HOME

TheInfoList




In
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 60 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most ...

South Africa
, the terms
township A township is a kind of human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings g ...

township
and location usually refer to the often
underdeveloped Underdevelopment, relating to international development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of "development" on an international scale. It is th ...
racially segregated Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into racial A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. The term was first used to refer t ...
urban Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities. Urban may also refer to: General * Urban (name), a list of people ...
areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of
apartheid Apartheid (: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised that existed in and (now ) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on ' (or ), wh ...

apartheid
, were reserved for non-whites, namely
Indians Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
,
Africans The population of Africa has population growth, grown rapidly over the past century and consequently shows a large youth bulge, further reinforced by a low life expectancy of below 50 years in some African countries. Total population as of 20 ...
and
Coloureds Coloureds ( af, Kleurlinge or , ) are a multiracial Multiracial people are people of more than one race (human categorization), race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used for multi-racial people, including ''mixed-race'', ''birac ...
. Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities. The term ''township'' also has a distinct legal meaning in South Africa's system of
land title In property law, a title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In t ...
, which carries no racial connotations. Townships for non-whites were also called ''locations'' or ''lokasies'' in
Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 5 ...
, and are often still referred to by that name in smaller towns. The slang term "kasie", a popular short version of "lokasie" is also used. Townships sometimes have large
informal settlements Informal housing or informal settlement can include any form of housing Housing, or more generally living spaces, refers to the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, sy ...

informal settlements
nearby.


History


Early development

During the first half of the twentieth century, a clear majority of the black population in major urban areas lived in hostels or servants' accommodations provided by employers and were mostly single men. In the period during and following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
urban areas of South Africa experienced a rapid period of urbanisation as the colour bar was relaxed due to the war. Neither employers nor the government built new accommodation or homes for the influx of new residents. This led to overcrowding, poor living conditions, and the absence of amenities thereby contributing to high levels of crime and violence. High rents and overcrowding led to land invasions and the growth of shack settlements which were largely ignored by government. By 1950 a substantial proportion of the urban black population lived in townships. In 1950, upwards of 100,000 people were living in townships on the Witwatersrand area, 50,000 people in
Cato Manor km Cato Manor is a working-class area located from the city centre of Durban, South Africa. It was formed when Indian market gardeners came to settle in the area some time after it was given to George Christopher Cato in 1865, who was the first m ...
in Durban, and an estimated 150,000 black and
coloured Coloureds ( af, Kleurlinge or , ) are a multiracial Multiracial people are people of more than one race (human categorization), race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used for multi-racial people, including ''mixed-race'', ''bira ...
people lived in townships in Cape Town. Living conditions in the shack township settlements were low but had the advantage over other more established options in the hostels of being cheap and largely unregulated by the apartheid era
South African Police The South African Police (SAP) was the national police force and law enforcement agency in South Africa from 1913 to 1994; it was the ''de facto'' police force in the territory of South West Africa (Namibia) from 1939 to 1981. After South Afri ...
.


Apartheid: 1948–1994

During the era of ideological
apartheid Apartheid (: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised that existed in and (now ) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on ' (or ), wh ...

apartheid
, black people were evicted from properties that were in areas designated as "white only" and forced to move into segregated townships. Separate townships were established for each of the three designated non-white race groups – black people,
Coloureds Coloureds ( af, Kleurlinge or , ) are a multiracial Multiracial people are people of more than one race (human categorization), race or ethnicity. A variety of terms have been used for multi-racial people, including ''mixed-race'', ''birac ...
and
Indians Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
– as per the
Population Registration Act, 1950 The Population Registration Act of 1950 required that each inhabitant of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 milli ...
. Legislation that enabled the apartheid government to do this included the
Group Areas Act Group Areas Act was the title of three act of parliament, acts of the Parliament of South Africa enacted under the apartheid government of South Africa. The acts assigned racial groups to different residential and business sections in urban area ...
.


Post-apartheid

Most South African towns and cities have at least one township associated with them. Some old townships have seen rapid development since 1994 with, for instance, wealthy and middle-income areas sprouting in parts of
Soweto Soweto () is a Township (South Africa), township of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for ''South Western T ...

Soweto
and Chatsworth. Despite their origins in apartheid South Africa, today the terms township, location and
informal settlement Informal housing or informal settlement can include any form of housing, shelter, or settlement (or lack thereof) which is illegal, falls outside of government control or regulation, or is not afforded protection by the state. As such, the inf ...

informal settlement
are not used pejoratively. However policy makers are, as in the 1950s, once again using the term '
slums A slum is a highly populated Urban area, urban residential area consisting of densely packed housing units of weak build quality. The infrastructure in slums is often deteriorated or incomplete, and they are primarily inhabited by impoverished peo ...
' in a highly pejorative way.Huchzermeyer, M., (2011
''Cities with ‘Slums’: From Informal Settlement Eradication to a Right To The City In Africa''
University of Cape Town Press, Cape Town


Social issues

Township communities are faced with several social problems. Most often, the residents of townships do not own the land on which their houses are built. In effect, these houses are built illegally.Interactive Planning Workshop for Johannesburg. Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council. Johannesburg, South Africa. 27–30 September 2000. Web. 8 October 2011. Construction is informal and unregulated by the government. This results in a lack of access to basic services such as sewerage, electricity, roads and clean water, which adversely affects residents' quality of life.


Infrastructure problems

Sewerage, water, and electrical
Infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy An eco ...

Infrastructure
within townships is often in need of repair, resulting in a lack of
sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of Preventive healthcare, preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life through organized efforts and informed choices of society ...

sanitation
due to problems with accessibility, and availability. Electricity, water and sewerage are managed by different government departments, resulting in inefficiencies in the absence of substantial co-ordination at all stages of the project planning, budgeting, and implementation cycle.


Sewerage

The sewer systems within townships are poorly planned and constructed. The population of townships typically grow faster than the infrastructure was planned for, causing overloads which result in blockages, surges, and overflows. There are often a limited number of public toilets that are over-used, abused, and quickly become health hazards for the communities. Another issue is poor access for maintenance activities which is caused by the lack of space between houses. Some of the areas on the township peripheries or near riverbanks do not have access to facilities because they are not connected to the formal waterborne sewerage system.


Water

A consequence of inadequate pumping infrastructure and large populations is that water pressure in townships is low. With each section of the townships is normally one pump per section. The water is used for everything from cleaning clothes, cooking, drinking, bathing, and cleaning the house. Having very little water accessible to each section makes it very hard to get enough water for a day per household.


Electricity

Electrical wires strung along the trees leading to power boxes is an ubiquitous sight in the townships, due to illegal electricity connections. This is dangerous, however every house in the area has a wire coming out of it and every wire is known by their owner in order to fix problems as soon as they arise. Harber, Anton. Diepsloot. Jeppestown: Jonathan Ball Publishers LTD, 2011. 2011. 1-226. Print. Most of the sub-stations are very unsecured to begin with so having so many additional wires coming off of it is very dangerous for the people nearby and the kids playing in the area. The electricity infrastructure has not undergone upgrades because of the government's disinclination to encourage power usage by non-residents.


Flood risk

Some townships, such as
Alexandra Alexandra () is the feminine form of the given name Alexander (, ). Etymology, Etymologically, the name is a compound of the Greek verb (; meaning 'to defend') and (; genitive, GEN , ; meaning 'man'). Thus it may be roughly translated as "defen ...
and Diepsloot, are built near rivers, and on
flood plains File:Flood plain 7991.JPG, Riparian vegetation on the floodplain of the Lynches River, close to Johnsonville, South Carolina. These tupelo and Taxodium, cypress trees show the ordinary high water mark, high-water mark of flooding. A floodpl ...
. These areas are extremely dense with only tortuous, narrow access, few communal water points and banks of chemical toilets on the peripheries of the settlements. The settlements are beginning to be built in the old tributaries due to the continuing growth of the townships. With the houses in the dried up tributaries is a potential problem when a large storm comes and the tributary starts to fill up with water again or if there is a backup of sewerage coming into the tributary. The houses built in that area are all in danger of being destroyed by natural occurrences. As the area grew the tributaries were piped and a number of concrete aprons and gullies were constructed over the tributary to which the communal water points drain. The
gullies A gully is a landform created by running water, erosion, eroding sharply into soil, typically on a hillside. Gullies resemble large ditches or small valleys, but are metres to tens of metres in depth and width. When the gully formation is in pr ...
were then choked with garbage and the tributaries appear to be substantially blocked but this will not hold off the water for very long if a flood came through. Residents sometimes choose to build on river banks due to overcrowding in the belief that they would provide easy access to water and laundry facilities, however the water is unsuitable for these purposes due to pollution, and they are vulnerable to floods.


Backyard shacks

Backyard shacks are additional units on a plot of land that are rented out by the land owner for additional income. A plot of land designed for a house big enough for one family has turned into a plot of land that holds on average six families instead of one. These structures are illegally built in violation of planning and building codes and strain infrastructure. Governments are loath to act on backyard dwellings, doing to would result in a large-scale displacement of people. A 2001 study of the township called Diepsloot near Johannesburg showed that 24% of the residents lived in brick structures, 43% were in shack areas, and 27% were in backyard shacks.


Education

Township schools are often overcrowded, and lack adequate infrastructure. There is a high dropout rate of poor youth, particularly around Grade 9. Despite government interventions, education outcomes remain skewed, with township students continuing to under-perform. This skewed distribution is mainly attributable to higher and more rapid drop out rates among the poor, rather than to a lack of initial access to schooling.Motloung, Hloni. "Township and Rural Schools continue to be marginalized as inequality in the education system persists commented Graeme Bloch, Education Specialist, Development Bank of Southern Africa at the Knowledge Week." n.d. n. page. Print. The formerly white schools uniformly produce better results and their governing bodies are able to raise substantial private funds used to get resources that are then unreachable by the rural and township schools which survive on the commitment of their teachers.


Gangs and violence

Gangs are a problem in townships, and children as young as 12 or 13 will begin initiation into a local gang. Some see violence and gangs as a way of life and a culture. The weapon of choice for most is a gun and with easy accessibility anyone is able to get one. It is estimated that out of the 14 million guns in circulation, in South Africa, only four million are registered and licensed to legal gun owners.


Largest townships

Largest townships in South Africa at the time of the 2011 census: File:Aliwal North - Dukatole - 03.05 - Housebuilding Projekt.jpg, Construction of a house in the former township Dukathole (near
Aliwal North Aliwal North (now officially named Maletswai) is a town in central South Africa on the Orange River The Orange River (from Afrikaans/Dutch language, Dutch: ''Oranjerivier'') is a river in Southern Africa. It is the longest river within the ...

Aliwal North
) File:Aliwal North - Dukatole - 03.05 - Shack.jpg, A bigger shack made of corrugated iron within Dukathole File:Aliwal North - Dukatole - 03.05 - Street Shop.jpg, Little shop on the main street of Dukathole File:Aliwal North - Dukatole - 03.05 - Street scene.jpg, Dukathole - Street scene


Legal meaning

The legal meaning of the term "township" in South Africa differs from the popular usage, and has a precise legal meaning without any racial connotations. The term is used in
land titles Land registration generally describes systems by which matters concerning ownership, Possession (law), possession, or other rights in Real estate, land are formally recorded (usually with a government agency or department) to provide evidence of t ...
and townships are subdivided into erfs (stands). "Township" can also mean a designated area or district, as part of a place name. For instance "Industrial Township" has been used in reference to an industrial area, e.g. "Westmead Industrial Township", in
Pinetown Pinetown is a small city that is part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, inland from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Pinetown is situated 16 km west of Durban at an elevation of 1,000 to 1,300 feet (305 to 395 m). History Pine ...
, South Africa. Often a township (in the legal sense) is established, and then adjoining townships, with the same name as the original township, and with a numbered "Extension" suffix are later established. For example, the Johannesburg suburb of
Bryanston Bryanston is a village and civil parishes in England, civil parish in north Dorset, England, situated on the River Stour, Dorset, River Stour west of Blandford Forum. In the United Kingdom 2011 Census, 2011 census the parish had a population of ...
has an extension called ''Bryanston Extension 3'


Relationship with "suburb"

In traditionally or historically white areas, the term "suburb" is used for legally-defined residential townships in everyday conversation. A suburb's boundaries are often regarded as being the same as the (legal) township boundaries, along with its numbered extensions, and it usually shares its name with the township (with some notable exceptions, such as the Johannesburg suburb known as Rivonia, Gauteng, Rivonia, which is actually the township of Edenburg with numbered extensions called Rivonia Extensions). Occasionally formerly independent towns, such as
Sandton Sandton is an affluent area in the Gauteng Province Gauteng ( ; tn, Gauteng; Northern and Southern Sotho: ; zu, eGoli; ts, Gauteng/; Ndebele Ndebele may refer to: *Southern Ndebele people, located in South Africa *Northern Ndebele people, ...

Sandton
(which itself consists of numerous suburbs), are referred to as "suburbs


See also

* List of townships in South Africa * HIV/AIDS in South African townships *
Bantustan A Bantustan (also known as Bantu peoples, Bantu homeland, Black people, black homeland, Khoisan, black state or simply homeland; ) was a territory that the National Party (South Africa), National Party administration of South Africa set aside ...
*
Ghetto A ghetto, often ''the'' ghetto, is a part of a city in which members of a minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer i ...

Ghetto
*
Racial segregation Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into race (human classification), racial or other Ethnicity, ethnic groups in daily life. Racial segregation can amount to the international crime of apartheid and a crimes against hum ...
* Township tourism *
Old Location The Old Location (or as it was known then the Main Location) was an area Apartheid, segregated for Black, Brown and Yellow residents of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. It was situated in the area between today's suburbs of Hochland Park and Pion ...
, a township of
Windhoek Windhoek (, , ) is the capital and largest city of Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. S ...

Windhoek
,
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east a ...

Namibia
*
Katutura Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura Katutura ( Otjiherero for ''The place where people do not want to live'') is a township ''Township'' refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries. While a ''townsh ...
, a township of
Windhoek Windhoek (, , ) is the capital and largest city of Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. S ...

Windhoek
,
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east a ...

Namibia


References


External links

{{Commons category, Slums in South Africa Poverty in South Africa