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The Early Twentieth Century
(page 3)
Migration to Cape Town continued during the twentieth century with an influx of people considered Bantu, Coloured and Afrikaans, European and Jewish, Indian and West Indian. Prejudice and government policy frustrated and separated these groups (more..)

Coloured people struggled, and failed, to forge a clear identity or a consistent political voice. In the face of economic hardship, rejection and discrimination the group was too diverse to respond to the pressures upon it (more..)

Bantu (blacks) were growing in number and the first half of the twentieth century saw the politicisation of Cape Town's black residents. Major influences were the First World War, living conditions within the city, unionisation and political leadership - both local and international (more..)

Through discriminatory employment practices wealth became tied to race. The ruling elites consistently differentiated groups, with whites receiving preferential treatment and attention. Increasingly, economic differences separated the races into different suburbs, churches and facilities. Laws and policies also enforced some segregation, but only on the political margins was their opposition to increasing racial division (more..)

Amidst racial division and economic problems, Afrikaners asserted their culture, especially in language and literature (more..). Although many Afrikaners spoke English and remained loyal to the moderate United Party led by Jan Smuts, there were others that turned to the rising tide of rightwing Afrikaner nationalism.

In 1933 South Africa's largest fascist organisation, the South African Gentile National Socialist Movement (the Greyshirts) was established at the Koffeehuis, the favourite meeting place of the Afrikaner nationalists in Cape Town. Shortly before, South Africa's Nazi Party was founded by Professor Hermann Bohle. This rightwing tide would in due course find expression in the National Party Government of 1948 that brought in Apartheid.

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In this period of Cape History:



Mother City


Growth and Control


Bibliography & Contacts


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