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The chapter describes the experiences of migrants who, in the early and mid-twentieth century, traveled from South Africa’s Eastern Cape region—specifically, the Transkei and Ciskei—in search of employment. Noting the constancy of people’s movements over long periods, the chapter relies on oral histories that recount the lifeways of those who were drawn into industrial work in the urban areas, Cape Town particularly, and the ways in which African families eventually established households illegally on the city’s limits. Focusing on Crossroads and a number of other shack settlements, the chapter argues that men and women living in the settlements refashioned the political economy of work—despite challenges of distance, racism, and the law—placing greatest significance on family unity and intimacy. If pass laws, many argued, effectively denied the right to love, illegal migrants resolved to put love ahead of passes.

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