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The Early Twentieth Century
(page 4)
Growth and Control
Between the two world wars, Cape Town developed into a modern industrial city but did not grow at the same pace as Johannesburg. Manufacturing in Cape Town remained within the food, drink, tobacco, clothing and printing industries. Large increases in the population and ambitious urban planning led to the development of 'Garden Cities', townships and a massive land reclamation scheme along the city foreshore (more..)

Overall, however, the city remained locked in an economic depression between the Wars, especially during the 1920s. The sustained economic crisis led to deep poverty and a related increase in crime (more..)

Whites were protected from the worst of the economic crisis through government policies that provided better education to whites, employment opportunities and support for Afrikaner businesses. By the 1940s legal backing was given to segregated workplaces and suburbs, to the advantage of whites and the exclusion of others, especially blacks. Steadily the city became divided on racial lines (more..)

The first squatter camps developed around the city and poor inner city areas like District 6 became more crowded. In 1923 the Urban Areas Act was passed forcing Africans to live in designated locations. A new location named Langa was opened to replace the overcrowded Ndabeni township. Langa was designed to provide authorities with the maximum control over access. Various laws regulated behaviour in the township and it was ruled by a superintendent.

Cape Town was declared a 'closed city' to control further black migration. However, during the Second World War migration rules were relaxed. The failure to provide housing for the large numbers that arrived led to the development of large squatter areas. A humiliating 'reception centre' was established at Langa to process newcomers and many blacks were forced to leave (more..)

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In this period of Cape History:



Mother City


Growth and Control


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