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Apartheid
(page 6)
Influx Controls
In the 1960s Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd pursued a policy of 'Grand Apartheid', which established 'independent tribal homelands', such as the Transkei. The plan made it possible to exclude blacks from a right to live in 'South Africa'. A rule was imposed in 1965 by which African workers had to return to their 'homeland' at the end of an employment contract, then re-apply to work in the Cape Town area. This was supposed to prevent any growth in the numbers of black 'permanent residents' in the city.

During the 1960s the South African economy grew rapidly, and while this helped keep a lid on protest, it raised the need for more black labour. The government, however, refused to issue more passes for Africans to work in Cape Town, on the grounds that the Western Cape should become a 'safe white homeland' as well as offer 'a future for coloured people'.

Black people 'endorsed out' of Cape Town were sent to 'resettlement camps' in the Eastern Cape where they lived in atrocious conditions. Within Cape Town's townships, municipal beer halls and liquor stores were opened in spite of local opposition. The sale of alcohol helped to finance the enforcement of apartheid.

Yet, in spite of the influx regulations Cape Town still grew considerably. Official figures show an increase in the 'legal' African population from 70,000 in 1960 to 160,000 in 1974, and it is estimated that there were a further 90,000 'illegals'. The springing up of more shanty towns north and south of the airport showed that apartheid was failing to achieve its aims.

Between 1972 and 1975 the government tried once more to remove African communities from the Cape by the demolition of shanty towns such as Unibel and Modderdam. Modderdam squatter camp was destroyed by two bulldozers during one week in August 1977. As residents watched their homes being razed they sang freedom songs and hymns, charged policemen and threw furniture onto the road. Some even set fire to their own shacks before the authorities could reach them.


The authorities tried - and ultimately failed - to stem the tide of migration of blacks to Cape Town by destroying squatter camps. The most well known case was the Crossroads community that developed on vacant land near the airport and stubbornly resisted eviction (more..)
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Heritage Sections
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History · Society
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In this period of Cape History:

Overview

Segregation

Petty Apartheid

Enforcement

Resistance

The Silent Years

Influx Controls

1976 Uprising

Post '76 Reform

1980s

Turning Tide

Mass Action

Bibliography & Contacts











 


 
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