The role fire has played in SA’s history
Two particular fires in SA over the past year have captured the imagination. But fire has played a more terrifying, less symbolic, role throughout the country’s history
Land, corruption, racism, xenophobia, failing institutions ... are all said to be at the root of SA’s problems. And all have arguably been underscored by a particular element of fear: fire.
As the flames from parliament licked high on January 2, the country’s problems were illuminated for all to see. But fire has played a part throughout SA’s history, from the scorched-earth policies of the colonial period right through to the terror of accidental shack fires in the townships — themselves a legacy of apartheid’s spatial planning policies. ..