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Welcome to Kleinfontein, lingering outpost of apartheid South Africa | World news | Guardian Weekly

Welcome to Kleinfontein, lingering outpost of apartheid South Africa | World news | Guardian Weekly
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/30/south-africa-kleinfontein-apartheid-afrikaner/print

Inside the coffee shop, at the bank, everywhere, there are only white faces. A white security guard, wearing grey camouflage, checks cars at a gate on the main road. Race is a key factor for entry. No blacks are allowed to buy or rent houses.

Two decades after the end of apartheid, a system of brutally enforced segregation, this hamlet exemplifies the deep racial divides that still preoccupy South Africa. The existence of Kleinfontein and places like it has set off a debate about the type of country that South Africa should be today.

...

To blacks, Kleinfontein is a remnant of a painful past, a gated community of whites determined to perpetuate racist, apartheid-era practices. The several hundred whites who live there say they need to safeguard their Dutch-based Afrikaner culture and language and seek refuge from affirmative action policies and high crime rates that they blame on blacks. They insist that they are not racist, noting that they don’t welcome Jews, Catholics or any English speakers, either.

...

The tension over Kleinfontein and other aspiring whites-only enclaves in a country that is nearly 80% black also reflects a broader societal conflict pitting individual rights against a community’s rights. South Africa’s constitution gives communities the right of cultural self-determination but also enshrines basic human rights that outlaw exclusionary practices.

...

[Kgosientso Ramokgopa, the executive mayor of Tshwane, a municipality that includes Pretoria, the country’s administrative capital, Kleinfontein and other surrounding areas] and ANC leaders have shied away from bulldozing the settlement, underscoring how race still shapes the nation’s political landscape. The mixed-income community of homes, shacks and tents is on 715 hectares of private land zoned only for farming, Ramokgopa said. But he added that the government needs to avoid antagonising South Africa’s white minority, which still largely controls the economy. Pretoria, just north of Kleinfontein, has the highest population of Afrikaners in the country. Being a seat of government under both black and white rule, racial tensions are more pronounced there.

“We don’t want a situation where we are going to polarise the city,” Ramokgopa said.

...

#apartheid #afrique_du_sud #afrikaners #malaise

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