Cape Town - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Ethnic/racial discrimination and inequality still remains strong. The Apartheid legacy is still quite visible literally in black and white. Gender equality still has a long way to go as well. Gender-based violence is shocking here. Hopefully, the gender-based violence national conversations from the last year and a half move the needle toward eliminating that. - Aug 2021

Yes. - Apr 2021

Gender equality is an issue in practice, but mainly in the workplace. Expats from other African countries will experience prejudice and xenophobia if you are perceived to be taking a job (or wife!) away from a South African.

The effects of apartheid are readily visible today - racial prejudice and separation still defines Cape Town in economic power, spacial planning, and social equality. You need to be prepared to confront racism. - Feb 2018

Yes and no. As noted above, Cape Town is a progressive city, and most Capetonians are friendly enough regardless of ethnicity or religion. But Cape Town has a high degree of racial inequality as a result of apartheid, and it's fairly common to go into a restaurant or shop where all (or most) of the staff is black and all (or most) of the customers are white. You are likely while you're here to hear some older white South Africans voice some fairly racist stereotypes about black criminality etc., especially if you travel to more rural areas. - Oct 2017

Yes. Race is obviously the most glaring. South Africa's historical issues with oppression are still very present in day-to-day life. There isn't a ton of racial mixing. The younger generation is far more tolerant, and you encounter more racially mixed friend groups; however, with the older crowd you will still hear some slurs or offensive language dropped in casual conversation -- this is often done as sort of a test to gauge your reaction. Women across almost all levels of South Africa society are generally expected to be the dutiful homemakers; though, in urban areas, especially in Cape Town, this is starting to roll back as independent women are making their mark. - May 2014

I am probably not the best person to answer this, but will take a stab at it. Issues from apartheid linger in all of South Africa. The racial and socio-economic divide is very wide. Every restaurant, store, mall and business still bears a sign that says "right of admission reserved". That said, I have observed a wide mix of people being served in all places of public accomodation and don't necessarily see problems. However, it may also be that this is more subtle than I am picking up, since it is not aimed at me. - Aug 2013

Racial tensions still exist, but the main tension is between rich and poor, which largely falls along racial lines. Housing (and entertainment, shopping, etc.) is still largely divided along racial lines. - Oct 2007

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