Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shiny New Busses

Whoa, fancy busses in South Africa! It's a good thing, for sure, and not a bad article, but it leaves me a little bit wanting. Like part of the unmentioned complication with the taxi-vans is that the perception, and at least mart of the reality, is that the taxi vans companies are run and staffed by Nigerian immigrants. Xenophobia in South Africa is real, and not pretty, and I would link to a relevant article here but unfortunately there are too many. Perception is that the taxi-van companies are run by mob related, illegal Nigerian immigrants, who are a major cause of the crime and violence in South Africa. Reality is that at least some of the taxi-vans are run by Nigerian immigrants, and that as 'gray' or maybe black market companies, these taxi-vans do not exist in a world of stringent labor regulations, and that there is a lot of pressure for drivers to go quickly at the expense of safety. Are the jobs in these new busses unionized? Are they going to be able to resolve the NIMBYism? Are the new busses going to be packed up and shipped back to Brazil after the World Cup? Who knows.

ALSO fascinating data that 1 in 6 working women in South Africa work in domestic service. Food for thought.