The pinched faces of children with foetal alcohol syndrome and the young girls on the streets with babies on their hips tell you much that you need to know about the “northern areas” of Port Elizabeth, not yet called Gqeberha, by its residents.

Life is harsh in these communities, their small, four-roomed houses in neat rows, built long ago when fortunes for “coloureds” were much better. Ravaged by gangs, overrun with crime and consumed by unemployment, these are the people who are crucial factor one in the fight for the Nelson Mandela Bay metro council. ..

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