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(page 3)
Apartheid Enforced
The apartheid hierarchy of privilege was enforced systematically and ruthlessly. In the late fifties, further proposals were made under the Group Areas Act including the removal of all non-Europeans in Cape Town (except domestic servants) beyond the railway lines in the Northern and Southern Suburbs.

This made a large area available for whites, but removed almost as many blacks from their homes. Many Capetonians boycotted the public hearings in which these proposals were discussed during 1956. Groups such as SACPO and the Wynberg Dutch Reformed Mission Church protested, but achieved only a few concessions such as the zoning of lower Wynberg for coloureds.

Over the years entire areas were destroyed, of which District 6 remains the most infamous of the 'forced removals'. The area was totally destroyed and 60,000 people were forced to leave. It remained a barren wasteland for the rest of the apartheid era. The total number of people displaced from the city centre was 150,000 leading to vast social disruption and permanent damage to many communities (more..)

By 1976 a section of Woodstock remained the only 'controlled' or undecided area of Cape Town, and retained a more mixed community.

In 1955, 'reference books' were introduced in Cape Town for all blacks over the age of 16. These were sanctioned under the Natives Act, and were meant to consolidate all the previous documents that Africans were required to carry (permits, passes, certificates etc.). They carried a photograph and a copy of the famous section 10 of the Natives Act that required Africans to work continuously in the Cape if they were to retain their right to live there.

Thus if someone was born and brought up in the Cape, but left for year with their family, they were 'endorsed out' of Cape Town. Between 1954 and 1962 this was the fate of more than 18,000 men and 6,000 women.

The police could stop black people at any point and demand to see their papers. It was humiliating and criminalised many black people unable to immediately produce the correct documents. Meanwhile, the state made the Cape a 'coloured preferential area' thus requiring that coloured workers should be employed in preference to blacks. This reduced the numbers of blacks eligible to work in Cape Town and also created a lasting rivalry between blacks and coloureds.

In education the government prohibited private schools working without state approval. This especially effected Mission Schools, which had formerly provided the best education for blacks. A very limited education system was introduced for blacks called 'Bantu education', a curriculum designed to equip Africans 'in accordance with their opportunities in life' i.e. for menial work.

The result of 'Bantu education' in Langa High School was a rapid decline in staff and student morale, academic performance, sports and other extra-curricular activities, as well as a rise in alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancies.

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Heritage Sections
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History · Society
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In this period of Cape History:



Petty Apartheid



The Silent Years

Influx Controls

1976 Uprising

Post '76 Reform


Turning Tide

Mass Action

Bibliography & Contacts


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