Atlas of South African Change by A.J Christopher

By A.J Christopher

The recent version of the atlas (first released because the Atlas of Apartheid) offers a finished advent and designated research of the spatial influence of apartheid in South Africa. It covers the interval of the nationwide get together govt of 1948 to 1994, and emphasises the alterations and the continued legacy this provides to South Africans in the beginning of the twenty first century. The Atlas makes the original contribution of offering the coverage and its effect in visible, spatial varieties through together with over 70 maps, a hugely acceptable approach for the reason that apartheid used to be in regards to the regulate of house and particular areas.

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The Natives Land Act was officially conceived as a first stage in drawing a permanent line between Africans and non-Africans. A subsequent commission of inquiry (Beaumont Commission) reported in 1916 that extensive additional lands should be added to the reserves, which were already exhibiting signs of impoverishment (Bundy 1979). 8 million hectares of Crown land were exclusively occupied by Africans, the commission suggested that they should be legally included in the African areas, and additional provision made for those being displaced from White-owned farms.

State control of key industries determined their location and hence their role in the urbanization process. Through active fiscal and rating policies, certain branches of local industry were fostered and agriculture protected. The African labour force on both the farms and the mines was regulated and controlled by a complex series of laws restricting individual movement. Town planning legislation was used as an instrument of control to limit urban African numbers and confine them to specific parts of the town, just as rural policies confined much of the African population to specific reserves.

Although the Act contained no racial connotations, the then Minister of Public Health, Sir Thomas Watt, upon introducing the Bill to parliament, indicated that he expected that local authorities ‘will do their duty and provide for the coloured and native people within their areas ’ (emphasis added) (Hansard 1920: 185). The resultant housing estates were thus racially segregated, separated from one another by open spaces and with separate access roads. Although African municipal estates tended to be grouped in formal locations, those for the Coloured and White populations tended to be dispersed throughout the poorer parts of towns, without any concept of broad urban divisions.

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