Post-apartheid South Africa continues to remain a tale of the two nations.
The gap between rich and poor is further extended by the ever-increasing levels of poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
The most privileged and the economically marginalized find themselves in different geographical spaces in the country.
Those who are at the receiving end of poverty dwell in rural areas and townships, while those who play key roles at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange lay comfortably in exclusive suburban towns.
One such town, which is a physical address to many wealthiest men, is Stellenbosch town.
Stellenbosch is home to multi-billion companies and the wealthiest businessmen in the country.
The town is home to Remgro’s boss Johann Rupert, Capitec bank founder Michiel Le Roux, and founder of Pepkor Christo Wiese among others.
The ‘dorpie’ has historically dominated the political scene and played a formidable role in the apartheid era.
But it is in the new democratic South Africa that its influence in society has come under a microscope.
The long-held questions about the power of its inhabitants’ influence in the running of the state and in controlling the country’s currency dominate public discourse whenever there is a political storm.
In The Stellenbosch Mafia-Inside the Billionaires’club, author Pieter Du Toit ‘attempts’ to investigate the veracity and the kind of influence this group of billionaires wields in the running of the state and the controlling of the rand.
Through various interviews with key figures of the so-called Stellnbosch Mafia, the author illustrates how powerful these Afrikaner men are.
Rupert, Le Roux, and PSG honcho Piet Mouton are the men holding all the cards.
However, perusing through the pages, a reader will be disappointed in how the author only focused on what these billionaires thought about the fall of Steinhoff and not their supposed influence on the running of the state.
The scribe has not investigated how these men continue to enjoy their white privilege.
The back cover of the book misleads by detailing how the author investigates the ‘excessive influence’ of this town and its inhabitants.
Readers will be disappointed, as a large part of the book focuses on the collapse of the graced retail holding company Steinhoff and how its former chief executive officer Markus Jooste tried to destroy the business culture in Stellenbosch.
Du Toit failed to delve deeper into the extent of white privilege among these elite Stellenbosch inhabitants post-apartheid.
By his own admission that some of the subjects in this book he knows ‘personally’ and some are his friends, those friendships lines are easily exposed.
Nonetheless, this book is important for a dialogue about how white privilege continues to create two countries in one.