By Tom Leenders
When visiting a city, the first impression and different characters of neighbourhoods tell me a lot about the history and possible future of these neighbourhoods and the city. For Joburg it was more than a tale of two cities. Continue reading
It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been studying, went back home to the Netherlands to see family and friends, and struggling what to write next, because what keeps me occupied is a heavy subject: Apartheid. This country, South Africa, is amazing. Beautiful nature, people, plants grow on their own, so much buzz and enthusiasm to achieve great things, new businesses popping-up everywhere. But still, there is always this lingering issue which is always there: APARTHEID. Continue reading
I am not a political specialist and I am certainly not aware of all the details in South African politics, but it does grasp me: the South African politics.
Today I read that The Netherlands is ranked number two in the World Press Freedom Index 2014. South Africa is not yet on that level, but was able to climb up to the 42nd place compared to 52nd place in 2013. Still, there is a lot to be done to reach more press freedom. Last Sunday there was an article with picture on the front page of the Sunday Times, which showed a journalist whose phone was taken by an ANC official.
Pictures of journalist Nickolaus Bauer being erased from phone by ANC official (Picture Sunday Times, April 27 2014)
This week I have attended the conference “Spatial Tranformation of Cities Conference” in Johannesburg. It was about the city and its challenges such as public transport, housing, diversity, inclusive neighbourhoods etc. Besides local professionals, several professors were flown in from Brazil, Thailand, India, Belgium and the UK. In general it was a mixed audience (academic/practitioners/government/private) that attended the conference.