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Back to Segregation? White-Only South African Town Denies Allegation of Racism


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  • South Africa
    South Africa’s white-only town inhabitants deny allegations of racism. | Photo: Reuters

A town called Eureka in the Northern Cape province of South Africa is built by white Afrikaans exclusively for themselves but they deny the move is racist.

White South Africans have built a white-only town in the Northern Cape province. A white-only town is not racist according to the inhabitants.

RELATED: South Africa: Ramaphosa Heading for Another Electoral Victory

The town, called Eureka, is only for white Afrikaans speaking people who allege to be victims of racism.

The place is built to protect and preserve the Afrikana culture, language, and way of life according to Okkert Swanpoel, one of the inhabitants of Eureka. “With affirmative action, it made it increasingly difficult for us as white people to get jobs… and also job security,” Swanpoel said.

Adriaan Nieuwoudt, founder of Eureka told Al-Jazeera, “The shoe is now on the other foot and now we are fighting against the racists. How can we be racists when it is us who are being forced out of the country?”

So far only 20 families reside in Eureka while more homes are being built.

However, the local government urged courts to stop people from building any more houses in the area. According to the municipality, the homes were built without permission and against building regulations. The court agreed on stopping further construction but it is also deliberating on whether a white-only town should be allowed to exist.

Racism has been a concern of Black people in South Africa even after the end of apartheid. White people still own most of the lands that they have taken away from Black farmers during the colonial period. The social movements have been demanding the government passes a law of expropriating land from white farmers without compensation.

Since the end of apartheid in the early 1990s, no more than 10 percent of the white-owned land has been transferred back to Black South Africans. Most of South Africa’s arable land remains controlled by white farmers. In 2016, the country’s parliament approved a bill allowing the “compulsory purchase” of land by the state to later transfer it to Black citizens, but not many white farmers have been interested in selling their property. The bill was withdrawn in 2018.

The land expropriation without compensation plan will seek to take back lands from white Afrikaners and to redistribute them to Black citizens who had been denied rightful ownership since the apartheid period.

That demand raised an outcry from white farmers who claimed to be victims of racism.

“The law of this country is anti-Black,” said Andile Mingxitama of Black First Land First party. “The whole economic system is anti-Black. The media projection of Black problems is anti-Black. We are going to the parliament, therefore, to represent the real voice of our people.”

South Africa is going to elections Wednesday and the issues of racism, land, and segregation are considered to be the main concerns of voters in this election.

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