Behind them in the darkness, police commanders lined up with piles of paper — lists of names and addresses, eviction notices, and assignments to new plots in the Meadowlands suburb, 15 kilometres away on the northern edge of Soweto. Behind the commanders, an army of 2, police carried rifles and batons, ready to enforce the eviction and clear Sophiatown of its black residents. By sunrise, families had been forced to remove all belongings from their homes, pile into police trucks and move out to the Meadowlands, where hundreds of matchbox homes awaited them. Sophiatown was one of the last remaining areas of black home-ownership in Johannesburg.
The town destroyed to stop black and white people mixing
Can Themba and Sophiatown: A story of defiance and defeat in the 'Paris of Transvaal'
The Grand Apartheid separated races on a much larger scale while the Petty Apartheid gave way to smaller changes. The first law of the Grand Apartheid was the Population Act of This act formalized racial classifications into Whites, Coloured, Blacks, and Indians. All races, over the age of 18, were issued identification cards based on their racial group.
The destruction of Sophiatown is widely documented, considered as the Nationalist Party NP government's model for its urban apartheid legislation and policies. However, there are still glaring gaps in critical areas of the township's history that need to be plugged to achieve a fuller account of Sophiatown community experience of the Apartheid regime. As with the destruction of inner city slumyards and resettlement of the communities in Orlando, the JCC was expected to provide alternative housing for Sophiatown's community earmarked for resettlement in Soweto. The JCC did not have the budget to finance a low cost housing scheme. The NP government, eager to implement its apartheid policies, provided the budget and logistical support to achieve this.
Sophiatown was a legendary black cultural hub that was destroyed under apartheid , rebuilt under the name of Triomf , and in officially returned to its original name. Sophiatown was one of the oldest black areas in Johannesburg and its destruction represents some of the excesses of South Africa under apartheid. Sophiatown was originally part of the Waterfall farm. Over time it included the neighbouring areas of Martindale and Newclare.