Women Helping Women in Johannesburg’s Townships

I met Jabulile Tlhabane, 57, in a small woman-owned restaurant on a busy road in Alexandra Township located about 60 minutes outside Johannesburg depending on the time of day and traffic. Alexandra, or Alex as the locals call it, is home to over a million people even though its resident capacity is intended to be capped at 100,000. That means stresses are rife on Alexandra’s overcrowded citizens from a lack of adequate health facilities, increasing teenage pregnancies, largely unreported violence against women, drug abuse, and a general absence of jobs and opportunities.

Tlhabane is a longtime member of Rebecca’s Well, a small nonprofit that provides help and healing for women and girls in need as well as microfinance and enterprising skills. I met with Tlhabane to learn more about their work. Rebecca’s Well was started by a Boston woman, Sheila Wise Rowe, who now calls South Africa home with her family.

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[Photos] A Week in Johannesburg

They say you’ve never been to Soweto if you haven’t seen the Orlando Towers that can be viewed from all corners of the massive urban neighborhood filled with over fifty townships in Johannesburg. The Orlando Towers are a symbol of racial discrimination that was systemic until the fall of apartheid in the early 1990s. The coal towers powered the white area of Johannesburg in the … Continue reading [Photos] A Week in Johannesburg