“Their world was a ghetto”
Space, power, and identity in Alexandra, South Africa’s squatters’ movement, 1946–1947
ByDawne Y. Curry
Pages 17

Alexandra not only fits into the traditional definition of a ghetto as a racialized space, it also shows how two spaces mirrored each other. Drawing on his leadership skills as the president of the Bantu Tenants Association (BTA) and his involvement with the South African Communist Party (SACP), Baduza devoted himself full on to addressing housing, one of the subsistence issues that dominated politics in the 1940s. Baduza's creation of a "territory within a territory" spawned the development of competing and intersecting ghettoes within densely populated and infrastructure-deprived Alexandra. The chapter discusses Alexandra issues such as territory within a territory, complaints against the Squatters, and from crowded Alexandra to Moroka emergency camp. It explores how the politics of geography and subordination intertwined. The main residential and temporary living areas mirrored each other spatially and because of this parallelism, they reveal the following: how the ghetto formed, how the ghetto regenerated, and how the ghetto created a symbiotic geographical relationship.