First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
The modern habit of shielding our delicate eyes from jarring scenes of poverty with the use of anodyne allegorical Nivea cream is noteworthy but not important. Where people are rich, emissions standards and crash safety standards are rigorous, modern and enforced.
In the Global South – sorry – where people are generally poor and live in crappy conditions, automotive products are designed around affordability and automotive regulations that are weak and poorly enforced, if at all.
This means that cars developed for poorer countries are often unsellable in rich countries because they do not meet emissions and crash safety standards.
Usefully for us in South Africa, that global inequality is represented on our own roads. That’s because South Africa is a poor country, rotten with corruption, that happens to have a few super-wealthy enclaves with historical infrastructure that connects them. If