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'Quality infrastructure can promote mixing of racial groups'

Kgalema Motlanthe says the gap in the provision of infrastructure must addressed to curb racism.

Kgalema Motlanthe. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe says society can't rid itself of racism unless it addresses the gap in the provision of infrastructure.

Motlanthe was speaking at the Reporting Race Conference in Auckland Park, where academics and the media discussed race in storytelling.

He says the material aspect of racism, which still sees inequalities in access to infrastructure and services, perpetuates the negative stereotypes of certain races.

Motlanthe says while South Africa tries to tackle racism through legislation, persisting material differences still breed racist attitudes.

He gave an example of how many Blue Bulls rugby fans had their first township experience when the team was forced to play a Super14 game at the newly renovated Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

"Posters around Orlando Stadium were painted in blue and white, those are the official colours of the Blue Bulls. The Blue Bulls supporters got there and thought this is home here."

Motlanthe says this is just one example of how access to quality infrastructure can promote the mixing of racial groups and allow an opportunity to dismantle existing prejudices.

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