Wednesday, 25 October 2017

GALLERY: End of Apartheid in South Africa? Not in economic terms.

After apartheid ended, Judith Sikade envisioned 
escaping the townships. Decades later, she lives on 
garbage-strewn dirt in an informal settlement.
CROSSROADS — The end of apartheid was supposed to be a beginning.

Judith Sikade envisioned escaping the townships, where the government had forced black people to live. She aimed to find work in Cape Town, trading her shack for a home with modern conveniences.

More than two decades later, Ms. Sikade, 69, lives on the garbage-strewn dirt of Crossroads township, where thousands of black families have used splintered boards and metal sheets to construct airless hovels for lack of anywhere else to live.

“I’ve gone from a shack to a shack,” Ms. Sikade says. “I’m fighting for everything I have. You still are living in apartheid.”

In the history of civil rights, South Africa lays claim to a momentous achievement — the demolition of apartheid and the construction of a democracy. But for black South Africans, who account for three-fourths of this nation of roughly 55 million people, political liberation has yet to translate into broad material gains.

Apartheid has essentially persisted in economic form.

This reality is palpable as turmoil now seizes South Africa. Enraged protesters demand the ouster of President Jacob Zuma over disclosures of corruption so high-level that it is often described as state capture, with private interests having effectively purchased the power to divert state resources in their direction. The economy keels in recession, worsening an official unemployment rate reaching nearly 28 percent.

Underlying the anger are deep-seated disparities in wealth. In the aftermath of apartheid, the government left land and other assets largely in the hands of a predominantly white elite. The government’s resistance to large-scale land transfers reflected its reluctance to rattle international investors.




Full story at IOL.

By New York Times.

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