Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #154) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #154)
Transcript: they could hire for comparatively lower rentals. But slum clearance was a smoke screen which clouded the real issues involved. Government policy regarded the urban areas as white areas and considered Africans as temporary residents who provided labour for the industry and commerce and who were to return to the rural areas on retirement. Freehold land for Africans in white areas thus conflicted with that policy.
The government was also under pressure from its own colour conscious supporters in the surrounding areas of Westdene and Newlands. Comparatively poor and jealous of the fine houses owned by some black men, these whites clamoured for the removal or the "Kaffirs, Koelies en Hotnots" on their doorsteps. The government also wished to acquire complete control over the movements of the African people in the area. Such control was impossible in freehold urban townships where there was no white local authority, no permit system in force, where public meetings could be held freely and people could come and go as they wished. Of course, the pass system applied throughout the country, including these townships and the police frequently raided the place for passes, poll tax, dangerous weapons, liquor and a host of other offences and arrested large numbers. Still one did not need a special permit to enter the place, as was the case with municipal locations, and its residents enjoyed relatively more freedom. The removal scheme was motivated by this state of affairs and had little to do with slum clearance. The Western Areas Removal scheme was part of the government's grand design to corral the people of South Africa into racial ghettos, which they hoped to realise through the Group Areas Act. In fact so callous was the government about the matter that the original plan was to start the removal scheme before
Extent and Medium: 1 page