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Relocation to the bantustans wrought profound changes in the lives of those affected and had critical implications for politics and society in the bantustans. This was no more true than in the Ciskei, where mass relocation from across the Cape had the impact of doubling the population density of this bantustan during the 1970s alone. Sada and Ilinge were first established as a product of apartheid’s repressive social engineering, yet they nevertheless became complex and multi-faceted social spaces that were made by the diverse people who came to live there. While some people were forced by the state to move, others came to join families; to access education; to build independent households; to bolster livelihoods. Having experienced removal, dislocation and loss, many made what they could of their unchosen circumstances and established new homes and lives around them. Relocation had unintended outcomes for the state, as these dense settlements became key sites of struggle against the regime and were closely linked within the networks of the liberation movement. While state neglect and economic marginality continue to shape the daily struggles of the residents of Sada and Ilinge, the structural conditions that they face do not define the lives that are lived and the histories that are made there.

Survival in the 'Dumping Grounds'

A Social History of Apartheid Relocation


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