Ipelegeng, 1918-1994 : van plakkerskamp tot dorpsgrond : 'n historiese studie
Bester, Susanna Jacoba
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According to present provincial division Schweizer-Reneke, of which Ipelegeng forms part, is in the North-West Province. Neighbouring towns are Delareyville, Bloemhof en Christiana. SchweizerReneke is 322 kilometres from Johannesburg. (Seep. vi). In 1991 there were about 1 032 white, 1 927 black, 105 Coloured and 32 Indian households. It means that 62% of the total households in 1991 were black. 1 According to the latest census (1996) the population of Schweizer-Reneke were 3 500 whites, 600 Coloureds, 400 Indians and 70 000 blacks. The figure of especially the blacks is variable because they are always move around from and to the residential area? (Seep. vii). The Schweizer-Reneke district is mainly a fanning community where maize, sunflower and peanut crops are planted. There are also farmers who keep cattle and small stock. The climate is characterised by very hot summers and cold winters. In mid-summer the average maximum temperature for January is 32,8 °C. In June, usually the coldest month, the temperature varies between 0,6 °C and 19,4 °C. According to the rainfall figures for the previous twenty years the rainfall can be described as uncertain. In 1977, for example, it was 950 mm, and in 1985 300 mm. For 1996, 562 mm was recorded. 3 Schweizer-Reneke was founded in 1888 on the banks of the Harts River, the western boundary of the former Zuid-Afrikaansche Republic (ZAR). The territory was known as "Massouw Lokati". This was the reservation (also called location) given to the Korannas as their terrain. The Korannas, however, were opposed to living here as ZAR subjects. In the Battle of Mamusa in 1885 the Korannas were defeated by the ZAR and they lost their independence. Schweizer-Reneke was to be established three years later. Before the South African war (1899-1902) black people had already lived in a location at Schweizer-Reneke. The lifestyle and conditions in the location at Schweizer-Reneke can be compared to those in today' s squatter camps. The location was not formally laid out or proclaimed and no basic services were not provided for owing to, amongst others, a lack of funds. The Town Council of Schweizer -Reneke neglected development of this location. With the outbreak of the Spanish Flu Epidemic in 1918 the Town Council of Schweizer-Reneke was forced to improve the inadequate and deficient services in the location in order to prevent the flu to spread to the surrounding areas. This led to the proclamation of a larger location (named Location Two) further away from the white town. Basic services were established in both the old and new location. It was only by 1940 that Location One was officially proclaimed as location and obtain full status as black location. After the enforcement of the Group Areas Act of 1950 Location One was disposed of and Location Two became the only black area opened for settlement. This black suburb developed its own identity in the early 1970's and came to be called Ipelegeng. As a result of the political changes from 1972 to 1995 lpelegeng evolved from being only a representative local council to a responsible local managing board. In this study Chapter One will shed more light on the development history of lpelegeng, the focus being on the earlier settlement patterns and community development in the vicinity of SchweizerReneke up to 1918. In Chapter Two the Spanish Influenza of 1918 is discussed as turning point in the development of a black township. Chapter Three covers the time from 1945 to 1972 that portrays a period of separation and turmoil in the creating of a local independence. Community development in lpelegeng, within the framework of political changes in South Africa from 1972 to 1995, forms the key aspect of Chapter Four. The concluding Chapter is an evaluation of the black township development at Schweizer-Reneke in which the main developments and key aspects of lpelegengs process of becoming a town are accentuated.
- Humanities