Ennerdale is a suburb of Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa with a population of around 8 million. It is also home to some of the largest townships in the country. Ennerdale was built in the 1970s in an attempt by the local authorities to create a township that would maintain racial segregation. Apartheid policies are now a thing of the past, but the socio-economic and political remains of apartheid are still deeply rooted in the country's urban system. Most of Johannesburg's townships are still predominantly Black African communities. Thousands of children grow up in poverty and experience social exclusion and inequality from a very young age.
Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Ennerdale.
Unfortunately, the legacy of apartheid is still visible in Johannesburg today and the city remains deeply divided. About two thirds of the population live in poverty today and 72% of them are Black Africans.
Ennerdale is located in a very low-income area, consisting mostly of informal settlements. People here do not have access to sewage systems, running water and electricity. They also often live illegally on the land where their houses are located, which means that the government is not obliged to provide basic services. Thousands of children grow up in poverty here and experience social exclusion in their everyday life.
The poor living conditions in townships like Ennerdale are devastating for children and their future. This is especially true for black African children, as 72% of people living in poverty in Johannesburg are Black Africans. These children grow up in areas where poverty and deprivation are the reality, crime rates and unemployment are high and education is not accessible to all. From the very beginning of their lives, these children have a lower life expectancy, a higher risk of contracting diseases and run the risk of not growing as they should. This affects both their physical and emotional development, which has long-term consequences and puts them at a disadvantage from a young age.