The one community many community projects set out to document accounts of the affect the group areas act had on the people of the Northern Areas. The project set out to record an oral history of those forcibly removed and relocated to the northern Areas and to produce a documentary of the forced removals to the Northern Areas
During the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, the government of the time implemented a policy of ‘resettlement’, to force people to move to their designated “group areas”. Some argue that over three and a half million people were forced to resettle during this period. These removals included people re-located due to slum clearance programmes, labour tenants on white-owned farms, the inhabitants of the so-called ‘black spots’, areas of black-owned land surrounded by white farms, the families of workers living in townships close to the homelands, and ‘surplus people’ from urban areas, including thousands of people from the Western Cape (which was declared a ‘Coloured Labour Preference Area’) who were moved to the Transkei and Ciskei homelands. The best-publicised forced removals of the 1950s occurred in Johannesburg, when 60,000 people were moved to the new township of Soweto, an acronym for South Western Townships.
The group areas act of 1950 played a major role in the destruction of communities such as South end, Fairview, Willow-dene, Korsten and Salisbury Park among many others. Most of the people living in these communities were moved to the what eventual became known as the Northern Areas.
This book is based on interviews conducted with individuals who were affected by the group areas act. It documents their story and culminates in a final chapter that focuses on the way in which the participants gained some form of closure.
The book is based on, and compliments the video documentary called One Community Many communities.