| The Early
| During the first half of the
twentieth century Cape Town lost its place as the pre-eminent city of Southern
Africa. With the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, government and
political power shifted to the Transvaal.
Although the population continued to grow rapidly and the city
became industrialised, it fell behind the booming economy of Johannesburg.
Nevertheless it found its place in South Africa as a cultural centre -
expressing South Africa's heritage in terms of European settlement and the
The racial prejudices and attitudes that had developed toward
the end of the British era were reinforced and extended by the policies of the
Afrikaans-dominated government in Pretoria. Increasingly, whites benefited from
discriminatory policies while others were impoverished by the Depression. The
city became increasingly divided along racial lines.
The older suburbs still contained a mixture of coloured and
whites, and areas like District 6 remained mixed. But new townships, like
Langa, were designed specifically for blacks, with an emphasis upon state
control. Laws restricted the migration of blacks to the city.
Nevertheless, in 1948 four-fifths of Africans still lived outside locations
(townships). Many lived in shanty towns, some of which also had coloured
populations. Older areas like District Six, that were mostly coloured, also
contained a mixture of Indians, some whites and blacks.
Some workplaces became segregated and, increasingly, education
and employment policies ensured that racial divisions characterised the
workplace. Some public and leisure institutions were segregated including
swimming pools, hospitals and law courts and some cinemas, hotels, cafes and
the main beaches. But still, there was no uniform policy of segregation or
formal racial categorisation.
In 1948, however, a government was elected committed to a
policy of apartheid, a policy of universal segregation, that would ruthlessly
categorise and divide the population.
|Go to the Bibliography
Go to the next history section
© www.capetown.at 2008. You may print this
article for personal use; if for reproduction please acknowledge
'www.www.capetown.at.co.za'. You may not use this material for any electronic
media except with written permission. www.capetown.at accepts no responsibility
for inaccuracies or the work of service providers.
· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: