' in isiXhosa, one of South Africa's 11 official languages.
Khayelitsha, Cape Town's largest township, is home to hundreds of thousands of South Africans from around the country. Each year, thousands more flock to this cultural melting pot in search of a better life.
The mix of poverty and entrepreneurship provides fertile ground for Khayelitsha's arts and crafts community. They continue to boldly reflect their daily reality through the work they produce and, in the process, create much needed employment. Their work is diverse, dynamic and constantly evolving – just like South Africa itself.
You will find great examples of township arts and crafts on sale at the Khayelitsha craft market. Housed at St Michael's church, the market gives Khayelitsha's artists a space to create and sell their work. At the same time, it empowers them to transform their lives.
Township art is shaped by poverty, cultural diversity and South Africa's changing social landscape. Together, these elements have been catalysts for the emergence of new techniques. Artists constantly experiment with found objects, new media and traditional techniques that they can recycle or use in their work.
Plastic bags, rusty bicycle spokes and even soft drink cans are reworked to create unique works of art. Traditional beading skills are used to produce modern jewellery and funky objects – from candles sticks to handbags – are made from wire and tin. Sculptors experiment with clay, stone and scrap metal and local designers reflect Khayelitsha's unique urban vibe in the clothing they produce.
The Khayelitsha craft market is also a chance to meet with and interact with some of Khayelitsha's entrepreneurs who are happy to answer your questions while they work. As you browse around, you will be entertained by a local marimba band and when you get hungry, there is traditional food for sale at the market.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Khayelitsha Craft Market
Tel: +27 (0) 21 361 5246
Fax: +27 (0) 21 363 5837
How to get here
Most Khayelitsha tours stop at the craft market which is located 40 kilometres south-east of Cape Town’s city centre.
Best time to visit
The craft market is open from 09h00 to 14h00 on Monday to Friday, and 09h00 to 12h00 on Saturdays.
Tours to do
Take a tour of Khayelitsha and see what life is like for its residents.
What to eat
Try some traditional township fare on sale at the market.
South African wire art makes a uniqely South African souvenir.