Sometimes you just need a photograph to tell the South African story.

Take for example this image (spotted on the cover of the latest issue of the leading American political science journal, PS) by photographer Richard du Toit. It is aerial shot of a portion of the N2 Highway outside Cape Town as it cuts through Khayelitsha township. For me it captures the story of postapartheid South Africa better than a slew of academic papers or bad journalism could ever do. Here’s the caption: “… Informal settlements occur when the current land administration and planning fails to address the needs of the whole community. People are then forced to build homes in areas dangerous to their health and lives such as highways. Families living or playing close to freeways increases health risks, particularly asthma and other breathing problems.”



Sean Jacobs

Also goes by Hasan Wazan. Life President.

  1. your article is somewhat misleading, the highway doesn't "cut through khayelitsha", the highway was there before the settlement- the settlement developed alongside the highway and neither is it a telling image of "post-apartheid" south africa as Khayelitsha developed many years ago during the Apartheid era.

    The wall incidently was put up recently by the incumbent government to make all the foreign visitors attending the soccer world cup feel safer.

  2. kevin: I never said the highway was not there before the "settlement" (lovely term for a place to which PW Botha's governed dumped people far from the city to cope with what they termed "influx control")

    How is it not a telling image of "post-apartheid" South Africa? "Postapartheid", btw, is as useless a term as "postracial."

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