The development of parastatals ISCOR and SASOL was an important part of South Africa’s mid-twentieth-century industrial and developmental history. It involved the creation of Vanderbijlpark and Sasolburg, new towns of the Vaal. This went hand in hand with massive new job opportunities for the ideologically and politically very salient “poor whites” of South Africa. Whites had many arrows in their quiver to rule out African competition for their jobs and a large part, albeit certainly not all, of the workforce in both cases was white. Indeed by the end of the 1950s, the situation in the parastatals was best characterised in terms of labour shortage. There were extensive opportunities for whites to acquire skills that made them increasingly independent of state patronage. It is less clear if what we might term high modernist cultural forms, notably in the planning and organisation of these towns, were very successful in diffusing notions of suburban respectability and so-called white civilisation. The former poor whites had their own ideas about how they wanted to organise their lives under increasingly favourable conditions. I label this “indocility”. In effect, they enjoyed old-fashioned baaskaap privilege but were less sold on apartheid separation.