Why has it been so difficult to integrate SA’s cities? The recent protests against the sale by the Western Cape of the Tafelberg School site in Sea Point to a private school has underlined the deep unhappiness about the enduring legacy of apartheid in cities. The legislature approved the sale for R135m, saying a feasibility study showed the site was not suitable for affordable housing. It has highlighted the grave dangers continued spatial inequality poses. As the Treasury pointed out in 2017’s budget review, geographic apartheid is "a structural constraint to growth". Regarding public transport, about two-thirds of the lowest-income earners in South African cities spend up to 40% of their income on transport. Commuting times for black South Africans, according to University of Cape Town (UCT) economist Andrew Kerr, are 102 minutes a day — the longest in the world. This means, as the budget review reads, the first phases of subsidised bus rapid-transport systems in Johannesburg and ...

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