The Batik and Madiba Shirt Connection: History, Inequality and the pursuit of a pro-poor development trajectory in South Africa and Indonesia


Having just exchanged my ‘Mandela’s’ (as the people from Jakarta refer to the South Africa Rand) for a thick wad of Rupiah, I was met by the most intense heat as we left the doors of the Soekarno Hatta International Airport. Outside its doors, the intense competition to capture the attention and hopefully the Rupiahs of unsuspecting tourist-types like Sibulele and myself. The one-pager on a few important and instructive tips about how to navigate Indonesia that Nikmah had sent to us came in rather handy. She had told us that once we left the airport, we had to find the Blue Bird taxi service company, as they were the most reliable. However what she didn’t tell us, is this was also a way of ensuring that we wouldnt have difficulty in communicating as many Blue Bird taxi drivers had an operational understanding of English, although they found stringing together…

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