Friday, 8 January 2010

Can it last?

Just back from my first visit to Western Cape. I can hardly believe what I saw.

Very good roads.
Picturesque little towns with Dutch architecture.
Place names in Dutch, English and German.
Well run farms.
Affluent suburbs.
Good restaurants.
Excellent wineries.
Lots of busy people working, shopping.

This could be France, Germany or any European country.
But it is not. It is Africa - an Africa without black people.

Where are they?
Where do they - 80% of the country's population - live?

In Cape Town the answer is Khayelitsha township where more than two million still live the lecacy of Apartheid.
Segregated. Poor. In rickety shacks with few amenities. Hardly any transport to work and little work to be had.
There are many more like it all over the region.
Today, 16 years after the first ANC government took office there is still optimism but little change.
Why is that?
The Miser Index claims that a 1 per cent tax increase could eradicate poverty in South Africa.
Why does it not happen?
For how long will the majority be pacified by inadequate housing schemes and other morcels?
When will they claim a fair share of the land?
Zimbabwe got the redistribution of wealth all wrong.
Sout Africa must do it differently.
But they have to do it.
They are sitting on a time bomb.

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