In South Africa, the law defines anyone who is neither black, white or Asiatic as coloured.
In South Africa, the law defines anyone who is neither black, white or Asiatic as coloured. There are about two-and-a-half million of these people in a total population of twenty-six million. Like the black man, they have no vote; they face discrimination in housing, jobs, education and many other fields; and they are striving for real political rights.
SYNOPSIS: The fact of discontent among the coloureds was brought home to the South African government during the black unrest that began almost three years ago with the Soweto riots. White South Africans were stunned when large numbers of the coloured youth took to the streets of their townships around Cape Town in open support of the black students. As a result, the government is now wooing them as never before with attractive new housing projects, like this one at Atlantic, near Cape Town, and also with low-interests loans and political promises.
Many coloureds are desperately poor, and the poorest live in shanty towns outside urban areas. But others are better-off, and run their own businesses., For instance, Shamar Fashions, in Cape Town's Athlone district, is a coloured enterprise. Even among moderately well-off coloureds, there is plenty of support for black activists, One coloured owner of a clothing factory, fifty-five year-old Amen Gool, says he is ashamed he did not join the protests, but next time, he probably will.
The coloureds have South Africa's highest rate of alcoholism and crime. But here, at Mitchell's Plain, sixteen miles (27 kms) south-east of Cape Town, liquor sales are banned and crime almost non-existent., Thirty-five thousand coloureds now live here, but, by the mid-1980s, it will house about two hundred and fifty thousand. The planners have exerted themselves to provide generous public facilities, but admit they cannot cope with overcrowding within individual homes.
This is Paarlita, where the Rembrandt Tobacco Company sponsors housing for their workers. Almost ninety percent of coloureds live in Cape Province, the descendants of migrants who arrived as early as the seventeenth century. A coloured worker earns about one third of a white man's wage, -- as an unpredictable factor in any conflict -- has registered in Pretoria.