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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Caught in a Crossfire: A History of Covie, 1883-2002
Author:Delius, Peter
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic term:South Africa
rural society
land law
wood industry
Ethnic and Race Relations
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582470208671438
Abstract:In 1970, Covie village, on Tsitsikamma coast, South Africa, was a bustling settlement of over 250 people. The majority of the inhabitants were classified as coloured, but a handful of white families still lived there despite the tightening grip of apartheid on the wider society. By the 1980s little remained of the community. Most of the people had been removed due to the zealous application of racial segregation. But the application of racist legislation does not alone account for Covie's demise. Indeed in 1976 it appeared that the coloured population of Covie had been able to use the Group Areas Act to protect its position when a successful application was made to have Covie designated a coloured area. This new status was not, however, sufficient to protect the village from powerful adversaries. The history of Covie provides a case study which traces the emergence of a racially mixed wood cutter community and shows how the classifications, restrictions, contradictions and opportunities created within the apartheid system moulded its fate. In the 1970s, coloured leaders at Covie attempted to work within apartheid ideology to try to entrench their claim to the land, aided by the growing concern within sections of the State to build support in the coloured community. But their initiatives were undermined by countervailing conservative agendas within the State and tensions between government departments. The Department of Forestry, driven by commercial ambition and racist assumption, sought control of the land, and the creation of the Tsitsikamma National Coastal Park cut the community off from the sea. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]