The burden of the legacy of apartheid still lies heavily on South Africa. It is the most unequal country in the world in terms of people’s income. It is worrying that we have not yet found a way to decisively break spatial patterns, some of which originate as far back as Cecil John Rhodes’s Glen Grey Act of 1894. People continue to live separate and unequal lives.
But why, two decades after apartheid’s demise, has our urban and rural geography changed so little – and how does this reinforce inequality? This was the question at the centre of a recent REDI workshop on spatial inequality that brought together researchers, policymakers, and planners working in both urban and rural spaces. This article provides an overview of some of the key issues raised on this perplexing issue.