South Africa The New Black Middle Class

With drive and talent, an affluent elite shakes up the old order

In the townships on the outskirts of Johannesburg and Pretoria, where the urban black labor force is required by law to live, many of the roads are littered, unpaved and scarred with potholes. Increasingly, however, they lead to the gates of grandiose homes built amid the matchbox slums by a new class of upwardly mobile black professionals and entrepreneurs known, like their American counterparts, as "buppies." Inside exclusive enclaves with up- market names like Siluma View and Beverly Hills, the new black elite is enjoying amenities once reserved for whites only: "his" and "hers" Mercedes, live-in black servants, Jacuzzi baths.

This...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!