Survival in the 'Dumping Grounds'

A Social History of Apartheid Relocation


Survival in the 'Dumping Grounds' examines a defining aspect of South Africa's recent past: the history of apartheid-era relocation. While scholars and activists have long recognised the suffering caused by apartheid removals to the so-called 'homelands', the experiences of those who lived through this process have been more often obscured. Drawing on extensive archival and oral history research, this book examines the makings and the multiple meanings of relocation into two of the most notorious apartheid 'dumping grounds' established in the Ciskei bantustan during the mid-1960s: Sada and Ilinge. Evans examines the local and global dynamics of the project of bantustan relocation and develops a multi-layered analysis of the complex histories - and ramifications- of displacement and resettlement in the Ciskei.

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Laura Evans (PhD, University of Sheffield, 2011) is a Senior Lecturer in History at Sheffield Hallam University and Research Associate of the International Studies Group, University of the Free State. She teaches modern South African, colonial and postcolonial history and has published articles on various aspects of the history of apartheid and the bantustan scheme.
[...] 'Das mit viel Empathie für die Bewohnerinnen und Bewohner der Ciskei geschriebene Buch hat seine Stärke in der Empirie. Es zeigt differenziert deren Handlungsmöglichkeiten und -grenzen unter den vorgegebenen Verwaltungsstrukturen auf, so trägt es zur Sozialgeschichte des früheren Homelands bei.' [...]

Rita Schäfer in Dhau - Yearbook for Extra-European History 5/2020, pp. 235-240.

[...] Survival in the ‘Dumping Grounds is a brilliant work of social history. Evans effortlessly provides a clear and concise account of the tragedy of apartheid in South Africa, expertly executes a nuanced historical analysis with insight into the imperial foundation in which apartheid anchored its segregationist policies, and meticulously presents the stories of Black South Africans who experienced relocation to the bantustans. It is well-researched and masterfully written. Therefore, this book would be ideal for both novice students and expert scholars of Africa. Moreover, it accomplishes the duality of capturing the complexities of segregationist policies while remaining comprehensible.

Constance Pruitt, Howard University, in African Studies Quarterly, Volume 21, Issue 1, 2022, pp. 75-77
List of Illustrations and Tables
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Rethinking Relocation in Apartheid South Africa

Part 1: Regimes of Relocation

1Apartheid, the Bantustans and the End of Empire
 1Peace, Population and Colonial Development, c.1920–1945
 2The ‘late colonial’ Apartheid State
 3Cold War in Southern Africa: Villagisation and Counter-insurgency
2Regimes of Relocation in the Ciskei
 1The Cape as Apartheid Test Case
 2The Relocation Regime
 3Villagisation and Repression
 4Decolonisation, Repatriation and Resettlement
 5The Expansion of Sada and Ilinge
 6White Farmers and Relocation

Part 2: Repertoires of Relocation

3Dislocation and Disrupted Livelihoods: Removals, Evictions and Banishments
 1The Coercive Relocation Regime
 2The Biopolitics of Neglect
 3Displacement and Marginal Livelihoods
 4Farm Evictions: Enclosure and Dispossession
 5Urban Removals: Dislocation and Deprivation
 6Political Banishment: Surveillance and Isolation
 7‘We were starving. And we survived’: Gender, Domesticity and Displacement
4Farm Dwellers and Relocation: Gender, Generation and Agrarian Change
 1Farm Labour and Agrarian Change
 2Gender, Generation and Changing Men
 3Changing Livelihoods and the Transformation of Aspirations
 4Migration, Male Breadwinners and Masculinity
 5Gender, Autonomy and Impoverishment: The Paradoxical Impacts of Relocation
Part 3

Place, Space and Power

5‘We Came from Different Places’: Displacement and Place-Making
 1Forced Removals and ‘communities of memory’
 2The Emergence of Underground Networks in Sada and Ilinge
 3Churches, Spirituality and Sociability
 4Poverty, Survival and Reciprocity
6Relocation and the State: Relations of Rule
 1Territoriality and the Gendered Disciplinary Project of the BAD, c. 1963–71
 2Ethnic Politics, Clientelism and Coercion under Ciskei, c.1971–80


All interested in the history of South Africa, including academics, students and lay readers. Relevant subjects: History, Geography, Planning, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Development Studies, African Studies.
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