This Is Apartheidby Leslie Rubin

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  • This Is Apartheid by Leslie RubinReview by: Ann MorrissettAfrica Today, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 1959), pp. 22-23Published by: Indiana University PressStable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 13:41

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  • African Review DURBAN: A STUDY IN RACIAL ECOL- OGY. By Leo Kuper, Hilstan Watts & Ronald Davies. New York: Co- lumbia Univ. Press, 1958. 254 pp. $3.75.

    Anything that helps to enlighten conditions in South Africa is a real contribution these days and so this study by Professor Kuper and his associates is more than welcome. Focusing as it does on the whites and Indians, mainly because they are the principal segments of the population competing for land in Durban and thus the center of the most acute aspects of segregation, it still pays serious attention to the Africans and Coloreds. In sound sociological fashion these authors have analyzed a city in a real state of flux that helps us to understand conditions arising from race con- tact involving the people of this urban milieu. Economic and demo- graphic factors are put in proper perspective, while elements of resi- dential ecology, influence of the group areas proposals, and socio- economic facets including income, religion, language and so on are incorporated in a manner that is easy to read and easy to compre- hend.

    What is perhaps most pertinent here, however, is that these acade- micians have had the courage to face up to the problems that the racist rage in the Union is likely to lead to, and they have not failed to comment on future prospects, if things keep on as they are. Here they see the situation that leads to

    dispersion of nonwhites, point up the enormous cost of replanning a city, highlight the discriminatory practices sure to come from taking the most desirable land for Euro- peans which will result in limiting expenditures on development of nonwhite areas, make more acute the already difficult housing short- age, and impose hardships on non- Europeans in going to and from work.

    The consequences of this unfair program are horribly one-sided: it protects and rewards the whites; demands major sacrifice of the In- dians; places the Coloreds in an intermediate position; while the poor African is left on the fringes with his usual "nothing" kind of subhuman existence in shanty towns so morbid in nature as to defy de- scription. The unjustness of the ra- cial ecological situation in Durban is summed up quite well by the Minister of the Interior who de- clared, at the conclusion of a Par- liamentary debate on the second reading of the Group Areas bill, "that no policy which is not based on justice has any prospect of suc- cess." The objectivity of this re- mark is beamed quite well, not only in word content by Kuper, Watts and Davies, but also in the simple but useful tables, figures, and ac- companying maps. The concluding index makes this monograph an even richer source of information for the specific subject with which it is concerned. The volume belongs on the shelves of anyone concerned with modern Africa, and especially the center of the world's worst ra- cial problem-South Africa.


    THIS IS APARTHEID. By Leslie Rubin. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1959. 16 pp. $.10. (Available from the American Committee on Africa.)

    For anyone seeking a factual, con- cise listing of ways in which apart- heid operates, this little booklet will help. It briefly states 40 specific prohibitions and restrictions im- posed on Africans by the South


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  • African government, boiled down into short paragraphs and simple terms from the morass of race legis- lation that has been passed by the Nationalist government since 1948. Senator Leslie Rubin, who compiled this list, is a white man elected by the small number of enfranchised Cape Africans to represent them in Parliament. As Alan Paton writes in his brief but excellent foreword, Senator Rubin "does not believe in this kind of representation, but he uses its because there is no other. His record as a defender of the defenceless, a speaker for the voice- less, a champion of the dignity and right of man, is a proud one." Rela- tively clear as Senator Rubin's brief paragraphs are, there are still pro- visions difficult for an outsider to understand. The list is "by no means exhaustive," Senator Rubin's preface states. The complexities of the race legislation are such that "the average South African (let alone the average person beyond our borders) might well be forgiven for deciding that the task of finding out what they mean is too difficult." The difficulties of this task are pointed up most eloquently by the

    fact that every male Negro in every city of South Africa can expect to be arrested once a year on the average, according to a recent N. Y. Times report. Senator Rubin's book- let is an attempt to "lighten that task" both for South Africans and outsiders.


    The Reviewers

    -Ann Morrissett is a secretary of the South Africa Defense Fund.

    Hugh H. Smythe, a member of AFRICA TODAY'S Editorial Board, is on the faculty of Brooklyn College.

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    Article Contentsp. 22p. [23]

    Issue Table of ContentsAfrica Today, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 1959), pp. 1-23Front Matter [p. 1-1]TOM MBOYA: An Autobiography [pp. 2+18-20]Talking Drums: Commentary on African Affairs [pp. 3-6+21]Moment of Truth in Central Africa [pp. 7-12]Africa and the U.N. [pp. 13-17]African ReviewReview: untitled [p. 22]Review: untitled [pp. 22-23]

    Back Matter