|Forced Removals and
|Forcible resettlement to the Cape
Flats brought a host of social problems. Extended families that had previously
shared a house, or at least lived on the same street, were now spread across
diverse areas such as Elsies River, Heideveld, Bishop Lavis and Netreg.
Family and neighbourhood networks broke down, making childcare
and running a household economy far more difficult. There were no longer the
safety nets of credit at the corner shop, or the scope to make some extra cash
through selling household production.
Rates of domestic violence increased dramatically. The new
housing schemes were anonymous and employment very hard to find.
Young people were often without parental guidance or
recreational activities, and many joined street gangs operating protection
rackets. Two 'super gangs' emerged, the Cape Town Scorpions and Born Free Kids,
who recruited from reformatories and planned how to make their money once their
sentences were up.
Arrests for drug offences, both dagga (cannabis) and mandrax
(buttons), soared to 80,000 in the early 1970s. Both drugs and alcohol were
probably used by many as a way of coping with the traumas of life under
apartheid. Research on the social conditions of Cape Flats residents in the
1970s showed a much worse situation than was found in the 1940s survey of
Parkwood or the 1960 one of Heideveld.
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