Blikkiesdorp was built by the City of Cape Town in 2007. It contains approximately 1,600 one room structures. According to government officials, it has cost over 30 million rand to build.
The structures have walls and roofs made of thin tin and zinc sheets. They are of 18 square meters in size. Ablution, sanitation, and water facilities are shared between four structures.
Blikkiesdorp has become well-known for its high crime rate, its substandard living conditions, and its extremely hot or cold, windy and sandy living environment.
It has been called an informal settlement by City of Cape Town officials despite its formal structure being built by the government.In response to the citicisms, the City has called Blikkiesdorp the safest informal settlement in Cape Town. It has also been compared to a concentration camp by residents and in national and international media.
Blikkiesdorp has been instrumental in relocating residents evicted from elsewhere in the City. Many evicted residents of Salt River and Woodstock have found themselves in the relocation camp almost 30 kilometers away from town.It has been called a dumping ground for unwanted and or homeless people from all over Cape Town.The evicted symphony Way Pavement Dwellers were moved to Blikkiesdorp in October 2009 after occupying Symphony Way for almost two years.