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

Sean Jacobs is the Founder and Editor of Africa is a Country. He is on faculty of The New School in New York.


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