Pretoria: The “History is the Home Address” exhibition will today be launched to commemorate 65 years of Group Areas Act (Act No41 of 1950).
“This exhibition comes at an opportune time when the nation is celebrating 21 years of freedom and democracy and would expand Freedom Park product offerings during its stay, especially to our youth,” said Freedom Park Chief Executive Jane Mufamadi on Thursday.
The exhibition is based on the history of one of the critical pillars of apartheid legislation of the then government in South Africa, the Group Areas Development Act of 1955 (Act No 69 of 1955) which was subsequently renamed the Community Development Act, 1955).
“The Act was enacted to assist effect the purpose of the second ‘grand pillar’ of apartheid, the Group Areas Act, (Act No41 of 1950), namely, to promote and maintain racial segregation in South Africa.
“Group Areas Act was passed on 27 April 1950 to provide for the establishment of group areas, for the control of the acquisition of immovable property and the occupation of land and premises and for matters incidental thereto,” said Freedom Park in a statement.
It said the Act was promulgated on 7 July of the same year, with the aim of promoting separate development, and it forced separation between races and enforced racial classification.
“The consequences of these Acts not only destroyed building infrastructure but also tore apart other aspects and elements of development including social and spiritual connections, stunted educational opportunities and crushed economic and entrepreneurial initiatives.
“In particular, this year commemorates sixty years since the very first forced removals under the 1950 Act in Sophiatown, a multi-racial freehold suburb in Johannesburg, 3 miles from the CBD. These removals created the dormitory township areas including Meadowlands in Soweto, and Lenasia, 20-27km away from Sophiatown,” said Freedom Park.
It said the removals affected some 65 000 people from Western Native Township (now Westbury), Martindale, Newclare as well as Sophiatown itself. The removals subsequently ravaged other parts of Joburg City (Fietas), and across the country, most well-known perhaps are Cato Manor (Durban), District 6 (Cape Town) and Lady Selbourne (Pretoria).
The partnership is consolidated in order to render multimedia project encompassing photography, oral presentations, storytelling, walk-abouts and film under the theme of the Group Areas Act and forced removal.
The launch will be organised in collaboration with the Bensusan Museum, Johannesburg Museum of Photography, Trevor Huddlestone Memorial Centre and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
The launch will take place at its premises at 5.30pm.
SOURCE: South African Official News