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September 19, 2019



Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading some time ago that, during the years of Apartheid in South Africa, The New York Times had an explicit policy of focusing on white-on-black violence and oppression, and playing down or ignoring black-on-black violence and oppression. The point was to avoid confusing their readers.


I worked in South Africa on three different projects between 1995 and 2002. This is post apartheid and even before it ended there were blacks employed from other African countries. One of the principle reasons was that under the ANC there had been long term school boycotts which resulted in the fact that local blacks were vastly under-qualified compared to say Zimbabwean immigrants.

There was a quota system in force, which was particularly noticeable on one project. The government had mandated that any company over a certain threshold had to employ a certain number of South Africans. In practice the local blacks were tasked with "make-work" activities, while the Zimbabweans were doing the same work as the whites. You'll guess here that Zimbabweans had an advantage in that they were not only bettered schooled but they spoke English.

Another thing that I recall which is never mentioned was that the white Boers and the white English didn't get along too well. There was a lot of resentment between them.

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