My book is out! Here is the blurb: In little more than a decade, Diepsloot has transformed from a semi-rural expanse to a dense, seething settlement of about 200 000 people. A post-apartheid creation lying to the north of Johannesburg, Diesploot is talked about as a place of fear, vigilante justice, xenophobic violence and a haven for criminals and undocumented foreigners.
Anton Harber spent several months there, meeting the people, drinking in the taverns and probing the bitter local political battles. He patrolled with volunteer crime-fighters at night. He spoke to politicians, church members and artists. He interviewed city officials, asking them why so little progress was being made in developing Diepsloot. He investigated why the much-needed police station stands unfinished.
Amidst the poverty, violence and chaos, he found a bustling place much loved by its inhabitants, an active economy with all the associated hustling and trading. He found people who, when neglected by teh state, made their own solutions.
“Most of all, I learned that if you want to understand where this country is headed, you need to listen to the poeple of Diepsloot. HEar what they are saying. Take note of their hopes and aspirations. You might be surprised.”
* The launch is on Tuesday, 10 May, in Diepsloot. If you are interested, email me for an invitation: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be speaking about it at the Wits Wale Festival on May 14, at Boekehuis on May 21, and at the Troyeville Hotel on June 14.