Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Forced Removals in Greater Cape Town, 1948-1970

by Martin Legassick, 2006

During and after the Second World War the African population of the Cape Peninsula grew enormously in number. Until at least the mid-1950s most black Africans lived not in official ‘locations’ such as Langa but in privately-owned and rented high density flats and houses along the docks-Observatory axis, scattered through the predominantly white and Coloured residential areas of Cape Town as plot owners or tenants -- and, mainly, under conditions of extreme squalor, in unregulated ‘pondokkie’ settlements in the peri-urban areas around the fringes of Cape Town. In the 1950s, however, Cape Town “became a test case for influx control and racial segregation”. Government policy, implemented by local authorities, forcibly removed the African population to official ‘locations’ or endorsed them out of the area altogether.

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