Toyota Cressidas are nursed into longevity serving as taxis in Gugulethu township, Cape Town.

I have blogged about Mzoli’s Meat before. we went there yesterday for a birthday celebration for Lerato, and this time I made an effort to photo the ubiquitous Gugulethu taxis. In the township proper, it seems that every other car is an aging Toyota Cressida - recognisable by the square rear lights and the grille badge in front.

Invariably the Cressida is being used as a taxi - its grille badge is synonymous with the yellow taxi top light of conventional taxis. Some are in a poor state of repair, probably because of years of continual use in the townships, but most are well looked after as the owners breadwinner.

There is no taxi licensing that I can see. Taxis in Cape Town proper have recently gone through a ‘recapitalisation’ scheme - an exercise to take the (registered) toyota minibus taxis off the road, and replace them with larger, safer taxis.

Mzolis was busy as usual on a weekend - we had a party of ten or so. Beer you can buy at the bottle store down the road - meat is bought, braaied, and delivered in a big tin tray for all to eat.

Winston Mankunku

Last week I was also in Gugs, with Trevor Wells, at a tribute concert forWinston Ngozi Mankunku, a well-known struggle-era Jazz musician.