First Impressions: South Africa

Soon after landing in Rwanda, I began to reflect on the first 5 days in Africa. Visit Johannesburg and Pretoria was an amazing experience. Intimately experience the memories of a very recent period in which the country was divided between Blacks and Whites and live the consequences of this regime was something unique.

During the period in Johannesburg, we visited major companies like Toyota and Vodafone who spoke about the challenges of operating a business in a country that lacks infrastructure and it is extremely unequal. We also visited private schools that are trying to change an educational system that presents major problems of access and quality. All very interesting visits, that gave us a good perspective on the challenges that South Africa must overcome to accelerate its development.

However, what most impressed me were the opportunity to interact with the locals and analyse the city distribution. It was very clear to me that although the Apartheid no longer exists, there is still strong marks from the regime. People are still classifying themselves as blacks and whites. They go to the same places, but you rarely see blacks and whites together in one table dining together, for example. Moreover, sports also contribute to segregate the population. In the soccer match we watched in Johannesburg, we were the only whites in the stadium, in addition to the match referee.

Therefore, I leave South Africa with the assurance that although apartheid was extinct 20 years ago, the consequences of the regime will last for at least a few more decades.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *