This content is not available in your region

'Reverse apartheid': South Africa's white slums

Access to the comments Comments
'Reverse apartheid': South Africa's white slums
Text size Aa Aa

Coronation Park is a squatter camp with a majority white population in Krugersdorp, South Africa.

Although impoverished blacks in the region far outnumber their white counterparts, this camp is one of a growing number of townships populated mostly by Afrikaners – white South Africans.

In the 19 years since the fall of apartheid, more and more whites are coming face to face with poverty and social meltdown.

A controversial “affirmative action” policy sees blacks take precedence over whites on the job market, giving some people little choice but to move into tents and caravans in camps such as Coronation Park.

Residents are frustrated at what they see as ‘reverse apartheid.’

“I’m sorry, it’s racist. I’m not racist, but the blacks come first and then whites,” said one retired resident of the camp. “And even highly qualified whites don’t get a position in South Africa.”

Another man agreed, blaming affirmative action for their situation.

“Apartheid was a problem. But, this is the only country in the world where the majority has got ‘affirmative action’,” he said. “America’s got affirmative action, everywhere’s got affirmation action, but this is the only country where the majority’s got ‘affirmative action’.”

Post-apartheid governments have struggled to achieve redistribution of wealth and economic growth, leading to an increase in poverty among the country’s white population.

In spite of this, white South Africans still control most of the country’s economy.