A few days ago, Bizcommmunity, an online platform for writings about, amongst other things, content about media, PR and advertising in South Africa published an article riddled with stereotypes. “The township is no longer a foreign land far away and its story is no longer one of the haves and have-nots,” writes one Danette Breitenbach, who has clearly never lived in a township. But the narrative Ms Breitenbach weaves here is not hers alone.
In a few months, South Africa’s “born free generation” will cast their ballots in the country’s fifth democratic election for the first time. It’s been 20 years since the apartheid government lost power, and yet the country remains among the most unequal in the world. In Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s fastest growing township, residents are faced with poor sanitation, service delivery and infrastructure, in addition to increasing gang violence. These circumstances–paired with an inadequate education system that fails to prepare students for a future their parents fought for – begs the question: were they really “born free”?