Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Capitol Idea?
I am working on a more story-like post of my various doings and goings-on in South Africa, but this story on the BBC front page was just too timely to pass up without comment:

Pretoria name change is approved

While I was on the bus coming back from the Kruger National Park, I ended up talking to a high school boy about post-apartheid political correctness in South Africa. He pointed out that one of the main topics of lament and woe in SA right now is the lack of capital to make new jobs, yet the government was willing to spend millions of rand on trying to change the name of the capitol city, which is, in his opinion, only going to be a cosmetic change in any case. This was an especially interesting conversation because not 4 days before, Danola had mentioned there was a UK bank trying to invest heavily in partnership with an SA bank, but they were rejected, along with all their money and potential jobs, because they had done business in SA during the apartheid era.

For further context, the boy, George, was a white South African, natively Afrikaans-speaking, but in the English, rather than Afrikaans, track of his high school curriculum, which apparently puts him in classes of mostly non-white students. Danola is Indian South African, who learned Afrikaans in school because it was required, but prefers English by far and took Zulu as her elective foreign language to get away from Afrikaans and its politics. (There is, of course, an entire other post in the making about the language politics of South Africa.)

Anyway, it's interesting to now have a more insider perspective on this story, and to wonder what exactly this change will accomplish, if anything.

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?