Neighbours, Newcomers and Nation-Building: Producing Neighbourhood as Locality in a Post-Apartheid Cape Town Suburb

  • Anna Bohlin


In March 2010, a newspaper article in a Cape Town daily focused on how a wealthy, mostly white suburb of Cape Town had become divided over the issue of a land claim submitted by former residents who had been evicted from the area under apartheid because they were classified as coloured.1 In 2006, under the government’s land restitution programme, these former residents had been given back 12.5 hectares of land to which 86 families were planning to return, and it was the proposed redevelopment of the land, known as Protea Village, that had caused such a rift in the community. While one of the two local residents’ associations in the wealthy suburb was in favour of the proposed resettlement and issued a statement welcoming the former residents back, the other one was against it. Some of its members, among them a well-known lawyer, even tried to stop the redevelopment by instigating a court case against it. What was at stake in these different responses? Furthermore, what can the controversy tell us about the nature of suburban belonging and neighbourhood in post-apartheid South Africa and elsewhere?


Current Resident Land Claim Spatial Mobility Suburban Neighbourhood Upward Social Mobility 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Bohlin

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