Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home
This chapter focuses on the decade preceding South Africa’s first democratic elections. Despite an increasing reliance on repressive strategies, the state made a variety of concessions to black city dwellers. These included the transfer of title deeds to black tenants and the de facto “graying” (i.e., the racial integration) of some city neighborhoods. With the demise of influx controls in 1986, African in-migration pushed demand for urban housing. Yet most attempts to accommodate African people came in the form of site-and-service schemes, which by confining blacks to the city limits only reinscribed older patterns of exclusion. The chapter argues that the urban policy continuity from the late apartheid to the early post-apartheid period—the often ignored history of site-and-service schemes—demands greater scholarly attention. In effect, by delivering poor-quality housing to blacks on the city limits, the new housing policy simply perpetuated patterns of segregation while leaving the apartheid city form intact.