Mpho Mpshane can’t wait to escape the whiff of kerosene and the tupperware-munching rats in her car-sized shack in South Africa’s Diepsloot shantytown.
Every Monday, Mpshane, 56, makes the trip in a crowded minibus to the mansion she cleans in nearby Dainfern, a luxury housing estate surrounded by security walls in northern Johannesburg. She stays there until she returns home on Friday afternoons.
“The clean walls, the fresh air, the hot water, I love it there,” Mpshane said with a laugh, shining the flashlight on her cell phone around her room which has no windows or electricity. “I wish I could always stay there.”
To make the 3-kilometer (2-mile) journey from Diepsloot to Dainfern is to travel across South Africa’s wealth gap that endures 20 years after the African National Congress promised to erase the inequality entrenched by white minority rule.