Saturday, February 11, 2006

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Brutal divide: fortified town plays on middle class fear of crime

"It is a brutal juxtaposition: inside the fence, pastel-coloured two-storey homes in Cape Dutch, English Tudor or Tuscan styles, neatly divided into seven suburbs with names like Beaulieu, Cape Heritage and Tuscana Close. Walk outside the wire and within metres you are in a sea of tin shacks." With these words, The Guardian reports on a strange South African development: a fortified citidel for the middle class. The developer is throwing off a few benefits for the locals--some 200 concrete block houses. Of course, those new homes are outside the security fence. It's a return to medieval values--a sort of demesne approach, the lords and the serfs, separate and unequal. Is it better than nothing? Yes. But a solution? No way.

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