Post-apartheid desegregation in Vereeniging, 1991-1996
In 1923, when the concept of Black locations was introduced following the Blacks (Urban Areas) Act, the Blacks became segregated from the other racial groups and were forced to live on the peripheries of towns. Subsequently, the passing of the Group Areas Act of 1950 and 1966 ensured the maximisation of a geographical distance between the Whites, Coloureds. and Indians, thereby giving the South African towns and cities a racially demarcated character. However, in June 1991 the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act, 1991 (10811991) was passed to herald a socio-political change. This reversion of policy by Government therefore gave rise to the current investigation into desegregated settlements. The purpose of, this survey study was to describe and explain the phenomenon of desegregation in the South African town of Vereeniging after the repeal of the Group Areas Act, 1950 (4111950). Pertinently this study contemplated the following specific aims: First, to determine the extent of desegregation in terms of the number and spatial distribution of Black migrants in the former White residential areas in Vereeniging. Secondly to describe and explain the nature of desegregation in Vereeniging in terms of the socio-economic characteristics of the Black migrants. It was first postulated that residential desegregation in Vereeniging was still of limited extent, and that residential areas in the town were unequally exposed to the process of desegregation. Secondly, that the spatial patterns of desegregation were modulated by the socio-economic characteristics of Black migrants. Therefore, the rating records that contained useful information about the property owners from the Vereeniging-Kopanong Metropolitan Substructure were used to develop a sampling frame. A total of 1 394 Black migrants was identified on the basis of unique African surnames. A sample of 326 randomly selected participants was identified. The questionnaires were distributed to the participants residential addresses. The completed questionnaires were collected personally from the participants. The rationale for this was to, inter alia, maintain a good rapport with the participants. The Information Technology and Management (ITM) of the Vaal Triangle campus of the Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys was used to capture and analyse the data through the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) programme. The lndex of Dissimilarity and lndex of Segregation were calculated to determine the socio-spatial distribution of Black migrants in the town. The cross tabulations were applied with respect to some items of the questionnaire in order to determine the degree of association between one variable and the other. It, however, became apparent from the subsequent analyses that the number of Blacks who lived in the White areas of Vereeniging was relatively small. This finding provided a support to the postulate that residential desegregation in Vereeniging was still of limited extent. Confirming this finding was the town's 0,3% to 19,0% desegregation range. Even so, highly desegregated scenarios manifested in the central business district (CBD) and in areas of the town that are continguous to the Black townships. Finally, this study has recommended that urban geographers should investigate the liveability of White migrants who began to migrate to Black townships immediately after all residential areas, including the Black areas, were declared desegregated in terms of the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act , 1991 (10811991).
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