Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home
This chapter tracks patterns of informal settlement through the late 1980s; it also addresses the state’s apparatus of counterinsurgency, which was designed with a view to bringing unregulated urbanization under control. As increasing numbers of illegal migrants settled permanently on the edges of South Africa’s cities, Cape Town among them, the state deployed new development policies, including the provision of housing and basic infrastructure. As a strategy of divide and rule, development both turned those with formal homes against those living in shacks and created internal divisions of gender and generation within local communities. For their part, shack dwellers persisted in struggling for urban citizenship: they honed courtroom tactics, resisted evictions and deportations, and engaged in routine activities that ranged from the building of shanties and makeshift schools and churches to the formation of civic organizations and institutions of local governance.