Old furniture and rubbish accumulated in Die Veld.
Bridgette, 36 years old, lives with her husband and four children,...
Despite her tough past, Bridgette is a happy and extroverted woman.
Bridgette with her husband, George, and their son, Bradley. George’s dream is to leave Die Veld and settle in Orania, a town in which only Afrikaners are allowed to stay.
Bridget and Georges with their daughter, Karen.
Bridgette and her daughter, Karen.
Inside Bridgette’s shack.
Bridgette’s daughter, Jamie, plays in Die Veld.
Footprints of Bridgette’s children on wooden boards at the entrance of their shack. In winter, due to the mud, those boards are used to enter the shack.
Zoe, Bridgette’s daughter, 15 years old, fixes her hair. She dreams of becoming a model and buying a motorcycle. She recently tried to kill herself by swallowing 20 flu tablets.
Georges, Zoe’s father, cries on his semi-conscious daughter after she shallowed 20 flu tablets. Georges arrived home completely drunk and found that Zoe tried to commit suicide.
Bridgette and her husband George carry their daughter Zoe and Andy, son of their neighbour Wessels, on the back of a tow truck borrowed from the company that he works for.. They are on their way to the High Court to appeal an eviction order by the Provinc
A dog sleeps on a mattress, outside of Bridgette’s shack.
Mobile toilets in Die Veld.
Bridgette and Wessels in a cold day of winter.
It is Friday afternoon and Wessels begins his weekend routine, pouring himself a brandy and Coke. This is the first glass of a binge that will last several days. One year old Christelle, daughter of his partner Marinda, is behind Wessels on the bed, playi
Marinda and Andy (left), and Bridgette (right) taking care of Marinda’s baby, outside their respective shacks.
Bridgette visits Wessels. Although relations between the inhabitants of Die Veld are sometimes strained, they have learned to respect each other and there exists strong solidarity and friendship between many of them.
Wessels arrives to his shack after a work day. Although he recently found a job, he is worried because is only temporary and probably it won’t last for a long time.
Wessels and Shantel.
Andy, son of Wessels, 15 years old, plays cards inside his shack.
Andy eats dinner outside his shack.
The 14 houses of Die Veld each have a number. Number 2 is the house of Jacques, one of the best in the settlement. It is prefabricated while most of the other houses are built with material scrounged from the street. The settlement lies next to a new ho
It is a weekday afternoon and Jacques has just got up. The first thing he does is smoke a cigarette. These are not good times for him; he recently lost his job due to a fight with his supervisor. Jacques 41 years old, is an affable guy and talkative. He l
Jacques sleeps at this shack during the day because he is unemployed at the moment.
Dwayne, the younger son of Jacques, walks outside Wessel’s shack, on a rainy winter day. Dwayne, like most children in Die Veld, does not go to school and spends his days playing on the site. The situation inside the shacks during winter is not much bette
Jacques plays with Dwayne.
Jacques prepares a joint of marijuana, while his son Dwayne plays next to him.
Jacques smokes a joint of marijuana outside his house.
Jacques smoking marijuana from a glass pipe made from the neck of a bottle.
Clothes drying.
Shantel returns to her shack, distraught, after being informed by police that her boyfriend, Shane, has been arrested on charges of robbery and will remain in jail until the trial. Finally, a month and a half later, the case was dismissed for lack of evid
A condom and cigarette butts on the floor of the shack of Shantel, Shane and Barry. With Shane in jail, Barry had sex with a "friend", while Shantel slept.
Shantel holds a mirror to help Bridgette put on her make up.
Shantel puts on make up to cover some spots in her skin caused by the use of tik (methamphetamine).
Shantel begs for money every sunday at a near church.
Shantel and her boyfriend Shane beg for money on sunday at a near church.
Shantel at a police station, after being abused physically by her boyfriend Shane. Shantel and Shane have a difficult relationship and often argue. "He always calls me evil and I know that one day one of us is going to kill the other", she says.
Shane prepares a pipe of tik (methamphetamine).
Barry, Shane’s brother.
Shane and Barry do not have enough money to smoke tik and so smoke instead marijuana mixed with Mandrax (methaqualone) in a glass pipe made from the neck of a bottle.
After some items in their shack were stolen, Shane installed handcuffs to lock the door.

Although "white poverty" in South Africa is not a new phenomenon, according some reports it is an increasing one in recent years, especially since the end of apartheid, due to the Black Economic Empowerment policy implemented but the ANC government that tries to increase opportunities for South Africans who were disadvantaged during Apartheid rule. Ten percent of whites in South Africa are estimated to be living below the poverty line. This represents approximately 450,000 people, a figure which fades in significance, when compared with the number of impoverished black people (estimated to be around eight million).

Die Veld (The Field)

This is a story about Die Veld and in particular about four individuals and their families: Bridgette, Vessels, Jaques and Shantel. Die Veld is an informal settlement, located in a hidden corner of Cape Town, South Africa. It is home to a handful of impoverished families, predominantly white, who live in 14 crowded shacks. Most of its inhabitants are unemployed. When one manages to get a job, it is usually temporary and in precarious working conditions. Most children living in Die Veld do not attend school. Arguments between the men and their partners are common, mainly due to alcohol and other drugs such as tik (methamphetamine). The settlement has no electricity and only one water point. There are four mobile toilets, of which sanitary conditions leave much to be desired, as they are emptied only once a week. Although many of the inhabitants of Die Veld don't like black people, most do not blame the ANC government for their situation but rather themselves and their past. Since 2008 the provincial government tried to evict the community of Die Veld in a long process that has taken them to the High Court of South Africa.