oa Kronos : Journal of Cape History - Geforseerde residensiele hervestiging in Bellville, 1950-1960

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0190



The aim of this article is to focus on the issue of forced residential relocation in Bellville during the period 1950 to 1960. Various communities have been uprooted and relocated since the early 1960's in South Africa. Residential segregation was implemented in the name of Apartheid. These removals have been forced and the force has been mainly in the form of discriminatory and oppressive legislation. The land issue within urban areas in South Africa is a very contentious issue. The question of restitution has been raised at various conferences during the past few years. In this regard the argument has been advanced that the issue of restitution will need to be addressed i.e. rectifying historical injustices. Blacks in the Western Cape have primarily been affected by the implementation of the Coloured Labour Preferential Policy and the Group Areas Act. The Group Areas Act has enforced residential segregation and the development of separate trading areas. Africans were forced out of the Western Cape in the name of the Coloured Labour Preferential Policy. It should be obvious that the Group Areas Act impacted negatively on the disenfranchised. People have been moved to the periphery of towns which resulted in financial and social problems. This process created housing shortages and transport problems. A general pattern of dislocation of people manifested itself. In researching the impact of the Group Areas Act on communities� researchers tend to focus primarily on District Six with some reference to other communities. Bellville, however, presents an interesting case study of the process of residential segregation: (a) it was one of the first large municipalities in South Africa to have implemented the Group Areas Act of 1950; (b) Bellville's urban space was racially structured before the implementation of the above-mentioned Act. 85% of Bellville was covered by servitudes which prohibited Blacks from owning or occupying land. Oakdale and Bellville South were the only ""mixed"" residential areas; (c) different strategies were evolved with regard to the relocation of Africans and so-called coloureds. In this context the local authority and the Dutch Reformed Church played a major role in developing residential Apartheid. Attention is however also given to the reaction of different resistance structures during this period.

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