"When your life is bitter you do something": women and squatting in the Western Cape - tracing the origins of Crossroads and the role of women in its struggle

Doctoral Thesis


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"The personal oral account can be a source not for knowing that something was so, but for wondering about questions that are not often considered. So this should be seen not as a (paper) with historical or soc~logical conclusions but as a stimulus to further investigation" On the 25 September 1984, the Cape Nationalist Party Congress in Cape Town adopted three resolutions. They were: a) To scrap the Coloured Labour Preference Policy (CLPP). b) The introduction of 99 year lease-hold for Africans qualified to be in the Western Cape. This,the new state president announced1would apply to Khayelitsha and "certain other areas". c) The "repatriation" of the estimated 1001 000 'illegals'in Cape 2 - . Town. This decision should be seen as a recognition by the State of the apparent failure of influx control in the Western Cape - the very region where it has historically been the most stringently applied. The chief director of the Western Cape Development Board, Mr J Gunter, was himself reported to have said in August that attempts to stop the tide of black 'urbanisation' had failed.