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Hugh in South Africa

Eddie Mair | 10:43 UK time, Wednesday, 19 December 2007

sends "a sample of some of the South African places and people featured on PM last night..

Soweto b and b owner Dolly Hlope.

Some of Dolly's neighbours.

Nambitha restaurant, Soweto.

Sakumzi's Restaurant, Soweto.

Sakumzi Makubela, owner of Sakumzi's.

Christmas at Soweto's vast new shopping centre, the Maponya Mall.

Family at Maponya Mall.

A new house in Soweto.

A house in the predominantly white suburb of Richmond. Or is it a prison?"


  1. At 02:14 PM on 19 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Typically Hugh! Brilliantly ordinary!

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanti, Hugh, and

    Happy trails.


  2. At 04:03 PM on 19 Dec 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Hugh: A question. It looks, from your pictures, as though Soweto (and I'm presuming it can be taken as typical for other old township areas) is developing into somewhere where hope is now flourishing. Likewise its inhabitants. How true would you say this is? And how quickly is it changing (i.e. is poverty being replaced with something better)?

  3. At 11:42 AM on 20 Dec 2007, Hugh the Hack wrote:

    Re: Big Sister (2):

    Your question has no simple answer.

    Some townships are still 'satellites' firmly separate from their more prosperous, and still predominantly white urban centres.

    Other townships are succcessfully merging with the white settlements, but their physical, actual, geographical separation (it was apartheid, stupid!) makes this quite hard to achieve.

    Soweto is special. It is huge and varied. There are prosperous areas like Orlando West (where most of the tourist heritage sites are), and run-down parts of Soweto which are taking longer to develop.

    But one aspect of Soweto that makes it, for me, much more appealing to visit (and overnight in) than the 'white' suburbs full of their gated communities and CCTV surveillance is....in Soweto there are people on the streets, fellow human beings around doing normal things like shopping, and waiting for the bus, or just hanging out. And when you make eye contact in Soweto, the response is more likely to be a smile, instead of a scowl of mistrust.

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