Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Colour coded poverty

"SA is not alone in facing perpetuated inequality. Powerful social and economic forces around the globe have created small oases of private affluence surrounded by deserts of urban decay. Whether in São Paulo, Los Angeles or Jakarta, most urban citizens are caged in vast zones of poverty. The rural poor, meanwhile, languish in destitution. SA’s privileged citizens, however, have more reason than their international peers to fear entrenched injustice. The established middle classes elsewhere may find it all too easy to close their minds to the poverty outside their walls. Such complacency would be dangerous in SA, where apartheid’s legacy is an excluded citizenry that is black, and an established middle class that remains largely white. Social injustice that is colour coded is harder to ignore or justify. In generations to come it may lead to a new politics of racialised conflict."

Professor Anthony Butler writing in today's Business Day.

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