Raised in Carletonville, Angy Peter first settled in Cape Town, studying at the Royal Cape College. It was here that she began to live out her passion for activism, joining the South African National Civic Organisation and, later, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).
After some time as a peer educator in the TAC she was recruited to the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), formed in response to the xenophobic violence in 2008. As SJC chairperson and organiser, Peter is at the forefront of several campaigns to alleviate the dangers associated with living in Khayelitsha. Among these are Winter Safe workshops, which aim to minimise shack fires, and a toilet queue campaign, which highlights the lack of access to adequate sanitation.
Staying in Khayelitsha keeps Peter grounded and able to respond to community issues as they arise
“I grew up in a township, but Khayelitsha was scary,” she says. “I was staying in RR section [one of the areas most affected by inadequate sanitation] where no one was monitoring the toilets and cleaning was not frequent. With more than 10 people to a toilet the problem was not easy to manage.” Peter also follows up on court cases heard in Khayelitsha that have been left to go cold in a pressured justice system.
Staying in this township, where the majority of the SJC’s 1 000 members come from, keeps Peter grounded and able to respond to community issues as they arise. “In the suburbs there is that Model C type of life where people feel uncomfortable sharing problems,” she says. “I wanted to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.”
— Kwanele Sosibo