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The White Neighborhoods of Johannesburg

In the novel, Mpe makes reference to the white northern suburbs/neighborhoods of Johannesburg. He uses the term “The Kitchens” as a euphemism for the neighborhood of Sandton. Sandton and neighborhoods like Sandton are where black South Africans would seek work in the homes of white South Africans as maids or work on the property as gardeners. The above photos are from the Johannesburg neighborhood of Melville. Pay particular attention to how every single home is fortified by a large fence and barbed wire.

2 Comments:

Posted by Kaelie M on

I think that it is very interesting on how different 2 towns can differentiate because of race. I know that society will always have in mind that white people are minority, but photos of other towns like Hillbrow, where they are only apartment buildings and no individual houses, while in Melville, they all have their own individual houses and fences around their homes. The picture of this street reminds me a lot of the street in the movie Tsotsi where all the wealthy people lived, and how they all had fences to protect their homes.

Posted by Maya Mahoney on

I’m surprised that there are still places in South Africa that are referred to as “White Neighborhoods”. More than 3/4 of South Africa is Black African and I’m surprised that even after apartheid, a primarily white neighborhood can still exist because I would have expected it to become integrated. I’m also surprised to see how different the houses in the White neighborhoods look, compared to the majority of black neighborhoods in South Africa. The black neighborhoods that I have read about and watched in movies is nothing like the white neighborhoods in these pictures. I think that this goes to show that South Africa is still divided between races and this divide in races affects the wealth distribution of South Africa.

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