The last time I was in South Africa, PW Botha was still president. In fact, in retrospect, I may have been here for the beginning of the end. It was early 1989 and I remember hearing on the radio that President Botha had had a stroke. Eventually he had to step down because of ill health, he was succeeded by FW Klerk – and FW presided over the negotiations with the ANC and the end of apartheid.
When I tell people here that this is my first visit for 21 years, they almost invariably say – “It’s changed a bit since then.” Indeed it has – in so many ways that it’s difficult to isolate any particular strand. But one thing that has really struck me is the transformation in the geography of Johannesburg. Read more