Monday, May 19, 2008

deja vu all over again in South Africa

I don't mean to be snide. But some South African cities are reimposing some of the worst excesses of the apartheid era. That's what Marie Huchzermeyer, an architecture professor, argues in a recent issue of the newspaper Business Day.

In Durban, the legislature's policy of policing and fencing off of all vacant land and summarily evicting of any new land invaders, she writes, "reintroduces measures from the 1951 Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act, which was repealed in 1998."

She compares the determination to eradicate shack settlements, no matter the cost (and studies have shown that simply razing peoples homes and forcing them further out of town institutionalizes misery and makes poverty worse) with denying that the HIV virus causes AIDS.


Anonymous said...

As evidenced by the brain drain that has hit South Africa over the last few years, and the number of South Africans living in Europe (see it's a sad fact that many South Africans themselves felt threatened by a sort of "Xenophobia" when they lived in their own country and decided to leave.

Maurice said...

I posted this on the demolition of a poor part of Kigali, and thought of you:

rn said...

thanks, maurice. I think I'll make a whole new post with a link to your blog, since lots of people might not see your comment.