|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
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
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
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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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: