4. WHAT RAINBOW NATION ?

1994 April – ANC wins first non-racial elections. Mandela become president, Government of National Unity formed, Commonwealth membership restored, remaining sanctions lifted. South Africa takes seat in UN General Assembly after 20-year absence.

1996 – Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu begins hearings on human rights crimes committed by former government and liberation movements during apartheid era.
1996 – Parliament adopts new constitution. National Party withdraws from coalition, saying it is being ignored.

1999 – ANC wins general elections; Thabo Mbeki takes over as president.

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The rainbow reserved for happy few.
Gouache on 1/50.000 topographical map (59X77 cm)

This map is much closer from the reality than the previous one. Despite important territorial, social and economic changes, a strong legacy of segregation still influences the country. If the black upper class is settling close to the white bourgeoisie [colourful rainbow section showing former white urban areas – here Empangeni, Felixton and Mtunzini], the other black inhabitants always live within the boundaries of former Bantustans [sections of original maps] and work for forestry [clear green section] and for sugar cane plantations and refineries [bottle-green section].

2003 May – Walter Sisulu, a key figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, dies aged 91. Thousands gather to pay their last respects.
2005 May – Geographical names committee recommends that the culture minister should approve a name change for the capital from Pretoria to Tshwane.

2006 December – South Africa becomes the first African country, and the fifth in the world, to allow same-sex unions.

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Durban-EThekwini: a rainbow city?
Gouache on 1/50.000 topographical map (73X77 cm)

If big South African metropolises were an urban melting pot of the rainbow nation? They offer the opportunity for people to meet and to mix despite the persistence of strong racial segregations. In Durban, only some artistic and intellectual circles seem to entirely enjoy the otherness [alternation of colourful strips with sections of original map].

2006 May – Former deputy president Jacob Zuma is acquitted of rape charges by the High Court in Johannesburg. He is reinstated as deputy leader of the governing African National Congress.

2007 May – Cape Town mayor Helen Zille is elected as new leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

2008 May – Wave of violence directed at foreigners hits townships across the country. Dozens of people die and thousands of Zimbabweans, Malawians and Mozambicans return home.
2008 September – President Mbeki resigns over allegations that he interfered in the corruption case against Mr Zuma. ANC deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe is chosen by parliament as president.
2009 May – Parliament elects Jacob Zuma as president.
2009 July – Township residents complaining about poor living conditions mount violent protests.
2010 June – South Africa hosts the World Cup football tournament.

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KwaBonambi: a field for all?
Acrylics on 1/50.000 topographical map (59X77 cm)

The 2010 World Cup gave to the world the image of a prosperous, secured and reconciled South Africa! Nevertheless, do we find there a land for each and every one and a ground for everybody? This map evokes the multiplicity of possibilities [blue-green pieces of land] despite the inertia of large untransformed territories [yellowish sections].

2010 August – Civil servants stage nation-wide strike.
2011 May – Local elections, with opposition Democratic Alliance nearly doubling its share of the vote since the last poll.
2012 August-October – Police open fire on workers at a platinum mine in Marikana, killing at least 34 people, and leaving at least 78 injured and arresting more than 200 others.Prosecutors drop murder charges in September against 270 miners after a public outcry, and the government sets up a judicial commission of inquiry in October.

alexandracentreofgold

Alexandra Egoli!
Gouache on 1/50.000e topographical map (59X77 cm)

2012 October – Platinum mine owner Amplats fires 12,000 striking miners as wave of wildcat strikes shows little sign of abating.
2012 December – Mr Zuma re-elected as leader of the ANC and reelected president in 2014.

peninsulapark

Cape Peninsula: “Our natural sense of place”
Gouache and acrylics on 1/50.000e topographical map (74X95 cm)