Out of Africa…

.. and rather pleased about it. There are many things about the place (Jo-Burg especially) which I’ll miss not at all. For example, the barbed wire topped residential conclaves housing the white middle class and guarded by armed black guards. H’mm can’t see that ending well in any revolution.

The endless panhandling wasn’t much of a thrill either. Their is a strong directive not to drop a few coins into the hand of a young mother who is using the other one to cradle a hungry looking baby. The argument advanced is to donate to one desperate person will merely attract many more to the same spot tomorrow.

But this is missing the point, surely? The solution must be for the state to provide a safety-net for these young black – and of course they all are black – women. But get into that conversation and a whole slew of barely contained anger laments the state of the country, the way in which it is run and the feeling that it is no longer fair. That’s from the white minority of the population, obviously.

The end of apartheid was so obviously something to rejoice, and yet it doesn’t feel like it has quite gone away. Anyway such weighty debate is not really at home on the hedgehog, so I’ll leave you with this. I never really felt safe out there but what really bothered me was it seemed no one else did either. Not just the constant threat of low level violence (with counter measures you couldn’t make up), but the underlying friction of many different social groups all feeling as if they were the victims.

In completely unrelated news, the site just had another update, after a benevolent hack that probably was exploited through an ancient version of code from someone even lazier than me on this shared server. I don’t think it has enbusted anything but if so, consider it custom code 😉

3 thoughts on “Out of Africa…”

  1. As you do, round a dinner table, some friends and I had a discussion about where we wouldn’t want to live….no prizes for guessing the location.

  2. You could imagine all the grumpy ex-pats “OKAY I’LL SAY HERE, PLEASE DON’T MENTION SWINDON EVER AGAIN” 🙂

    Although it’s hard to imagine being carjacked in the home of the Honda Civic!

    There’s a Louis Theroux thing on later (Sunday) documenting just what a basket case Joburg is. Not sure I’m going to watch it in case I have to go back.

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