The year 2015 was undoubtedly one of the most memorable years for me in post-apartheid South Africa. Just six weeks short of the country’s 21st-anniversary celebration of the advent of democracy, a movement that was to have a lasting impact on the history of the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the country, was brewing in the second-floor foyer of the Leslie Social Science Building. South Africa was in the year that marked two decades of a “rainbow nation”, a nation that was able to transcend the pain of racial segregation and discrimination to live together in peace and harmony. This was a year in which young people born post-1994 wore the badge of “Born Free” proudly because they were the generation that no longer had to bear the intergenerational pain and trauma of systematic exclusion and oppression. South Africa was “alive with possibilities” that were open to all.
The University of Cape Town is situated in the southwestern part of South Africa. Cape Town is considered one of the least transformed cities in the country, with very little shifting in it since the dawn of democracy. One of the clear indicators of the lack of transformation of the city is the very obvious white minority who occupy the majority in the city centre and industry. Other indicators include the rising levels of gentrification where people of colour are being pushed out of their homes to provide more of the expensive housing and recreational facilities for richer white occupants. Then there is the very prevalent spatial apartheid where Black people have remained within the peripheries of the city in townships that have seen little transformation since the end of apartheid.
Feminist Africa Issue 22: Feminists Organising - Strategy, Voice, Power, Journal, Latest Issue, Standpoints