South Africa: Cape Town's Greatest Challenge Is to Unite Itself


Cape Town's inequality is often the first thing people notice. The drive from the airport takes you past shacks on the edge of the highway to the luxury apartments in the CBD. Inequality is in the bones of the city. And unless Cape Town's worlds converge soon, it will hit a crisis point. Designing and implementing the policy to bring these worlds together has been dubbed Cape Town's greatest challenge.

The foundations of Cape Town's inequality were laid in the 1600s when Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) arrived at the Cape of Good Hope. They created a trade and slave-based economy under the name "Dutch Cape Colony".

The landing of the settlers in the Cape initiated the inequality that would come to define South Africa's governmental apparatus. The desire to create separate worlds within the city, deeply embedded in the planning process that the VOC, even suggested the development of a trench between the Liesbeeck and Salt rivers that ran from the city to False Bay, to mark the boundaries. The plan was vetoed by Jan van Riebeeck because of impracticality, but it set the tone for a city of separateness.i

Fast-forward 300 years -...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.