In a desolate part of the Eastern Cape, on the road connecting the cities of Durban and East London, lies the town of Umtata. Transition has not been kind. With the integration of the homelands, and the establishment of the post-apartheid regime, provincial government was centred in Bisho. Umtata lost much of its civil service, the main employer.
Umtata and neighbouring town industries also closed and withdrew to other parts of the country. Tax breaks and other incentives the homeland had used to encourage industry fell away. Those who could, followed the jobs and left the town. Unemployment is now excessively high, even by South African standards. Crime is spiraling out of control. Umtata is dying. More ...