Footsloggers reflect a society with much transforming to do – Daily Newsletter

Hi there,

Many White South Africans, especially the logical types you find in executive suites, find it hard to suppress sighs when politicians blame problems on the Legacy of Apartheid. What they’re thinking is rarely expressed in words – that’s too un-PC – but all too easy to read in faces: It’s been two decades, dammit. Are we going to hear the excuses forever?

It’s a perspective. But one your average Johannesburg pedestrian would never share. Walking the city’s streets provides a very different view of the world. The view of a third class citizen, one barely tolerated by motorists, homeowners and, especially, taxis which commandeer large swathes of pavements, the supposed preserve of those on foot. Forcing pedestrians onto roads where they become instant targets.

Perhaps it’s a remnant of the past. A time when those on foot mattered less because, well, most of them were Black? If we haven’t yet managed to rebalance such a seemingly simple issue, what of more important, less exposed areas of society like education, housing, healthcare? South Africa has much transforming still to do. Pity it’s being focused on grand social engineering schemes that enrich an elite, rather than where it matters.

Best,
Alec

 

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