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Township (South Africa)

Township (South Africa)

Overview

In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, the term township
Township
The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

and location usually refers to the (often underdeveloped) urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of Apartheid, were reserved for non-whites (black Africans, Coloured
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

s and Indians). Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities. The term township also has a distinct legal meaning, in South Africa's system of land title, that carries no racial connotations.

During the Apartheid Era blacks were evicted from properties that were in areas designated as "white only" and forced to move into segregated townships.
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In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, the term township
Township
The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

and location usually refers to the (often underdeveloped) urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of Apartheid, were reserved for non-whites (black Africans, Coloured
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

s and Indians). Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities. The term township also has a distinct legal meaning, in South Africa's system of land title, that carries no racial connotations.

Apartheid


During the Apartheid Era blacks were evicted from properties that were in areas designated as "white only" and forced to move into segregated townships. Separate townships were established for each of the three designated non-white race groups (blacks, coloureds and Indians
Indian South Africans
Indian South Africans are people of Indian descent living in South Africa and mostly live in and around the city of Durban, making it 'the largest 'Indian' city outside India'. Most Indians in South Africa are descendents of migrants from colonial India during late 19th-century through early...

). Legislation that enabled the Apartheid government to do this included the Group Areas Act
Group Areas Act
The Group Areas Act of 1950 was an act of parliament created under the apartheid government of South Africa on 27th April 1950. The act assigned racial groups to different residential and business sections in urban areas in a system of urban apartheid...

.

Townships for non-whites were also called locations or lokasie (Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 translation), and are often still referred to by that name in smaller towns. The slang term "Kasie", a popular short version of "Lokasie" is also used sometimes to refer to townships.

Townships sometimes have large informal settlements
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

 nearby.

Despite their origins in apartheid South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, today the terms township, location and informal settlements
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

 are not used pejoratively. However policy makers are, as in the 1950s, once again using the term 'slums' in a highly pejorative way.

Most South African towns and cities will have at least one township associated with them. Today they are often viewed as just one of the many suburbs that an urban area might have. Some old townships have seen rapid development since 1994, with, for instance, wealthy, and middle-income areas growing up in parts of Soweto, Chatsworth, etc.

Post-apartheid


Forced removal from city centres to townships has continued in post-apartheid South Africa. The difference is that under apartheid all black people faced forced removals to townships while now it is only the poor living in shack settlements that face eviction to townships on the peripheries of cities. In Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

 and Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

 this has given rise to mass resistance
Abahlali baseMjondolo
Abahlali baseMjondolo , also known as AbM or the red shirts is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa which is well known for its campaigning for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now...

.

The new townships being built to house people forcibly removed from shack settlements have much smaller houses than those built under apartheid and are often, but not always, even further from city centres than apartheid era townships.

Problems Within the Townships


Within the townships the community has to deal with many troubling issues. Most often the homes are built on lands that are not owned by the occupier so it is there illegally. Since the houses are not there with the government’s permission they most likely do not have the proper services needed. With out the proper services, such as sewage, electricity, roads, and clean water, life becomes very difficult for them. There are many townships around the country of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 and each one is set up and run a little differently but for the most part all of them have the same problem but to different degrees.

Rehabilitation of Infrastructure


There are three infrastructures within the townships that are in need of repair, which are the sewerage, water, and electrical. The problems that each of these infrastructures cause for the residents is mainly due to the lack of sanitation
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

, accessibility, and availability. The government does not help out the people that are not actually residents so they are forced to use the resources of the residents, which end up causing more problems for the whole community. Matters are made worse because each of these infrastructures are serviced by different department so the efficiency goes down unless there is substantial co-ordination at all stages of the project planning, budgeting, and implementation cycle.

Sewerage


The sewerage system within the townships is very poorly planned and constructed. With the populations continually growing the sewerage was not built for a that many people so it is not able to handle it. The mass amounts of extra sewerage causes an overload on the system. The overload then causes problems such as frequent blockages, surcharges, as well as spilling over and causing the roads to flood. Most areas within the townships have a limited number of public toilets that are so over used, abused, and quickly become health hazards for the community. One problem that was not foreseen, when building the houses so close together and so densely packed in one area, is the poor access for maintenance of the sewerage system. Having so many houses in one area and very little room in between each house make it very difficult for someone to be able to go in and fix the pipes. Whether it is a local plumber or a government plumber the job is very difficult to accomplish. When they finally do come around to fixing the pipes it could potentially end up causing more issues such as more flooding, traffic around the area of construction, and a long wait for the resident to go with out water. Some of the areas on the outside of the townships or near riverbanks and tributaries do not have access to facilities because they are not connected to the formal waterborne sewerage system.

Water


The water is a very challenging situation to deal with. With the mass numbers of residents the pressure of the pumps become very low because they it is being used so much at the same time. With low pressure the water becomes difficult to get and sparse amounts are already available to each household. Within each section of the townships there is normally only one pump per section. The water is used for everything from cleaning clothes, cooking, drinking, bathing, and cleaning the house. Having very little water accessible to each section makes it very hard to get enough water necessary for a day per household. One way that this could be improved is to make some improvements to the main water supply by adding more pumps in each region in the township but have it coming from a different water system allowing more water in each area but without dealing with lower pressure.

Electricity


Driving through the narrow streets of the township it is very hard to miss the overload of electrical wires above, strung from the trees leading to the only power box in the area. Hundreds of wires come off of the power box because the residents of the area were not given access to the electricity they need so they did what they had to. This is of course illegal and very dangerous but every house in the area has a wire coming out of it and every wire is known by their owner in order to fix problems as soon as they arise. Most of the sub-stations are very unsecured to begin with that having so many additional wires coming off of it is very dangerous for the people near by and the kids playing in the area. The government does not like that the people using the sub-stations are not actual residents so they refuse to give them electricity but if they were to install more sub-stations then the problem would be solved.

Tributaries and River Banks


Some of the townships, such as Alexandra
Alexandra
Alexandra is the feminine form of the given name Alexander, which is a romanization of the Greek name Αλέξανδρος . Etymologically, the name is a compound of the Greek verb ἀλέξειν "to defend" and the noun ἀνδρός , genitive of ἀνήρ "man". Thus it may be roughly translated as "protector of man"...

 and Diepsloot, are built along or by a tributary
Tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

 or river bank. This causes problems with the high density of people, poor access, and services. These areas are extremely dense with only tortuous, narrow access, few communal water points and banks of chemical toilets on the peripheries of the settlements. The settlements are beginning to be built in the old tributaries due to the continuing growth of the townships. With the houses in the dried up tributaries is a potential problem when a large storm comes and the tributary starts to fill up with water again or if there is a backup of sewerage coming into the tributary. The houses built in that area are all in danger of being destroyed by natural occurrences. As the area grew the tributaries were piped and a number of concrete aprons and gullies were constructed over the tributary to which the communal water points drain. The gullies were then chocked with garbage and the tributaries appear to be substantially blocked but this will not hold off the water for very long if a flood came through. Flooding is also an issue in the river bank areas where houses were built. These houses should be relocated but most places are running out of space to expand which is how those houses ended up in the area below the flood lines. Some people think it could be a good thing to live next to a river in order to be able to use the water to do laundry and clean but most of the time the water in that area is so polluted and trashed that it is unsanitary for them to use due to all the local pollutant of nearby factories or plants.

Backyard Shacks


Backyard shacks are additional units on a plot of land that is rented out by the land owner as a significant income to the main householder. A plot of land designed for a house big enough for one family has turned into a plot of land that holds on average six families instead of one. These structures are considered illegal by the government and built without compliance to planning and building code norms and have made servicing and maintenance very difficult for the whole community. Having the excess amount of people on one plot of land has created inevitable strains on the infrastructure and services causing capacity and blockage problems. The government refuses to make the backyard shacks legal and suggest that they be moved to another plot of land. It would unethical to make that large a number of people move causing both parties to be unsatisfied. In the township called Diepsloot near Johannesburg a study was done in 2001 and it shows that 24% of the residents lived in brick structures, 43% were in shack areas, and 27% were in backyard shacks.

Education


Changes have been attempted within the last few years to make the education system better but one of the biggest problems facing African youths is the lack of education. The education in South Africa
Education in South Africa
South Africa has a 3 tier system of education starting with primary school, followed by high school and tertiary education in the form of universities and universities of technology....

 is set up differently than the rest of the world. School life spans 13 years or grades, from grade 0, other wise known as grade R or “reception year”, through to grade 12 or “matic”. All South Africans have the right to a basic education but most of the kids in the poor areas end up dropping out around 9th grade. The Bill of Rights of the country’s Constitution states that they have the obligation, through reasonable measures, to progressively make education available and accessible. Then in the South African Schools Act of 1996 education became compulsory for all South Africans from the age of seven to age 15, or the completion of 9th grade. . In order to target the education of the poorest of the poor the government created two notable programs. One is the fee-free schools, institutions that receive all their required funding from the state and so do not have to charge school fees. These schools were carefully identified in the country’s most poverty-stricken areas, an will made up 40% of all school in 2007. . The other is the National Schools Nutrition Program, which feeds about 7 million schoolchildren every day. The government is targeting improvements in the infrastructure for poorer school including libraries, laboratory, and sports fields as well as improvements in math and science scores. Other strategies include learner transport, crime campaigns to address violence, sexual abuse and gangsterism, the “Drop-all-and-read” campaign that focuses on basic literacy and numeracy skills. After the implementation of these programs the national budget has increased as well as the matric pass rate and total number of students. . Even with all these increases and positive transformations they have not been accompanied by a better distribution of education. This skewed distribution is mainly attributable to higher and more rapid drop out rates among the poor, rather than to a lack of initial access to schooling. The formerly white Model-C schools uniformly produce better results and their governing bodies are able to raise substantial private funds used to get resources that are then unreachable by the rural and township schools which survive on the commitment of their teachers. .

Gangs and Violence


Kids as early as age 12 or 13 will begin the initiation into a local gang. Kids that begin that young have a role model that is a gang, which is the reason for their own induction. Some see violence and gangs as a way of life and a culture. So if their role model is seen doing something wrong they do not see it as a crime but idolized. Without a conviction of the wrongdoers the kids sense of mortality becomes distorted. Some blame the apartheid for leaving a bitter legacy of poverty, inequality, and the nobility of violence. The weapon of choice for most is a gun and with easy accessibility anyone is able to get one. It is estimated that out of the 14 million guns in circulation, in South Africa, only four million are registered and licensed to legal gun owners.

List of townships


Well-known townships include:
  • Alexandra, Gauteng
    Alexandra, Gauteng
    Alexandra or Alex for short, nicknamed Gomora is a township located in Gauteng province, South Africa. It is part of Johannesburg, close to the wealthy suburb of Sandton and is bounded by Wynberg on the west, Marlboro and Kelvin on the north, Kew, Lombardy West and Lombardy East on the south...

  • Atteridgeville
    Atteridgeville
    Atteridgeville, part of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, is a township located on the west of Pretoria, South Africa. It is bordered to the west by Saulsville, to the east by Proclamation Hill; to the south by Laudium and to the north by Lotus Gardens.-History:Atteridgeville was...

  • Azaadville
  • Bekkersdal
    Bekkersdal, Gauteng
    Bekkersdal is a township situated 7 km east of Westonaria and 14 km south of Randfontein in the Gauteng province. It was established in 1945 to house Africans who worked in town and at the surrounding gold mines. In 1983 the township was granted municipal status....

  • Boipatong
  • Bophelong
    Bophelong, Gauteng
    Bophelong is a township near Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1955 to house black residents who worked in Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging.The location has noe been extended by another location right next to it called Mavhango....

  • Botleng
  • Chatsworth
    Chatsworth, Durban
    Chatsworth, is a large Indian township in Durban, South Africa, which was created as a result of the Apartheid Government's Group Areas Act. This area, created in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was populated by those removed from their homes in mixed-race and whites-only areas...

  • Dainfern
  • Daveyton
    Daveyton, Gauteng
    Daveyton is a township in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Gauteng in South Africa. It borders Etwatwa to the north, Springs to the east, Benoni to the south, and Boksburg to the West. The nearest town is Benoni, which is 18 kilometres away...

  • Diepmeadow
    Diepmeadow, Gauteng
    Diepmeadow is a township that is part of the greater Soweto in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. It consists of two townships of Diepkloof and Meadowlands. Meadowlands was built to accommodate the residents of Sophiatownyomi ias greatved in 1957. Diepkloof was established in 1959 to accommodate...

     (Diepkloof and Meadowlands)
  • Diepsloot
  • Dobsonville
    Dobsonville, Gauteng
    Dobsonville is a township in greater Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. It lies to the west of Meadowlands, a part of Diepmeadow, and is adjacent to Mofolo North and Zondi, which are suburbs of Soweto on its southern border...

  • Duduza
    Duduza
    Duduza is a township west of Nigel on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1964 when Africans were resettled from Charterston because it was considered by the apartheid government to be too close to a white town. A local authority was established in 1983. Duduza experienced...

  • Eersterust
    Eersterust
    Eersterust or "First Rest", often incorrectly spelled "Eersterus", is a formal South African township located within the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and is located just about 15 km east of the Pretoria city centre. It is also referred to by locals as "Poort"...

  • Evaton
    Evaton
    Evaton is a township north of Sebokeng in the Emfuleni region of Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1904. Like other townships in the area, Evaton was affected by the violent unrest which erupted in 1984 and by 1985 a state of emergency was imposed....

  • Galeshewe
    Galeshewe
    Galeshewe is a township located in the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. It is named after Kgosi Galeshewe....

  • Guguletu
    Guguletu
    Gugulethu or Guguletu is a township 15 km from Cape Town, South Africa.Nowadays many developments take place and have taken place to develop the townships into suburbs where life can flourish. Mzoli's, S'khomas Butchery, and The Gugulethu Sports Complex are some of the better known hotspots in...

  • Hammanskraal
  • Imizamo Yethu
    Imizamo Yethu
    Imizamo Yethu , is an informal settlement in the greater Hout Bay Valley area.The 18 hectare settlement houses approximately 33 600 people with little or no infrastructure for sustainable living....

  • Impumelelo
    Impumelelo
    Impumelelo is a township next to Devon about 38 km east of Springs on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa....

  • Ivory Park
  • Kagiso
    Kagiso
    Kagiso is a township situated in the Krugersdorp area in Gauteng Province, South Africa. It was established in 1920 by ex-miners and squatters from nearby Luipaardsvlei. By 1950 the number of squatters had grown, spawning the larger Luipaardsvlei and Lewisham township, southeast of Krugersdorp.The...

  • Katlehong
  • Khayelitsha
    Khayelitsha
    Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa, located on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town. The name is Xhosa for New Home...

  • Kayamandi
    Kayamandi
    Kayamandi is a suburb of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape region of South Africa.Kayamandi is located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. Kayamandi, ironically a Xhosa term for “pleasurable home”, was founded in the early 1950s as part of the increased segregation during the Apartheid regime...

  • Khutsong
    Khutsong
    Khutsong is a township on the West Rand of South Africa, and scene of widespread unrest since February 2006. It is situated close to the town of Carletonville , in the Merafong City Local Municipality of the Gauteng province.-Riots:...

  • Kwakwatsi
  • KwaMashu
    KwaMashu
    KwaMashu is a township twenty miles north of Durban, South Africa with very high levels of poverty and crime.-History:The township was formed by the apartheid state to house the mass resettlement of Africans that were living in Cato Manor during 1958-65. It is the largest of 3 townships in the area...

  • KwaThema
  • Langa
    Langa, Cape Town
    Langa is a suburb found in Cape Town, South Africa. It was established in 1927 interms of the 1923 Urban Areas Act. Similar to Nyanga, Langa is one of the many areas in South Africa that were designated for Black Africans before the apartheid era. It is the oldest of such suburbs in Cape Town and...

  • Laudium
  • Lebowakgomo
    Lebowakgomo
    Lebowakgomo was the capital of the former bantustan of Lebowa. Lebowakgomo lies southeast of the Limpopo town of Polokwane. Lebowakgomo is surrounded by villages, Mogodi and Phutimolle north east, Mamaolo on the east, Makurung and Lekhuswaneng being south east.-History:The township was...

  • Lenasia
  • Mahwelereng
    Mahwelereng
    Mahwelereng is a township in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is about 2 km from Mokopane, formerly known as Potgietersrus. It was one of the creations of the South African Apartheid policies in the former homeland of Lebowa. Most of the original residents of Mahwelereng were from an area...

  • Mamelodi
  • Marlboro Gardens
  • Masiphumelele
    Masiphumelele, Cape Town
    Masiphumelele is a township in Cape Town, South Africa, situated between Kommetjie, Capri Village and Noordhoek.Initially known as Site 5, the township was renamed Masiphumelele by its residents, which is a Xhosa word meaning "We will succeed"....

  • Mdantsane
    Mdantsane
    Mdantsane is a South African township situated between East London and King William's Town in the Eastern Cape province. It is reputed to be the second largest township in South Africa after Soweto and houses the second biggest shopping mall in the Eastern Cape Province...

  • Metsimaholo
  • Mfuleni
    Mfuleni, Cape Town
    Mfuleni is a relatively new township about 40 kilometres from Cape Town, South Africa. It is a predominantly Black township, although there are also some Coloured members of the community....

  • Mitchell's Plain
    Mitchell's Plain
    Mitchells Plain is a largely coloured township about 20 km from the city of Cape Town. It is one of South Africa's largest townships. It is located on the Cape Flats on the False Bay coast between Strandfontein and Khayelitsha...

  • Moakeng
  • Matwabeng
  • Mohlakeng
    Mohlakeng
    Mohlakeng is a township south of Randfontein in Gauteng, South Africa. A local authority was established in 1984....

  • Mokwallo
  • Munsieville
    Munsieville
    Munsieville is a township situated in the Krugersdorp area in Gauteng Province, South Africa. It was established by ordinance 58 of 1903 of the Krugersdorp municipality and called "the native location". From the early 1930s to the 1940s, Mr...

  • Nyanga
    Nyanga, Cape Town
    Nyanga is a township in Cape Town, South Africa. Its name in Xhosa means ‘moon’ and it is one of the oldest black townships in Cape Town. It was established as a result of the migrant labor system. In the early fifties black migrants were forced to settle in Nyanga as Langa became too small. ...

  • Orange Farm
  • Phoenix
    Phoenix, Durban
    Phoenix is an Indian township, northwest of central Durban. It was established as a township in 1976, but it has a long history of Indian occupation...

  • Ratanda
    Ratanda
    Ratanda is a township south of Heidelberg in Gauteng, South Africa.It was established in 1955. Ratanda was one of the first townships to be affected by unrest which broke out in 1984 on the highveld....

  • Refengkgotso
  • Refilwe
    Refilwe
    Refilwe is a township near Lanseria Airport, north of Johannesburg in Gauteng Province, South Africa. It was established in 1991 when Jean Stewart and Yvonne Jaques started primary health treatment in the corner of a small hall in the Drummond settlement, Lanseria...

  • Reiger Park
    Reiger Park
    Reiger Park is a coloured township situated in Boksburg on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established as Stirtonville after the Second World War when was an influx of people from the rural areas seeking work on the gold mines...

  • Roshnee
  • Sebokeng
  • Seshego
    Seshego
    Seshego is a town in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The town lies directly northwest of Polokwane. In 2001 its population was 121,639. Until 1974 Seshego was the capital of the non-independent bantustan of Lebowa, which was abolished in 1994...

  • Sharpeville
  • Soshanguve
  • Soweto
    Soweto
    Soweto is a lower-class-populated urban area of the city of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships...

  • Tembisa
    Tembisa
    Tembisa is a large township situated to the north of Kempton Park on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1957 when Africans were resettled from Alexandra and other areas in Edenvale, Kempton Park, Midrand and Germiston.-Etymology:...

  • Thokoza
    Thokoza
    Thokoza is a township south of Johannesburg, South Africa at the location of the now defunct Palmietfontein Airport. It is situated south east of Alberton, adjacent to Katlehong on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1973 and together with Katlehong it forms the second...

  • Tsakane
    Tsakane
    Tsakane is a township south of Brakpan close to two other townships KwaThema and Duduza on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. Nickname "E-Mashona".-History:...

  • Tumahole
  • Umlazi
    Umlazi
    Umlazi is a township on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The wider Umlazi area has a population of 750,000. The township is located south-west of Durban....

  • Vosloorus
    Vosloorus
    Vosloorus is a township situated in Boksburg just east of Katlehong on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1963 when Africans were removed from Stirtonville because it was considered by the apartheid government too close to a white town. Stirtonville, renamed Reiger Park,...

  • Wattville
    Wattville
    Wattville is a township south of Benoni in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan municipality, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1941, and by 1948, 400 houses were built on 34 hectares. After 1948, building stopped as it was threatened with destruction. This was because it was considered too close to...

  • Westlake
  • Zamdela
  • Zithobeni
    Zithobeni
    Zithobeni a Zulu word meaning humble yourselves, is a township situated in Gauteng, South Africa, just north of Bronkhorstspruit and southwest of Ekangala....

  • Zwide
    Zwide
    Zwide kaLanga was the chief of the Ndwandwe clan from about 1805 to around 1820. He was the son of Langa KaXaba, a Ndwandwe Chieftain. Legend has it that Zwide's mother, Queen Ntombazi was a sangoma.- Political life :...


Legal meaning



The legal meaning of the term "township" in South Africa differs from the popular usage, and has a precise legal meaning without any racial connotations. The term is used in land titles and townships are subdivided into erfs (stands). "Township" can also mean a designated area or district. For instance "Industrial Township" has been used in reference to an industrial area, e.g. "Westmead Industrial Township", in Pinetown
Pinetown
Pinetown is a small city just inland from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Pinetown is situated 16 km west of Durban at an elevation of 1,000 to 1,300 feet . It was established in 1850 around the Wayside Hotel, itself built the year before along the main wagon route between Durban and...

, South Africa.

Often a township (in the legal sense) is established, and then adjoining townships, with the same name as the original township, and with a numbered "Extension" suffix are later established. For example the Johannesburg suburb of Bryanston
Bryanston, Gauteng
Bryanston is an upper class, wealthy residential suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. First named as an area in 1949, it was established in 1969 as a suburb of Sandton and provided with tarred roads and municipal services, but after municipal boundaries were revised following the end of Apartheid,...

 has an extension called Bryanston Extension 3 http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/randburg/randburg-news-municipal?oid=4471466&sn=Detail&pid=217564&Alien-spotted-in--Bryanston-Extension-3.

Relationship with "suburb"


In traditionally or historically white areas, the term "suburb" is used for legally-defined residential townships in everyday conversation.

A suburb's boundaries are often regarded as being the same as the (legal) township boundaries, along with its numbered extensions, and it usually shares its name with the township (with some notable exceptions, such as the Johannesburg suburb known as Rivonia
Rivonia, Gauteng
Rivonia is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Sandton area. It is located in Region 3. Rivonia is one of the most affluent residential and business suburbs of Johannesburg, and regarded as the hub of upstart I.T. companies...

, which is actually the township of Edenburg
Edenburg, Gauteng
Edenburg is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is located in Region 3. The name is a source of confusion, as the whole area is known not as Edenburg but as Rivonia. The road from Johannesburg to the south is named Rivonia Road. Edenburg has one large extension, and there are up to 25 small...

 and its extensions).

Occasionaly formerly independent towns, such as Sandton (which itself consists of numerous suburbs), are referred to as "suburbs" http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6606&catid=135&Itemid=192.

See also

  • Bantustan
    Bantustan
    A bantustan was a territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa , as part of the policy of apartheid...

  • Ghetto
    Ghetto
    A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

  • Racial segregation
    Racial segregation
    Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

  • Township tourism
  • Old Location
    Old Location
    The Old Location was an area segregated for Black residents of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. It was situated in the area of today's suburb Hochland Park....

    , a township of Windhoek
    Windhoek
    Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

    , Namibia
    Namibia
    Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...