The Economist – South African Cities ~ Still Worlds Apart

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Cape Town

Cape Town

August 2014. DRIVING through South Africa can be like taking a disheartening trip back in time. Twenty years after the introduction of full democracy, the racist geography of the apartheid era is stubbornly unchanged.

Most towns start with a collection of shacks, or perhaps rows of tiny matchbox houses, inevitably inhabited by blacks. A swathe of wasteland follows and then, further along, comes the town proper. Between the two, black people walk through fields or along roads—there are no proper pavements—or sometimes pile in and out of dilapidated minibus taxis en route from home to work. The effects of the Group Areas Act, which physically pushed non-whites to the margins of towns in 1950—at a distance, yet close enough to provide cheap labour—are still evident.

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