Smart cities, bullet trains are one man’s fantasy, not a ...


Smart cities, bullet trains are one man’s fantasy, not a nation’s comfort

Ramaphosa was supposed to restore the faith of an exhausted people, but we got something much more alarming


The news cycle has rolled on but Cyril Ramaphosa’s smart city has stayed with me like the fragments of a fever dream that linger once the sweat has dried.

In the heat of the moment on Thursday night, it felt insulting. For Ramaphosa to fantasise about a technological utopia, while his government presides over the industrial-scale destruction of potential and hope, seemed to verge on a kind of medieval tone-deafness, the sort where the king orders the serfs to get excited about the new tapestry he’s commissioned for his bedroom.

A day later, however, my anger had dampened into a something more like anxiety. Ramaphosa’s dream no longer felt like typical ANC gaslighting. Instead, it felt unhinged...

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