Bloekombos is situated on the eastern periphery of Cape Town, 2 km from Kraaifontein on both sides of Old Paarl Road in the Oostenberg municipality. It was an informal settlement until 1998 when the government started building houses as part of their Reconstruction and Development Programme. Today, the community has around 5000 Government houses and approximately 32 400 residents. The main resources in Bloekombos are a clinic, two primary schools, two secondary schools, a few crèches and variety of churches.
Despite these developments, Bloekombos inhabitants remain at a disadvantage. High unemployment levels, a lack of affordable job-specific training and insufficient access to resources perpetuate this community’s legacy of poverty. The high incidence of families with single breadwinners places pre-school children at risk when their parent is at work.
Without a safe place to stay during the day, the children are often left to look after themselves or in the care of people who may not realize the dangers of leaving them unattended. Abuse, inappropriate role models and insufficient intellectual stimulation form part of their lives at a time when they are very impressionable.
The community is also severely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which puts the financial security and support structures of children and families even more at risk.