Hayward Young & Co

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Group Areas Act

Afrikaners had joined up in large numbers but left behind a discontented group in the Ossewabrandwag which Smuts had little difficulty in crushing. But it was the neutralists, and the Nazi sympathisers, who swept to power in the general election of 1948. The new Nationalist government moved swiftly to implement the harsher form of segregation known as apartheid. Afrikaner nationalism had won the demographic battle against the settlers of British descent, but it was the indigenous population that was to pay the price. Extreme forms of segregation were now intriduced. The Group Areas Act of 1950 was responsible for great misery as whole communities were uprooted and dumped in new dormitory suburbs; there was worse to come when the policy of separate development was implemented – a mad, inhuman and dishonest scheme of social engineering.

Athol Fugard was brought up in Port Elizabeth. His play The Blood Knot tells the story of a poor family living in Korsten which is divided into white and black by inexorable Authority.

You see, we’re tied together. It’s what they call the blood knot…

the bond between brothers.

by Athol Fugard [11]

[11] Last lines of Blood Knot, written about 1961, in Port Elizabeth Plays, Oxford University Press. The play is set in Korsten, Port Elizabeth, and deals with the tragic consequences of the race classification laws. A later play, Hello and Goodbye, is set in the lower Baakens Valley which you can see directly from the walkway.