An investigation into residential desegregation : a case study in the Durban Functional region.
A number of mechanisms were used in the past to racially divide South Africa's population, among them, the most notable being the Group Areas Act. Apartheid was more than just the physical separation of race groups. It was supported by an apparatus designed to inequitably provide and distribute social amenities, education, housing etc. In addition, it was a psychological exercise designed to enforce the notion of white superiority on the people. Now that the Group Areas Act has been repealed, the racio-spatial patterns of the South African city are expected to change as the doors of the previously prohibited residential areas become "open" to all South Africans. The following dissertation is concerned with the residential desegregation process. Its central argument is that the practice of segregation stretches far beyond the limits of the law. Informal processes will replace formal legislation so that the segregation of the South African population will continue. The main focus of the argument is that in the post-apartheid period, disadvantages based on income will have the same effect as the differences based on race did, in the old South Africa. Affordability will play a major role in determining who gets access to the housing stock in the "White" residential areas of the old South Africa. Estate agents, the state, and the development companies will be amongst the key actors in determining not only who gets access to middle income housing but also in the new racio- spatial patterns that are likely to develop in the residential areas of South Africa's cities. Lastly, desegregation is about getting people of different cultures, religions, and ethnic backgrounds together to live as a single integrated community - a difficult task in a society in which decades of separation have made us virtual strangers. The study, which was conducted in the Borough of Queensburgh and the Bellair-Sea View-Hillary areas,has revealed that ,as a result of the reasons mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, the rate of residential desegregation has been slow. Also the old forms of segregation are being replaced by new forms in the shape of ethnic pockets within the former "white" residential areas.