The Karretjie people, South Africa’s last nomads, say they have become accustomed to living away from the road.
The Karretjie people were once a regular sight on roads, especially in the Western and Northern Cape as they trekked in search of work with their donkey carts.
However, they have now settled and many are looking for houses and jobs. Their lives though are far from ideal, with no proper housing, electricity or running water.
Hannes Olivier was born on the road as his parents were trekking from one farm to another in search of work. He followed in their footsteps and called the road his home for 59 years.
Today he has settled on a piece of land near Colesberg. He says, “Life was good on the road. But here it’s also good because you have peace.”
For some the road is still long, but now life has changed so dramatically that it’s impossible to return.
There is no electricity where they live and they have to share communal taps. They want proper houses and amenities and hope their vote will change that.
“There are no jobs, water and we walk far to get water,” says one of the residents, Nikkie Renoster.
The Karretjie people say they still have a long road to travel but they are confident that soon they will be trekking to a better life.
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