I can’t be the only reader of your esteemed magazine to be uncomfortable with the image prepared by the developers of ‘Modderfonetein, Johannesburg’s new ‘smart city’’, spread over two pages of June’s Geographical (Worldwatch, June 2015).
According to South Africa’s 2011 census, the white Caucasian population of the country was 8.9 per cent. The white Caucasian population in the image as presented by the developers is at least the reverse of this, with certainly no more than ten per cent of the figures shown being black South African. This might be considered reasonably academic and of course race remains a sensitive issue for the country more than 20 years after the end of Apartheid.
I would be more willing to overlook this aberration were it not for the fact that so many of Johannesburg’s black citizens reside still in appalling and socially divisive slum conditions.
Oliver Lewis, London
Letter of the Month, Geographical, July 2015