Time magazine cover shines spotlight on SA's glaring inequality

2019-05-03 21:40

Time magazine's latest cover displays a picture of the posh suburb of Primrose in Ekurhuleni on one side and Makause informal settlement on the other, highlighting the extent of South Africa's glaring inequality.

Photographer Johnny Miller, who took the picture as part of a project titled Unequal Scenes, told Time that he started while he was studying at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

"I was interested in how a drone could see the divides in the city in a new way," he said.

"South Africa was so ruthlessly and effectively segregated during apartheid. I just had an idea that by seeing it from the air it would help make that hit home. That the architecture itself is a dividing factor."

The publication notes: "As the 1994 elections approached, the ruling ANC expanded on that pledge by promising subsidised houses for the poor. The goal was to counter the apartheid-era dispossessions with the benefits of homeownership."

Inherited economy in crisis

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken at length about rising levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa.

Speaking at a fundraising gala dinner in KwaZulu-Natal in March, Ramaphosa told those who gathered that the ANC government in 1994 "inherited an economy in crisis", saying it was an economy designed to serve the interests of a few and to consign the black majority to poverty, marginalisation and mass unemployment. 

By his own admission, some 25 years into democracy, while speaking to DStv's recently launched 24-hour news channel, Newzroom Afrika, Ramaphosa said "the structure of the economy is unreformed and untransformed. We need to loosen the economy and bring in investment." This, Ramaphosa said, would be the catalyst to ending deep-rooted inequality.

Social media users have reacted to the cover. One said: "Socio-economic transformation is imperative."


Another user observed that no amount of voting would change people's reality.

Read more on:    housing  |  land  |  service delivery

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