I once heard what sounded like an urban legend - that wealthy Afrikaner business people and politicians were in conversation a few years after 1994 and saying: "If only we knew that the only thing blacks wanted was to vote, then we would've ended apartheid a long time ago." This was premised on the view that the economic and social lives of the white minority, the direct beneficiaries of apartheid, had dramatically improved under democracy, as some may have expected would happen. This was then generally followed by the assertion that, despite the promises of a "better life for all", the lot of black people had generally not changed very much. Of course, none of these views is absolutely true. Many white people lost the privileges carved out for them under apartheid, such as job reservation, free housing in leafy suburbs, virtually free education, and the like. It goes without saying that, indeed, the lives of black people, in the main, are a lot better than during apartheid. There i...

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