Atlas of South African Change by A.J Christopher

By A.J Christopher

The recent variation of the atlas (first released because the Atlas of Apartheid) offers a accomplished creation and distinctive research of the spatial impression of apartheid in South Africa. It covers the interval of the nationwide social gathering executive of 1948 to 1994, and emphasises the alterations and the ongoing legacy this offers to South Africans at the beginning of the twenty first century. The Atlas makes the original contribution of providing the coverage and its effect in visible, spatial kinds by means of together with over 70 maps, a hugely acceptable strategy given that apartheid was once in regards to the keep an eye on of area and particular areas.

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In 1923 the Natives (Urban Areas) Act was passed requiring local authorities to establish separate locations for the African population, and to exercise a measure of control over the migration of the African population to the towns (Davenport 1970). The Act was amended and tightened regularly, notably in a major consolidating act in 1945, which formed the basis of the apartheid era legislation. A number of municipalities resisted the development of locations, questioning the expense involved. Durban Municipality, for example, did not build its first location until the 1930s, preferring that employers, whether private individuals, companies or governmental organizations, undertake the financial responsibility (Torr 1987).

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. The First World War and the subsequent political turmoil delayed any legislative action on the recommendations for twenty years.

Owing to the long history of occupation the various subgroups developed separate languages, often mutually unintelligible (Inskeep 1978). Three broad ethno-linguistic divisions are represented in the country: the Nguni peoples of the eastern coastal regions, the Sotho peoples of the interior, and the Vendans and Shangaans of the extreme north and east of the Northern Province. In precolonial times these peoples were subject to a range of authorities from the centralized Zulu monarchy to the individual village headmen, subject to only a tenuous higher authority.

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