Middle class neighbourhoods or 'African Kraals'? The impact of informal settlements and vagrants on post-apartheid white identity

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43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the slum, the bourgeois spectator surveyed and classified his own antithesis (Stallybrass and White, 1986: 128). Young married men from 500-odd homes loaded the guns they kept hidden in their sock and handkerchief drawers. Some, like Stuart Smith, sent their toddlers to relatives 'just in case'. They took leave from work, mounted a control centre, hired a batch of two-way radios and are keeping an eagle eye on the 44 ha open patch earmarked for Zevenfontein's squatters-land that is only metres away from their pristine new houses. Neighbours who were strangers are suddenly brothers and buddies in arms in an around-the-clock military-style operation, aimed at defending their castles. They communicate vigorously by two-way radio. They urgently summon, not John, Joe or Bert, but Echo One, Two or Three. They have dug trenches across the roads, and it is rumoured, mined a low-level bridge leading into the suburb. The women, including the wives of black Bloubosrand homeowners, rotate in shifts preparing food for the men on patrol. Yuppie accountants with clipped English accents and Paul Simon T-shirts have thrown up roadblocks to keep out squatters who might creep in at night with corrugated iron and cardboard (Business Day, 1992).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-73
Number of pages26
JournalUrban Forum
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

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