Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Historical background - A....
 Administration of the location...
 The people - V. I. Junod
 Houses, families and households...
 Marriage, family life and children...
 Workers, occupations and income...
 Schooling - Past and present -...
 Religion, medicine and magic -...
 Recreation and the use of leisure...
 Attitudes to other racial groups...
 Community spirit and solidarity...
 List of Tables
 List of Figures

Group Title: The Baumannville community : a study of the first African family location in Durban
Title: The Baumannville community
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072646/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Baumannville community a study of the first African family location in Durban
Alternate Title: Baumannville Community a study of the family life of urban Africans
Physical Description: vii, 217 p. : diagrs., tables. ; 34 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Natal -- Institute for Social Research
Hallenbeck, Wilbur Chapman, 1892- ( ed )
Cowley, Audrey
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Durban
Publication Date: 1955
Subject: Blacks -- South Africa -- Durban   ( lcsh )
Baumannville (Durban, South Africa)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Wilbur C. Hallenbeck, ed. Prepared by the Research Staff: A.M. Cowley and others H.P. Pollak, acting director.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072646
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002070569
oclc - 10512761
notis - AKQ8843

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Historical background - A. M. Cowley
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
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        Page 17
        Page 18
    Administration of the location - A. M. Cowley
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
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    The people - V. I. Junod
        Page 37
        Page 38
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        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
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        Page 46
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    Houses, families and households - D. H. Reader
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
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    Marriage, family life and children - D. H. Reader and J. W. Mann
        Page 79
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        Page 107
    Workers, occupations and income - F. Y. St. Leger
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
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        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
    Schooling - Past and present - C. Kumalo
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141-148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    Religion, medicine and magic - C. Kumalo
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
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    Recreation and the use of leisure time - F. Y. St. Leger
        Page 175
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        Page 178
        Page 179
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    Attitudes to other racial groups - J. W. Mann
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
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    Community spirit and solidarity - The team
        Page 197
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        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
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        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
    List of Tables
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    List of Figures
        Page 217
Full Text




A Study of the

Family Life of Urban





A Study of the First African Family Location in Durban


Wilbur C. Hallenbeck, Editor,
Professor of Education, Teachers College Columbia University,
Consultant in Urban Snciology.

Prepared by the Research Staff

A,M. Cowley
V.I. Junod
C. Kumalo
J.W. Mann
D.H. Reader
FY. St. Leger

H.P. Pollak
Acting Director

Institute for Social Research
University of Natal
Durban 1955


- iii -


The Institute for Social Research of the University of Natal came
into being to stimulate and develop social research, to provide the in-
strument through which inter-disciplinary research could be planned and
executed, and which could provide a place where qualified social science
students drawn from the various social science disciplines could have
training in co-operative research.

It was agreed that the research activities of the trainees should
be a series of community studies to reveal patterns and trends within the
structure of the four separate racial groups of Durban, to throw light on
their position in the social structure of Durban as a whole and on their
relation with members of the other groups.

The Baumannville study of an African urban community is the first
of the five projects to cover the basic types of communities of which
Durban is composed. The others are Coloured, Indian, European and a
mixed residential area.

Baumannville was chosen as the African community to be studied in
Durban, in spite of the initial recognition that the early administrative
policies of confining admission to those married according to Christian
rites and the large sprinkling of professional and clerical workers might
constitute a selected, possibly non-representative African urban community.
But Baumannville presented four distinct advantages for a preliminary
study. The location is small, comprising only 118 households. It was
thus planned that information be sought from the entire community and
sampling avoided. It was known that most members of the community were
English speaking, thus making the use of interpreters unnecessary.
Baumannville is the oldest location in Durban and it was considered
desirable to undertake the initial research into an African urban com-
munity having had the longest experience of the influences of urbanisa-
tion and European contact, thought and ways of life. Finally Baumann-
ville offered the advantage of ready accessibility to the field workers.

Interviews, observation, records and a schedule were the major in-
struments used in conducting the survey. The planning of the study began
in April 1954, the major field work being undertaken in June and July.
Information was sought from each of the 118 Baumannville households on a
wide range of subjects included in schedule prepared by the team. This
was obtained from all but five households, who, despite the perseverance
of the field workers, declined to co-operate.

The team was composed of two sociologists, two psychologists and one
social anthropologist. Although representing different social science
disciplines, the team worked together at the same tasks throughout the
study. It was only at the stage of analysis and interpretation that the
material was divided into selected sections which were allocated to indi-
vidual researchers. Mrs. Audrey Cowley M.A. undertook the documentary
research and the writing of the chapters on the history and administration
of Baumannville; Miss Violaine Junod M.A. (an Institute staff member who
volunteered to work on the project) prepared "The People"; Dr. Desmond
Reader submitted "Houses, Families and Households" and the major part of
"Marriage, Family Life and Children"; Mr. Jack Mann M.A. assisted with the
latter chapter and wrote "Attitudes to Other Racial Groups", Mr,, Cleopas
Kinmalo M.Soc.ScO was responsible for "Schooling Past and FTreoont" and
"Religion, Medicine and Magic" and Mr. Ered So Leger BDA. (SS,)J BSc.
(Econo) undertook "Workers, Occupations and Income" and "Recreation and the
Use of Leisure Time". The team was responsible for the last chapter.

/ Certain ....

- i* -

Certain limitations are inherent in this type of study. For
;instance, adequate data for intensive analysis of certain important
aspects of community life were not obtained. Pre-occupation with the
schedule and its analysis imposed some degree of rigidity. The re-
sults, however, have revealed much of importance, the problems of
inter-disciplinary research have been met and the team has obtained
a fruitful experience in things learned the hard way.

The Institute for Social Research is indebted to many people
for aid in the planning, research activities and publication of this
report. It is not possible to thank all of them here.

Above all appreciation is extended to the men and women of
Baumannville, who assisted so generously and over so long a period
with an ever ready tolerance and infinite patience. The Overseas
Consultants of the Institute for Social Research, whose services wore
made available by the generous assistance of the Carnegie Corporation,
New York, in addition to their other valuable services to the Insti-
tute, bore much of the heat and burden of the research training pro-
ject. Grateful thanks are expressed to Professor Edmund de S. Brunner,
Chairman of the Institute of Applied Social Research, Columbia
University, whose leadership and contagious enthusiasm has left an
indelible impact; to Professor Charles Nixon, University of California,
who saw the project through its stages of growing pains and to
Professor Wilbur C. Hallenbeck, Teachers' College, Columbia University,
who gave valuable guidance and ready assistance during the final
period and most generously undertook the laborious task of editing
the report. Institute members of the Departments of Economics,
Education, Bantu Studies, Psychology and Sociology assisted by their
sympathetic and critical interest and guidance. Professor K. Kirkwood,
until his departure for Oxford in December 1954, was intimately as-
sociated with the project and his knowledge of Baumannville proved to
be most valuable. The officials of the Department of Native Admin-
istration, Durban Corporation, readily assisted while the Department
of Census made available its data on Baumannville from the 1951 Census.

The National Council for Social Research financed the bursaries
for the advanced social research training and also made a grant to
enable this study to be undertaken.

In affording recognition to the many men and women who have
given valuable counsel and guidance any inadequacies of the study
cannot, however, be attributed to them.


University of Natal,
28th June, 1955.





Conditions before Union
Building the Location
The Growth of Amenities
The Recent Years


Enabling Legislation and its Applications
Local Regulations
General Restriction on Natives
Advisory Boards


Number and Growth of Population
Homogeneity of Population
Composition of Population
Stability of Population




D.H. L]EL [',

The Houses
The Families
The Households


Broken Families
riage and Lo6olo
Family Life
Children and Their Rearing
Some Child Rearing Practices


The Standard of Living of the Community
Household *-.::,) nitures






Views of Parents on the Role of Formal Education
Aspirations of Parents for their Children
Educational Facilities
Formal Education of Children
Education of the Adults
Literacy among the Adults
. -.- and Problems




- vi -


Relationships to Churches 155
The Role of the Church 163
Looking Beyond the Church 165


Available Recreational Facilities 175
Use of Leisure 176
Membership in Clubs and Associations 177
Individual Leisure Time Activities 178


Contacts with Other Races 182
Social Distances of Other Racial Groups 186
Population Characteristics and Race Attitudes 193


Community Activities 199
Participation of Baumannville Residents in
African Community Activities in Durban 205
Significance of Baumannville as a Dwelling-Place 210

List of Tables 213

List of Figures 217




Urn laz


---4-> North

Native Housing Areas
Industrial and
Commercial zones


FIGUIES 21 L4~OUT O!.' .U'L:d :VILLE ..,d ITS I i .!t. .T:VI_.0b.

~- ~I
- - !Vlflff~er~sora~n

KEY: ns

Nursery School
Native School
Indian School

- vii -

+ 4 +* +?
4 + Chesterville)

Cato Manor


N *
;^ =)>s




Baumannville was the first housing for Native families provided
by the Durban Municipality although barracks for single men had been
built earlier, This establishment was, in reality, recognition that
the Natives were becoming a part of the city's population and that the
eity had a responsibility for their proper dwelling. This location has
been a part of the whole history of the urbanization of Natives in the
Durban area. Before we consider the historical background and the spe-
cific history of Baumannville itself, however, its location and relation-
ship to the city should be indicated.


The site of the Baumannville Location was originally part of the
swampy alluvial terrain south of the Umgeni River known as the Eastern
Vlei. It lies just over a mile due noith of the Durban City Hall and
three-quarters of a mile from the sea, just south of the old Stamford
Hill aerodrome, A small more-or-less-regular pentagon of land, nine
acres in extent, it is bounded on the east by the Corporation Indian
Magazine Barracks and on the south by the Railway Native compounds.
Its western boundary is the railway line to the North Coast and the
Greyville railway station, while to the north lies an unimproved
piece of the town lands. There are only two means of access from the
south past the Somtseu Location in Jolf Taylor Road up the narrow and
winding Bulldog Road, or from th. north turning off Argyle Road and
skirting the Indian Barracks. In this small enclosed area live approx-
imately eight hundred people, an island of African families surrounded
by thousands of single Natives and Indian families.

The main significance of Baumannvillets position lies in its
proximity to the city on the one hand and to Somtseu Location on the
other, It is the most conveniently situated of all the Durban Native
locations, being within walking distance of most amenities; ii addition
it has had a good municipal transport service to the city since 1948.
But its whole life is coloured by the influence of Somtoeu Location,
housing 4500 single men a hundred yards away. Baumannville has always
been an adjunct to Scmtseu since the days when it was first conceived
as the Married Natives' Quarters of the Depot Road Location. To-day
it looks to Somtseu for its trading facilities, its post office, and
most of all, its beer customers.


In 1899, the year of the Second Boer War, the total population of
Durban was 41259, nearly 30 percent (11,935) were Netives and of these
95 percent (11,334) were males, This was in no sense a stable popula-
tion; it consisted mostly of men who had come to the town from Zululand
for six months of the year to earn some money. They worked as ricksha
pullers, as 'togt' or day labourers, as domestic and store servants.
Housing was haphazard; servants slept in 'kias' in employers' backyards;
storemen in the stores where they worked by day; some private firms
built compounds; the Corporation had provided Togt Barracks, but these
were totally inadequate, and in any case the togt men preferred to share
the dwellings of their domestic servant friends on the sly, or make
illegal use of laundries and food store-rooms as sleeping apartments -
a practice strongly combated by the Sanitary Department. Indian and
Native settlements had sprung up at Bamboo Square near the Point and

/ on ....


on the TE-zt.rrn V'lni a CV-J'.p' are.a which h'd been drained in 1865.
A Wesleyan minister of the time commented, "A Barked feature in our
work here is the absence of children or any family life".

There was no direct taxation for Natives, though togt workers
and ricksha boys had to take out licences. A proclamation of 1874
required the registration of togt labourers and in 1888, after protests
at an outbreak of assault and rape, the Registration of Native
"Serants Law had been passed; neither was enforced with any degree
of thoroughness; in 1899 about 4,066 men were registered. The
Magistrate reported little serious crime except for liquor offences;
although Natives were not supposed to have 'European liquor in
their possession, it was fairly easily come by through poor white
and Indian peddlers. The authorities were troubled at the 'social
and moral deterioration? of the Native. Not only was drunkenness
rife, but prostitution was increasing and venereal disease was be-
coming a health problem, Otherwise the main illnesses among the
Natives were chicken-pox and dysentery. There was always the threat
of smallpox, but vaccination had been introduced. No recreational
amenities wore available, though seven night-schools were run by
enterprising missionary societies. In 1895 there were eighteen
eating-houses for Natives and 154 'Kaffir stores', the great
majority run by Indians.

After the Boer War, labour was scarce and wages rose. The
Native population continued to grow slowly but steadily, reaching
15,900 by February 1909, It was still mainly migratory, though an
urban core was beginning to form. This had been frowned on official-
ly; the Assistant Magistrate, Mr. Stuart, wrote in 1904, "(Natives)
should be regarded as mere visitors to the town; as such, though
they give us labour, they do not contribute to the municipal rates
and therefore have no right to share the same privileges that reg-
ular citizens do, Pormanent residence in town should ... be dis-
courn cr.ge.." The new Corporation Togt Barracks at the Point had been
built in 1903 at a cost of 14,591, but to the dismay of the autho-
rities, full advantage was not taken of the new accommodation. The
difficulty was said to he the high rent (2/6 p.m.) added to the
fact that free accommodation was still available in the kitchens
of householders. To meet this situation, the Locations Act (Act 2
of 1904) was passed, giving Town Councils the power to compel
Natives to live in locations and make regulations for their control.
In 1905 the Poll Tax was introduced. In 1906 the Eambata
Native Rebellion broke out. This affected Durban only insofar as
large numbers of Natives went home to protect their kraals. The
town remained orderly and peaceful. The first Municipal Eating-
house .et up in 1906, ("a model of sanitary effectiveness"), was
the first visible sign of a new municipal policy of providing
amenities for urban Natives, The eating horse supplied Corporation-
brewed hop beer, which led to a dispute with the Courts as to whether
the Corporation was conniving at an infringement of the law, which
prohibited the sale of fermented liquor to the Nativeas The decision
went against the Corporation and the sale of hop beer was suppressed.
The result was the wholesale brewing of Kaffir b-eer all over the
Borough and a great increase in drunkenness. Legislation was urgent-
ly needed and in 1908 the Native Beer Act (Act 23 of 1908) was pass-
ed, giving local authorities :p :'~.: to undertake the manufacturere of
kaffir beer and to exercise a monopoly of its sale within their
areas. The proceedos were to be paid into a Native Administration
Fund, to be used, after -cdm.inistrative expenses were deducted,
for establishing locations and schools, providing hospital acommo-
dation and ony other object in the interests of the Natives. From
this lr.iiJ came the money to build DurbanTs first Native Location.

/ The .....


The need for a Native location had been felt as early as 1863, when
it was recommended that land should be set aside at the end of Grey Street
for this purpose. By 1873 the Town Council was so alarmed at "the probab-
le disastrous effects which may arise to the inhabitants of the Borough
from the selling and leasing of properties in and about the town" to
Natives and Indians that they appointed a Committee to select a suitable
site for the location. The site chosen was "on the high and dry portion
of the Eastern Vlei to the north of the Powder Magazines, or to explain
more fully, at the spot where the last Durban race meeting was held" -
the very site where Baumannville was built 40 years later. Attempts
were made in succeeding years to settle Indians there. The Indian Maga-
zine Barracks was built in 1880, and twenty plots were sold to private
owners, but on the whole the Indians preferred to remain on the over-
crowded Western Vlei, By 1889, however, there were complaints of a shanty
town on the Eastern Vlei where Natives were charged exorbitant rents
(10/- per month for a single room) by Indian landlords a forerunner of
the recent situation at Cato Manor,

Over the years constant pleas were put forward to the Council,
mostly by the Chief Constable and the Town Medical Officer, for a location.
After a rape case in 1886, a large public meeting recommended the establish-
ment of a Native location at a convenient distance from the town, mainly
in order to keep the Natives under proper police supervision. From the
European point of view, the advantages of segregating the ENtives in a lo-
cation lay mainly in increased control and supervision; the liquor traffic
could be suppressed, the dangers of theft and assault could be minimized,
there would be less risk of the spread of epidemics, less fear of fire
from the inflammable and badly-built Native dwellings. Moreover, since
proximity to Native houses reduced the value of property, shifting the
Natives from the centre of the borough meant a financial coup. The police
also argued that it would solve the constant complaints of the "noise made
at all hours by the hordes of kaffirs living on neighboring premises".
There were advantages in the plan, however, for the Natives. "I strongly
recommend ... that a Native Location be at once erected upon the Eastern
Vlei", wrote the Superintendent of Police in 1889, "where pure air and
good water are in abundance and where they will be far more comfortable
and happy". There, it was envisaged, they could have their own eating-
houses, schools, churches and playgrounds all to hand; in such a location
licensed Native beer-houses could be allowed. A minimum standard of hous-
ing could be maintained and they would not have to live under overcrowded
conditions. And they would be protected against the corrupting influence
of the more lawless Europeans, especially the liquor-sellers. "Now between
5 and 9 p.m.", runs the Police Superintendent's Report for 1898,"(they are)
subjected to all the temptations for liquor and other vices, and after that
hour penned up like so many pigs unless they can persuade (for a few pence)
a vagabond to give them a pass to wander about after hours, or get one from
some of their employer's family on the pretence of going to school .....
The expenses would be trifling compared with the danger by fire, epidemic
or present loss of property taken by them, the value of the ground they now
occupy, and what is more, their own health and happiness".

In spite of these arguments, no immediate attempt was made to over-
come the financial difficulties involved in building the location. The local
authorities, recalling the cost and lack of popularity of the Point Togt
Barracks, were chary of another failure. Nothing was done until the Native
Administration Fund was set up and began to operate in January 1909, pro-
viding the Municipality with the money and the necessary directive to take


In 1910, with Union safely achieved, the severe incidence of tuber-
culosis among the Natives turned the thoughts of the Town Council again
towards the desirability of a location to protect the health of all sections

/ of ,,... *

- 4 -

of the community. A special Committee on Native Locations was ap-
pointed under Councillor Henwood and, in collaboration with the
Borough Engineer, a plan was prepared for laying out eighty acres at
King's Park. in the neighbourhood of Stamford Hill. The special
feature of this plan was that residence in the location was to be
voluntary previous schemes had proposed that all Natives not ac"
-tally required for service during the night hours should be compel-
led to live in the location. Councillor Henwood's plan, however,
met with a very cold reception from the burgesses of Stamford Hill,
and the following year the Mayor proposed that the location should
be on a much larger scale, and situated outside the Bornugh. The
Council of 1912 rejected this suggestion because of the transport
problems involved in getting servants and labourers to work on time.
One of the first considerations in housing Natives, it was pointed
out, was that the European employer should not be inconvenienced.
Native labourers were needed at the Port at all hours, there were ex-
tensive industrial undertakings at Congella, and hundreds were em-
ployed at warehouses and workshops in the centre of town, so the
logical solution was to provide not one but three locations, at the
Point, Ordnance Road, and Congella. After another year's delay,
events moved swiftly. Plans were prepared for a location on a site
at Bamboo Square at the Point, and tenders were invited. On the eve
of accepting the tender the suitability of the site was questioned
because of governmental proposals to take over all business as for-
warding agents at the harbour, in which case the area would be required
to house the Government-employed labour. The Bamboo Square tenders
were hastily rejected and the Borough Engineer instructed to go ahead
with plans for a site in the Ordnance Road district.

This time it was the real thing. Tenders were accepted in
November 1913 for a site abutting Depot Road, and building was started
on a location to accommodate 624 single male Natives. But this plan
ignored the necessity for providing housing for married Natives living
permanently in town, a problem just becoming significant at the time.
Through the efforts of Councillor Baumann, chairman of the Municipal
Native Affairs Committee, the Council agreed to the erection of thirty-
four houses for married Natives, to be built on a single acre of land
alongside Depot Road. The Council was not unanimous in its approval
of the scheme; some members argued that one acre was insufficient for
thirty-four families, while others reiterated that family housing
should be outside the Borough and each house should have at least a
quarter of an acre for a garden. Finally more land was allocated
opposite the Greyville Railway Sheds and 8,000 was set aside out of
the Native Administration Fund for the building of the Married Natives'
Quarters, as Baumannville was to be known for the next twenty-four years.
Thus the life of Baumannville began, as it has continued, intimately
connected with the large single Natives' location next door.

The Depot Road Location was formally opened by the Chief Magis-
trate in March 1915, but by June only an average of sixty Natives per
month had taken up residence there one-tenth of its capacity. The
story of the Togt Barracks was being repeated. The Nativswere suspi-
cious of municipal housing, either from superstition, ignorance, con-
servatism or poverty. In 1916 bylaws were promulgated under the Loca-
tions Act, empowering the local authority to levy penalties against
Natives living in unauthorized places in the town and against the pro-
prietors who permitted them to do so. This had the desired effect and
by the middle of 1917 the Mayor could report that all municipal acoom-
modation for Natives was fully occupied.

The Yarried Nativest Quarters was built between March 1915 and
July 1916 at a cost of 7,808. It consisted of thirty-six units, ar-
ranged in three terraces of twelve attached cottages, costing 216 each,

/ They ....


They are described in the contemporary Native Administration Departmentts
records as being "constructed of brick throughout, with tiled roofs. Each
cottage is ceiled, shelving is provided and various improvements, such as
street lights etc., have been erected. They are all connected with the
sewerage system. An abundant supply of water is available. Each cottage
contains two rooms, kitchen, pantry, coal house and washing gulley, and
is let at a rental of 15/- per month". Tenants started moving in in the
latter half of 1916. The policy was to move respectable Native families
from areas of the town prohibited for Native residence into the location.
Families discovered by Health Department officials living under badly
overcrowded conditions or in dwellings considered "unfit for human habit-
ation" were also advised to move, so that the presence of the location
made some slum clearance immediately possible. The original tenants were
all required to be married according to Christian rites, a factor con-
siderably biasing the population. In all other respects their selection
was left to the discretion of the Location Manager of Depot Road. The
first inhabitants were mostly people of some education and status -
solicitors' clerks, interpreters, clerks in the employ of the Corporation
and teachers. In 1946 the Native Administration Department received a
request for an old age pension from Matilda Vilakazi, who claimed that her
husband was the first man to be given a cottage at Baumannville. By the
end of 1917 it was clear that the scheme was a success and it was decided
to increase the accommodation by a further two blocks of twelve cottages
each. Plans were prepared twice and building deferred twice because of
the scarcity and rising costs of materials due to the World War. On the
third occasion houses were designed "as cheap and plain as possible com-
patible with decency", and the twenty-four cottages were completed in
April 1919 at a total cost of 6,284, or 261 each, 20 per cent more than
the first batch of houses. The "cheap and plain" policy was not a saving
in the long run. One of the economies had been to build the houses with-
out ceilings, but so much soot and dust got in through the tiled roofs
from the railway that the ceilings eventually had to be installed in 1923.

In the post-war years the problem of Native housing in Durban became
more urgent and more complex. There was by now a steady influx to the
town from the country and a class of permanent urban Natives was rapidly
developing. There were now Native residents who had no other home than
the town. Increasing numbers of Natives lived in undesirable quarters
where overcrowding encouraged disease. But the coffers of the Native
Administration Fund (which the Urban Areas Act had merged with the Togt
Fund to set up the Native Revenue Account) were empty, owing to the ex-
penses incurred in providing barracks, breweries, beerhalls and eating-
houses. In 1923 an application was made to the Government Central Housing
Board for a loan of 100,000 with which to erect Native housing, but it
was refused owing to lack of funds. The Council renewed its application
in 1924, and at last in 1926 the Central Housing Board agreed to a loan of
50,000. The Joint Council for Europeans and Natives then submitted a re-
solution asking that part of the money be used to provide family accommo-
dation, "The present accommodation for Native families, at the Married
Quarters of Depot Road Location", they wrote, "while a model in the type
of accommodation provided, is altogether inadequate to meet the needs of
Native families-requiring to live in Durban". As a result 12,600 was al-
located for a further sixty two-roomed cottages for married Natives to be
built at the Married Natives' Quarters. These were built during 1927 at
a cost of 12,990 or 216.10.0 per unit, just about the same as the cost
of the first thirty-six cottages. They were let with none of the diffi-
culty that had attended the original accommodation of the location. On
the contrary they proved popular, and in 1928 all 120 houses were fully

The Native Administration Department records for 1922 show the
Married Natives' Quarters population as 252, comprising sixty families,
made up of fifty-six men, sixty-three women, fifty-eight boys and seventy-
five girls, an average of 4.2 persons per house. No further population

/ figures ....

- 6 -

figures are available, but an estimate based on this density
would give a population of 504 in 1928 after the completion of the
second sixty houses. In 1952 the Native Administration Department
estimated the population to be 889. The fieldwork of this study
shows it to be 842, a density of 6.9 per family-occupied house1.
Thus the houses which were originally built to accommodate young
couples with small families are being stretched to capacity and
beyond to shelter in addition lodgers, visitors, family attachments
and another generation of children.

Financially the location was a doubtful proposition. The
Municipality had not expected to make a profit, but a heavy loss
meant penalizing future plans for Native housing. Rent-collecting
was by no means an easy job, and in 1920 a new bylaw had to be
drafted to enforce payment. The income from rents of cottages for
1921-2 was 548 and expenditure on repairs, maintenance, etc. amount-
ed to 828, a net cost to the Native Administration Fund of 280.
For the year 1923-4 the deficit was 367, and as an economic rental,
calculated on the valuation of the land, worked out to 2.4.0, or to
2.11.8 if light and water were charged for instead of being supplied
free, the Council decided that the rents of the cottages might
legitimately be raised from 15/- to 1 per month. At this level
they have remained ever since, in spite of attempts by the Council
in 1951 and the Government in 1954 to introduce economic rentals.
The Native Administration Department estimates that the current
discrepancy between income and expenditure for Baumannville is in
the nature of 1,900 per annum.

Yet in spite of these disadvantages, the Council might well
be proud of its innovation in providing family housing for Africans.
The Public Health Report for 1929 states, "It is only during recent
years that the Native has developed a tendency to bring his family
to live in town, and the only really satisfactory living accommoda-
tion for Native families is the 120 houses built by the Corporation,
beside the Greyville Railway Sheds". The Native Administration
Department Report adds, "It is essential that this feature of hous-
ing should be extended towards the establishment of a proper Native
Village, if the Native community is to develop along satisfactory


Since the Married Natives' Quarters was originally conceived
merely as an extension of Depot Road Location, no social amenities
were provided at first specifically to serve the small married com-
munity except for a store, built in 1918 from Corporation-supplied
materials and run as a private.enterprise by one A.J. Mtetwa, A
church was erected by the Salvation Army in Depot Road in 1917 and
a school, planned in 1915, was built in 1920, A lecture hall and
recreation grounds were provided at Depot Road Location, and through
the kind agencies of Dr. Dexter Taylor of the Amorican Board Mission
a weekly cinematograph entertainment was introduced in 1922.

The growth of the amenities affecting the modern Baumannville
community may be traced under several heads.

/ Economic ..

1The counted population in the 113 households responding in this
study was 775. At the same average density the estimate for the
other five households would be thirty-five. To this hae been added
the thirty-two (25 children and 7 staff) in the Bantu Child Welfare
Society Infants' Home occupying two cottages.


Economic facilities:

The laundry has probably been the most important single development
in the economic life of Baumannville. As early as 1919 it had been sug-
gested that a municipal wash-house in the location would provide a means
of livelihood for the inhabitants and more hygienic conditions than washing
on the banks of the Umgoni River as was the practice of the Native wahermen.
Nothing came of this however, and in subsequent years it became the prac-
tice for the Married Nativest Quarters women to take in the washing and
ironing of the European residents of the Beach area and to do it in the
backyards and kitchens of their homes. In 1934 plans were prepared for a
wash-house to cost 2,200. The proposed charge for its use was 2/3 per
day. The residents protested that at this price they could not hope to
make any profit and the scheme was referred back to the Native Administra-
tion Committee for modification. In 1939 a protest was received from the
Durban Laundry and Cleaners and Dyers Organisation to the effect that the
amount of laundry work done by Native women constituted unfair competition
to the laundry trade and that the women were working illegally without
licences (a licence was required under the by-laws if washing was not
done on the employers premises). Regretfully the Location Superintendent
admitted that the Laundry Organisation had legitimate cause for complaint
and warned the women of Baumannville to discontinue their backyard wash-
ing. This led to a furore in Baumannville; the Advisory Board made an
official protest; more than a hundred women appealed to the Superinten-
dent to allow them to continue their twenty-year-old occupation; and the
National Council of Women made an appeal to the Town Clerk on their behalf.
Three months after the Laundry Organieaticnte protest, the Council had
agreed to provide a wash-house in Baumannville.

Before the laundry was opened, however, another five years elapsed.
The Second World War seriously affected building costs and the availa-
bility of materials. The building designed to cost 1,200 finally cost,
without the locker-room,3,067. This meant several applications to the
Council for increased allocations. The washing troughs were built too
high and there was no timber available for raised platforms. After the
building was completed, it took another six months to instal the electric-
ity for the irons. Then when the building was ready and the sixty-two
women who did washing for a living were confronted with the necessity of
taking out licences at 1.10.0 per annum, there was considerable resentment
among the people and many women threatened to boycott the laundry. The
Superintendent met this difficult situation by forming a society, called
the Baumannville African Woments Association, of a few women who agreed to
take out licences. The first licences were granted in May 1945, and in July
the laundry, equipped with thirty-eight tubs and eighteen ironing-plugs,
was formally opened. Once it was actually in operation the boycott broke
down and there was a steady stream of applications for licences.

The laundry, however, continued to be an administrative headache.
Almost immediately the Laundry Organisation brought an objection to the
licences granted on the grounds that the laundering requirements of the
City of Durban were already amply catered for and the premises were not
suitable. The Public Health Department objected that no storage space was
provided for clean and dirty linen, and a special locker room had to be
built. This cost an extra 2,279 and nas not completed till April 1948.
Soap was in short supply, and it was only with difficulty that the Super-
intendent arranged for the Women's Association to receive a quota at vhole-
sale prices. The electrical fittings proved unsatisfactory, largely owing
to the many different types and defects of the irons supplied by the women,
and the cost of repairing them became formidable (28 in October 1945).
Special laundry regulations had to be drawn up. The charge of 6d. per day
for washing and 3d. for ironing did not cover the running costs and in
1952 the Superintendent reported that the laundry was losing at least 15
per month. In 1948 the installation of a hot water system was discussed
but owing to the high cost no action was taken. The Chief Superintendent
in 1955 proposed to transfer the boiler from the disinfecting plant at
Somtseu Location, and raise the charges to help balance this expenditure.

/ The .....

The laundry has had an impact not only on the economic, but
on the social life of Baumannville. The Baumannville African Women's
Association at first confined its activities to the laundry, buying
soap wholesale and reselling it to members at retail prices, the pro-
fits going into the Society's funds. Later the Superintendent at-
tempted to use it as a medium to introduce training in home crafts
such as spinning. In 1947 it played a semi-political role, siding
with the Superintendent in a dispute with the Baumannville Advisory
Board, who complained that the Superintendent dealt directly with the
women without consulting them. The secretary of the society gave
evidence before the Broome Commission to the effect that "The women
members of the society refused to join hands with the Location Ad-
visory Board, because they had no confidence in them, because they
were not helping us with anything". However, by 1952 it was report-
ed that although the Association officially had thirty-eeven members,
a chairlady and a secretary, it had actually ceased to function, with-
out ever having rendered a financial report. Instead, a Laundry-
women's Association (under a different chairlady) was formed, with
the declared aims of obtaining a supply of hot water and running the
laundry on a collective basis, the Association to take in and distri-
bute all washing equally among the members and then pay wages accord-
ing to the work done. To date, however, this degree of organization
has not been achieved.

The trading store in the location, built in 1918, appears to
have become defunct during the 1920's. In response to a petition
from seventy-two residents asking for a store in the Married Quarters
to be run by a Native under the control of the Advisory Board,
the present small shop was built in 1937. Residents, however,
tend to do most of their shopping at the market and at Indian shops
in Greyville and in the centre of town.

About 1949 a Food Club was formed, which collected money week-
ly and bought food in bulk at the auction market on Saturdays. At
its peak the club had thirty families as members, but it broke down
because its officers did not always remember to organize the weekly
collections and do the buying.

A measure intended to alleviate the hardships caused by the
War to the lower income groups of the community was the introduction
of subsidized milk and food distribution schemes, The milk scheme
was extended to Baumannville in December 1939 following a successful
start at Lament Location. Fifty-four pints of milk were supplied
daily to be sold at 2d a pint, but the response was so disappointing
that the facility was discontinued from July 1941. It was re-intro-
duced in June 1944 at a price of 3d a pint, however, and has been
popular ever since. The assistance to the individual householder may
be gauged from the fact that the subsidized price has not risen since
1944, although the ordinary retail price is now 6-1d a pint., By 1954
the total cost of the milk was 27,000 per annum for all the Durban
Native locations half of which vee paid out of the Native Revenue
Account,and allegations were beir.g made that a black market in the
subsidized milk had developed. During 1944 the Council authorized
the sale of fruit, vegetables and fuel, bought cheaply through the
Division of Economics and Markets, at cost to the residents of Native

There have been attempts by private enterprise to improve the
shopping and trading facilities in Baumannville, but these have not
been encouraged by the Native Administration Department which con-
siders it better to concentrate such facilities at Somtseu Location.
Four Baumannville residents carry on business at Somtseu as caterers
or suppliers of fresh produce. In 1944 some of the leading spirits

/ of ....

- 8 -

- 9 -

of Baumannville formed the Inkwezi Co-operative Trading Society, the
object of which was to open a trading store, a cafeteria and a Fresh
Produce Enterprise at Somtseu Location "to stop the Indians making pro-
fits out of Africans". Some three years were spent in efforts to amass
the necessary capital, but this was never achieved and the Society
foundered. In 1948 one Daniel Dube wrote to the Superintendent pointing
out the difficulties of obtaining refreshments in the location on Sundays
and suggesting that he be granted a site to set up as a fresh produce
and refreshments dealer, but without success. The same fate attended
the applications of Eric P. Ramorobi to start a "cafe demove or moving
grocery", a fish and chip saloon and a drycleaning establishment.

Recreational activities:

Baumannville has no playing fields or sports ground of its own, but
has always used those provided for Somtseu Location (see map), which were
begun at the same time as the location was built. A popular result of the
de Waal Commission Report after the 1929 riots was the appointment of a
Native Welfare Officer, whose duties included the organization of enter-
tainments and sporting functions. In 1930 the Bantu Grounds Association
was constituted to direct Native sporting matters, sponsor the formation
of sports clubs and organize athletic meetings. This, of course, is a
service to the whole Native community, not Baumannville and Somtseu
alone. In 1950 the Somtseu sports grounds covered nine acres and in-
cluded three football fields, two cricket pitches, four tennis courts,
a cycle track, a Ngoma dance area and a sports pavilion. The City
Blacks, Baumannville's football team, was founded in 1947.

As far as more cultural pursuits are concerned, the community as a
whole is served by the Bantu Social Centre, founded in 1933, under whose
auspices the Bantu Parliamentary Debating Society was formed in 1935 and
the Ndongeni Library established in 1942. The Centre was taken over by
the YMCA in 1952 and offers classes in domestic management, Afrikaans,
music, dancing, boxing and weight lifting, besides holding socials and
prayer meetings. The programme organizer reports a marked falling-off
in the Baumannville membership since the YMCA took charge, only twenty-
seven Baumannville names appearing among a membership of over 1,000.

Baumannville has an organization of its own, the Baumannville
Cultural Society, which was founded in 1944 and still meets nominally
once a month in the homes of members. Usually a lecture is given or a
paper read, but it also organizes musical evenings, play readings, an arts
and crafts section, library facilities, carol singing at Christmas and an
annual picnic excursion. The titles of a section of the 1949 lecture
programme are indicative of the interests of the group "Non-European
Political Salvation in South Africa", "A Review of 'Cry The Beloved
Country1","Parliament and How It Works", "A South African Looks at East
Africa", "This Advertizing", "African Youth". Three lectures were given
in this year by Baumannville residents to members of the Toc H on
"Baumannville", "The African Football Association" and "The Struggle of
an African Mother". It is regrettable to note that in 1949 only four of
the tl'irty-four members had paid their annual subscription.

Services for Children:

An important feature of Baumannville is the Infants' Home, housed in
two adjoining cottages and run by the Bantu Child Welfare Society. The
proposal to establish such a home was first made in 1937 by the Society,
and after the Council had agreed to an annual grant of 150 to pay for
rent and running costs, the present two cottages were rented early in 1938
and the Home started with one abandoned child and one staff member. The
Baumannville residents objected to the policy at first because of the
housing shortage, but eventually accepted it. The Infantst Home today

/ houses .....

- 10 -

houses twenty-five children ranging in age from two weeks to five
years, and a staff of seven. The children are usually committed by
the court under the ChildrenTs Act, having been removed from unsuit-
able homes or abandoned. There are occasional cases of children
whose mothers are working, or who have been discharged from hospital
and are waiting for their parents to collect them. A curious feature
is that none of the children in the home comes from Baumannville

The Bantu Child Welfare Society has made strenuous efforts for
the last ten years to get improved premises and vacate the Baumann-
ville houses. In 1944 the Council had under consideration the estab-
lishing of a day nursery, an Infants' and Children's Home and offi-
ces for the Society in Baumannville; the scheme was approved in 1946
and 15,000 placed on the year's estimates. However, by 1948 the
Manager of the Native Administration Department had serious doubts
about the suitability of the site because of the dirt from the rail-
way and the bad influence of the brewing practices of Baumannville,
and suggested that Lamont would provide a better environment for the
Home. The Bantu Child Welfare Society feared that the Municipality
was going back on its promises and threatened legal action. In 1951
the Council finally authorized a loan of 20,000 from Housing Loan
Funds to be repaid over forty years and the granting of the land in
freehold to the Society, but the Minister of Native Affairs would
agree only to a thirty year period of occupancy and not to the sale
or lease of the land. The Natal Housing Board too raised objections
to the high standard of accommodation contemplated and the unit cost
per inmate, and fresh plans had to be drawn up which reduced the cost
to 15,400 and allowed accommodation for seventy-two children instead
of the sixty originally provided for. At present it is planned to
build the Home at Lament, and the Society hopes that it will be in
use by 1957.

In 1943 the Durban Girls' College Old Girls' Guild applied to
the Council for permission to conductatemporary nursery school in the
Bantu Congregational Church in May Street, and to build a permanent
one in Baumannville, if the Council would agree to provide half the
building costs of 6,000. The next year it was decided to build the
nursery school at Lamont, because it was felt that the number of
Native children in Baumannville was so limited in comparison with those who
would eventu~tybe settled in the larger locations,that the Baumann-
ville site was not the most suitable one to serve the best interests
of the City. In 1948, however, the Old Girls' Guild decided to erect
a temporary school in Baumannville after all, as many of the children
who attended the May Street school were from Baumannville and the
May Street area was predominantly Indian. The Council granted the
Guild half an acre in the extreme southern corner of Baumannville on
a ten year lease, renewable for two further periods of ten years each
at an annual rent of one shilling, and in 1951 provided a grant-in-aid
of 2,500 towards the building costs. The school was opened in
November 1951 and given the name of Ekujabuleni (The Place of Rejoicing).
Sixty children were transferred from the May Street school and twenty-
one new pupils admitted; at present there are just under a hundred
children. ,Soib of the Baumannville parents would not per-
mit their children to attend at first, but there is now keen support.
In 1952 the subsidized milk scheme was extended to the school.

The school built in Depot Road in 1920 is still the main one
used-by Baumannville children. An intermediate department, consisting
of Standards V and VI, was started with six pupils in 1922. In 1934
the Intermediate and primary schools were combined and Standard VII
added, and by 1936 the school offered education up to Standard IX
(Junior Certificate). In 1943 there was a major reorganization, the
school being enlarged to absorb several branch schools and rechristened

/ the ....

- 11 -

the Loram Secondary School in honour of an ourtcsbAil InaOpec-tor of Native
Education. 19,000 was spent in providing extra classrooms, a refresh-
ment hall and staff rooms. The school's Parentst Committee, on which
Baumannville has always been well represented, met first in 1932 and
played a large part in organizing the school meals system in 1944.

As early as 1932 the Advisory Board drew attention to the need for
a suitable playground to keep Ntive children from playing in the streets,
and the Council agreed to level and fence a vacant area near the Married
Natives' Quarters for this purpose. In 1948 eight playground units of
swings and seesaws were bought for the locations, of which one was allot-
ted to Baumannville.

Other Amenities:

No health services have been provided exclusively for Baumannville
except for the appointment of a Native female nurse, at a salary of 4
per month, during the world-wide influenza epidemic at the end of 1918,
when the Married NativesT Quarters was seriously affected. For the rest,
the people of Baumannville participate in the services supplied for the
Durban Native community as a whole. The Natal Anti-Tuberculosis Associa-
tion was set up in 1933 to press for more hospital accommodation and to
alleviate the sufferings of dependents of tuberculotics of all races.
In 1934 the Municipal maternity and child welfare services were extended
to non-Europeans at the Brook Street Clinic, and a certain amount of
home visiting in the locations, including Baumannville, was undertaken
by African health visitors. The Infants' Home has been visited regularly
once a week by a European health visitor since it was founded. Immuniza-
tion services are available to non-Europeans at the City Health Depart-
ment, and since 1948 a van equipped to vaccinate against smallpox visits
all the locations twice a year. Health education programmes against
venereal disease and tuberculosis were introduced in 1943; talks are
given in the locations from a mobile van fitted with a loud-speaker,
and films are shown. Natives in Durban are served by two large hospi-
tals, the King Edward VIII Hospital run by the Provincial Administration
and the McCord Zulu Hospital run by the American Board Mission.

There were no public transport facilities serving Baumannville or
Somtseu until 1947, when the Superintendent, assisted by the two Advisory
Boards, urged the need for a service to the city. The Transport Board
agreed, but granted only one route to the Municipality and two to Indian
bus companies. This was greatly resented by the location residents, al-
ready up in arms against Indian "commercial exploitation", and a petition
was presented objecting to the licensing of the Indian buses. The licen-
ces were not granted and the area is now served only by Municipal trans-
port. Since the distance is short, Baumannville and Somtseu are the best-
served of all the Native locations, buses running every seven minutes at
peak periods.

Since the Baumannville houses have no proper gardens (there is room
for one small flower-bed in front of each house), there have been demands
from time to time for the vacant land at each end of the location to be
allocated for growing food. In 1945 the Superintendent acceded to this
request and 27 plots were allotted. Enthusiasm soon dwindled as gardeners
fought a losing battle against the fowls which are allowed to run loose
in the location, and at the time of this study the gardens had become odd
patches of mealies and a few flower beds, sporadically tended by some of
the old men.

Desired Amenities:

There are certain fundamental amenities which Baumannville still re-
quires. The most keenly felt is the lack of a recreation hall. The Bau-
mannville Advisory Board in 1937 submitted a request for a hall which was

/ rejected .....

- 12 -

rejected by the Native Adirnistration Committee on the grounds that
the community was so small numerically that the cost was not justi-
fied. In 1943 a complaint was made to the Combined Advisory Board
that a special film on tuberculosis had not been shown in Baumann-
ville because of the lack of a suitable hall, and it was suggested
that a marquee should be erected for the time being. In 194.6 the
Council authorized plans to be drawn up for a building to be used
both as a day nursery and a recreation hall as part of the scheme
for the Bantu Child Welfare Society, but in the ensuing delay and
negotiations over the Infants' Home the project was dropped. Bau-
mannville residents are free to use the J.L. Farrell Hall at Somtseu
Location, which was opened in 1946, but this is not really a solution
because of the lack of identification between the two locations.
However, as a hall is technically available, the Native Administra-
tion Committee resolved in 1948 that in view of the more pressing
need for facilities at bigger locations, the proposal for a grant
for a recreation hall for Baumannville should stand down indefinitely.
It does not seem likely that the Baumannville people will ever get
their hall.

There is no public telephone at Baurannville in spite of a
campaign which has been prosecuted since 1943. The only telephone
in the location is in the Infants' Home, and the Child Welfare
Society has been forced to complain about tenants' entering the Home
at all hours to use it. In 1950 in response to requests by the Rev,
Zulu and the Child Welfare Society, the Manager of the Native Admin-
istration Department took up the matter with the Telephone Depart-
ment, which in 1952 promised to instal a telephone in the laundry
but warned that there would be some delay owing to difficulties in
obtaining apparatus. The delay still continues.

There is no postal delivery to Baumannville. The nearest
post office is at Somtseu Location (established 1940) and letters
have to be fetched from there.

A list of grievances and requirements put forward at two
public meetings of the tenants in 1944 and 1945 makes interesting
reading. In 1944 the residents wanted premises for the Co-operative
Society, a postal delivery, a public telephone, alterations to the
houses to turn back verandahs into kitchens, a district nurse for
general and midwifery services, and the removal of the stagnant water
which collected behind the row of cottages 1-36 after rain. In 1945
they complained about the lack of hot water in the laundry, the sel-
ling of liquor by Indians from the Magazine Barracks, the lack of
gardens and the fact that the Co-operative Society had still not been
allocated any premises.


The Durban Indian-African riots of 1949, disastrous in the
Booth Road Cato Manor area, made relatively little impact on Bau-
mannville in spite of its proximity to tne Indian Magazine Barracks.
According to the account of the Superintendent, who was one of two
European eyewitnesses of the events, an t'ipit of Matives from Somtseu
Road and U, ,:ni1 Road attempted to attack the Magazine Barracks and
broke a number of windows by throwing stcnes. The Native police
managed to ward them off, and another attack was made from the Argyle
Road end of Baunmnnville, The Indians in the Barracks retaliated
by throwing stones into the location. The City and Wat er
l)''ic r, under whoae deor'utment the control of the Magazine

/ I 'arr-o-e3 .a.,

- 13 -

Barracks falls, reported to the Town Clerk that "damage to the Magazine
Barracks, especially in the nature of broken window panes and rashes,
occurred extensively from missiles thrown from the Baumannville direction,
It is not suggested that the missiles were thrown by the Baumannville
families, but there is little doubt that the throwing was done by the
visitors almost invariably on their journey away from Baumannville."

The High Brick Wall:

These incidents focused attention on two perennial problems in
the administration of Baumannville the maintenance of peaceful rela-
tions between the adjacent Indian and African communities and the con-
trol of illicit liquor. The official answer to the problem of racial
contact was, as in the rest of South Africa, segregation, to be achieved
by the building of a high brick wall on the common boundary of Baumann-
ville and the Magazine Barracks. A picket fence had been erected for
this purpose in 1933, but its main value had been in providing both
communities with firewood, while it did not impede social contact and
the trade in alcohol at all. In 1948 the Baumannville Superintendent
said that he could not control the liquor traffic unless a brick fence
was built. After the riots the Durban Indian Municipal Employees'
Society also appealed for a dividing wall, and it was agreed that the
cost should be borne equally by the City and Water Engineer's Department
and the Native Administration Department. The matter remained in abey-
ance until 1953, when on the initiative of the Native Administration
Department estimates were prepared, and in 1955 the necessary finance
was voted. While the mills of officialdom were slowly grinding, social
and economic intercourse continued unabated between the two communities.

Beer brewing and illicit liquor:

The problem of keeping a check on the brewing and sale of illicit
liquor became much more acute with the promulgation of Government Notice
70 of 1945, which authorized limited domestic brewing of kaffir beer by
householders in locations. This concession was intended to reduce the
frequent offences against the liquor laws, for in spite of heavy penal-
ties the Natives continued to brew kaffir beer and concoctionst such as
shimiyane and siqata and to obtain 'European liquor. In 1942 an effort
was made to 'clean upt the illicit liquor position in Baumannville;
after consultation with the Advisory Board, the Superintendent decreed
that tenants convicted of offences against the liquor laws Would be
ejected from the location, and that the South African Police would be
invited to raid the location between 3-4 a.m. on Sundays. This policy,
however, was put into effect only sporadically. The official sanction
of domestic brewing gave rise to a thriving trade in the married loca-
tions (Baumannville, Jacobs and Lament) near the large single quarters
for men. Such a trade offered reciprocal advantages for all concerned;
for the housewives brewing was a means of supplementing their incomes at
home and with relatively little labour; for the consumers it meant a more
intimate and congenial environment and less restricted hours for drinking
than the Municipal beerhalls could supply. In an effort to combat the
growing evils of 'home brew' the Superintendent in 1948 appealed for
longer opening hours and increased supplies at the beerhalls.

By 1948 the adverse efforts of the domestic brewing policy were
clearly discernible in Baumannville, Hardly a weekend passed without
some crime of violence. Regular police raids merely turned the popula-
tion to brewing the much more alcoholic shimiyane, which had the advantage
of fermenting more rapidly than kaffir beer and thus diminishing the
chance of detection during the fermenting period. In 1949 the Superin-
tendent tried a direct appeal to the tenants at a public meeting,
threatening them with the withdrawal of the permits for domestic brewing
if the position did not improve. The Advisory Board members were reluc-
tant to support a forceful campaign of control because it would endanger

/ their .....

- 14 -

their chances of re-election. By 1950 the Superintendent estimated
that the home brewing system was abused by 80 per cent of those who
availed themselves of it at all, A mass meeting of the residents of
Somtseu Location passed a resolution urging the Superintendent to
take drastic disciplinary action against the Baumannville brewers,
who they said were demoralizing the City's Bantu workers. An Advis-
ory Board report of 1950 regretted the number of crimes which had
taken place in recent months but claimed that these were committed
not by Baumannville residents but by "visitors" who came to the loca-
tion already drunk. In 1951 the Manager of the Native Administration
Department wrote to the Town Clerk, "Baumannville is a hotbed of the
illicit liquor trade and allied vices .... the sale of brandy is
viewed in a serious light .... Drunken brawls are the order of the
night and day". During the fieldwork of the present study one (non-
brewing) informant remarked that before the advent of home brewing
Baumannville had been a pleasant friendly place; now everyone was
too busy brewing all day to chat, the residents vied with each other
for trade and it was no longer safe to leave doors unlocked or wash-
ing outside at night.

In 1951 the Superintendent reported, "Baumannville as it is
today serves no good purpose and is nothing else but a blot on the
city. Of late there have been four brutal murders, which can all be
traced to the drinking of all sorts of concoctions that takes place
there, and numerous serious assaults from the same cause. Out of
118 families resident in the location I have recorded 110 convictions
for illicit liquor in recent years .... Fines varying from 80 to
5 have been inflicted by the courts, but these have no effect what-
ever as even the larger sums are quickly and easily made up with the
sale of beer and other liquors .... With the large single Somtseu
Road Location within a few hundred yards of it, the large Railway
Location for single Natives having a mutual fence with it and the
Somtseu Road Native Sports Ground within a stone's throw, an ever
ready market exists for their wares and nothing but the withdrawal
of the home brew privileges and restriction of entry to outsiders
will ever put the traffic in drink down".

Illoeal additions to houses:

The problem of the illegal structures built on to the houses
is another case where infringement of the law has become common
practice. The original two-roomed cottages were intended for and
let to young married couples with small families. Over the years the
families enlarged, relatives came to town, lodgers were taken in,
and the pressure on the accommodation became acute. To meet this
need residents closed in the back porches to make an additional room,
used sometimes as a kitchen, sometimes as an extra bedroom, often as
a parlour for the beer customers. In 1948 the City and Water Engineer
complained that each house without exception had an illegal wooden
structure erected off the back verandah built of untreated timber
which harboured rodents, that rusty iron stove pipes taken through
the roof constituted a potential fire risk, and that the lighting
and ventilation of the original houses were so obstructed as to in-
fringe the health regulations. The possibility of altering the
temporary additions to conform with the public health requirements
was investigated, but was not considered feasible. The City and
Water Engineer suggested as an alternative building a separate ad-
ditional room, ten feet by twelve, in the yard of each cottage and
then removing the illegal structures. As this scheme was estimated
to cost 24,000 (more than the whole 120 houses originally cost to
build), it was not accepted by the Native Administration Department,
who thought that a better approach would be to attack the overcrowd-
ing by giving preferential allocations of houses at other locations

/ to .....

- 15 -

to the Baumannville overflow, and then call upon the remaining tenants
to render the illegal structures rodent proof if they wished to retain
them, under threat of demolition. Notices in this vein were served with-
out effect, and in 1953 the City Engineer reiterated his demand for
action, claiming that it was impossible to do an adequate job of main-
tenance as long as the illegal structures existed. There was some doubt
as to whether there was legal sanction for their demolition but it was
considered that Section 18 of the Urban Areas Consolidation Act or
alternatively the Public Health or Building Bylaws provided the necessary
authority, A policy was decided on of demolishing the illegal structures
as houses fell vacant, so that no individual tenant should be penalized.
If the tenant himself removed the structure, he might retain the materials,
but if it was left to the City Engineer's Department, the materials would
be confiscated. Incoming tenants would be asked to sign an undertaking
that they would make no illegal additions. In spite of this by 1955 two
new structures had been built. Drastic action with regard to their re-
moval is being contemplated at present, but the unpopularity of this
move among the residents need hardly be stressed.

Within recent years a number of policies have been put forward
which would have affected Baumannville more or less radically, but all
have so far proved abortive. The earliest of these was the proposal,
first mooted in 1939, to erect a Native Women's Hostel on the site adjoin-
ing Baumannville. This would have had the effect of helping to balance
the enormous excess of males in the Somtseu Baumannville area. Plans
were prepared for the hostel in 1944 and in 1948 an area of four acres
was officially proclaimed for the purpose. As both the YMCA and the Roman
Catholic Church had been granted sites to build hostels for women in the
Central area, however, it was decided in 1949 to build two municipal
hostels further out at Mayville and Congella, and to use the Baumannville
land for a new Central Brewery. The land was deproclaimed as a resident-
ial area in 1952, but the brewery has not yet been begun,

Effects of proposed rent increases:

An issue which aroused considerable distress among the residents of
all the locations, and which is still alive, was the proposed introduction
of economic rentals. Towards the end of 1950 the Finance Committee of the
City Council suggested that all locations should be placed on an economic
basis; there had been no rent increases for twenty years and it was felt
that a more equitable tariff for the value of the accommodation supplied
should now be charged. This was in line with Government policy to reduce
the heavy losses incurred by sub-economic schemes. Economic rentals were
worked out, but since these would involve drastic increases it was suggest-
ed that an income survey be undertaken to see what people could afford to
pay, and so introduce the higher rentals by easy stages. The economic
rental for Baumannville was calculated as 4.16.0 and the rental suggested
on the basis of the income survey was 2.7.6,.

These relatively mild proposals produced a storm of protest. The
Combined Advisory Board stated that the increases were not justified con-
sidering the accommodation provided, the high cost of living and the low
incomes of the location residents; they complained of insufficient con-
sultation and threatened a resistance campaign. The Zulu newspaper
"Ilanga Lase" reported that African housewives were so determined to re-
sist that they were prepared to make public demonstrations if the authori-
ties persisted. Some tenants expressed their intention of leaving the
location and going to live in the shanty-towns. In October 1952 the scheme
was further modified to introduce the rent increases in two stages a year
apart. Shortly after this increased rents were introduced in one of the
men's hostels in Johannesburg and a riot resulted, The Council then drop-
ped the project, until the matter was reopened by a Government directive
issued at the end of 1953.

/ The .....

- 16 -

The Government policy was geared not simply towards raising
rents, but to introducing a system of differential rentals based on
income, No action could be taken until the Finance Act (Act 45 of
1953) provided the enabling legislation, but immediately the Act was
gazetted, Government Circular 120/313(22) was sent out requiring all
active householders in sub-economic schemes with incomes in excess
of 15 (for areas where wage determinations for the building indus-
try existed) to pay economic rentals. Municipalties which did not
introduce economic rentals by the 1st July 1954 would have to make
up certain losses on sub-economic schemes from their own borough
funds. This policy was not received favourably by the Municipal
authorities the Manager of the Native Administration Department
condemned it as "arbitrary and inequitable" or by the Advisory
Boards as spokesmen of the natives.
The United Municipal Executive was briefed to represent to the
Minister of Native Affairs the difficulties of implementing the
directive. It managed to persuade him to postpone the date of
operation of the new system and to introduce a sliding scale which
made the impact of the new rentals less severe. Under the revised
system householders in Baumannville with incomes up to 15.9.11 would
still pay the old rent of 1 per month; thereafter with every ten-
shilling rise in income the rent would be increased three shillings
until the full economic rent, fixed at 5.3.6, was paid at &n income
level of 29. The Native Administration Department estimated that
82 per cent of the tenants would be unaffected, 16 per cent would
fall into the transitionary group and 2 per cent into the economic
group, giving a revenue increase of 255 per annum.

Even with these concessions from the Government, the Advisory
Boards remained adamant in their opposition and recommended to the
Council that the Government directive should be ignored. This the
Council was unable to agree to in view of the financial losses it
would be called upon to bear and the fact that only 25 per cent of
location residents would in any case be affected. The economic
rents were duly promulgated and the date of enforcement set for 1st
December 1954, when a dramatic interruption occurred. On the 30th
November two independent Supreme Court judgments in the Transvaal
declared the new rentals ultra vires on the grounds of inadequate
definition of the words "income" and "earnings and allowances" in
the Government circular. The whole matter is therefore hanging fire
while new legislation is prepared, and location tenants are still
paying rent at the old rates.

Proposal for widows' location:

The policy change which would have had the greatest effect on
the Baumannville community had it gone through, was the suggested
conversion of Baumannville to a widows' location. Under the Unkungena
custom of the Native code, when a man died his widow became the ward
of his nearest male relative and joined the domestic establishment
of the latter. In the locations, as there was no provision for female
householders, this meant that on the death of the husband the whole
family was uprooted. One of the first acts of the Combined Advisory
Board in 1937 was to take this grievance before the Native Commis-
sioner, who arranged with the Native Administration Department that
women widowed while resident in a location should retain their houses
at the discretion of the Superintendent. Complaints were made before
the Judicial Commission on Native Affairs in 1947 however that the
position of the widows was still insecure, that they could not afford
to pay the full rent of houses in the locations and that they were
liable to molestation at the hands of the location men and beer-
drinking visitors. Mrs. Maggie Gumede, a Baumannville resident, gave
evidence that "We, as widows, had never been given an opportunity to

/ make ....

- 17 -

make our views heard; we were just 'nobody's businesst. The members of
the location Advisory Board always frightened us by saying that, as
widows, we had no legal right to remain in the location and that on any
day we would be turned out ... We plead, as widows, that we should have
our position made clear, because, as widows, we consider that we should
not pay the same rent as when our husbands were alive ... We have no
place to go to for a home except the location". In view of this and
other evidence the Broome Commission Report recommended that the City
Council should provide a separate hostel or location for widows .

In 1948 the Superintendent of Somtseu and Baumannville began to
press for the choice of Baumannville as the widows location. There
were a number of good reasons for this. In the first place the number
of widow tenants already in Baumannville was increasing rapidly; in 1945
there were ten, by 1948 twenty-three. The presence of the laundry pro-
vided a means of earning an honest living without resorting to the usual
solutions of prostitution or brewing. The evils of brewing could be
considerably curtailed by the stricter supervision possible in a widowsr
location. In the course of the change-over, the houses could be renova-
ted and the illegal structures removed. Rents could then be reduced to
15/- per month.

To achieve this a wholesale exchange of Baumannville families with
widows from the outlying locations was envisaged. It was confirmed that
such a transfer of residents between locations was legally possible under
Section 38(3) of the Urba Areas Consolidation Act. The Secretary for
Native Affairs, however, favoured a much more gradual programme of
bringing widows into the location only as vacancies arose, and in March
1952 the City Council passed a resolution incorporating this policy.
This resolution caused considerable disturbance among the Baumannville
tenants, and the Advisory Board met the Manager of the Native Administra-
tion Department to express its opposition, which was based on the fear
that the setting up of a separate widows' location would encourage an
influx of widows from other parts of the country and that far from cur-
tailing the vices of liquor-selling and prostitution, the proximity of
the all-male Somtseu Location to an all-female Baumannville would lead
to a great deal more trouble. Early in 1954. the Advisory Board made a
recommendation to the Native Administration Committee that when a loca-
tion resident died, his widow was to stay at the location and not be re-
moved to any other location or to special quarters for widows. As a re-
sult no further attempt has been made to implement the earlier Council
resolution. The storm raised by this issue was just settling down at the
time of our study.

Still more recently, attention has been given to the idea of con-
verting Baumannville from a family location into quarters for single men
as an extension to Somtseu Location, with from five to eight men in each
cottage. It is argued that this will help to house the labour force
centrally and will provide an opportunity for a renewed attack on the
brewing and illegal structures problems, while the families will gain
from a transfer to the newer locations where more amenities are provided
for family living. So far this scheme is merely tentative and no action
has been taken to implement it.

/ The .....

2Roport of Judicial Commission on Native Affairs in Durban, 1947.
Section 45, page 106.

- 18 -

The role of Baumannville in Durban's Native housing policy has
changed enormously with the passage of time. In 1917 it was a new,
original and important step forward; for nearly twenty years it re-
mained virtually the only family location. Then in the mid-1930's
Lament Location was built, in 1939 a long-term plan for slum clear-
ance and rehousing was devised, and the post-war years saw the com-
pletion of Chesterville and Lamont Extension and the policy of
building loans for the erection of houses at Umlazi Globe. By 1952
Baumannville provided 118 out of a total of 2,877 Municipal houses
for Native families, or 4 per cent. It is therefore no longer of
much importance in the total picture of Native housing in Durban.

It is in fact possible that the death-blow to Baumannville
has already been struck, Under the Group Areas Act (Act 41 of
1950), which provides for the re-zoning of urban areas to ensure the
residential segregation of the various races, Baumannville falls
into a working or non-residential zone, so that ultimately the area
will have to be cleared of all Native housing. Whether the resi-
dents will be sent to the established locations at Chesterville and
Lamont, allowed to build their own houses at Umlazi Glebe or trans-
ferred to the proposed new scheme at Duffs Road, and when all this
will occur, is at present only a matter for speculation. But it
seems likely that with the implementation of the Group Areas Act
the sands of time for Baumannville are running out.

- 19 -



Throughout the discussion of the historical background of Bau~ nn-m
ville many references have been made to the authority under which the
location operates and to the administration which is responsible for it.
This chapter deals with these matters within the framework of which
Bauiannville operates. The principal aspects of administration which
are important to understanding the community are:- enabling legislation,
local regulations, general restrictions on Natives, and advisory boards.


The administration of Baumannville must be viewed as part and parcel
of the highly complex system of Native administration which has evolved
out of the attempt to unify the diverse practices of the four provinces
under a department of the central government. Before Union local author-
ities had virtually a free hand in the management of Natives living in
their areas. Section 147 of the South Africa Act of 1909 vested the
control and administration of Native affairs in the Governor-General-
in-Council, and the new central Department of Native Affairs was created
to ensure uniformity of policy and adequate supervision of municipal ad-
ministration. In the succeeding decade public attention was drawn to the
great growth of the urban Native population, the poor conditions under
which Natives lived and the need to compel local authorities to fulfil
their responsibilities towards them. The result was the passing of the
Natives (Urban Areas) Act (Act 21 of 1923), the two main purposes of which
were to provide adequate but segregated accommodation for Natives in urban
areas and to control the movement of Natives to the towns1. This Act,
many times amended and revised and consolidated by the Natives (Urban
Areas) Consolidation Act (Act 25 of 1945), may be considered the fons et
origo of all South African urban Native administration.

Distribution of Powers:

Under the Urban Areas Act the powers and duties involved in urban
Native administration are divided among the central government, the pro-
vincial administrations and the local authorities. The Governor-General
may, by proclamation, compel residence in a location, Native village or
hostel, restrict right of ingress to a proclaimed area, enforce the
registration of service contracts and authorise the removal of Natives
redundant to the labour requirements. He may make regulations dealing
with the medical examination,of Africans, the enforcement of service con-
tracts and the licensing of location superintendents. The Minister of
Native Affairs may frame regulations concerning the management of beer
halls and domestic brewing, the removal of Africans from prohibited areas
and the proper distribution of the labour force. His approval is required
for the establishment or abolition of a location, the fixing of rents, the
appointment of officers administering locations, expenditure from the Native
Revenue Account and the exercise of the right to permit domestic brewing or
the municipal monopoly of kaffir beer. Where the local authority does not
take the initiative in providing suitable accommodation for Natives, the

/ Minister .....

Haeiann E., Handbook on Race Relations in South Africa, Cape Town,
Oxford University Press, 19L49, p. 223.

- 20 -

Minister may do so at the municipalityls expense2

Model regulations prepared by the central Department of Native
Affairs have been taken as the basis for Native administration by most
local authorities. The Department is represented in urban areas,
including Durban, by Native Commissioners and controls a small mobile
staff of Inspectors of Urban Areas. The role of the provincial
administration in Native affairs is relatively small and is mainly
confined to the scrutinizing of regulations prepared by the local
authorities, although it may have the final say in such matters as
the acquisition of sites for locations and the allocation of Govern-
ment housing funds. Local authorities are empowered to make regula-
tions concerning inter alia the conditions of residence in locations,
their management and control, the constitution and functions of ad-
visory boards, the erection of dwellings, allocation of trading sites,
maintenance of public order and supervision and restriction of meetings
of Airicans. All such regulations, however, must first be submitted
to the Native Advisory Board for comment and be approved by the
Administrator and the Minister before they can be brought into effect.

The central government is thus in a position to exercise close
and comprehensive control of urban administration by virtue of its
powers of regulation-making, inspection, control of expenditure and
veto of proposals from local authorities. The shaping of policy has
largely passed into its hands, and the municipalities, remembering
their erstwhile independence, have sometimes felt this as a restrict-
ing influence. In the Durban Mayor's Minute for 1926 the Mayor com-
mented unfavourably on the centralization of policy-making and de-
centralization of administration, and demanded a clearer demarcation
of powers. However, in 1940 J.S. Allison, a former Under-Secretary
for Native Affairs, remarked on "the wonderful spirit of co-opera-
tion and understanding as between Muncipal and State Departments, in
spite of the obvious opportunities for annoyance and interference
latent in their relative positions"3. The coming to power of the
Nationalist Government in 1948 led to radical policy changes, some
of which were at variance with local policies. This resulted in a
slowing-up or actual impeding of the process of administration.
Illustrations of how this has affected Baumannville are to be found
in the dispute over the introduction of economic rentals, the length
of time taken to decide the fate of the Native Women's Hostel, and
the difficulties raised in 1951-2 over the building of the Bantu
Child Welfare Society Infants' Home,each of which was discussed as a
part of the history.


Native administration is financed from the Native Revenue
Account set up by the Urban Areas Act. The largest contributors to
the Native Revenue Account are the Natives themselves, through the
payment of rents and fines for contravening location bylaws, and
through the proceeds from municipal beer-halls. Europeans contribute
by paying fees for service contracts and housing licences, and
(since 1953) a service levy of 2/6 per week for each Native employee
not housed by the employer. Of these by far the most lucrative
source of income is the profits from the sale of kaffir beer. It will

/ be ...

Simons H.J., Some Aspects of Urban Native Administration I, Race
Relations Journal 1940, Vol 7 No. 4, p. 101-2.
Allison J.S., Some Aspects of Urban Native Administration II,
Race Relations Journal 1940, Vol. 7 No. 4, p. 112.

- 21 -

be recalled that in Natal the principle of ubj' i7 in,: the proceeds of the
kaffir beer monopoly for the benefit of the Natives had been introduced
by the Native Beer Act of 1908; the Native Administration Fund set up
under this Act was incorporated in the Native Revenue Account in 1923.
Under the Urban Areas Act the Native Revenue Account could be debited
only with "services rendered by the local authority in respect of land
set aside for Native occupation", and any other charges which the
Minister considered to be for the welfare of the Native community. In
effect therefore it permitted municipalities to utilize beer-hall pro-
fits to balance deficits in the Native Revenue Account and to provide
funds fjr sub-economic housing; the passing of the 1937 Native Laws
Amendment Act led to the wholesale adoption of the kaffir beer monopoly
system by other municipalities. In 1945 this policy was deliberately
discarded by setting up a Kaffir Beer Sub-Accounty into which all receipts
from the sale of kaffir beer had to be paid and which could be used only
to cover expenditure incurred in the manufacture and sale of kaffir beer
and to provide social and recreational facilities for Natives. The sub-
account could not be used for housing, and consequently the move was un-
popular with local authorities and its enforcement had to be deferred.
The present policy is to make income and expenditure on housing self-
balancing where possible.

The expenses incurred in the administration of locations are charge-
able to the Native Revenue Account. A single set of accounts is kept for
both Somtseu and Baumannville Locations. It is thus impossible to obtain
an idea of the cost of running Baumannville with any accuracy, although
in the past a rough estimate has been made by debiting Baumannville with
one-twentieth of the total expenses. In view of the relative size of the
locations, this is probably an over-estimate. The main items of expend-
iture for Baumannville are capital charges, staff salaries and allowances,
maintenance, electricity, printing of laundry tickets and other services,
and the subsidizing of the milk scheme .

Local Administration

The policy-shaping body of the local authority as far as Native
affairs is concerned is usually one of the standing committees of the
Council. If there is no special committee for Native affairs, it may fall
under the Public Health Committee or the Town Clerk's department*. The
responsibility for carrying out government and municipal policy lies with
the municipal Native administration department, where this exists. The
establishment of such departments was strongly recommended by the Trans-
vaal Local Government Commission of 1922, but they have been instituted in
only a few of the larger areas or those with big Native populations,

/ particularly .....

The revenue for Baumannville was estimated for the year 1953-4 as follows:-

Rents (120 cottages @ 1 per month) 1,440
Laundry 100
Milk 912
Rent (General Dealer's Store) 45
Lodgers' Fees
Finance relating to the milk scheme is not normally included in the
location accounting system.

5 Simons H.J. Op. cit. p. 109.

- 22

particularly in Natal and on the Rand.6 The Native Laws Amendment
Act (Act 46 of 1937) provided for the appointment of managers of
municipal Native administration departments. In most of the smaller
towns the officer responsible for Native administration is the loca-
tion superintendent, who may also be the health inspector, the market
master or even the Town Clerk.

Durban has a good record in the setting up of the machinery
for local Native administration, both preceding and exceeding the
requirements of the Urban Areas Act and its amendments. All aspects
of Native administration the establishment and control of eating-
houses and togt barracks, registration of servants and labourers,
as well as civil and criminal offences were originally handled by
the Police Department. In 1907 a Native Eating House Committee of
the Council was set up, and for a few years thereafter the situation
was confused, Native affairs falling under several committees; for
example, in 1911 the Municipal Eating House and Native Beer Committee,
the Market and Native Administration Committee, and the Police and
Fire Brigade Committee all dealt with different facets of Native ad-
ministration. In 1912 a special Native Affairs Committee was estab-
lished, although this was soon amalgamated with the Police and Fire
Brigade Committee again. The whole committee system of the Council
was reorganized in 1920 in an effort to simplify administration and
prevent overlapping of committees, and Native administration was
placed under the Public Health Committee. In 1926 it became the
responsibility of the Markets and Abattair Committee a sort of
Council step-child, belonging nowhere. As a result of the recommend-
ations of the De Waal Commission Report on the 1929 riots, a special
Native Administration Committee was once more set up and has con-
tinued to function ever since. It consistsof a Chairman, Vice-
Chairman, three other Councillors and the Mayor ex officio and meets
at least once a month. Its terms of reference are very wide to
manage a1l aspects of Native affairs in the city, including Native
housing, and to arrange for the administration and enforcement of
all relevant bylaws and regulations. Its duties are to consider pro-
posals on Native affairs put forward by the Native Administration
Department, the Advisory Boards, or its own members, and make suit-
able recommendations to Council. In practice, however, it is largely
concerned with the supervision of expenditures from the Native Revenue

Durbants Municipal Native Administration Department dates back
to 1911, when a very small staff under Mr. W. Wanless as Superintendent
was deputed "to control undertakings provided for the benefit of
Natives". To-day it has a staff of approximately 170 Europeans and
1110 Natives, and its functions include the control of influx into
the city, the registration of service contracts and the organization
of a labour bureau, the planning and maintenance of municipal Native
housing, the licensing of private premises used to house Natives,
the administration of housing loans, the management of beer halls,
breweries and eating-houses and the administration of locations,
hostels and emergency camps. The organization of Native welfare,

/ entrusted

Ibid, p. 103.
A new Committee of the Council to deal separately with Native hous-
ing is being set up from June, 1955.
Simons H.J., Op. cit. p. 109.

- 23 -

entrusted by the De Waal Cormission in 1929 to a Native Welfare
Officer working directly under the Town ClerkTs Department was taken
over by the Native Admihistration Department in 1940. The day-to-day
administration of the locations is carried out by the Location Super-
intendents, whose activities have been co-ordinated by a Chief Location
Superintendent singe 1951 in accordance with a recommendation of the
Broome Commission.

The Role of the Superintendent:

The Urban Areas Act lays down that officers administering loca-
tions and villages must be licensed by the Minister and cannot be dis-
missed or have their salaries reduced without his consent. This acts as
a safeguard in what must necessarily be at times an unpopular position.
The Ministerial licence is intended to ensure that the right type of man
is appointed, since no particular qualifications for the post of super-
intendent are specified, although experience in dealing with Natives and
fluency in a Native language are looked on as advantages. Some of the
Rand municipalities make promotion in the Native Administration Depart-
ment dependent on the possession of a Bantu Studies diploma, and the
Natives' Representative Council in 1938 stated that an ideal superin-
tendent should have "some knowledge of and sympathy with Native aspira-
tions plus a liberal education and sound knowledge of Native Law and
Administration". Witnesses before the Broome Commission in 1947 sug-
gested that location superintendents should hold matriculation certifi-
cates and have attended university courses in Public Administration,
Bantu Studies and Social Anthropology. The Commissioner did not however
agree that this was necessary, although he thought that the Chief Location
Superintendent should possess academic qualifications.

Model regulations dealing with the powers and duties of superinten-
dents were prepared by the Department of Native Affairs in 1924. They
lay down that the superintendent must reside at an approved place in or
near the location, that he must report on the conditions, health and
management of the location, must issue permits and transmit grievances
and recommendations from the residents to the local authority. Durlan
has never drawn up any regulations specifying the duties of location
superintendents. One superintendent giving evidence before the Proome
Commission said, "We have no laid-down duties, nor have we any co-ordinat-
ing set of regulations to which we can work. Hence, each location
superintendent runs his institution on his own system and in his own way".
The appointment of a Chief Location Superintendent has tended to alleviate
this position to some extent.

The superintendent's chief duties in practice consist of the allo-
cation of housesand trading sites, the prevention of unauthorized occu-
pation or residence, the settling of disputes among residents, inspection
of houses to maintain the level of sanitation and cleanliness, making
arrangements for maintenance, rent collection and the issue of visitors',
lodgers' and domestic brewing permits to ifit and proper persons'. It
lies in his discretion to prohibit the holding of public meetings and
entertainments and the building of subsidiary structures such as fowl-
runs. Simons says, "His powers extend beyond the management of municipal
property into the field of private rights ..... One of his difficulties
is that his functions as civil administrator are not easily distinguish-
able from his role of policeman and supervisor of restrictive and oppress-
ive legislation".10

/ Baumannville .....

SReoort of the Judicial Commission on Native Affairs in Durban, 1947.
Par. 121,
9imons H.J., Op. cit. p. 104-5.

- 24 -

Baumannville has never attained to the status of having a
superintendent of its own. In its earliest days it was administered
directly from the Native Administration Department, a Coloured man
called Kraft who lived in the location being deputed to collect the
rents. It was then decided that the Location Manager of the Depot
Road Location should be responsible for the Married Natives'
Quarters as well, and this system of treating Baumannville as an
administrative adjunct to Somtseu has obtained ever since. The
office from which all administration concerning Baumannville is
carried on is situated inside Somtseu Location, There have been
four superintendents responsible for Baumannville from 1917 to the
present. The present superintendent has been there since 1946 and
since 1951 has combined the offices of Chief Location Superintendent
with the superintendency of Somtseu and Baumannville. To cover the
increased work, a Deputy-Superintendent was appointed to handle most
of the day-to-day administration of the two locations. The Super-
intendent controls a staff of four Europeans and 133 Native clerks,
labourers and watchmen.

A study of the Native Administration Department files gives
a more detailed insight into the variety of problems and duties
which falls to the lot of the location superintendent. During the
years 1945-9 the Superintendent of Somtseu and Baumannville was
called upon to deal with the maintenance and repair of houses,
roads and sewers, the allocation of houses and the collection of
rent arrears, the eviction of tenants for various offences, appli-
cations for trading sites and the demolition of the illegal struc-
tures. He tried to control the brewing malpractices by direct
appeals to the tenants and by co-operation with the police. He
kept records of the tenants and their families, got jobs for some
of their children, arranged for old age pensions and the milk sup-
ply, and discussed the problem of the ceremonial slaughter of goats
in the Location with the Public Health Department. He formed the
Baumannville Women's Association and negotiated the laundry permits
and the soap quota. He relayed the grievances of the Advisory Board
to the Manager of the Native Administration Department, and settled
innumerable personal problems of the tenants involving divorce,
desertion, drunkenness and defamation. A resident asked the Super-
intendent to eject his boarder with whom he had had a fight; the
members of one family were suspected of tuberculosis and had to be
X-rayed; another householder was harbouring a Coloured woman whose
husband demanded her return; one of the women accused another
resident of practising witchcraft on her because he wanted her house;
such letters as the following are not uncommon:-

"Dear Sir,
Just a line to inform you that I have left
the house at Baumannville as per our misunderstanding between
my husband and myself. I am now at home at the above address
and have left for good -looking forward to my divorce."

It is clear that considerable tact and versatility are requir-
ed of a location superintendent in the execution of his duties.

The Views of the Tenants:

Some attempt was made in the course of this study to elicit
the attitudes of the Baumannville residents to local administration
as it affects them most nearly through their contact with the Native
Administration Department. Of the respondents, fifty-five declare
themselves satisfied with the administration of the Native Administra-
tion Department, sixty are dissatisfied, and five undecided.

/ Not ....

- 25 -

Not unnaturally most of the dissatisfaction arises from points
where the administration affects the routine of daily living rather than
from matters of principle. The most frequently voiced complaint is
against the proposed rent increases (this was just before the Government
qualified the original arbitrary increases by the introduction of a
sliding scale, and many of the people were faced with a rise in rent
from 1 per month to 5.3.6). A close second comes resentment at the
size of the houses and the refusal by the authorities to permit any
extensions to be built on. There are constant complaints about the
state of disrepair into which houses, fences, yards and roads are allow-
ed to fall and the long delays before repairs are done. Other grievan-
ces are the lack of a recreation hall, a telephone booth, hot water for
the laundry and more space for the children to play. Attitudes to
brewing are ambivalent, non-brewers demanding that "the Corporation"
should take steps to stop brewing, while beer-sellers complain of the
excessive interference. Officials of the Native Administration Depart-
ment are charged with being unsympathetic, discourteous or casual when
approached with requests and grievances. "They should have more re-
spect for our personalities", "They should be more human", "They do what
they like regardless of people's feelings", are some expressions of this
theme. In particular the Superintendents come under fire for not being
stricter with illicit brewers and for being dilatory about repairs;
there is criticism of the calibre of man chosen for the post. "The
Native Administration Department does not show enough care in selecting
a Superintendent; they require no educational qualification and they do
not pay well ..... What is needed is a good example for the Africans",
says one informant, while another comments, "The officials of the Native
Administration Department know nothing about the people who live in the
locations, and are very difficult to approach. Anyone who tells the
truth is regarded as too big for his boots. One rarely finds Location
Superintendents who have the welfare of the location residents at heart
.... The Superintendents are against any progressive thing. The
Native Administration Department getsa retired policeman who can speak
Fanakalo, but a policeman has seen only the worst side of Africans.
These men are worse educated and worse off economically than many of the
men they rule, They perform the functions of an illiterate chief in the
reserves, but get paid much more. There is only one Superintendent in
Durban worth his salt". Finally there is some feeling that the Native
Administration Department is responsible for limiting the powers of the
Advisory Boards.

Those tenants favourably disposed towards the Native Administration
Department are less inclined to enlarge on their views than the critics;
nevertheless, a certain amount of sympathetic comment is offered spon-
taneously. "They really do try to make houses for us. It's our people
who do nothing",is one percipient remark. "I've no grounds to complain;
when I go to report matters to them I've not met with discourtesy",
says another. The Superintendent also has his champions. "(He) is a
civil servant, but he has been most sympathetic with our needs", is one
favourable comment. Lastly there are a few followers of a middle road
which combines pointing out the defects of the administration with some
constructive suggestions as to what can be done about them.


The Married Natives' Quarters, along with the Ordnance Road Togt
Barracks and the Depot Road Location, was approved as a Native location
by the Governor-General in 1915 under Section 2 of the Locations Act
(Act 2 of 1904 (Natal)) and Section 147 of the South Africa Act (promul-
gated in G.N. 1158 of 1918). In 1940 this was repealed and "the premises
known as Baumannville Location, Block GVL, City of Durban" were approved
as a location for the residence of Natives by the Minister of Native
Affairs under Section 1(1) of the Urban Areas Act. The Location was re-
named at the same time as this reproclamation, the name Baumannville being

/ selected ....

- 26 -

selected by the Combined Advisory Board (in spite of the preference
of the Council for a Zulu name) to commemorate Councillor J.M.L.
Baumann, the Chairman of the Native Affairs Committee when the
building of the Location was begun.

Not codified,

The Location regulations under which all Durban Locations
except Lament are administered are thirty years old and far from
comprehensive. It appears that a good deal of location administra-
tion depends on accepted precedent rather than written rules. The
regulations are, however, at present in process of revision. The
first set of Native Location Bylaws of the Muntcipality of Durban was
sanctioned by the Governor-General in 1916 and promulgated in
P.N. 122 of 1916 and G.N. 1159 of 1918. They were mainly concerned
with enforcing residence in the newly-built locations, only exempt
Natives and domestic servants being allowed to live elsewhere.
They laid down rules of conduct for location residents and gave the
location manager power to evict tenants for misbehaviour or offences
against the liquor laws. Under Section 27 of the Urban Areas Act
these bylaws ceased to operate, and in 1926 fresh Regulations for
Native Locations and Hostels within the Borough of Durban were pre-
pared, and approved by the Minister under Section 23(3) of the Act
(promulgated P.N. 237 of 1926). These regulations fixed the rents
for the various institutions and made provision to enforce prompt
payment. Persons creating a noise or disturbance, provoking a
breach of the peace or disobeying the Location Manager were to be
found guilty of an offence* Residents convicted under the liquor
laws or keeping a "discir-drly house" could be ejected. Non-resi-
dents might not enter the location between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. without
permission from the Location Manager, and no animals might be kept
without his permission. These regulations were re-promulgated in
1945 (P.N. 70 of 1945) and have been amended several times since
then; most of the amendments deal with minor rent adjustments at the
other locations and hostels and have little significance for Baumann-


The original rent paid for the Married Natives' Quarters
houses was fixed at 15/- per month. This was given legal sanction
only in 1920 when an additional Location Bylaw was prepared to this
effect. In 1924 it was decided by the Council to raise the rents
to 1 per month and this was incorporated in the Location Regula-
tions of 1926. After the rent increases proposed by the Council in
1951 had fallen through, P.N. 140 of 1952 (amending P.N. 70 of
1945) was promulgated fixing the rents for all municipal family
accommodation at sub-economic rates; Baumannville remained at 1
per month. It is interesting to note that P.N. 237 of 1926 lays
down that rents are payable "by the husband or as hereinafter pro-
vided", whereas under P.N. 140 of 1952 they are payable "by the
person to whom the Superintendent allocates the house, except as
hereinafter provided". This change was probably necessitated by
the acceptance of widows as householders. Householders accommodat-
ing lodgers pay a lodgers' fee of 5/- per month in addition; as the
rent charged lodgers varies between 10/- and 1 for a portion of a
room, the expenditure is amply recouped. There was no provision in
the regulations for the charging of a lodgers' fee until November
1954 (P.N. 638 of 1954). The Superintendent claims that no Baumann-
ville resident has fallen in arrears with his rent since 1947.

Allocation of houses.

The allocation of houses in Baumannville is one of the
functions of the Superintendent. The qualifications required of a

/ prospective .....

- 27 -

prospective tenant are that he must be married, have a family, be in re-
gular employment and (since 1953) have a sub-economic income (i.e. less
than 15 per month). Originally only applicants who had been married
according to Christian rites were accepted, but this rule was relaxed
when Lamont Location was started in 1934. Either a Christian marriage
certificate or a certificate of customary union from a Native Commis-
sioner is to-day taken as proof of legal marriage. In 1948 it was de-
cided that applications for houses should be dealt with by the main
office of the Native Administration Department in order to co-ordinate
the position for all locations, but this was not carried out. In 1951
this responsibility was transferred to the Superintendent of Lamont, as
the only location where new houses were available for allocation. In
1953 a policy of preferential allocation of houses to the married
children of location residents, to -tives exempt from influx control and
to cases specially recommended by the Superintendent, was introduced.
In practice there is no longer a systematic allocation of houses to ap-
plicants on a waiting list. Residents of Baumannville hardly ever move,
the only exceptions being Government servants who are transferred, or an
occasional business man who decides to try his luck in a country town.
Only three or four houses fall empty in a year and those are filled at
the discretion of the Superintendent.


No account of urban Native administration would be complete without
some reference to the morass of legal restrictions and requirements with
which Natives coming to the towns and remaining there in employment have
to comply. All the Baumannville residents must at one time or another
have come up against these laws.

Influx control.

The aim of the legislation dealing with influx control was original-
ly to check vagrancy and to prevent the Colony of Natal being swamped by
refugees from the other territories; the modern provisions attempt to
control the distribution of the labour force and to prevent excess un-
employment in the towns. In Natal the earliest 'passes' controlling both
inward and outward movement were introduced in 1884. Under the Durban
Native Affairs Bylaws of 1916 (published at the same time as the first
Native Location Bylaws) Natives entering the borough had to report to a
registration office within 24 hours of their arrival and were issued with
a permit to remain in the borough for five days. If they did not obtain
work within the five days, the permit had to be renewed or the Native had
to leave the borough. The Urban Areas Act made provision for the prohi-
bition of entry into certain proclaimed areas of Natives surplus to the
labour requirements or deemed "undesirable" for any other reasons. Local
authorities were required to take a periodic census of Natives and the
Minister might order the removal of those considered redundant or "idle,
dissolute or disorderly". Durban did not make use of these powers until
the validity of the 1916 regulations was challenged by certain African
organizations in 1927. Steps were then taken to have the borough of
Durban declared a proclaimed area (G.G. Proc. 10 of 1928) and a new set
of regulations was framed under Section 23 of the Urban Areas Act
(G.N. 93 of 1928). These provided for the establishment of reception
depots for new arrivals in town, and extended the initial period for seek-
ing work to six days. Natives entering the proclaimed area for purposes
other than employment might stay a month. No Native under eighteen was
permitted to enter unless he had a parent or guardian in the urban area
or had been guaranteed a job. All these provisions applied cnly to males.
Act 25 of 1930 required females to obtain a certificate of approval from
the local authority before entering a proclaimed area, and in 1936 a
Governor-General's proclamation (G.G. Proc. 66 of 1936) prohibited their

/ entry .....

- 28 -

entry into the proclaimed area of Durban. Fresh regulations amend-
ing the 1928 ones and incorporating this feature were drawn up (G.N.
368 of 1936), but were received with great distress by the Native
women of Durban, and a deputation of five hundred women appeared
before the Native Commissioner to protest. The offending regula-
tions were not withdrawn but it was tacitly agreed that they would
not be applied.

In 1940 G.G. Proc. 39 of 1940 attempted to 'freeze' the drift
to the towns by prohibiting the entry of all Natives into specified
proclaimed areas unless they had already been guaranteed a job,
could prove that they were on a temporary visit or local labour con-
ditions justified it. The Council in 1944 decided to enforce these
provisions, but as there was no real labour surplus, they were very
leniently applied. In 1949 as a result of the recommendations of
the Broome Commission an effort was made to tighten up influx control
in order to reduce the number of unemployed Natives in Durban and
stop the growth of shack settlement. Native Commissioners in country
districts were circularized to dissuade Natives from coming to Durban
to seek employment, and restrictions were imposed on the issue of
permits to seek work (G.N. 1032 of 1949). Government legislation
embodied in G.N. 250 of 1950 and the Native Laws Amendment Act (Act
54 of 1952) further strengthened the hand of the municipality in en-
forcing influx control. Since then the Council has somewhat relaxed
its policy to allow Natives with an educational qualification of
Standard VII or higher (1950), youths under twenty-one willing to
become domestic servants (1952) and Native juveniles whose fathers
are in regular employment in Durban (1953) to enter the city. In
spite of all official efforts, however, it is well known that there
is a good deal of illegal immigration into the city and this may
account for some of the overcrowding that goes on in locations.

Registration of service contracts.

The registration of service contracts is a device which pro-
vides a means of tracing individuals and protecting the interests
of both employers and employees. Law 21 of 1888 (Natal) authorized
the boroughs of Durban and Pietermaritzburg to establish a system of
registration of Native servants. The Native Affairs Bylaws of 1916
required all employers on engaging a Native to send him within
twenty-four hours to the registration officer for medical examination
and the issue of a registration record, which was to be renewed
monthly. Exemptions from registration were granted to government
servants, members of the police and C.I.D., owners of freehold land,
Natives employed outside the borough, the aged and chronically dis-
eased, scholars and litigants. Special provisions were made for togt
labourers. The Urban Areas Act introduced the system of registration
of service contracts throughout the country, exempting in addition
chiefs, ministers, teachers and interpreters from its requirements.

The Durban regulations of 1928 and 1936 dealt in extenso
with registration, laying down the fees to be paid, the length of
time for which a contract was valid, and the procedure to be followed
on termination of employment or in case of illness or default. The
most recent registration regulations are those promulgated in G.N.
1032 of 1949 and made applicable to Durban by G.N. 527 of 1950.
These require a non-exempted male Native to be registered with a
contract of service within three days of taking up a new job and to
report to the registration officer within three days of becoming
unemployed. Contracts of service are limited to one year and the
employer is liable for the fee. Periodic attempts have been made
by the Public Health Committee of the Council to obtain the regis-
tration and medical examination of Native females, but the Advisory
Boards have always set their faces steadfastly against this. The

/ situation .....

- 29 -

situation is likely to be altered however by the Abolition of Passes and
Co-ordination of Documents Act of 1952 which provides for the replace-
ment of the old service contracts and identification documents by a
single "reference book" to be carried by males and females alike. The
issue of reference books to males began in April 1954, and by August
38,000 had been distributed out of a total estimated at 110,000. A
special Government Proclamation (G.G. Proc. 71 of 1954) requires Native
females in urban areas to carry documents, but as yet no date has been
fixed for their issue to women in Durban.

Curfew regulations.

Location residents are also subject to the curfew regulations. A 9
p.m. curfew was imposed to keep Natives off.the streets under the Natal
Vagrancy Law of 1869. The Native Affairs Bylaws of 1.916 provided that the
only placeswhere a Native might legitimately be between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
were on his employers premises or within the location (except for those
exempt from registration, land-owners, ricksha-pullers or holders of
special permits). In 1931 under G.G. Proc. 245 of 1931 the hours of
curfew were limited to 11 p.m. to 4.30 a.m., during which time no non-
exempt Native might be in any public place without special authority.
These provisions still apply, but the stringency with which they are en-
forced varies from time to time. Within the locations there is freedom
of movement.

Liquor and Kaffir Beer.

The legislation concerning the supply of liquor and kaffir beer
touches the life of the Baumannville residents very closely, since illicit
brewing is such a striking feature of their economy. Total prohibition
of intoxicating liquors to Natives, with certain minor exceptions, has
been in force in South Africa since before Union. The Liquor Act (Act 30
of 1928) consolidated the liquor laws of the four provinces and prohibit-
ed the supply of liquor containing more than 2% alcohol to Natives. In
Natal the system of municipal monopoly of the manufacture and sale of
kaffir beer was introduced by the Native Beer Act of 1908 with beneficial
effects on the municipal revenue. The Urban Areas Act upheld the prin-
ciple of general prohibition but made provision for municipal monopoly
or domestic brewing to be introduced in areas where the Minister con-
sidered it to be desirable. As these provisions were merely permissive,
they had little effect on the country as a whole. Durban was allowed to
continue with its monopoly system under Kaffir Beer Regulations framed
under Section 23(2) of the Act (G.N. 1456 of 1925). These laid down that
kaffir beer might be sold only on week-days between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and
only for consumption on certain specified premises the municipal beer-
halls. No males under eighteen and no females were to be served, and the
police were given powers to search premises where illicit brewing was sus-
pected. In 1929 the sale and possession of liquid yeast, sprouted grain
and other fermenting agencies were forbidden in locations. Under the
Native Laws Amendment Act of 1937 the principle of prohibition was tacit-
ly rejected; the Act provided that domestic brewing automatically became
lawful where local authorities did not introduce either a system of
municipal monopoly or the licensing of individual suppliers. In addition
either of these systems might be run in conjunction with domestic brew-
ing, The Durban system however, remained unaltered until the promulga-
tion of G.N. 70 of 1945, which allowed limited domestic brewing of kaffir
beer by householders in locations subject to the issue of permits by loca-
tion superintendents. This measure was made specifically applicable to
the urban area of Durban by G.N. 1487 of 1945. The regulations under
which domestic brewing is at present conducted are those framed under
Sections 33(2) and 38(2) of the Urban Areas Consolidation Act and publish-
ed in G.N. 88 of 1949. Householders may apply to the prescribed officer
(the location superintendent) for permits for domestic brewing which allow
them to brew between 2 and 10 gallons on specified premises and are good
/ for .....

- 30 -

for between 7 and 28 days. Persons brewing without a permit, in
excess of the amount specified, on other premises or supplying
intoxicating liquor are guilty of an offence. The regulations pro-
vide also for a single permit covering a whole location or village,
in which case householders are limited to brewing 4 gallons at a
time. Special permits may be granted for special occasions, such
as weddings. Baumannville operates under the system of individual
permits valid for 28 days. Until recently residents were allowed
to brew only 4 gallons at a time, but the Superintendent, who be-
lieves that a liberal approach is the best way to combat the evils
of illicit brewing, has now extended this to ten gallons, the
maximum permissible under the regulations. In 1951 domestic brew-
ing privileges were extended to Native householders not resident
in locations (G.N. 1993 of 1951). An attempt was made by the
Council in 1949 to introduce the sale of kaffir beer by licensed
individuals, but this was quashed by the Minister of Native Affairs.


Location Advisory Boards were established with the inten-
tion of providing a channel of communication between the individual
location resident and the local authority. The Transvaal Local
Government Commission in 1922 recommended the institution of advis-
ory committees in locations which would enable the superintendent
as ex officio chairman to keep in touch with the needs and aspira-
tions of the Natives, "thus ensuring prudent administration and
general contentment".11 Acting on these recommendations, the Urban
Areas Act required local authorities to establish advisory boards
for every location and Native village. (An amending act (Act 46
of 1927) enables the Minister to set up boards for other portions
of urban areas besides locations). The Act lays down that a board
shall consist of not less than three Africans resident within the
urban area in addition to a chairman who may be a European, and
that no regulation affecting the Native area shall be made or with-
drawn by the local authority until after consultation with the
advisory board. Other details of the election of members, and the
procedure, duties and functions of the boards are left to the local

Operation of Boards in Durban.

Durban however did not comply with the provisions of the
Act until 1936, although a "Goodwill" Advisory Board was set up in
1929 in accordance with a recommendation of the de Waal Commission,
after the boycott and riots of that year had shown the importance
of keeping in touch with Native opinion. The "Goodwill Board" did
not correspond to the separate location boards envisaged by the
Act. It consisted of four City Councillors and ten Natives chosen
to represent all sections of the community; it was to meet monthly
and report to the Council through the newly-inaugurated Native
Administration Committee on matters concerning the welfare of
Natives in the city. One Baumannville resident, A.J. Sililo, was
appointed to serve on this board. Separate location advisory boards
in terms of the Urban Areas Act were set up for five locations -
Lament, Baumannville, Somtseu, Jacobs, and Dalton Road in 1936.
The "Goodwill Board" continued to meet until 1939 when it was done
away with under the exigencies of war.

A joint meeting once a month of all the location boards
forming a federal body known as the Combined Locations Advisory

/ Board .....

Report of Transvaal Local Government Commission. 1922. Par. 295.

- 31 -

Board, with one of the City Councillors as chairman,replaced the general
board. Beginning as a measure of convenience, this Combined Board gra-
dually took over the functions of the constituted boards which ceased to
meet independently, so that matters affecting individual locations were
not adequately ventilated. The dangers inherent in this system were
realized by Mr. Justice Broome, who wrote, "In your Commissioner's
opinion the Native Advisory Boards were intended to be, among other
things, a channel of communication between the location residents and the
City Council. The creation of the federal body has obstructed this
channel ..... The creation of the Combined Locations Advisory Board is
no doubt an excellent move, but the Combined Board must not be allowed
to usurp the functions or to impair the activities of the constituent
boards".12 This warning was not heeded until 1952 when it became clear
that the combined system of meeting led to much unnecessary waste of time
and insufficient attention to local problems. As an experiment it was
decided that the Boards should meet independently for a year, coming
together for joint meetings only when necessary. The experiment was not
highly successful; the Boards met irregularly and a good deal of work
was required to collate their reports for the Native Administration Com-
mittee. After the year the system of meeting "jointly but severally"
was re-instated. At present there are seven Location Advisory Boards,
which meet once a month separately with their respective superintendents,
and again jointly as the Combined Locations Advisory Poard.


Model regulations covering the constitution and functions of
advisory boards prepared by the Department of Native Affairs suggest a
board of six members, three elected annually by registered occupiers in
the location and three nominated by the local authority, with the super-
intendent of the location as chairman ex officio. The Advisory Board
Regulations for the City of Durban (P.N. 26 of 1937) lay down that each
location advisory board shall consist of three members elected by the
registered tenants and two appointed by the Council, with a member of
the Council as chairman.13 In practice the chairman of the Native
Administration Committee of the Council presides only over the combined
meetings; in addition each board has an African chairman elected from
among themselves. Candidates for the Advisory Board must be nominated
in writing by five location residents. No one who is in arrears with his
rent or who has served a prison sentence within the last twelve months is
eligible for nomination. Only registered male occupiers Whose rents are
paid up can vote. Provision is made for the correct conduct of elections.
As voters may be illiterate, each voter makes his choice verbally to the
Returning Officer. Members hold office for one year but are eligible for
re-election; they receive a salary which has recently been raised from
1 to 3 per month and are entitled to certain privileges, being exempted
from registration requirements and the carrying of passes and having free
transport to and from meetings. The regulations require monthly meetings
and the keeping of minutes and lay down the size of a quorum and rules
of procedure. Members who are imprisoned without the option of the fine,
who contravene location regulations, are away for more than six weeks
without leave or who do not attend three consecutive meetings must for-
feit their seats on the board.

/In .....

Report of Judicial Commission, op. cit. Par. 117.

13 This deviation from the model regulations has proved wise. The system
of having the location superintendent as chairman, though widely
practised, does not work well. See Simons H.J., Op. cit. p. 107.

- 32 -

In 1948 a revision of the Advisory Board Regulations was pre-
pared incorporating the suggestions made by the Broome Commission.
The revised version provided for the monthly meeting of the separate
location boards, newly constituted to consist of a Chairman (either
the Chairman of the Native Administration Committee, the Manager of
the Native Administration Department or the Location Superintendent)
and four elected members, each of whom was to serve two years, two
retiring each year to preserve continuity in the membership. The
Combined Advisory Board was abolished in its present form and re-
constituted, each Location Board sending one member to its quarter-
ly meeting. More careful provisions were made for the conduct of
elections: candidates were required to pay a deposit, voting was to
be by secret ballot and corrupt .practices were to be prosecuted.
The revised regulations were adopted by the Council in 1949, but
were not sanctioned by the Minister of Native Affairs in view of
contemplated changes in policy afterwards embodied in the Urban
Bantu Authorities Bill.


The main function of the Advisory Boards is consultative.
The Durban regulations state, "Th- Board shall act entirely in an
advisory capacity and shall consider and report to the Council
through the Native Administration Committee on all matter affecting
the welfare and well-being of the Natives residing within the Native
Location ....." Under the Urban Areas Consolidation Act all changes
in regulations concerning location administration or affecting the
interests of Natives in the urban area must be referred to the
advisory board for report and may not be approved by the Administra-
tor or the Minister until the board's report has been given due con-
sideration. Amendments to the Urban Areas Act have increased the
number of matters that must be referred to the boards for report,
notably the estimates of the Native Revenue Account, but this does
not necessarily (or even often) mean that the course of action de-
cided upon will follow out their recommendations. Advisory boards
may also recommend new regulations or propose new measures in the
interests of the Natives they represent. However, "the requests of
the boards are as a rule refused with almost monotonous regularity".14
Act 12 of 1936 gave advisory boards the right to elect a representa-
tive of the urban areas for each province to the Natives' Representa-
tive Council once every five years, but with the abolition of the
Council in 1951 this function has now fallen away. The boards are
occasionally called on to settle disputes among location residents,
but their decisions have no official sanction and residents tend to
consult them only when they are dissatisfied with the superintendent's
ruling. In 1950 one tenant in Baumannville requested "a round table
with the board" to air his grievances against his mother, who was
conducting a lively trade in kaffir beer in his house against his

Successes and failures.

A study of the work of the Baumannville Advisory Board since
its inception in 1936 gives an insight into the sort of problems
which exercise the minds of the representatives of location resi-
dents. The Board has crusaded successfully for the building of the

/ laundry .....

14Simons J Op cit 109
Simons H.J., Op. cit, p. 109,

- 33 -

laundry and the re-introduction of the milk scheme, unsuccessfully for a
recreation hall, a telephone box, a postman and the replacement of
"squat-pan" lavatories by the pedestal type. It has approved the building
of the nursery school and the Infants' Home. It has complained about the
limited size of the accommodation provided and strenuously opposed the
introduction of economic rentals and the conversion to a widow' location.
In conjunction with the other advisory boards, it has protested against
the regulations restricting the entry of Native women in 1937, opposed
the raising of registration fees in 1946, commented on the revised re-
gulations for the constitution of Advisory Boards in 1948 and given
evidence before numerous government commissions. A memorandum prepared
by the Combined Locations Advisory Board for the Native Laws Commission
in 1947 stated that locations were overcrowded, poorly maintained and
inadequately provided with trading and transport facilities; that loca-
tion superintendents were not suitably qualified for their posts; and
that the management of locations should be vested in the advisory boards,
which should have increased power to make recommendations and vote funds,

Many criticisms have been levelled at the advisory boards from
responsible.sources. Hellmann writes, "It is now clear beyond doubt that
the system of Advisory Boards is a failure. The people themselves, see-
ing the impotence of the boards which they designate as talkingg shops',
have no confidence in their power to promote their interests".

One difficulty is that in no sense can the Boards be called repre-
sentative. In the first place they have been set up only for locations,
leaving the many thousands of Natives who do not reside in locations
(about 88 per cent of the total Native population) voiceless. Secondly
there is a ludicrous disproportion between the number of voters and the
number of their "representatives" in the different locations; each loca-
tion regardless of size returns the same number of board members, so that
the smaller locations are proportionately much better represented at
meetings of the Combined Advisory Board. Baumannville, with one
two-hundredth of the Native population of Durban, returns one seventh of
the advisory board members. As only male householders are allowed to
vote, the Superintendent in 1951 estimated that in Baumannville ninety-
eight people, out of a total urban Bantu male population of approximately
100,000, were controlling one seventh of the representation. Thirdly,
only a small minority of residents actually takes the trouble to vote.
The Mayor's Minute for 1949 comments on the distressingly small number of
registered occupiers who voted at the annual elections. Baumannville had
the best record of all the locations, with a 53.5 per cent Doll; Somtseu
was the worst with a 7.6 per cent poll. Simons attempts to account for
this indifference to local issues by saying that the migrant labourers,
in town to earn a specific amount of money, are not sufficiently identi-
fied with the urban community, while the "intellectuals" are afraid of
being dubbed "agitators" and are therefore unwilling to get mixed up with
anything savouring of politics.17 The lack of a system of wards or other
electoral divisions within locations increases the non-representative-
ness of the Boards. In Bloemfontein the introduction of the block system
has improved matters. Finally the method of verbal voting makes it pos-
sible for the Returning Officer, if so minded, to influence the result

/ of .....

15 Hellmann E., Op. cit. p. 266.

Report of Judicial Commission, Op. cit. Par. 118.
17 Simns .J., p. it. 109.
Simons H.J., Op. cit., p. 109.

- 34. -

of the elections. After some elections had been challenged, it was
decided in 1950 that in future returning officers should be appoint-
ed from the Native Commissioner's staff and not from the municipal
Native Administration Department to avoid such charges.

Even when duly elected, the advisory boards do not always
function well. One reason for this may be that the most suitable
people do not always get elected. It has been frequently suggested
that Corporation employees should not be eligible as board members
because of the opportunities for corruption involved. In terms of
the Civil Service Regulations African teachers are precluded from
serving on the boards, which eliminates some of the most intelli-
gent and able members of the community. During the period 1951-3
three Baumannville Advisory Board members were unseated, one for
contravening the domestic brewing regulations, one because he was
in prison and one for missing three consecutive meetings. Charges
of apathy are constantly being brought against the boards, not with-
out evidence. In the municipal year 1948-9 seventeen meetings of
the Combined Location Advisory Board were scheduled, of which five
were not held because there was no quorum. During 1951 there was
no quorum from Baumannville at five consecutive meetings of the
Combined Board, which meant that no Baumannville business was trans-
acted at these meetings. In 1947 a responsible member of the
Baumannville Advisory Board, a university graduate, resigned from
the board because of the unbusinesslike conduct of the proceedings,
the lack of opportunity for the discussion of general municipal
Native administration and policy8 and the inadequate treatment of
local problems under the wasteful method of combined meetings.

There is not infrequently a lack of harmony in the relations
of the boards with the superintendent and with the location residents
as a whole. Boards are quick to resent lack of consultation. In
Baumannville serious friction developed between the Superintendent
and the Advisory Board over the formation of the Women's Association
connected with the laundry. The Advisory Board boycotted the open-
ing of the !..undry and accused the Superintendent of helping to pre-
pare the memorandum, containing complaints against the Board, which
the Women's Association submitted to the Broome Commission. In her
evidence before the Commission, the Secretary of the Women's
Association said, "The Advisory Board claimed that the Location
Superintendent had no right to work with us without their consent
.... Why should you (the Advisory Board) stop the Location Super-
intendent helping us, on the grounds that you had not been con-
sulted? .... We should not be able to work together with the Loca-
tion Advisory Board, because it had never done any good for us".
It is clear that the Advisory Board does not have the confidence of
all the Location residents. In some locations vigilance committees
have developed spontaneously as intermediaries between the board and
the people, but this has not occurred in Baumannville.

Opinions of the residents.

In the fieldwork of this study an attempt was made to explore
the views of the people of Baumannville towards their Advisory Board.
The investigation found that the community is fl rty evenly divided into
supporters and opponents of the Board. Of ninety-one respondents
eligible to vote, roughly two-thirds (fifty-seven) say that they
vote regularly in the annual Board elections; judging by their sub-
jective comments ("I dontt really know what they are doing", "I
haven't got time to vote, I did it oncei but it's all foolishness")

/ the .....

18 Report of Judicial Commission. Op. cit. Par. 118.

35 -

the remaining third tend not to vote at all rather than voting occasionally.
Forty-three residents express themselves as satisfied with the functioning
of the Board, forty-seven as dissatisfied, and one is undecided. The
hypothesis was put forward that those people expressing satisfaction with
the Board are in fact the non-voters who are apathetic towards the issues
involved, but on being tested the relationship was not found to be signifi-

The opponents of the Board are far more vocal in their criticism than
the supporters in their defence. Many of the defects of the Advisory Board
system already indicated reappear in the Baumannville context. The prime
objection against the Board, variously expressed, is the absence of tangible
results of its work. "The Board is useless; it gets nothing done for us",
is the main theme. Closely allied is the feeling that there is insufficient
contact between the Board and its constituents, and thus no proper repre-
sentation. "We don't see any step in which the Board has helped us. The
Board should be kindly, it should visit us and consult us, but they don't
even know what we need", laments one householder. There is a good deal of
criticism directed at the personal qualities of the members of the Board.
They are accused of being lazy, corruptible, uneducated, incompetent and
mere "yes-men"; over and over again they are charged with participation in
and support of the illicit brewing practices. "They are only interested in
the brewers. They all make their money by brewing. Mr. X has not worked
for years but he has a motor-car .... He and the others, they are only
nice to the brewers. That is how they get their votes", comments one anta-
gonist; another pungent remark is, "I used to vote but the people on the
Board now are drunkards elected by drunkards".

Some residents feel that a change in personnel is all that is needed
to set the Board on the right path again; others, perhaps more far-sighted,
direct their criticism against the system rather than the individuals in-
volved. The limited powers of the Board and the fact that there is no
means of enforcing its recommendations are seen as the real impediments to
its successful functioning. "The Advisory Board system would be good",
says a current member of the Board, "if members of the Board were taken as
advisers, but they're used by the authorities as rubber stamps. Many super-
intendents would like the Boards abolished. Even the members of the Boards
do not know what their function is, because people who advise you usually
know more than you, but here the advised believe the reverse."

A number of solutions are offered as to how the Advisory Board system
can be improved. These include enlarging the Board, requiring it to report
back to the residents on all decisions, endowing it with more powers,
giving women the vote and the right to stand as candidates, electing only
"clean-living educated people", uniting with the other Boards to take a
strong stand against the City Council, reducing the red tape in its pro-
cedure and obtaining direct representation on the Council.

There is no doubt that the Baumannville people are well aware of the
inadequacies of the Advisory Board, and that the lack of proper representa-
tion is one of the sources of their grievances. Some have despaired entire-
ly and lapsed into political apathy ("The Advisory Board is a dupe, so I
take no interest in it"); others however hang on to a forlorn hope and go
through the annual motions of election, but without much confidence. "As
we have nothing better", says one resident resignedly, "the Board might as
well be there, but it doesn't do anything for us".

Suggested Improvements.

The main difficulty facing the advisory boards is that they have no
real power. Residents will always turn first to the superintendent for help
because he can enforce his decisions. The boards' recommendations can be,
and often are, ignored or overridden by the Council. They have no real
control over the use made of the Native Revenue Account. At best they can

/ only ....

- 36 -

only represent grievances to the local authority and put up some
opposition against objectionable measures. Under the circumstances
it is little wonder that they become imbued with a sense of futility
and apathy and confine their activities to destructive criticism.

Various suggestions have been made from time to time for
strengthening and reconstituting the advisory boards. The Location
Advisory Boards Congress in 1939 proposed that all members of
boards should be elected, that municipal employees should not be
allowed to stand as candidates and that Councillors rather than
superintendents should be appointed as chairmen. The Manager of the
Johannesburg Non-European Affairs Department has advocated the in-
stitution of a ward system for the whole city, not the locations'
alone. Africans themselves have been consistently pressing for diwrct
representation on local authorities, as a first step by Europeans.
It has also been suggested that local authorities should be required
to report to the Department of Native Affairs on the action taken on
proposals made by the advisory boards, with full reasons for re-
jections. The Broome Commission recommended that the internal
affairs of locations should be dealt with by the individual location
boards and the Combined Locations Advisory Board should confine it-
self to questions affecting locations in general; that Native Advi-
sory Boards should be established for hostels and for Natives not
resident in municipal locations; and that steps should "be taken to
arouse the interest of Natives in the advisory boards, to ensure that
they meet regularly, to tighten up the order of proceedings at meet-
ings and to impove liaison and communication between them and the
City Council"., All bodies agree however that the fate of the
advisory boards depends on their being entrusted with more definite
functions, especially relating to the control of finance. A step
in this direction has been taken by the Urban Bantu Authorities Bill
introduced in 1952, which aims to replace the advisory boards by all-
Native local governing bodies with executive and financial powers,
and by setting up urban Bantu courts with limited jurisdiction. It
is thought that under this system the urban African will gain more
real experience of local self-government than can be provided by the
advisory boards as they are at present constituted.

19 Hellmann E. Op. cit. p. 266-8.
Report of Judicial Commission. Op. cit. Par. 148.

-4 37 -



Certain facts about the people who live in Baumannville are neces-
sary as a basis for further consideration of characteristics, activities
and attitudes. This chipr.f-r deals with these facts under the headings:
number and growth of the population; homogeneity of the people, compo-
sition of the population; and stability of the community.


This is not a large community and never can be because it is a
limited geographical area with a limited capacity. The. precise number
of people dwelling in Baumannville which may be recorded depends en how
they are counted.

How many people?

The survey counted 775 people regularly residing in 113 households.
This is the number which will be used throughout this report. This
number, however, included the children who were away at school and did
not count the visitors who were temporarily present at the time the study
was made. There were actually 787 staying ^n the premises at that time.
There were five households from which information could not be obtained,
if they are estimated at the same number of persons per dwelling found
in the 113 dwellings, thirty-five would be added. Two of the cottages
are given over to an infants home. These are not residents in the same
sense as those who occupy the dwellings and this population is constant-
ly changing. At the time of the study there were twenty-five children,
an average number, and seven staff making thirty-two in all. Adding
these two items to the 775 permanent residents, the population in June
1954 was 842.

Increase in Population,

The first thirty-six cottages were completed in 1916 and twenty-
four were added in 1919. The only early record of population is found
in the book in which records, rulings etc. have been accumulated. There
is a statement that in 1922 there were 252 persons in the sixty resident
families. No evidence has been found to indicate that there was any ap-
preciable increase in persons per dwelling when the additional sixty
cottages were completed and occupied in 1929. On this assumption the
population would have been 504, a hundred per cent increase in the five
years since 1922 due entirely to the increase in dwellings.

Subsequent to 1929, however, the pressures of housing shortage and
increased movement of Natives to the city formed a "doubling up" in the
cottages as relations and boarders were taken into the households. The
1951 Census returns the total population of Baumannville as 854, the
Native Administration Department estimated the population in 1952 as 889
and this study records 842 in 1954. On this basis the population has
increased 67 per cent in the twenty-five years between 1929 and 1954
without any additional living quarters being provided. This amazing in-
crease in density is from 4.2 to 6.9 persons per dwelling.

Changes in Population.

The only detailed analyses of population available are those made
by the Census of 1951 and in this study. So short a time can scarcely be

J usltid ,,,.,


Males Females Total

1951 1954 1951 1954 1951 1954

Cum %




%o um %



No. % Cum



1*-- 1- 1 *

355 100.0

355 100.0



No. % Cum %



432 100.0

No.. % um

+4 .1. 7






No. % Cmc %




787 100.0

Median Ag 212 21.6 35 22.8 22.5 22.3 -

1Data from special tabulations furnished by the Census Division. The population on premises at the time of the survey is taken
as the 1954 total for this table.


under 5
5- 9
10 14
15 19
20 24
25 29
30 34
35 39
40 44
45 49
50 54
55 59
60 64
65 69
70 and over


- 39 -

used whether the differences which come to light are real, errors in
enumeration, or misunderstanding on the part of those giving the in-
formation. A few points, however, are worth noting.

The differences in the age and sex distribution of the population
can be seen in Table I. Those differences are for the most part minor.
It should be noted that the pattern of age and sex distribution here is
quite different from that of the general Native population in 1936
where each successive older age group decreases in size. There is a
considerable discrepancy in the returns for females in 1951, not only
in the total number, but also in age distribution and marital status
as we will see. Women have a higher median age than men. In 1951 the
children under five form a larger proportion of the population and in
1954 those seventy and over are a larger proportion than in 1951.

The Census in 1951 revealed a ratio of 71 males to 100 females,
the survey a ratio of 82 males to 100 females in 1954. Comparing this
with the ratio of 218 for the total Durban Native population in 1951
clearly reveals that Baumannville is a family location.


Males Females

1951 1954 1951 1954
Marital Census Survey Census Survey
No. % No. % No. No. %

Single 96 44.4 108 46.6 83 24.6 103 36.0
Married 117 54.2 109 47.0 220 65.7 114 40.0
Widowed 3 1.4 8 3.4 32 9.5 53 18.5
Separated or 0 0.0 6 2.6 1 0.2 15 5.2
Unknown 0 0.0 1 0o4 0 0.0 1 0.3

TOTAL 216 100.0 232 100.0 336 100.0 286 100.0

The changing patternsof marital status are seen in Table 2. The
great discrepancy between the number of married men and married women in
1951 cannot be accounted for except that possibly some of the widows
called themselves married women, as perhaps some of those separated or
divorced have also done. It may be also that the extraordinary increase
in single women from 1951 to 1954 could be accounted for if unmarried
mothers reported themselves to be married in the census enumeration.


Ch. 2.,Population,by H. Sonnabend in Handbook of Race Relations,
Cape Town, Oxford University Press, 1949. p. 16.


Under 15 15 59 60 + Age Unknown Total Total %
Tribe Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female ale Female

Zulu 90 111 145 182 12 23 6 6 253 322 575 74.2

Swazi 9 6 11 17 2 1 0 0 22 24 46 5.9

Xhosa 11 16 17 14 4 0 0 0 32 30 62 8.0

Sotho 10 8 21 11 2 1 0 0 33 20 53 6.8

Shangaan 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.1

Tribe 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.3

Unknown 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 0.3
______________--_< --- ---- _------------- -----------.-----
Ex-Union 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 5 3 8 1.0

Coloured 7 5 3 10 1 0 0 0 11 15 26 3.4

TOTAL, 129 148 199 239 23 25 6 6 357 418 775 100.0
______________________ ___________ __________ ____________________- ____________ ________ _______ __________s

- 41 -


The outstanding characteristic of the Baumannville population is
its tribal homogeneity. The very high proportion of Zulus among men
and women, old and young, reduces other tribal or ethnic groups to
negligible importance. This is to be expected from a location situated
in Durban which draws its African population predominantly from Natal
which is almost entirely Zulu. In the homogeneity of its Native popu-
lation Durban resembles Cape Town which draws mainly from one tribal
group, Xhosa-fingo, in the Transkei.3 It is very unlike urban centres
in the Transvaal, notably the Witwatersrand and Pretoria, however, which
draw from many tribes located throughout the Union and from some outside
the borders of the Union.4

Table 3 shows the tribal composition of the population. Zulus
make up 74.2 per cent of the total population and together with the
other i-.uni tribes (Swazi and Xhosa) 88.1 per cent. Zulus predominate
in both sex groups; the difference between 70.8 per cent of the males
and 77 per cent of the females indicates that males can be drawn from
greater distances than females.

A small, but significant group is the Coloureds who make up 3.4
per cent of the population. This group of twenty-six people is mostly
children uiirnd-v seventeen, There are also five relations and one other
lcd, !cr in the ru-',. but two household hoands (one man and one woman)
and the wife of another household hoad aro also included,


Age Group Males Females Total
No. Per cent No. Per cent No. Per cent

0 4 48 13.4 63 15.2 111 14.3
5 9 48 13.4 42 10.0 90 11.6
10 14 33 9.2 43 10.3 76 9.8
15 19 48 13.4 49 11.7 97 12.5
20 24 40 11.2 41 9.8 81 10.5
25 29 30 8.4 23 5.5 53 6.8
30 34 22 6.2 27 6.5 49 6.3
35 39 12 3.4 16 3.8 28 3.6
40 44. 13 3.7 25 6.0 38 5.0
45 49 7 2.0 16 3.8 23 3.0
50 54 12 3.4 24 5.7 36 4.6
55 59 15 4.2 18 4.3 33 4.3
60 64 10 2.8 11 2.6 21 2.7
65 69 5 1.4 2 0.5 7 0.9
70 74 3 0.8 9 2.2 12 1.5
75 79 2 0.6 1 0.2 3 0.4
80 84 3 0.8 0 0.0 3 0.4
85 89 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
90 and over 0 0.0 2 0.5 2 0.3
Unknown 6 1.7 6 1.4 12 1.5

Total 357 100.0 418 100.0 775 100.0

/ The .....

R. Levin. Marriage in Langa Location. Communication from the School
of African Studies, New Series, No. 17, 1947, p. 2,
; Hellmann. Sellgoods: a sociological survey of an African Commercial
Labour Force. South African Institute of Race Relations, 1953 and
passim. E. Hellmann. Rooiyard: a sociological survey of an urban
Native slum yard. Cape Town: Oxford University Press for the Rhodes
Livingstone Institute, 1948, p. 11.

- 42 -

The predominance of Zulus in any type of grouping indicates
that the backgrounds and traditions of the community are Zulu.


Age and Sex Structure.

There is nothing particularly striking in the distribution of
the population of Baumannville by age and sex as shown in Table 4.
It is similar to a modern urban pattern with many minor variations,
however, because of the relative smallness of the members involved.
When this distribution is graphically compared with the total Native
population of Durban, a very striking difference can be seen. The
population pyramids of the total Native population of Durban and of
the population in Baumannville are shown in Figures 3 and 4. The
dependance upon migratory Native labour and the consequent very
large population of males of working age in the Durban population
throws the whole sex distribution of the population out of balance
on the male side. By contrast Baumannville shows basically a balanced
population. This again puts emphasis on the fact that this is a
location for families.

Two further comparisons throw light on the Baumannville popu-
lation. First is a comparison of the distribution of the males with
reference to the working years with a similar breakdown of the
Native, Indian, Coloured, and European populations of Durban. This
is shown in Table 5.


Baumannville Dur ban

No. % Native Indian Coloured European
% % % %

TOTAL 357 100.0 100.00 o00.00 100.00 100.00

There are marked differences between the various groups. The
Baumannville pattern lies between the Indian and Coloured, which are
very similar, on the one hand and the European on the other. There
is a much greater similarity, however, between the Baumannville
pattern and the distribution of the total Native population of the
Union which according to the 1946 Census had 38.03 per cent in the
pre-working period, 58.37 per cent in the working period, and 3.26
per cent in the post-working period.

The second is a similar comparison of the females with reference
to reproductive age which is shown in Table 6.
/ Here .....

Pre-working Age 129 36.1 12.02 46.28 45.66 25.32
0 14
Working Age 209 58.5 87.01 51.20 52.41 66.70
15 64
Post-Working 13 3.6 0.97 2.46 1.81 7.97
Age 65 and over
Age Unknown 6 1.8 0.00 0.06 0.12 0.01

F11G.. _3
Age and Sex structure
of the Native population
of Durban, 1951.




i ---------- -----


I j

Age Groups
in five-year
95 99
90 94
85 89
80 84
75 79
70 74
65 69
60 64
55 59


- 54
- 49
- 44
- 39
- 34
- 29
- 24
- 19
- 14

F Age and Sex structure
of the Native population
of Baumannville, 1954.


' I 1

12 10 8 6 4

2 0 2 4 6
cent of total

8 10

8 6 4

2 0 2

4 6

cent of total

8 10

I _I i

-r 1

i -] i i

i -

t; I
1_ T

i i I

_j 1




' I


DURBAN, 1951.

Baumannville D u r b a n

No. % Native Indian Coloured European
% % %
Pre-reproduction 148 35.4 25.67 48.75 38.33 23.64
Age 0 14
Reproduction Age 182 43.5 70.77 42.77 48.76 45.82
15 44
Post Reproduction 82 19.6 3.55 8.43 12.80 30.52
Age 45 and over
Age Unknown 6 1.5 0.01 0.05 0.11 0.02

TOTAL 418 100.0 100.00 10.0 .00 10000 .00

Here Indians and Coloureds differ and the Baumannville female
population is unlike them although the distribution is somewhat
like that of the Europeans. It, too, is most like the pattern for
all Native females in the Union which in the 1946 Census showed
39.56 per cent in the pre-reproduction years, 44.67 per cent in the
reproduction years, and 15.43 per cent in the post-reproduction years.

Marital Status.

The marital status of the population of fifteen years af age
and over is shown in Table 7 by sex and age groups. Two related
facts are immediately apparent; there are more people of marriageable
age who are single than are married, and that few marry under the
age of twenty-five. Actually there is neither male or female under
eighteen who is married although there is one widow under eighteen.

These facts are characteristic of urban communities which, in
general, tend to delay marriage until some measure of economic stab-
ility has been attained by the young man or by both partners.
Whether or not generalizations are warranted from such a small group
in Baumannville, it would seem that here the young man who has to
begin paying taxes at eighteen takes about seven years or until he
is at least twenty-five to obtain an income stable enough to permit
him to marry.

Family Solidarity.

An indication of the degree to which families remain together
can be seen in whether or not children stay at home. Table 8 shows
by age and by sex the children of Baumannville families who were at
home and those who were away. Of the 200 children under twenty years
of age twenty-five or 12.5 per cent were living away from home,
fourteen at school and the others usually with relatives in the
reserves. Half of the children twenty years of age and over were
away as would be expected, but the sex differences are marked, nearly
two-thirds of the females, but just a little over one-third of the
males. Of those who were married three-quarters of the females and

/ only .....


r; 1r r


No. I














P -f_ Y

49 .2















84 74

3 14

1 1

0 1

18 26

0 3

6 3

4 6

21 22

0 12

0 1

0 0

16 24

0 7

1 0

2 1

23 15

0 13

0 0

0 0

and over

1 1

10 4

2 9

0 0

0 0


3 2

2 2

1 3.

0 1

0 0

TOTAL 228 100.0 270 100.0 88 90 52 50 25 41 19 40 25 29 13 14 6 6
________________________ ___...._ ______________ I~ ......___I_________ ___________ _________

One in each group j'-3t living together.
o Including 24 unmarried mothers 13 of whom are under 25 years of age.

- 46 -


AGE TOTAL Living in Baumannville LiBamannv a ro

Male Female Male Female T:''T.L Male Female TOTAL

0 4 24 28 21 27 48 3 1 4

5 9 32 29 28 26 54 4 3 7

10 14 14 24 9 22 31 5 2 7

15 19 28 21 26 16 42 2 5 7

20 + 64 83 41 33 74 23 50 73

Unknown 1 4 0 1 1 1 3 4

TOTAL 163 189 125 125 250 38 64 102

only one-quarter
traditional patt<
significant in ti
experienced in oe

of the males were away
ern of patrilocal reside
he urban environment.
obtaining homes of their

r. This suggests that the
lence at marriage is still
Under the great difficulty
own,married sons have remained

in their parents' homes and daughters who married have gone with
their husbands.


The stability of population depends upon how many of those who
are born in the community survive and how long those who live there
stay. These are matters with related factors which are discussed in
this section.

Sex Differences.

We have already indicated that although Baumannville is a
family community and has a far more balanced sex ratio than among the
Natives of Durban as a whole, there is still a much lower ratio of
males to females than would be found in an average community. This
may be partly explained by the births, for more female than male
babies are born 90.7 to 100. This is contrary to the usual pattern.
But a larger proportion of males than females under six years of age
die 33.5 to 30.0 per cent, which does correspond to the usual
pattern. There is not even a start toward a balanced sex ratio.
Table 9 gives the basic facts of births and survival for all the
children born to the families in Baumannville. 'It must be remembered
that the births may have been many years ago and some of the deaths
were as late as adulthood.

To check the disproportion of males in the relativelysmall
population of Baumannville, statistics were obtained for Lament, a
much larger family location on the outskirts of Durban. In 1954

/ Lament .....

- 47 -

Number Still- Live Number .Number PC-" ont
Sex Born births births Died Survived Survived

Male 256 11 245 82 163 63 .'
Female 282 13 269 80 189 67.0
Unknown 6 6 0 0 0 -
TOTAL 544 30 514 162 352 64.7

Lament had 1,487 dwellings and a population of 8,694. It was found that
from 1949 to 1954 inclusive there had been 1,734 live births and the ratio
of males to females was 90.7. Each year more females were born, the dif-
ference ranging from four in 1952 to twenty-nine in 1953. Here also a
larger proportion of males than females under six have died, 18.7 com-
pared to 14.2 per cent. The pattern in Lament is the same as the pattern
in Baumannville. The considerably lower deaths rates in Lament may be
at least in part due to the fact that the figures are a concentration of
recent years while in Baumannville the spread is over many years and also
to the fact that more medical services have been immediately available
to the people of Lament during the period covered by the statistics.

Survival Rates.


the total number born ever the years,5.5 per cent were still-
Of those born alive 31.5 per cent have died. The ages at which
have died are given in Table 10.

Live Ye a r o f d e a t h Total % of
Sex Births oer Deaths Live
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 5-16 16 Unknown Births
Male 245 33 17 5 1 2 3 12 9 82 33.5
Female 269 33 21 4 0 2 7 7 6_ 80 30.0
TOTAL 514 66 38 9 1 4 10 19 15 162 31.5

Starting with the live births (after subtracting the thirty still-
births from the 544 total births) a rate of survival can be computed for
the composite population including all of the children born over the
years to the families in Baumannville. This is shown in Table 11.

While these seem reasonably high survival rates when compared with
a composite of the children born and those who have died in Lament during
the period 1949 te 1954, the corresponding figures would be: 90.6 per cent

/ survived .....

5The Lament data was furnished by the Institute of Family and
Community Health.



Of 544 Born

1st Birthday
2nd Birthday
3rd Birthday
4th Birthday
5th Birthday



Per cent
97 .8

Per cent of
Live Births

survived the first year; 95.1 per cent the second; 97.9 per cent the
third; 99.5 per cent the fourth; and 99.8 per cent the fifth. In
Baumannville 22.9 per cent of those born alive have died before
their fifth birthday, but in Lamont only 16.3 per cent. The record
in Lamont is much better than that ir Baumannville.

Mothers and Children.

The number of children which the wives of Baumannville have
had range from none to twelve as Table 12 shows.

Number Af Children I'hr of Number of
per Mother Mothers Children
None 9 0
1 14 14
2 20 40
3 9 27
4 18 72
5 13 65
6 14 84
7 6 42
8 7 56
9 4 36
10 5 50
11 2 22
12 3 36

TOTAL 124 544

The most frequent number of children is two with twenty
mothers, but four follows closely with eighteen mothers. .The average
is 4.4 children or leaving out the childless wives 4.8 children.
While the average family is only moderately large, nearly half of the
children belong to families of seven or more children.

The surviving children per mother in Table 13 and the deceased
children per family in Table 14 complete the story of mothers and
their children.

/ TABLE 13 .....


_ I_ ~II__ I __


- 49 -


Number per Number of Number of
Mather Mothers Children

None 8 0
1 19 19
2 24 48
3 21 63
4 16 64
5 12 60
6 10 60
7 2 14
8 3 24

TOTAL 115 352


Number per Number of Number of
Family Families Children

-None 40 0
1 26 26
2 17 34
3 11 33
4 6 24
5 3 15
6 2 12
7 2 14
8 3 24
9 0 0
10 1 10

TOTAL 111 192

The average number of surviving children per mother is twm with
twenty-four mothers. The average number of deceased children per family
is none with forty families, twenty-six families have lost one child only.
The ranges, however, are quite wide, families have from no surviving
children to eight and from none to ten deceased children.

Nine families have no children. The mothers range in age from
twenty-two to fifty-nine. Three of them are under thirty and because of
the tendency to late marriage may not yet have begun to have their
families. This is 7.5 per cent of the families. Forty families, 33.3
per cent have lmst no children by death, but eight or 6,7 per cent have
lost all of their children ranging from one to eight, two have had all
stillbirths, one five and the other eight; the remaining sixty-three,
52.5 per cent, have lost one or more of their children.

Where people some from.

Of the total population, 90 per cent were born in Natal and
43.5 per cent in Durban. This emphasizes further the basic homogeneity
of the population already pointed out. Table 15 gives the pla;cn of birth
by age and sex. The only areas of origin of the people outside Natal of
any importance are the Cape Province and the Transvaal with only slightly
more than 4 per cent each.
/ TABLE 15 .,


Age Ex Usion Cape Province 0. F. S. Trarsvaal Durban Natal Unknown Total
P Outside Durban

0- 4 1 47 58 1 3 1 Il1
5- 9 1 3 43 32 4 7 90
10 14 2 4 21 28 9 11 76
15 19 1 1 5 2 25 17 19 27 97
20 24 2 1 1 2 1 18 17 18 20 1 81
25 29 1 1 13 5 16 17 53
30 34 2 2 2 3 2 17 21 49
35 39 1 2 2 1 1 7 13 1 28
40 44 1 1 1 2 11 21 39
45 49 1 1 1 7 12 22
50 1 2 4 10 18 1 36
55- 59 3 2 1 2 11 14 33
60 64 2 1 1 1 7 9 21
65 69 5 2 7
70 + 1 2 1 -1 10 1 20
Unknonm 1 i 4 5 -- 12
TOTAL 5 4 14 21 4 1 i0 -4 172 165 150 210 2 3 775

Length une 5 -... 9 4_-.
eg under 5-9 10-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60 + Unknown Totals
of 5 ___
Residence M F M F M F F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F Doth

Under 2 yrs 24 33 3 4 4 5 8 11 4 7 2 7 4 8 4 4 3 4 1 1 1 1 5 2 1 59 92 151

2-4 yrs 24 30 6 7 5 5 7 5 4 6 3 2 5 4 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 59 65 124

5- 9 yrs 39 31 3 9 3 6 7 4 3 1 2 7 2 1 2 1 1 1 3 2 1 4 1 1 64 71 135
10 14 yrs - 20 24 6 6 5 6 3 2 1 1 2 5 4 6 1 1 4 1 2 4 6 47 63 110

15- 19 yrs - 24 21 5 3 4 2 3 2 2 6 3 2 5 2 1 2 46 42 88
20 + - - 14 15 15 9 6 5 5 2 2 6 2 12 7 13 8 8 17 9 1 2 77 81 158

Unknown - 1 - -. 2 3 5 4 9

TOTL 48 63 48 42 33 43 48 49 40 41 30 23 22 27 12 16 13 26 7 15 12 24 15 18 23 25 6 6 357 418 775

- 52 -

How long do people stay?

Table 16 distributes the people by age and sex according to
their length of residence in Baumannville. Of those over twenty
years of age 40 per cent have lived there twenty years or more and
of those under twenty years of age 72 per cent were born there.
Slightly more men than women over fifty-five years of age have been
there twenty years or more (3/5 to 1/2). This may reflect the
legislation which states that African women may not join their hus-
bands in the towns until they had stayed there for a period of at
least three years.

The younger the group the higher the percentage born in Durban:-
94 per cent of all children under 5 were born in Durban;
63 per cent of those 5 19 years of age were born in Durban;
11 per cent of those 20 44 years of age were born in Durban;
1 per cent of those over 45 years of age were born in Durban.

It appears that the individuals once they arrive in Baumann-
ville by birth or migration stay there for a long while and many
have lived there all their lives.

Family Mobility.

From the standpoint of family mobility this is a stable com-
munity. Most of the families have been dwelling there for a long
period of time, forty of them for twenty years or more, and another
thirty-seven for between ten and twenty years. Nearly one-third of
the families whose past history is known began in this community and
have been there ever since, in one case 9ver thirty years.

The seventy-nine families which have come into Baumannville
on the average lived in a number of places for short periods of time
before they arrived. Most of the reasons given for their moves were
on account of work (51 per cent), but a few ( 22 per cent) were to
be with their kin, and some (17 per cent) were to get better housing.
The reasons given for moving into Baumannville were largely to get
better housing (62 per cent) or for accommodation close to their
work (29 per cent). Eighteen of the seventy-nine families came from
Durban and fity-six from Natal outside Durban leaving only five which
came from other parts of the Union.

It was not possible to obtain information about why families
have left this location. There have not been many and it may be
surmised that the reasons were very compelling, such as being trans-
ferred in one's job. The administration regards the turn-over as
very small and indicates that whenever a dwelling does become vacant
there is a married son of a resident or an employee of the administra-
tion awaiting his chance to take up occupancy in it.

- 53 -



This chapter endeavours to make the statistics of the last chapter
come alive by describing the houses in which the people live, the kind
of families who occupy the houses and finally the special form of
occupation of the dwellings households, which are quite different from
simple families as we shall see.

Baumannville location consists of 120 terraced houses in single-
storey rows, abutting on streets which are kerbed and tarred. The loca-
tion is an old one, and on a smaller scale the general picture is
reminiscent of the obsolete type of urban working-class district en-
countered in the industrial towns of Europe. It is primarily the small
overall size of the blocks of dwellings which saves the area from blight,
for the terraces are in no case long enough to induce monotony, and at
the end of almost every street there is a view of open space. The oc-
eupants are on the whole a house-proud community with a considerable
experience of urban life, and they have succeeded in maintaining a
certain air of tidiness in the area.

Types of Accommodation.

Two types of accommodation are to be found. The first sixty
houses completed between 1916 and 1919 are known as the red houses on
account of the colour of their exposed brickwork. They are arranged
in two parallel terraces of twenty-four houses each, fronting upon one
another, with a third terrace of twelve houses in prolongation of the
first row. The second sixty houses completed in 1927-1929 are known as
the white houses because of the plaster and whitewash with which they
have been treated externally. This group is arranged at right angles
to the first, in three parallel lines of double terraces, each opposite
pair of houses in a given line being set back-yard to back-yard with a
dividing fence between. Each terrace is ten houses long, so that a
double terrace contains twenty houses with the plots set back to back.
The arrangement of the terraces is shown in Figure 2, the frontispiece.
The exposed brickwork of the earlier houses weathers better, and in fact
looks newer, than the plaster and whitewash of the later houses, which
is inclined to flake off and show the effects of grime from the nearby
railway marshalling yards. The two types of houses have somewhat dif-
ferent arrangements, as can be seen from the floor plans in Figures 5
and 7.

The settlement as a whole is completed by a communal laundry, a
nursery school and a trading store, and shows economical use of some
two-thirds of the nine acres of ground available for its layout. The
remainder of the ground is used for hanging out the washing of Baumann-
ville's industrious laundresses. A few people have gardens in the open
space where vegetables and flowers are grown. Some residents maintain
/ that ..,,

1 Sections dealing with the architectural aspects of the houses are a
condensation of the "Report on Single-Family Houses at Baumannville
Location, Durban" made in November, 1954 by Paul H. Connell,
Professor of Architecture, University of Natal.

- 54 -


Area enclosed by
occupant --..-.-

FIG. 5.

"Red" House
Flocr Plan: 1" to 8'0".

14t "1

Fr:.n-t st-cr'

-I ~ ___

/1 L



FIG. 6.
Cross Section: 1" to 16'0".

- 55 -

" 16'0" 9."
10'1" .1 5'2" I

Portion enclosed by

FIG. 7.

"White" House
Floor Plan:
1" to 8'O".

Cross Section: 1" to 16'0".

- 56 -

that at least part of this space could be better used to set up
stores and businesses which they could work on their own account.
Two of the red houses have been taken over to serve as a children's
home, run by the Bantu Child Welfare Society, so that 118 houses in
the location are available for private residence.

All the houses in Baumannville, until the recent intro-
duction of economic rental regulations,2 have been let at the sub-
economic rent of 1 a month, which covers electricity, repainting
and rubbish removal, as well as house rent. Each house has a cover-
ed front stoep or porch, two principal rooms, a roofed back stoep
with built-in storage cupboard, and a small fenced back-yard con-
taining an individual t'ater closet. The water supply is limited to
a tap in the back-yard situated for reasons of economy next to the
water closet. The standpipe is in the open air, and no sink is pro-
vided. Hot water must be obtained by heating in kettles or pans on
the stove inside the house. Between the houses and the paved road
some residents have planted shrubs, or occasionally medicinal
herbs, along the sidewalk.

In addition to the regular house space, some 85 per cent
of the houses have enclosed structures of temporary materials built
as extra rooms by the tenant on the back stoep. This normally serves,
at least at night, for extra bedspace, where large or multiple
families are living in the house. The widespread extent of this
practice indicates the real inadequacy of the dwelling space for the
number of persons customarily housed per unit. Recognizing this fact,
the authorities have been reluctant to compel the demolition of such

Use of the Accommodation.

Internally, the walls of the dwellings are finished to a fair
face, and almost invariably are painted by the occupants, who refuse
the whitewash offered by the Municipality on the ground that it quick-
ly shows the dirt. There are ceilings in the principal rooms, fol-
lowing the slope of the rafters which give an unexpected air of
spaciousness. Electric light is available with a ceiling light and a
plug outlet to each room, with a verandah light on the back stoep.
Provision for a cooking stove is made in one of the principal rooms
by means of a fireplace with brick flue above. In most cases this
opening is occupied by a simple but often obsolescent type of cast-
iron solid-fuel stove incorporating a small oven, though occasionally
a more up-to-date variety of cooking stove is found.

In the red houses, the first principal room is almost invariably
used multi-functionally as a living/dining bedroom. In this room a
dining-room suite consisting of table, four or six chairs and side-
board, is almost universal. Often there will also be an armchair,
less frequently a settee, and rarely a three-piece lounge-suite, in
which case the dining-room suite will be squeezed out into the second
room. One or more single beds are nearly always found in the over-
loaded first room, in the only place where they can be put against
the walls; and the chances are that there will be a wardrobe as well.

/ Any ....

2As promulgated in Circular No. 120/313 (22) issued by the Union
Department of Native Affairs. Much to their relief, most people
inBaumannville, through being in too low an income group, will
not suffer rent increases under its provisions.

- 57 -

Any remaining wall or floor space is used for knicknacks such as side-
tables, hallstands, mirrors, vases and pictures of family groups and
religious pictures.

The second principal room in the red houses is normally used as
a kitchen/bedroom, in which also any younger members of the household
who cannot be accommodated at the main dining-table may be fed. It
contains further beds and wardrobes not in the first room, but its main
item of furniture is a "kitchen-suite" of four chairs and a table, the
latter having a variety of uses from sewing to serving beer. There
may also be a kitchen dresser, and sometimes an ice-chest, usually
without ice. Cooking is done in this room, which contains the stove.

In the white houses the second room is used as a combination of
both rooms in the red houses since, owing to its more private position,
the first room is used almost exclusively as a bedroom

Design has influenced function in these small homes, though
in effect it adds to the discomfort and confusion of the living/dining
part of the house. Sometimes the householder has solved the space
problem by moving some of the kitchen or dining furniture into a third,
built-on, room; a particularly well-designed built-on kitchen coming
to mind in one instance. Normally, however, by virtue of human rather
than material overcrowding, the built-on room in both types of house
is primarily an extra bedroom; generally a poorly-furnished affair with
single bed, sleeping mats and perhaps a small, crude table. The
visitor who sees a well set-out back parlour with benches round the
walls is probably in a successful shebeen house.

From information obtained, about three-quarters of the house-
holders have bought their furniture new, sometimes long ago, nearly
all on the instalment system from European stores in Durban and paid off
at the rate of about 2 a month. Furniture which becomes broken or
dilapidated is generally repaired as the means become available. In a
few eases furniture has been inherited from deceased parents who
occupied the same dwelling, or from a dead spouse. Some houses have
what might be called "special furniture". Three, for example, have
electric stoves instead of cast-iron ranges, seventeen have a piano,
twenty-six have an ice-chest and seventy-one have a radio or radiogram.
Not to possess the last-named items is not serious privation, however,
as some neighbour's set can be heard at most times of the day or night,
usually without stirring from the house.

Whether special furniture is primarily of functional or of
prestige significance is difficult to assess. There is little doubt
that pianos are frequently not played, ice-chests often not used for
their special purpose. Moreover, the thirty-one households with no
special furniture tend to be in the lower-educated group; the average
standard passed by the higher educated spouse in such houses being 3.5
compared with standard 5 in households owning an ice-chest and a radio.
Perhaps the more highly educated the individual in this setting, the
more he values these material expressions of European culture; perhaps
it is merely that because he is more highly educated, he earns better
money, and can therefore afford them.

Adequacy of the Accommodation.

It is clear, both from the comments of householders interviewed
and from the placing of furniture, that the occupants of these houses
have difficulty in the daily running of their homes. The difficulty
arises firstly from a confusion of function in the rooms, and is ex-
pressed by the people in two ways: by deploring the lack of a "front
room" where they can receive callers without taking them into an
intimate bedroom environment, and by pointing out the lack of privacy

/ between

between parents, adolescents and children, which arises from having
to use every room as a bedroom.

Secondly, the difficulty is due to that overcrowding of limit-
ed living-space which will be a recurrent theme throughout this
chapter. Baumannville households range from one to seventeen per-
sons and the problem of sleeping space alone is often acute. To
take quite a small household of seven persons four male and two
female adults and one male juvenile: the widower household head,
his adult son and juvenile son, sleep in two single beds in the
front living-room/bedroom; his adult daughter and a female related
lodger sleep in two single beds in the kitchen/dining-room; and in
the built-on room are accommodated two male adult related lodgers,
one on a camp bed and one on the floor. When a household head is
married, and one or more of his sons or daughters is also married,
perhaps with children, the difficulties can be imagined. In general
it appears that in these houses any surplus above four or five per-
sons must sleep on the floor.

Eating space is also a problem. In large households, owing
to lack of space, families either have to separate for meals, the
adults in the front room and the children in the kitchen; or two
sittings have to be arranged, the children often having their food
first before the comparatively late arrival of the wage-earners.
Great inconvenience is caused by the lack of a sink in reasonable
proximity to the cooking area. All washing-up has to be done either
it a portable wash-bowl or at the standpipe in the open. Lack of
a covered approach to this water point in wet weather is also irk-
some. Finally, the electric light and power outlets apparently do
not satisfy every need for electrical appliances, for they are fre-
quently supplemented by unofficial extra wiring, usually taken from
the lighting points, to meet the requirements of multi-functional

While providing some relief in these problems of space and
function, many of the amateur structures constructed as extra rooms
are far from satisfactory as shelters for human beings, and the
nature of their materials may constitute a distinct fire risk. In
the case of the red houses, which have front steeps, the latter are
not furnished for regular use, and so provide no additional living
space. They are not as a rule even used for window-gardening,
although the front sidewalk strip has often been dug and planted as
previously described. The front steep area, which occurs within the
total roofed area of the house, might therefore have been put to
better use within the dwelling,3 and a small front garden plot would
have been appreciated and cared for, to the betterment of the hous-
ing environment,

In general, the standard of construction in Baumannville is
high, and the buildings, despite their age, are in a good state of
repair, though a little drab in appearance. The wooden yard fences,
however, were at the time of the survey in a severe state of dis-
repair, bordering on disintegration, and repeated unsolicited com-
plaints were made to the fieldworkers on this score. Householders

/ have .....

In her "Survey of Housing and Family Conditions: Orlando Township"
(M.A. thesis, 1949) Miss Eberhardt records (p. 138) that the over-
whelming majority of Orla-ndo inhabitants wanted a front steep, the
reasons being that a house does not look like a house without one,
that Europeans have stops, and that the people would like to sit
on a steep in the evenings or at weekends. The steep as a non-
functional European culture-symbol may be important.

- 58 -

- 59 -

have attempted to patch the wider openings with odd materials, and the
resulting appearance of the back premises has become rather squalid.
More than any other single factor, these dilapidated back fences tend
to give the location a touch of urban blight, which their replacement
by modern diamond-mesh fencing would rapidly remove.

The Designed House Capacity.

Table 17 shows the living space provided in the two types of
dwelling at Baumannville compared with one of the standard house plans
(Type NE 51/9) produced by the National Housing Office in terms of
present-day minimum standards.


Space Living Space in Square Feet

Red White Standard NE 51/9

Front Room 185 160 211 (living-room and kitchen
Back Room 172 101 219 (two bedrooms combined)

Front porch/stoep 72 31 Nil

Back stoep & Storage 72 111 No stoep: 5 sq.ft. food cupboard
interval W.C. and bathroom
Water closet 15 15 33

DESIGNED: 516 418 43
Additional space en-
closed by occupants: 92 52 Nil

AUGMENTED: 608 470 .83

The total floor space provided under modern minimum standards is
smaller than that provided in the red houses as designed and larger
than that in the white houses as designed, but it is smaller or com-
parable with the augmented nett area in both types when the additional
space enclosed by the occupants is taken into account. For a compara-
ble total nett area, the modern minimum standards design NE 51/9 has
achieved a considerably larger floor space in both of the principal
rooms than in either the red or the white type house. The conclusion
appears to be that the main disadvantage of the Baumannville house is
not inadequate size, but faulty design.

/ From .....

The recommendations in this and the preceding paragraph are made in
Professor Connell's report, already referred to.

National Housing and Planning Commission: Minimum Standards of
Housing Accommodation for Non-Europeans, Pretoria, 1951.

- 60 -

From the total nett area of the Baumannville houses as they stand,
the "designed house capacity" can be calculated in terms of the
space requirements per person according to present day minimum
standards. This shows that both red and white houses have a capacity
of 4 5 persons as designed and 5 7 persons as augmented, a "per-
son" being defined as anyone over one year old. These figures will
be taken as the basis of a study of overcrowding in the course of
the present work.


The consideration of families in Baumannville is complicated
by the number of occupants of the houses. The recognition of this
complication is essential to an understanding of the various types
of families.

Who has houseroom officially?

The location houses were designed for single African families
of 4 to 5 persons. Officially only one such family, the wife and
children of the household head the person in whose name the house
is registered is entitled to houseroom in each of the 118 houses
available for private occupation. The privilege of household head-
ship has also been extended to widowers, and in particular to
widows, so that they and their offspring are also officially resi-
dent in certain houses of the location.

These provisions, however, by no means meet the actual situa-
tion, as the authorities, and others acquainted with the urban
African milieu, are well aware. Urban accommodation for Africans
is far from sufficient for the ever-swelling labour force. Conse-
quently, even under conditions of advanced urbanization such as in
Baumannville, where the expectation might be to find characteristic
urban families of the elementary type, many more persons than the
single elementary or fragmentary family0 crowd into the dwellings.

The occupants respond to this pressure by patterns consistent
with the traditi nal extended family system characteristics of life
in the reserves. In other words, when Africans in the urban areas
have to fit into limited house-space, they do so along the lines of
relationship best known to them. The household head's family the
family in occupation becomes the core family of tradition, to
which are attached either related individuals or related families,

/ to .....

It would have been convenient here to use the term residual
family as devised in the Keiskammahoek rural survey, Vol. III,
p. 55. The definition of that term, however, is a disjunction
of either two parents past child-bearing age or one parent left
alone through divorce, death or desertion. For the present pur-
pose we are interested not so much in children as in numbers and
types of persons, so that a special term is needed to denote one-
partner as opposed to two-partner families.
References to the common structure of the extended family among
the Nguni tribes (among which the Zulu are included) are many.
As characteristic of these, one may take Mrs. Hoernle's chapter
on Social Organisation in "The Bantu-Speaking Tribes of South
Africa", 1946, ed. Schapera, especially pp. 69 and 82.

- 61 -

to form the extended or the joint family. Just as the kraal often
contains the huts of married sons, and unmarried grown-up children,
as well as the homes of servants or dependents in the background, so
house-space has to be found in the homes of relatives for these per-
sons when they come to work in the big cities.

To support this hypothesis, the main objects in the following
inductive analysis of Baumannville households and families will be to
show: a) that at no stage in the synthesis of the urban household
from its component family and individual types can any such component
be removed on the ground of "unofficial residence" without doing
violence to the household structure as a whole; and b) that the
urban African families which emerge from the analysis are not and,
under present conditions of Bantu residence in the cities, cannot be
replicas of the typical European urban elementary family.

For these purposes, one-partner (fragmentary) and two-partner
(elementary) families without relatives attached will first be ana-
lysed. Related individuals and/or related families attached to
families of either type will then be considered. Finally, combina-
tions of all these types with any unrelated lodgers or servants, to
form the principal grouping in Baumannville, the household, will be
discussed. Any family type, as the occasion requires, will be divided
into main families; the family in a given house of which the house-
hold head is a member; and sub-families; any other family or families
which happen to be living in the house. Unrelated individuals in
various capacities have to be treated separately.

The primary concern in this section is with main families which,
since the household head is the person in whose name the house is
registered, are by definition the official residents of the house.
Of the 118 houses in the location used for private residence, inform-
ation could not be obtained from those living in five of them, so
that this section covers the persons officially dwelling in 113 houses.

Fragmentary Families.

The fragmentary family consists of a widowed, deserted, divorced,
separated or unmarried person, with or without children (and attached
unrelated persons such as servants) but without related individuals
or families living in the house. Where a widow or a widower, with or
without children, has relatives to live in the house, the resulting
family will be considered as extended rather than fragmentary. For
the same reason fragmentary families which are part of joint families
will be considered under that heading when it arises.

There are nine widow and two widower fragmentary families in
Baumannville houses. The widow households consist of three widows
each living alone in a house, one widow with an adopted son, one
widow with five adopted husband's sister's children (the mother being
dead), one widow with six young children of her own, one widow with
three unmarried adult sons; and two deserted women, one with a son of
eighteen and the other with an infant female grandchild. These frag-
mentary families are well within the capacity of the location houses
in fact, they tend to make less intensive use of the accommodation
than other family types. The reason for their small size is quite
evident. In all cases except one, the woman concerned is between 42
and 54 years of age (the exception is 70 years old), and all but one

/ of .....

Thus four per cent of the total are non-respondent. Two of the
houses apparently contained married couples, three seemed to have
widow householders.

- 62 -

of the women has lost her husband within the last five years or so.
They are middle-aged women, recently flung on their own resources.
As one of them said, "We widows are like dogs, we have nobody to
turn to".

These are not, of course, the only widowed main families in
the location. Apart from seven more widowers, or separated or
divorced male householders, all of whom have extended or joint
families, there are ten more female household heads claiming widow
status who have extended families, and twelve more who are part of
joint families, making thirty-one widow houses in all.10

Widowhood is the only marital status in which a woman may be
registered as a Baumannville householder according to current prac-
tice.11 Women without husbands for one reason or another therefore
jealously guard the ostensible status of "widowhood" in order to
retain tenure of their homes. A fear is apparent among elements of
the male population that the authorities are in process of convert-
ing the location into a settlement for widows only. We were told
by more than one informant that should this become an open and of-
ficial policy, many married women would murder their husbands in
order to obtain widow status and retain their houses. They would
then, it was alleged, take lovers from the neighboring Somtseu
single men's barracks. While it may seem absurd, this situation af-
fords an interesting insight into a set of group tensions found in
an African urban community of this type. Not only do the widows in
effect become a group upon which certain domiciliary and sexual

/ fears .....

A man deprived of his spouse is not, in the Zulu tradition, in
the same helpless position as a woman would be. He does not nor-
mally lose status, and may proceed to accumulate relatives or
other dependants much as though he were still married. In any
case he will normally have in a female relative to cook and keep
house for him, so that his family then becomes extended, even if
it were not so before.
While these women are all officially classed as widows, only
twenty-two are widows in fact. The remaining nine women consist
of two who have never married, one married woman (whereabouts of
husband unknown), one remarried widow, three deserted women, one
divorced woman and one separated woman.
Provincial Notice No. 140 of 1952 requires that rents be payable
by the person to whom the Superintendent allocates a house, as
opposed to a previous regulation (P.N. 237 of 1926) which made
them payable by the husband (of the occupying family). Only
"widowed" females have in practice been allocated houses by the

- 63 -

fears are projected, but it is clear that to keep a house is more
important, in this context, than to keep a husband.12

Elementary Families.

The elementary family is the type for which Baumannville was
designed. Only twenty-two, less than one-fifth of the houses, how-
ever, are occupied by this type of family husband and wife living
together, with or without children alone. In terms of the insuf-
ficiency of urban living-space already referred to, such a family,
unless there are many children still alive and living with their
parents, does not normally fill a house to capacity as the Bantu see
it. Even in the light of our estimated augmented house capacity of
five to seven persons the elementary main families of Baumannville
do not make full use of the available house-space. Seven of these
twenty-two families are within the capacity of the houses (5-7 per-
sons), two (one of eight and one of ten persons) are overcrowding the
houses, the other thirteen have less than five persons each (four have
two persons, five have three persons and four have four persons).
The twenty-two families together contain 100 persons.

Of the thirteen families which under-occupy the houses, few can
be considered as complete Zulu-type families. The four consisting of
husband and wife alone include three in which the wife is receiving
or has received medical (or herbal) treatment for failing to conceive,
the fourth is an old couple whose children are all married and living
away. The five 3-person families, in all but one case, are those in
which every child save one has been still-born or has died young, or
in which every child has died and a related child has been adopted,
Only one of the 4-person families is a very young family, though more
might have been expected, the others have children married and living
away, or just few children.

Although elementary families are not old families the average
age of husband and wife in three-quarters of the twenty-two elementary
main families is less than thirty-five years reflecting the low
median age of the Baumannville population. Moreover, the difference
between length of residence of elementary families compared with ex-
tended families in the location is hardly significant, 65 per cent
extended compared with 60 per cent elementary families have ten or
more years' residence. In respect of both age of parents and length
of residence, therefore, there is nothing to show that elementary
families are a transitional type towards the extended family frequent-
ly found in Baumannville

Among those concerned with Bantu housing schemes there is some-
times an assumption that the more highly educated an African family,
the more its family type as well as its way of life will tend to

/ approximate .....

It may not be inappropriate to note here that if it is in fact the
official intention to convert Baumannville into a location for
widows only, the probable long-term result would be that the settle-
ment will become one large brothel. There is no precedent what-
ever in tradition for the lodging of unrelated widows without
relatives and without supervision in adjacent rooms of the same
house, and it is unlikely that these women would remain in such a
condition for long. One extended widow family per house might, on
the other hand, be a possibility, assuming that the fear of murder
mentioned in the text above is entirely without foundation.

- 64 -

approximate to that of the European: that is, to the elementary
family as it is called here, In Baumannville, however, the very small
difference in the highest educational standard reached by the better
educated parent favours the extended families, compared with the
elementary families. If the supposed tendency exists, therefore, it
is buried in the overall pressure to fill all available living space.o

Core Families No. of Families Total No. No. of Extended Families
No. with of by size in relation to
Type of 1 2 341 45 617 persons, house capacity
per- attached in Core Below Within Above
sons related persons Families. (5-7 persons)

Frag: 1 I i1 -- -2 2 families -
ment- 2 1 2 -- ,6 3 -
ary2 3 --- -
13 4 1 2 2- -- 20 5
fam- 5 1 -- - 5 -
ilies 6 ------.- -
7 1 --- 7 1
8 1 ----- 1

No of Persons 6 10 6--- 48 5 6 2
attached to
Families: = 22 persons = = 13 families =

Ele- 2 1 -1 -1 6 1 family 1 1
ment- 3 1 1 2- -- 12 1 3 -
ar:- 4 3 2 -- 20 5 -
23 5 2 1 -1 20 3 1
fam- 6 2 2 ..--- 24 4
ilies 7 1 1 - 14 2
8 1 ---- --- 8 1

No of Persons 8 10 21 4 5 -7 104 2 12 9
attached to
Families: = 55 persons = = 23 families =

/ Extended .....

A decision regarding whether Bantu housing units should be on the
European model or not is obviously vital in location planning.
If, under a gross housing shortage, living space of any kind will
merely be filled to capacity by the room, regardless of family
type, it might be more realistic to build two-person room units
which can be aggregated for families of different sizes, rather
than model houses like NE 51/9. The appropriate forms of such
aggregated accommodation would have to be worked out.

- 65 -



Main Families Number of Families with Total No of Joint Families
No. i No of by size in relation
of 2 3/, 5 6 7 19 10 11 13 per- to house capacity
Type per- i sons Below Within Above
sons persons in related Sub- i 5-7
Families. main per-
famns. sons

S1 --. -----. 1 1 1
ment- 2 -2 -- 2 -
arE:- 3 1i -- --- -1 6 2
7 4- -1 --- -. I
fams. 5 1 -- --- 5 1

No of Persons 2 6 15 - 13 20 4 3
in Sub-
Families. == 3 prisons 7 families

Ele- 2 1 -- --- 6 1 2
ment- 3- 2 -1 1 --- 9 2 1
ar:- 4 i1 -- -- -- 1 8 2
11 5 1 - 5 1
fam- 6 1 --- -- -- 6 1
ilies 7 1 -- i 7 1

No of Persons 10 4 5 12 11 13 1 1 2 8
in Sub-
Families. == 5 persons = 11 families

Core Families Core Families

tend- 1 1 2- 3 1 2
9 2 -- 3- 8 4
Fragm_ 3 1- -- - 6 1 1

Totals 31- -130 14 8 1- 7 2 7
= 55- persons == 9 families

13 2 11 1 8 2 2
fams. 3 1 1 1 -1 12 2 2
Elem_. 4 -- 1 1 - 2
Cores. 5 - I 5 1
6 1 --- 6 1
7 7 -

Totals 6125 6 1 8 9 20 -- 4 9
= 80 persons = 1 families ==

- 66 -

Extended Families.

When fragmentary and elementary main families are augmented
by relatives and about three-quarters of the Baumannville main
families are so augmented two possibilities arise: either indi-
vidual relatives, or families of relatives, may join what can be
called the core family, the fragmentary or elementary nucleus of
which the household head is a member. In the first case, where
individuals join, an extended main family emerges. In the second
case there is a joint family. Table 18 analyses the extended fam-
ilies, showing the sizes or their core families officially living
in Baumannville, and the numbers of relatives attached to them and
living unofficially in the location. It also shows how the total
size, the thirty-six extended main families,stand with reference to
the estimated augmented capacity of 5-7 persons per house.

Fragmentary extended families accrete less relatives than
elementary extended families do. The thirteen fragmentary extended
families with forty-eight persons in the core families gather
twenty-two attached relatives, an average of just over two core per-
sons per relative. The twenty-three elementary extended families
with 104 persons in the core families gather fifty-five attached
relatives, averaging less than two core persons per relative. In
general, the "carrying capacity" of core families in Baumannville
accommodation appears to be about one relative per two persons.

Elementary cores might be expected to take on more relatives
than fragmentary cores, since: a) the elementary core averaging
4.5 persons tends to be larger than the fragmentary core of 3.7
persons, so that more relatives would not swamp it; b) relatives of
both husband and wife have claims to housero6m with elementary cores,
whereas this is not usually the case with "widows". That these
factors have not made any marked difference is another suggestion
of the stronger tendency to fill all available living space, what-
ever the family type.

The second part of Table 18 makes it clear that more than a
third of the fragmentary extended families are under-occupying the
estimated house capacity, even with their attached relatives, and
that only two of these families have exceeded it. With elementary
extended families, on the other hand, just over half the twenty-
three families are using the houses to full capacity, only two are
under-occupying the accommodation, and nine are over-crowding it.
"Widow" extended families tend to under-occupy the houses, married
couple extended families to overcrowd them.

Joint Families.

Before considering the personal and functional aspects of at-
tached relatives, the story of official occupation in Baumannville
must be completed by an analysis of the attachment of families of
relatives to main families. There are forty joint families in the
location, compared with the thirty-six extended families14. When

/ families .....

From the Alexandra and Orlando township material cited by J.D.
Rheinallt-Jones ("Native Housing in Urban Areas with Special
Consideration of its Aspects") in Race Relations, Vol. XVIII,
No. 2, pp. 96-123, it is possible to calculate the following
figures for comparison with the present survey:-

- 67 -

families take in relatives the chances are even whether they will be
individuals or families. This suggests that where relatives have
spouses or immediate issue, they bring them into the house; where not,
they come alone.

In five cases out of six, joint families consist of a main fam-
ily and only one sub-family. In the seven instances where there is
more than one related sub-family in a house, eleven out of the sixteen
sub-families concerned are small fragmentary families, often consist-
ing of an unmarried daughter and her children. The main families can
be fragmentary, elementary or extended, for any type of family can be
conjoined with any other type to form a joint family.

Table 19 shows the number of persons in joint families, divided
by main families officially in Baumannville, and unofficial sub-fam-
ilies, to which are added any unauthorized individual relatives part
of extended families.

Thus 350 persons in main and sub-families, official and unof-
ficial, live in joint families in Baumannville; nearly half the
family population (350/743 persons) is found in less than a quarter
(40/166) of all the main and sub-families in the location. Joint fam-
ilies average 8.8 persons compared with 6.4 persons for extended fam-
ilies. It is evident from the table that once a main family takes on
a related sub-family, with or without additional relatives, the total
number thus unofficially added is likely to exceed the size of the
original main family. The inference is that once a sub-family is
admitted, the main family is either disinclined or unable to control
the natural increase of that family. In any event, there is an
average of about one and a half sub-family members per main family
member in all joint families exceptthe nino "widow" extended joint
families. In these the average rises to over three persons per main
family member, because the main family is very small; never more than
three persons.

Four more houses which in a sense contain joint families are
those in which pairs of unrelated families live together. The four
main families are elementary in each case, and the four sub-families
comprise one fragmentary servant family, one elementary lodger family
and two extended lodger families. The main families are small two
2-person, one 3-person and one 5-person family and the sub-families
fill the house-space, paying at the same time a contribution, or
rendering services to the main fr'-.l-es. In one instance, the only
one known in the location, the two families have completely separate
budgets and separate family economies.

/ The .....

Extended Families Joint Families
Alexandra 38% 7%
Orlando 30% 21%
Baumannville 32% 35%

The high percentage of extended and joint families in Baumannville,
and the correspondingly low number of elementary families, is pro-
bably related to the extreme desirability of this location as an
urban African residence on account of its central position, compared
with Alexandra and Orlando townships.

- 68 -

The joint families give the main picture of overcrowding for
a large part of the Baumannville population. Only one joint family,
consisting of four persons, is under-occupying the accommodation.
Of the remaining.thirty-nine joint families, twelve are using the
houses to capacity (5-7 persons) and twenty-seven are overcrowded
with eight to seventeen persons. Table 20 gives the distribution
of families by different types and by the number of persons in each.


Type of N u mb e r of Fami i e s with Total
Family 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 fam-
p etr s o n st p e r f a m i 1 y ilies

-oint--n------ -------------------- 1ll1---------------4
Joint 4 4 4 ll 4 3 1 3 1 2 1 1 40
Joint Un- 1 1 1 1 4
Extended 1 2 4 5 7 6 1 4 6 1 36
Element-- 4 5 4 l 4 2 t 1 1 22
ary t
Fragment- 3 5 i 1 11
TOTAL 3 10 7 10 10 17 1 '17 11 5 1 3 1 2 1 1 113
families t house
capacity '
_________________________ _______________

This table in effect gives the distribution by type of all the
families in Baumannville, forty-nine sub-families being concealed
among the joint families and the remaining four among the families
living unrelated together. The total family population for the
location (less five families unknown) calculated from this table is
739 Persons, without taking any unrelated attached individuals into
account. Of this population, 405 persons in forty-two families are
living under overcrowded conditions, 250 persons in forty-one fam-
ilies fill the houses to capacity, and eighty-four persons in thirty
families under-occupy the accommodation according to minimum housing
standards. Most of the overcrowding is in the twenty-seven joint

Not all these persons, however, are officially entitled to
house-room in Baumannville. The sub-families of joint families and
families living unrelated together that is, any second family in
the house are not entitled to be there, nor are the related attach-
ed persons in extended families or joint families.

We turn now to the officially resident core and main families
in-Table 21 which gives the types and number of persons with the
fragmentary families separated by the sex of the household head.

Table 21 answers the original question which headed this
section: who has house-room officially? It is obvious from the
detail of the table, however, that the answer has been obtained only
by cutting ruthlessly across family ties in extended and joint fam-
ilies. The families now listed as officially resident are not really
families, but family remnants, alike in form, but certainly not
functional entities compared with the European-type families to which
they are supposed to correspond.

Whatever means are used to limit or qualify the size or nature
of African families occupying location accommodation such as

/ Baumannville .....

- 69 -


Type of Main or Core Number of Families with TOTAL TOTAL
Family 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 89 10 fam- persons
persons per family ilies
widow alone: 3 3 1 11 9 26
families part of
extended: 2 2 3 1 -11- 0 38
part of
joint: 2 5 3 1 1 --- 12 30

TOTAL, widow families: 7 10 3 5 2 1 2 1 31 94

widower alone: 2 --- 2 4
families part of
extended: 1 -. 2 - 3 10
part of
joint: 2 1 1 - 7
TOTAL, widower families: 2 4 1 2 -- 9 21

married alone: 4 5 4 1 4 21 1 22 100
couples part of
with/without extended: 3 4 5 4 4 2 1- 23 104
children part of
joint: 7 7 4 2 22-- 24 87
part of
joint fams: 21 - 12
TOTAL, "married couple"
families: 16 17 13 8 10 6 2 1 73 303

GRAND TOTALS, officially
resident families: 9 30 21 20 10 11 8 3 1 113 418


those families will undoubtedly

in the end respond to

the pressure of the acute housing shortage by complete house saturation
along extended or joint family lines. A realistic way to meet this
situation would be to accept it as it stands at the moment, and consider
what can be done to house the so-called "unofficial" residue which
although "outside" the main and core families, probably contributes
quite as much to the labour requirements of Durban as those who are
officially housed.15 The following section will indicate in more
detail who the additional people are.

/ Who.....

For example, of the fifty-two related and unrelated lodgers of both
sexes, thirty-two males and six females are earning. One male and
one female of the non-earners are pensioners, five are infants, two
are schoolgirls, three women assist in the house, and two men are

- 70 -

Who has houseroom unofficially?

Unofficial residents in the location can be either related or
unrelated, the two classes are best treated separately. Related un-
official residents are twenty-two persons attached to fragmentary
families and fifty-five persons attached to elementary families
(Table 18) and in sub-families attached to fragmentary thirty-six,
to elementary fifty-five, to extended with fragmentary cores fifty-
five, and to extended with elementary cores eighty (Table 19),
making a total of 303 persons related to the official householders,
but unofficially resident in the location. These 303 persons,
together with eighteen persons in unrelated sub-families and the
418 persons officially housed, constitute the total Baumannville
family population of 739 persons.

It might be thought that sub-families created by married sons
and daughters of household heads are entitled to first consideration
for housing, by contrast with other related sub-families. Table 22
separates married sons and daughters who generate sub-families from
a) unmarried sons and daughters, and b) married and unmarried rela-
tions, who create sub-families, also in need of accommodation.


Marital Status Sons Daughters Relatives TOTALS
Male Female Male Female

Married 8 4 7 9 15 13
"Not Married" 3 13 5 3 18

TOTALS, Sub- 11 17 7 14 18 31
family heads: 149 sub-families

A technical term including widowed, divorced, separated and
unmarried persons of both sexes -mostly the last-named.

The overall tendency is to have married sons and/or unmarried
daughters living in the house, and this was borne out by field ob-
servation. It is also noticable that more "not married" than married
sons and daughters together are accepted in Baumannville households,
almost certainly for the sake of the children concerned. With rela-
tives, on the other hand, there is a strong tendency for them to be
married, presumably because householders are not prepared to accept
responsibility for the illegitimate children of relatives., No "not
married" male relatives and their offspring had been accepted in
households. On the whole, however, it is evident that legal union
and direct descent from the household head are by no means the only
criteria for acceptance of sub-families in Baumannville.

Table 23 shows the distribution by numbers of persons in the
sub-families created by the twelve married sons and daughters.

With such small numbers involved, it is impossible to be sure
that the families of married sons cluster about the smaller family
sizes, while those of married daughters cover a wider range. This
is, however, the situation which would result from the pressure put
upon a married son to found his own establishment once his family
had reached a certain size.

/ TABLE 23 .....

- 71 -


Sub-Families Number of Families with TOTAL
generated by: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 families
persons per sub-family.

Married Sons 2 3 2 1 8
Married Daughters 1 1 1 1 4
TOTALS, Sub- 12 sub-fam-
families: 3 3 2 2 1 1 ilies con-
sisting of
47 persons.

On what basis official?

Following the above argument, on what grounds other than European
ideas of consanguinity are the sub-families of married sons and
daughters more related to, or more a part of, the Zulu-type joint fam-
ily than sub-families generated by unmarried issue or by other related
persons? One household in Baumannville contains a very large joint
family consisting of a main family of husband, wife and unmarried
children, and three sub-families generated by a married son, a married
daughter and an unmarried daughter respectively. The married daughter
and her husband have no children, and the married son and his wife have
two. The unmarried daughter has six children which are as much a part
of the household head's patrilineage, in the traditional sense, as the
two children of the married son are. In terms of children, will the
large sub-family of the unmarried mother be excluded from the house
when the two small married ones are allowed to remain?

If the sub-families of unmarried sons and daughters are accept-
able in a housing policy, how can the sub-families created by other
relatives of the household head be excluded? Table 22 shows that more
married relatives than married offspring of the household head generate
accepted sub-families. Among these relatives has been included a mar-
ried grandson, his wife and child, part of a joint family covering five
generations. If that sub-family is officially acceptable, how is it
with an old widower household head, who besides accommodating the child
of his unmarried only daughter as one sub-family, also has his married
brother's son, wife and two children as another? In traditional Zulu
practice, a brother's son, especially when tat brother is dead, is
virtually as close to a man as his own son., With this admitted, it
is surely difficult to exclude all the other related cases, such as the
one, where a childless household head and wife have accepted not only
the former's father's sister to live with them, but also her married
daughter, daughter's husband and three children. A widowed 6a6ekazi
(father's sister) under these circumstances is very close to a man,
and her child is almost as his child.

/ Argument .....

This can be inferred from E.J. Krige, "The Social System of the
Zulus", 1936, pp. 25, 28. See also D.H. Reader, "Makhanya Kinship
Rights and Obligations", University of Cape Town Communications
No. 28, 1954, pp. 10, 16-17.

- 72 -

Argument in this strain serves to show the importance of all
the links which are not recognized by the criterion of official
residence to Zulu family life. Changes in family structure due to
the present urban environment, so far from dissolving the composite
family, only serve to augment it. Whereas in rural life relatives
on the husband's side had prime right to living-space in his kraal,
and for a man to live with his wife's people was considered dis-
graceful, in the urban environment, as exemplified in Baumannville,
it is found that the wife's relatives claim houseroom too. Of the
seventy-six extended or joint families in the location, twenty-seven
have both husband's and wife's relatives living in the house, the
remaining forty-nine being divided almost equally between families
which have only husband's relatives, those which have only relatives
of the wife, and those which have no relatives at all living in the
house other than children and grandchildren and their offspring.
This new foothold which the wife's relatives have gained in the
urban household may very well be due to her new powers of indepen-
dence as an earner one who often contributes to the household
income, say by the sale of illicit liquor, more than her husband
does by his legitimate occupation.

Similar arguments apply to individual relatives living with
the extended family, except that because they would sometimes be
very young or very old and alone if separated from the core family
to which they are attached, the argument not to separate them on
humanitarian grounds is intensified.

LodgErs and Servants.

There is reason to believe that many relatives are attached
to the core family by economic as well as by kinship ties. This was
to some extent masked in the survey by the fact that contributions
by related lodgers or to related servants must sometimes have been
in kind, that is groceries or other useful commodities.


I Family Type

Type of iFragmoot'fam. Elemont.fam. Extended & Joint TOTALS
Individuals No.of o.of o.of Noof No.of NNo.of No.of No.of
Per- House Per- House Per- House Per- House
sons holds sons holds sons holds sons holds

related: 32 23 32 23
unrelated: 3 2 11 3 6 3 20 8
related: 2 2 2 2
unrelated: 2 2 6 4 8 8 16 14
related: 34 25 34 25
unrelated: 5 4 17 7 14 11 36 22

/ Where .*.,*

- 73 -

Where cash or kind is known to have passed, Table 24 shows the
number of lodgers and servants, related and unrelated, and the number
of households to which they are attached by main family types. The
related lodgers and servants have already been taken into account in
the extended and joint family distributions; the unrelated lodgers and
servants have not.

The unrelated are more truly the lodgers and servants, The former
number twenty in eight households the majority with elementary families
where there is more room. The latter number sixteen in fourteen house-
holds the majority with extended and joint families where there would
be more need of help.

Related lodgers (thirty-two in twenty-three households) and
servants (two in two households) can only occur in extended or joint
families, for they make a core or main family extended. Even taking
what are undoubtedly low figures, however, it is clear that a good num-
ber of attached relatives are lodgers. Had contributions in the oppo-
site direction in kind, such as the use of sleeping space, been taken
into account it might have become apparent that a number of them were
also servants.

When the related lodgers are divided by age and sex, it is found
that three-quarters of them are men in their twenties, working in
Durban, usually single and paying a preferential rate of about 10/- a
month for lodging, often irregularly. It is not clear to what extent
food is provided for them from the household budget or to what extent
they buy food for it. Other related lodgers are either old persons or
children under 18 for whose keep a small sum is paid. Related school-
children living in households do not pay for lodging. Only two related
servants were discovered, one a widow of forty and the other a separat-
ed woman, twenty-five years of age. It is reasonably certain that
there are other female relatives in a servant capacity who are not
paid in cash but for whom the necessities of life are provided by the
household head or his wife. Such women will normally be elderly and
without a spouse, and will be in the household genuinely to help with
the housework, and not necessarily to brew and serve illicit liquor.

Other attached Relatives.

A considerable number of attached relatives are neither servants
nor lodgers, but just live in the house. These range from country
children who live with their town relatives in the location while they
are at school, to persons related only by clanship, that is, through
having the same isi6ongo or clan name (say, Ngco6o), Complete families
related only in this way were living as sub-families in two households,
the practice in this location not being as common as had been expect-.
ed. 17 Unattached widows come to live in their brothers house, for
according to Zulu tradition this is one of the alternatives open to a
widow in rural areas, and in a few cases separated or divorced men,
sometimes with a child of the broken marriage. In general, however,
the unmarried nieces or nephews of the household head or his wife are
those most frequently attached to the core family, of these 40 per-
cent are relatives on the wife's side, and 45 per cent on the husband's

/ side .....

The influence of clanship in urban areas is discussed in Levin,
"Marriage in Langa Native Location", University of Cape Town Com-
munications, No. 17, 1947, pp. 68-69, and in Godfrey Wilson's essay
"Economics of Detribelegation in Northern Rhodesia", Part II,
Rhodes-Livingstone Paper No. 6, 1942, p. 53.

74 -

side. Many of these are children from the country at school in
Durban. Whatever the relationships and numbers of these attached
people living with the core family, they are as likely to be related
to the wife of the householder as to the householder himself.

Between related persons, who have been included under the
family, and non-related individuals making up the household, is a
category which will be called here assimilated persons. This term
has reference to the urban Bantu habit of taking very young, very
old or unrelated, neglected or impoverished persons into the house-
hold, from no obvious motive other than pity in many cases, and
"making them part of the family". In the case of very young
children this produces a form of quasi-adoption which is so closely
allied to the traditional Bantu form of taking over a deceased
relative's children or even one or more of those of a prolific
living relative that it has become a norm in Baumannville in lieu
of legal adoption, which necessarily involves formalities and delay.
As there is no functional difference in the care and treatment be-
stowed upon an assimilated and a legally adopted child by the people,
the one or two cases of legal adoption found in the location have
been classed as assimilated. Children who have been assimilated
combine with their foster parents or parent to form an elementary
or a fragmentary family; and they may form part of extended or
joint families in the usual way.

Assimilated adults appear as extensions of the family into
which they are taken, being of the same or of a senior generation
to that of the parents. To all intents and purposes they are treat-
ed in the family as though they were relatives of the parent who
took the initiative in assimilating them. As one Zulu housewife,
who had taken in a Swazi woman of fifty-six, said, "she just came
walking in here one day in March, not knowing where to sleep. I
gave her supper, and she has stayed here ever since, helping me
where she can. I dontt pay her anything, but give her things as she
needs them." Had this woman been deliberately engaged for the pur-
pose, she might have been called a servant. As it is, she and other
adults of the same kind have already been included in the family
population as members of extended and joint families. Five adults
were found to be assimilated in this way into four Baumannville
households, six children were assimilated into two fragmentary fam-
ilies, and twelve children into seven elementary families.


The various modifications of family patterns which have been
discussed because the data made it necessary,'seem also to indicate
that it is more realistic to recognize that, in Baumannville, the
basic social unit is the household. The entire human contents of
each house not only dwell in the same place, but actually live
tn:,1 1-r sharing from day to day the arrangements, the meals, the
problems, and the responsibilities. It is, therefore these house-
holds and the total :'-pIul.'tion of all households which is important.
The household population consists of the family population, 739 per-
sons, with the thirty-six unrelated lodgers and servants living "un-
officially" in the location added, a total of 775 persons.

These unrelated persons in households can no more be separat-
ed from the families to which they are attached than can the related
attached persons already discussed, The household is the prime
economic unit in Baumannville, and if unrelated persons are attached,
they are attached as a matter of economic necessity, either on the
side of the household head, the unrelated person, or both. There
are functional differences, however, in the significance of the

/ attachment ....

- 75 -

attachment of unrelated persons ccjt.ij-d with related persons.

There are twenty unrelated lodgers compared with thirty-two re-
lated lodgers, not a large number. Unlike the related lodgers who are
usually young single persons, unrelated lodgers are mostly in families,
with spouses from twenty-five to sixty years of age on the whole in
the older group. While in one case 2 a month lodging is asked, and
in another 1 or more, the general pattern of payment is similar to the
preferential rate of 10/- a month for related lodgers; with an even
greater likelihood, however, of payment in kind. The economic necess-
ity in these cases appears to'be entirely on the lodger's side, the
householder, with certain reservations, merely providing houseroom.
An excerpt from the fieldworker's notes for one household throws light
on the matter: "When I asked why she does not make these people pay,
she gave two reasons. One, ,.... they are Christians. Anything the
lodgers would like to do should be voluntary. As long as they behave
themselves she is contented. Two, ..... Should they be forced to con-
tribute, they would do anything, because (then) they would be joint
owners of the house ...". The last point may often be important: with
security of tenure depending only on the continued passage of money,
it could easily be "usurped" for a pound or two, and there are no kin-
ship obligations to regularise the issue.

In the case of unrelated servants, there is little doubt that a
real difference of function exists when comparison is made with related
servants. Far from being elderly, the average unrelated adult servant
is a strong woman in her prime, brought in from the country because of
the low wage she will accept, for the specific purpose of helping with
the brewing and serving of illicit beer to customers, One fieldworker
put the matter thus: "It is quite clear that (the servant) is hired
for brewing purposes. She is a tall, tough, rural-reared woman -
ideally suited for the strenuous job ...". Such a servant will, of
course, only be required in the successful shebeen house with a high
turnover; hence a comparatively small number are employed. While the
present official policy regarding "domestic" brewing continues,18
then in some form or other the beer servant will appear as an integral
economic part of the shebeen household. It is fairly definitely
established, however, that apart from casual encounters, beer servants
are not engaged in organised prostitution for the benefit of customers
in the location, but confine themselves on the whole to beer service.
This is not to say that procurer houses are unknown for sexual acti-
vities elsewhere than in Baumannville.

Four of the unrelated servants are juveniles, and in this case
they are engaged as children's nurses, generally in a household where
both l:--l-r go out to work. In one such house, the wife "asked a
friend to recommend some child of poor parents who could not afford
her food, to live with her family, help the servant by supervising
small children, in return for which she would get bed, board, clothing

/ and ....

Permissive domestic brewing, limited to four gallons at a time, is
in force in the location under the provisions of Government Notice
No. 88 of 1949. But, as one infog-!i said: "The door of evil was
opened to Baumannville with one (paraffin) tin of beer". The ob-
jection to domestic brewing is that there is no effective means of
checking either the quantity brewed or its sale. vide A. Lynn
Saffery, "The Liquor Problem in Urban Areas", Race Relations, Vol.
VII, No. 4, 1940, pp. 88-94.

- 76 -

and also schooling, but no wages". In this case there is also an
adult servant in the house, whose main function is evidently not to
supervise small children.

The total number of persons in the officially resident families
as shown in Table 21 amounts to 418. The households whose distrib-
ution will now be set out includes in addition the 357 unofficially
resident persons, totalling 775. These additional people include
303 attached relatives, as individuals or in families, eighteen
persons living in unrelated sub-families, twenty unrelated lodgers,
and sixteen unrelated servants. Table 25 shows the distribution by
size of the resultant households and the total household population
of 775 persons.


_1007 = 113 households.
22- 41o -

under-occupied used to capacity over-crowded

Houses No. of Persons Houses No. of Persons Houses No. of. Persons
0.:. ..s Occupants Occupants
1 1 1 14 x 5 = 70 16 x 8 = 128
9 x 2 = 18 16 x 6 = 96 11 x 9 = 99
8 x 3 24 12 x 7 = 84 7 x 10 = 70
7 x 4 = 28 4 x 11 = 44
2 x 12 = 24
1 x 13 = 13
2 x 14 = 28
1 x 15 = 15
1 x 16 = 16
1 x 17 = 17
25 = 71 42 = 250 46 454

GRAND TOTAL: Household Population: 113 houses, 775 persons.
( 5 houses unknown)

Slightly more than a third of the houses are used to capacity
according to the calculated capacity of the houses as 5-7 persons.
Of the remainder about twice as many are overcrowded as under-
occupied. While only 41 per cent of the houses are overcrowded,
nearly 60 per cent of Baumannville household population live in
these houses. Baumannville with its average of 6.9 persons per
household is heavily overcrowded when compared with I. I:ive accom-
modation in Durban as a whole, averaging 3.2 persons per household
as reported in the 1943-44 Housing Survey of Durban. 9 Even allow-
ing for a large increase in population since then, there is little

/ doubt ....

The Durban Housing Survey: A Study of Housing in a Multi-racial
Community. Natal Regional Survey, Additional Report No. 2,
Durban: University of Natal Press, 1952, Chapter V, pp. 85, 87.

- 77 -

doubt that the high relative household density in the location is by
virtue of its extremely desirable position, from the African point of
view, within the central area of the city.

House and room density, and hence the degree of,overcrowding,
could be calculated from the above figures in at least four different
ways20 The point here, however, is not only that too many people are
living together in these small houses according to accepted standards
of health and decency, but also that they are prepared to continue
doing so, whatever the discomfort. 84 per cent of the householders
have tried to meet the situation by building on the additional rooms
at their own expense. While this has been done in 75 per cent of the
households of five persons or less, perhaps for use as a beer-parlour
or guest-room. In 90 per cent of the households with more than five
persons an extra room or rooms have been added, presumably to provide
the additional space needed for a large household, without having to
turn any person, related or unrelated, away.

The conclusion which seems to present itself from this study,
and which may well have a wider application than merely to Baumann-
ville, is that the growing urban African population, under present
conditions of limited accommodation in the city, cannot without strain
and injustice be reduced to -he convenient elementary family of between
three and seven persons which seems to be the basis of modern town-
l' .1i..II-; for the Bantu. The African household, as instanced in
Baumannville, is like an entire kraal rolled into the two or three
rooms of a house. The extended or joint family which it normally con-
tains is not in any way inferior as a family structure to the element-
ary family in the same environment. In fact it portrays advantages,
the aged are cared for, orphans find refuge, funds are spread, and
traditional kinship obligations are met within its framework, in a
way hardly possible in the individualistically-attuned elementary

Under the circumstances the familiar "model" two- to four-
roomed houses may in practice be unsuitable, particularly where there
may be a ^-.,gc of persons per household as wide as in this location;
from one to seventeen persons. To refuse to permit unrelated persons
to be integrated into such households would only be equitable if
African wages were of a level to permit the widespread independent
existence of elementary families of the size planned for, and there
were sufficient centrally situated hostels or other accommodation for
the unrelated persons to use, or at least no serious deficit in urban
African housing at large.

These conditions do not obtain. Thought may therefore have to
be given to some flexible scheme for housing the large and variable
numbers of related and unrelated persons at present constituting
households.21 As the National Housing and Planning Commission have

/ properly ....

The Durban I.il..in Survey: A Study of Housing in a Multi-racial
Community. '.1I Regional Survey, Additional Report No. 2, Durban:
University of Natal Press, 1952, Chapter V, p. 89 ff.
21 A system of letting aggregates of, say, 2-person room-units might
be tried, possibly in flatted accommodation if experiment shows
that this is suitable for African families. The 12-person house-
hold will then rent six rooms, with the possibility of renting more
if the numbers increase, or less if some of the members die or
leave. Satisfactory rt "i r'i: i! '' for living-room, kitchen, toilet
etc, will, of course, have to be made.

properly said: "The problem of housing non-Europeans in urban areas
is one which is never static, The persons already housed increase,
and the industrial development in certain areas may attract non-
European labour from other places, thus creating a housing shortage.
It is therefore necessary for local authorities to watch carefully
the natural increase and the infiltration of non-Europeans into
their areas, in order to know what housing demands exist at any time,
and what the future may require".22

Finally, three reservationsA firstly, it will almost certainly
be objected to the conclusions drawn here that they are formed from
only one small, non-representative Durban location and are therefore
not valid at large. The reply is that they suggest a sociological
basis for urban African housing sufficiently different from current
practice to challenge further investigation in other locations.

Secondly, it is not implied that, given ample housing facili-
ties, urban Africans might not prefer to live in the European
elementary family form, without all the additional kinship obliga-
tions which they are now shouldering. The point is, that under
present conditions of restricted accommodation in the city, it is
impossible for them to live like Europeans while their houseroom is
being saturated through the legitimate needs of relatives; and there-
fore that since many years of intensive building must elapse before
this situation could be ameligrated23the realistic approach in the
present generation is to build for the extended and joint family,
structures which must continue to exist.

Thirdly, nothing has been said to convey that Baumannville
inhabitants are dissatisfied with this type of location as such.
They complain of overcrowding, delays in repairing fences and yards,
the lack of community recreational facilities in particular the
lack of a communal hall; but there is full recognition of the ease
of r .: 1_. their work without great expense, the provision by the
administration of public services such as street-cleaning, and
above all a considerable pleasure in the neighbourly relations en-
gendered by lines of contiguous houses. It may be that at the
present stage of the African housing problem, the propcrly-designed
terraced house, let on some flexible unit principle, is the best
solution to the accommodation needs of the majority of urban African

National Housing and Planning Commission Publication, "A Guide to
the PI :ing of Non-European Townships", 1951, p. 2.
video J .E Jennings, "Housing for the Urban Bantu a Problem in
Whole S~: *l. Iering", Transactions of the S.A. Institute of Civil
LInI -.ors, Vol. 4 No. 6, June, 1954, p. 3, whore it appears that
to eliminate the backlog of 353,131 urban African dwellings in
the Union within ten years, would involve speeding up the present
rate of building by about four times.

, n -.

- 79 -

C, :gTL,"R _.


The household is the primary social unit in Baumannville, as was
shown in the preceding chapter, but within the household there may be
more than one family, Normally the main family the immediate family
of which the household head is a member determines the pattern of
life within the household. The household head is responsible for pay-
ing the rent, whether ho in fact pays it or not; and prompt payment of
rent is the only guarantee of security of tenure, which means much to
the African. If lodgers, individuals or families are able to make them-
selves agreeable or helpful to members of the main family, they may
enjoy the privilege of living for a relatively small sum in this most
central and convenient location in Durban, although frequently under
overcrowded conditions. In this way it becomes to the advantage of sub-
families and attached individuals in the household to conform with the
behaviour patterns of the main family.

This situation has implications for marriage and family life in
the location. It reinforces the old-established natural hospitality
and desire to meet kinship obligations which is characteristic of the
Bantu, and it serves further to knit the household into one cohesive
social unit. Marriage and family life in sub-families becomes the con-
cern of the household as dominated by the main family. Child-care
where parent-substitutes are available in the household is no longer
the sole concern of a sub-family f.ir-;:-t. The attitudes to various
aspects of marital and pre-marital life during the process of growing
up and maturity, will be conditioned by the household environment
rather than the family or sub-family alone.


While up until recent years the families moving into Baumannville
wore selected on the basis of the regularity of their marriage accord-
ing to the standards of western culture, the attitude of the people to
the monogamous married state -.;.:::r to be ambivalent, On the one hand
legal marriage still confers status on both partners as it did in tra-
ditional Zulu times: a man in a sense is not truly adult until he has
a wife, nor a woman fully matured until she has borne children. On the
other hand, while polygamy itself has virtually disappeared, the poly-
gamous attitude persists, in that sexual union outside legal monogamous
marriage is permitted, or at least suffered, to a degree which it is
not in European society.1 The whole Pantu attitude towards sex is more
matter-of-fact and less inhibited. Thus, while marriage gives prestige
and perhaps status, it is not essential for "respectability".

The facts of the marital status of the population fifteen years
of age and over was given in Table 7 in Chapter 3. Some additional im-
plications need further consideration here.

/ S *.***

As E.,J Krige says, writing of urban African marital relations:
"The transition from polygamy to monogamy is not an easy one and
concubinage and adultery are common." (Africa, Vo. IX, 1936,
p. 20).

- 80 -

Age atMa1rrigae

There is a considerable range in the age at which both husbands
and wives were married as Table 26 shows.

-- Age of Marriage -
15-20 yrs 21-25 yrs 26-30 yrs 31 yrs -- Unknown TOTALS

Husbands 3 20 46 24 10 103
Wives 34 49 14 9 1 107

Forty-six (45 per cent) of the husbands married between the
ages of twenty-six and thirty years, and as many of the remainder
married above that age-group as below it. Forty-nine of the wives
(46 per cent) married between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-
five, and eighty-three (78 per cent) of the wives had married by the
age of twenty-five. This table was calculated for spouses in all
age-groups, but since only three husbands (3 per cent) and fourteen
wives (13 per cent) less than twenty-five years of age were married
(T I1io. 7) compared with twenty-three husbands (23 per cent) and
eighty-three wives (78 per cent) married by twenty-five years of age,
it is clear that the older people were married at younger ages. The
inference is that the later marriage-age of husbands, and in parti-
cular the later age of marriage of wives, is a relatively recent
phenomenon as far as this population is concerned,2

Of the men in Baumannville half had been married and 45 per
cont were married at the time of this study; of the women 62 per cent
had been married and 40 per cent were presently married, and half
have had one or more children.

Single Parsons.

The large proportion of single persons among those of marriag-
able age and the lateness of marriage have boon pointed out. This is
not so much Af.'.c- ~, or Baumannville, as it is a characteristic of
cities. Levin indicates for Langa location, Cape Town, that
marriage takes place at a later age in town, ascribing this to the
absence of family pressure, the length of time taken to acquire
enough for lo6o1o p-.:r.-its and to become sufficiently stable financ-
ially to contemplate marriage, and the fact that education is finish-
ed at a later age in town than in the country. It is doubtful
whether the first factor applies to Baumannville, where more than
half the main families have been resident for over ten years and
there is a stable household life. The second factor is most im-
portant and will be discussed under lo6o1o. The last factor would
appear to have some significance, in that thirteen men and seventeen

/ women ,....

Ruth Levin, "Marriage in Langa Native Location", University of
Cape Town Communications, No. 17, 1947, p. 20, shows that 34c8,
of men married in rural areas, compared with 29.6*o in urban areas,
were married by the age of twenty-five; and that 69.o87 of rurally-
married women compared with 36&o urban-married were married in the
15-20 age-group. This study shows the same tendency for the mar-
riage-age of urban men and women in particular to have increased.

women between eighteen and twenty-four years were found still to be

There are fifteen "real" spinsters of twenty-five years and
over, all with education over Standard VIII. This is a characteristic
of urban communities where the greater opportunities which cities af-
ford for women to get jobs and earn a living gives them other alter-
natives to marriage. Here are women with good stable jobs who have
found out that they can take care of themselves and prefer to remain
single as many women under similar circumstances in cities do. Their
position is well put by a headmistress, who said: "It is now becoming
common for an educated woman not to be content with anyone". Behind
this -attitude can be discerned the outlines of a class-system, defined
in educational and probably in economic terms. As another informant
suggested: ".,. people of today don't marry for love. They consider
the social position of the family, are they well-to-do?"

A philandering, as well as a mercenary attitude was often
ascribed to the twenty-five bachelors. Thirteen bachelors are between
twenty-five and twenty-nine years of age, eight of these plus four
older are unmarried sons of household heads. Only five are unrelated
lodgers, three of whom have lived in Baumannville for less than two
years, and the other two between five and nine years. Ten of the
bachelors live in joint families, seven in extended families; so that
unmarried men tend to be found in the larger families. Only six
bachelors have had Standard VIII education or more. Four have had no
schooling at all.

Traditionally among the Zulu, unmarried persons of either sex
wore considered highly abnormal if they continued long in that state,
the girls after they had become fully nubile and the men after their
age-regiment had been given permission to marry. It was partly to dis-
cover to what extent the traditional attitude persisted, that a question
was included in the survey asking about feelings toward spinsters and
bachelors. Table 27 summarizes the results.

The main response is a new one and in economic terms: "they are
a problem for support when they grow old", "they have no security",
and "may deprive their male next-of-kin of part of his inheritance In
other words, there are no in-laws to share the economic load created
by unmarried old people in the modern hand-to-mouth existence

The traditional attitude that the unmarried must have something
mentally wrong, do not mature, become fools, scoms to persist among
male respondents. It is still recognized by both sexes that marriage
confers status, and that it is painful for parents to see their daughter
unmarried, "it is undignified", "does not look good", "is not proper".
As seen mainly by the female element, "people are created to marry",
"it is a duty as well as a privilege", and "it should be every women's
oal". Both sexes realise the consequence of non-marriage, that "no
legitimate) children are born", and therefore that one's name is not
carried onw As one person said: "A bachelor is like a seed that is
left on top of the ground". It is mainly the women, with their feeling
for dependent security, who visualise that the unmarried will "have no
home", "no man to take charge", "no helper". The unmarried are seen as
unhappy, lonely, not at ease. It is difficult for them to live decent-
ly, they cannot stand it, and their way of life is not Zulu-like, and
is consequently disapproved.

Tolerance is to be found under present conditions of African
urban life, and a good number of respondents are prepared to allow the
unmarried to go their own way. This, they say, "is their character"t
"it is up to them", "each must go as he wishes", "it is natural to

/ such ,...o

- 82 -


Attitude Spinsters Bachelors
by by

DISAPPROVE They are a problem for support 9 10 6 9
They do not mature mentally 4 6 5
A woman lacks the dignity of
married status 4 8 -
An unmarried man has no name 4 2
A person is created to marry 3 7 3 11
No children are born 3 4 3 4
Bad, unnatural, not nice 2 9 5 18
Against Zulu custom 1 3 4
No place to go home 6 2 8
Not h-appy or at ease 2 3 -
Miscellaneous 2 3 3

EUTRAL So-cry for them 3 2 3 6
This is their character 9 5 6 2
o. I can't afford marriage -

APFROVE Provided they behave well 5 7 5 4
Marr'.:.- : is a failure in urban life 2 1 3 1
It is good 1 3 2 1
Miscellaneous 1 -

Don't know 2 2 -

Total responses: 50 72 58 78

such people"; there should be no compulsion and no
Men point out the high -cost of urban marriage.

force to choose.

Those who :_' J-.. --; of the unmarried state appear to be the ones
who find, or have found, little pleasure or profit in marriage.
About as many mc n as women fall into this group, The women were apt
to reply, somewhat wistfully, that provided a girl had nice
work, led a cloan life and helped her family, it was a good thing
not to marry, The male attitude was on the whole a disillusioned
one: marriage does nob work in urban life, married people quarrel,
it is better not to marry.

Underlying these responses is a general acceptance, contrary
to former times, that non-marriage has become a part of the urban
African social scene. This viewpoint is tending towards the European
individualistic conception of the unmarried person as potentially
useful and entitled to his own way of life, and away from the tra-
ditional Zulu idea of the abnormal and socially non-co-operative

Counted among the single persons in Table 7 are twenty-four
unmarried mothers ihe largest group of whom, thirteen, are under

/ twenty-five .....

- 83 -

twenty-five years of age and seven more between twenty-five and thirty-
four. This is na ccon-omitant oi lo idaye, marriage, perhaps even a conse-
quenceo One unmarried mother to every eight women of reproductive age
is a situation for which there is no counterpart in the tradition of
these people. The old tradition permitted ulkj.6Lu.2nga (external non-
penetrative intercourse) cil~;. young people, provided the girl's vir-
ginity was not di-turbed. Now, under the stresses of delayed marriage
in the urban situation, among this older age-group, the same term is
used for full intercourse, result in a crop of illegitimate off-

Of the twenty-four unmarried mothers, eleven are daughters of the
household head, nine are relatives, two are non-related. Two are them-
selves household heads, a fact to be borne in mind when the incidence
of "broken homes" is discussed, Unmarried mothers, then, are as likely
as not to be daughters of the household head, being kept on in the
house by their usually cd-.o-li. I parents. It was an interesting firld
of experience that in cases of illegitimate birth it was always the
parent, rarely the unmarried mother, who suffered. Particularly if the
parents were elderly and used to the old ways and had had their children
late, the misbehaviour of their daughters was a great shock. One
couple, speaking of their daughter's unexpected pregnancy, said with
great emotion: "We expect it (ma-,riage) to happen, and a child who
evades it is a murder and a witch -o parents' hopes and expectations".
With its reference to supernatural evil, this is very strong language
to use of one's own daughter.

The reaction of parents is related to their former rural situa-
tion in which children were legitimized, succession and inheritance
made plain, and families brought together, by some form of recognized
union: in those (1 _;, customary union with the passage of 1o6olo
cattle DoEI.:- 's on the other hand, find themselves in a modern
situation, iln which alt.-.1 h ready and fit, they are for one reason or
another delayed or prevented from exercising their natural fi,,ictions
as wives and mothers, 'Ti.:ie reaction to the indignation of their
parents is inevitably of the form: "What do you expect in these times
when we cannot marry? Do you think we want to stay without children
all our lives?" This is obviously a situation which the discipline of
parents alone cannot allay. As one parent put it: "We have no remedy
for ito You can stay with children, look after them, but they still
surprise you. My daughters never slept out, they always came home in
time, But o.... still got those children". Nor is education deter-
rent: five of the unmarried mothers were educated t:, Standard VIII or
IX, and fourteen attained Standards III to VII.

This theory that unmarried motherhood in the location is largely
due to artificial delay in the legal assumption by women of the
functions of parenthood, is supported to the extent that there were
only two unmarried mothers under eighteen.3 The implication is that
tensions leading to the breaking of the quasi-Christian moral code do
not normally build up sufficiently for action until the traditional
age for marrying is past, and the girl has spent several potentially
fruitful years in sexual inactivity. It must be remembered too that

/ these ...,,

There ,:.-, on the other hand, be substance in the view that girls
in the under-18 ago group are often still at school, do not have
the same range of social contacts (and therefore temptations) and
are not so sexually orientated as their older sisters out at work.

- 84 -

these years are passed in the town with its atmosphere of moral
laxity which has been pointed out by many writers.-

The summary of responses by parents to a question asking their
attitudes to sexual relations before marriage is given in Table 28
which reveals that they were disturbed by the consequences as well
as the immorality of the unmarn: -ed girls.


Attitude: H W
p responses 7
DISAPPROVE: Morally wrong 34 23
Not Christian 2 1
Not lawful or customary 13 8
Not nice, disliked 11
Bad or unpleasant consequences 19 31
Various factors or persons blamed 8 6
Other reasons 5 5
NEUTRAL: Useless to disapprove 6 6
Undecided 2 3

APPROVE: Various individual factors 11 6

100o 100l

Husbands put more emphasis on the moral and custom aspect of
the question and wives emphasized the consequences. Eight responses
mentioned the bible and ray be presumed to refer to Christian moral-
ity. Others, however, spoke of moral evil in different terms:
"purity is gone", "indecent", "improper", "impure", "an evil of our
times". The attitude that premarital sex relations are wrong by
reference to law and custom were expressed: "the ancestors hate it",
"it is not our custom to go beyond external intercourse", "we have
lost our custom which was good", "it was not lawful in our time".
The expression "not nice" seems to be almost exclusive to Christian
women, apparently being used by them to convey dislike, failure to
come up to civilized standards of life, and perhaps moral evaluation
in Christian terms.

/ Various .....

vide, e.g. Ellen Hellmann, "The Native in the Towns", in The Bantu-
Speaking Tribes of South Africa, 1946, Chapter XVIII, pp. 419, 422.
Also E.J. Krige, "Changing Conditions in Marital Relations and
Parental Duties among Urbanised Natives", Africa, Vol. IX, 1936,
p. 5 .' which is still a valuable analysis of the whole
question of urban African marital relations.
It must be pointed out that this is a heavily biassed sample: only
married people responded, most of them in the higher age-groups and
long-settled in the location. Had the survey taken a sample of
young people, the attitudes to pre-marital intercourse would likely
have been more favourable.

Various consequences of premarital intercourse were expressed
by both men and women. First, there are the consequences on the
children: "it produces children who are orphans", "the children have
no protection", "bad from the health and education point of view",
and others in a similar vein.. Second, the girl suffers: "when the
girl is pregnant, the boy runs away", "a good-looking child is spoilt".
Third, and with some feeling, the parents suffer: "I have just had
trouble with my daughter, makes a lot of children to be supported by
one small family", "your family must support children all over again",
"brings trouble to your parents". Fourth, it is bad for the Zulu
nation: "it will produce a nation of Coloureds", "it will ruin my
nation", "it lowers the dignity of the Bantu people". Last, it is
said to lead to sexual abnormality.

The blame for all this is laid at every door: of the parents -
"it is weakness of the parents", "I blame myself as one of the parents";
of the woman "the girls are to blame", "they no longer want (only)
external intercourse", "the girls just give themselves to the boys";
of the man "the boy is to blame"; of circumstances "it is through
poverty they cannot marry", "there is not a separate hut for men in
these houses."

The small majority which approves of premarital intercourse does
so on a number of grounds ranging from a justification of external
intercourse ("I think much of our national customs") to bland self-
identification ("I also did it").

People feel groping and helpless in the face of unmarried
motherhood. An attitude such as this was frequently heard: "The Zulu
nation now seems to get excited in these matters much earlier this
is a recent condition ... I don't know what has gone wrong". On the
other hand the statement by a thoughtful informant shows real insight,
which taken with the undoubted economic delay in marriage, reveals
what may be a considerable part of the total situation:

"I cannot say that this terrible situation is entirely
the result of the difficulty of marrying. It is also bad
town influence bioscopes contribute. Our girls do not
have time or opportunity to go to decent amusements, or
sports. When they are free they try to make the best of it
in the wrong way. They take anything and get excited.

Parental control is lacking too. Children say 'who are
you to tell me how I should behave?' Parents work all day,
come home tired, and find relaxation in drink. They are not
interested in the bad behaviour of their children. Some of
them don't even want to get married."

Married Persons Apart.

Eight husbands and twelve wives had their spouses away from home.
Of the eight husbands, only one was a household head, hiw wife was away
in the country indefinitely for medical treatment. Only four of the
twelve wives were the spouses of household heads, the husbands of two
of these women were aboard the same ship, working as stokers, and re-
turning to their wives only about once in three months. In the third
case, according to the wife, the husband was "away to the country for
some nervous mental disorders ..... we are expecting him back any day".
The fourth wife did not know the whereabouts of her husband, and this
case may become a desertion.

Women tend to suffer in status if their husbands are away for any
length of time, even for good reasons. The other married women look
down on them. One woman with a seafaring husband said that this

/ "lowered ....

- 85 -

"lowered her", She often felt lonely and downcast, and had pleaded
with her husband to take a job in Durban. He was, however, "too free
at sea to give it up". Men, on the other hand, do not seem to suffer
in this respect, being more at liberty to do as they please.

It still seems customary in some cases to send the wife home
to her own people for the birth of the first, and sometimes subsequent
children. In return for looking after the wife during her first con-
finement, her parents are rewarded by her husband with a shawl, the
itshali loku6elethisa, which may be paid in money. A "shawl" of this
kind should also be given for each subsequent child born in the
parental kraal. There is one case of a husband with two wives, the
older one lives with him in Baumannville, the second with her two
sons in Zululand.

Persons living together.

Orly one couple which is counted among the married was living
under common law marriage at the time of the study. Both persons say
that negotiations have been started with her people, the lo6olo to be
paid in cash. This one case is at first glance interesting as a
negative fact, the urban African literature indicating on the whole
a much higher incidence of illicit unions in other locations: Langa
5 per cent,6 Rooiyard 20 per cent,7 Pretoria 21 per cent and 24 per
cent from two samples,8 and Alexandra 35 per cent.9 But Baumannville
is of course a "respectable" and settled family location, the people
having been screened for admission on the criteria of settled Christian
family life and standards of stable economic life. The population is
consequently biased against just living together as a satisfactory
arrangement. Some twenty husbands and wives were asked what they
thought about this kind of union and their answers overwhelmingly
showed their disapproval; no stability: "A person is likely to be in
love with somebody else again and I would be left"; "Marriage is the
only essential basis for living together"; "You must have confidence
she is your wife"; "I wouldn't have any rights over him"; "We start
seeing mistakes in one another, and it results in our not getting
married"; "We cannot stay together without marriage". Just living
together is too hard on the emotions, makes one feel too insecure, in
an environment where it is possible, and desirable, to have stable
unions lasting over a period of years. Christianity does not allow
it suggests a moral element: "It breaks a holy law, a law of God";
"I was born a Christian"; "I want to get married in church". Further
practical considerations occur under the Economic heading: "This
would run me into expense, I wouldn't be able to save the money to
lo6ola her; "he doesn't give my parents the lo6olo"; "it is a waste
of time working for a man who is not your husband". Some people
think of the children: "This would result in illegitimate children";
"The status and upbringing of the children (will be hard)"; "the

/ children .....

11------ -- --_ )I ___ __ ___ ______
Levin, op cit. p. 61.
Hellmann, "Rooiyard: a Sociological Survey of an Urban Native Slum
Yard", 1948, p. 80.
Krige, op cit. p. 13.
Kark, "A Study of a Pocket of Ill-Health", 1946 (unpublished ms.)
Information extracted by Miss Violaine Junod in her unpublished
M.A. thesis "New Social Groupings in Southern Bantu Urban Areas",
p. 67.

- 86 -

children won't help their parents when they are old". Altogether, the
decision that just living together will not do is a practical one,
mostly unrelated to moral issues or respectability, but dictated by
the desire for a permanent union in a family setting.


According to the designations of European social work Baumann-
ville would be a place of broken homes twenty-four unmarried mothers,
eight husbands and twelve wives not together with their spouses, and
as we are to see forty-eight widows and six widowers, six men and
thirteen women separated, divorced or deserted. They would add up to
117 "broken families" and compare them with the ninety-four couples
living continuously together. Observation, however, confirms the non-
applicability of these standards. Many of the things which would dis-
rupt a European-type elementary family can be absorbed without too
serious consequences in the "households" which form the basic social
units 6f this community.

Broken families consequently in this situation would be broken
households when the main family of the household is not complete.
On this basis we find that thirty-osven or one-third of the 113 house-
holds are broken, two of these are headed by older unmarried mothers,
twenty-two have widow heads and six widowers, and from among the
separated, divorced and deserted two men and five women are household
heads. It would not be quite fair to count the one husband and four
wives whose spouses are temporarily away though they are of the main
families in their households, they must be regarded,however, as on the
border line.

Whether or not this is a sound differentiation only an intensive
socio-psychological study could reveal. Sociologically this seems to
be consistent with the findings about Baumannville. A further con-
sideration, however, should be given the other major items affecting
broken households.


Almost nne out of ev ry five women (19 per cent) over eighteen
years of age in the location is a widow. This is due in part to a
policy of permitting widows to be household heads. The widows tend to
fall in the higher age-groups, half of them are over fifty-five years,
and more than a quarter are between the ages of thirty-five and forty-

Twenty-two of the widows are household heads, not to mention nine
other women of different marital status who are officially classified
as widows. Owing to a persistent rumour that the location is to be
converted to a widow location, these widows tend to be regarded with
fear and suspicion by elements of the male population whA feel parti-
cularly insecure about house-tonure. On their part, the widows often
complain that the Baumannville Advisory Board discriminates against
them as a group, failing to represent their point of view and turning
people against them.

Most of the location widows are relatively independent economical-
ly, in: about the sarm proportion as the remainder of the population who
brew beer. Others do laundry, receive rent from land, and in a few
cases accept contributions of groceries from male relatives. Despite
their independence, however, there is little doubt that most widows
would like to remarry, not only for status, empanionship and protection,
but where possible to have more children. Some widows have attempted

/ to ....*

- 87 -

to adopt children, or have successfully assimilated children of
relatives into their households.

Widows stay on in the deceased husband's house as the effect-
ive household heads, particularly when they have passed the meno-
pause and assume traditional male responsibilities, gathering related
families or individuals under their roofs. Twenty-two out of the
thirty-one "widow" households in Baumannville contain joint or ex-
tended families, almost exactly the same proportion as for all
households (80:113).

While there are only six widowers, two separated and one single
man count under this category, making nine in all. They are all
household heads. Seven live in extended or joint family households,
normally including female relatives to look after any children they
may have. Two are in fragmentary households, one with a daughter of
sixteen as housekeeper, and the other with a girl of nineteen whom
he intends to marry.

Separated, Divorced and Deserted Persons.

It is doubtful whether there have been many judicial divorces
in Baumannville (the survey did not request papers to be produced).
Divorce from Christian rites union, the prevalent form, is relative-
ly expensive, delayed, and difficult, compared with the agreement to
separate, accompanied by the return of one or more lo6olo beasts or
their cash equivalent, characteristic of customary union. Similarly,
there have probably been very few judicial separations, and the
dividing line between what the people call separation and what they
call desertion must often be narrow. In the circumstances it seems
reasonable to combine the three separation, divorce and desertion,
and to regard them as roughly comparable with divorce in European

Of the six men appearing under this heading in Table 7, two
separated men are household heads with the status of widowers; of
the thirteen women, one separated, one divorced and three deserted
women are household heads with the status of widows. Six men and
thirteen women with disrupted marriages out of a total adult "married"
population of 115 males and 168 females give a rate of "divorcees"
per thousand married population, of fifty-two males and seventy-seven
females. When these are compared with the figures for judicial
divorce only,for the European population of Durban, thirty-one males
and forty-seven females per thousand married population respectivelylD
Baumannville stands much higher, but had the number of non-legal
separations in the European community been taken into account, as has
been done for Baumannville, the marital disruption shown in the loca-
tion might well have appeared proportionately less by comparison.

When "divorce""l happens in the location, the remaining partner
and his household can adjust in a number of ways ranging all along
the scale from almost giving up the house at one extreme to amassing
a large joint family at the other. In one house the separated house-
hold head has virtually sub-let the premises to his brother and

/ family .....

Calculated from the 1951 Census.
"Divorce" in parentheses will be used in this section to cover
separation, divorce and desertion.

- 88 -

family of wife and four children, who are the effective occupants.
Surprisingly enough, the household head's wife's mother continues to
live in the house, but he himself, having no children, seldom comes
home. In another case a deserted woman, forty-eight years old, had
only her son of eighteen living in the house. Her comment was "I want
more children. I have only one at present". The deserted woman in
another house was supported by her husband from 1945, when he left,
until 1953 when he lost his job in Durban, since when his whereabouts
are unknown. Through his contributions, and her brewing, the wife has
been able to support quite a large joint family, just as though she
were living with her husband.

Most "divorced" persons are not household heads, but sub-family
heads or just attached individuals in households. The house of one
elderly widow, who is not often in town, is occupied by her separated
daughter and child, her unmarried daughter and five children, and her
divorced sister's daughter and three children, producing a household
of twelve persons. One must consider in what special sense this is a
broken home. In two other cases, an unmarried and a separated son and
their children are found in households, the mother in each case having
"run away", although by tradition, without the passage of lo6olo, the
children would have belonged .to her people.

Just as children of "divorces" outside Baumannville are being
cared for in the location in the absense of their parents, so "divorced"
individuals attached to households may have children outside the loca-
tion who are not part of the Baumannville population. A much more de-
tailed study than this survey would be required to establish such
facts and their implications, and to find out, for instance, to what
extent people leave the location on marital disruption, thus producing
an artificially low figure for the "divorce" situation at any time.
All that can be led up to here is that, given the "divorce" picture as
we see it, to what extent does this imply broken homes among the actual
Baumannville population?


The factors making for monogamous union among the urban Bantu at
the expense of polygamy are quite well known, and probably little dif-
ferent in Baumannville from other African urban locations. In addition
to the antagonism of the women, who are growing in individualism because
of their increasing capacity as independent wage-earners, local author-
ities generally will not let houses to polygamists, so that at any rate
ostensibly, the latter are not found in urban locations. Christian
morality as embodied in western culture is also making some impression,
and above all there is the economic factor, not only is urban marriage
expensive in itself, but the high cost of married life in the towns
usually precludes the African from supporting more than one wife, even
when she is working between periods of childbirth.

Forms of Union.

In Baumannville there is a consistent pattern of monogamy. The
customary union is Christian rites marriage with the passage of lo6olo.
This is not due as much to any conscious choice by the population, as
it is the result of the selection, by the authorities since the incept-
ion of the location, of couples married in the Christian manner.

Out of the 120 families which responded to questions about their
marriage 114 provided information about the rites which were observed.
Of these 104 or 91 per cent were Christian rites alone. Four of the
other ten, however, were in part Christian ceremonies so that 95 per
cent of these marriages were in whole or in part Christian rites. Of

/ the .....

- 89 -

- 90 -

the remaining six, four were civil rites, one customary Zulu union
and one was polygamy,

There were 102 marriages cr 90 per cent with lo6olo and/or
izi6izo, and ninety-four or 82 per cent combined lo6olo and/or
izi6izo with Christian marriage. While the original screening for
families of Christian marriage seems to have been very effective,
there appears to be an increase in the proportion who combine with
their Christian marriage the old custom of lo6olo and/or izi6izo
perhaps reflecting a desire for greater security and marital stabil-
ity in a situation where there is a high degree of sex competition.

In the first twenty schedules people were asked what is the
best form of union and why. The responses may be regarded either as
true convictions regarding the nature of Christian rites union, or as
a rationale accepting its enforcement.

Of the fifty-four comments only six favoured the old customary
union, one favoured civil rites, the balance, twenty-six comments
from wives and twenty-one from husbands, considered Christian
marriage the best.

It is apparently the binding force of Christian rites union,
judging by the number and variety of responses of this kind which is
its chief attraction to both sexes as a form of marriage. Remember-
ing the fear of instability expressed in the attitudes towards living
together, it is interesting to note the complementary responses by
the wives towards Christian rites union: "It ties a man down to one
wife", "the church is a form of discipline in family matters", "you
don't get parted by marrying in this way", "it is backed up by
Christian morals and thus capable of controlling the parties", "you
know you have hno husband", "I like it for myself and my children to
ensure rigid legal and religious ties". The husbands concur, saying:
"It keeps you together", "you cannot do what you like", "it gives you
guidance", "it is the only sound basis for happy family life", "it
involves moral and religious obligations to spouse and children".

Echoes of the known discord in the old polygamous families still
arise in the responses: "There cannot be peace in a polygamous family",
"there is no strife (in Christian rites union)", "other unions are
cruel to spouses and children", "I don't want to be one among many
wives", "if you have only one wife you look after her nicely"? Some
of the husbands recognize the economic difficulties of polygamy:
"Life is so expensive through Europeans ideas that we can only afford
one wife", "polygamy causes poverty", "nowadays a man cannot support
a number of wives".

Belief in the Christian way of life is important to some: "I am
a Christian", "the Christian life is better than the old way of life",
"it is part of my religious belief". Christian belief as such does
not figure with others: "It is the most advanced way", "I have grown
to love it", "I don't like the Zulu way, know nothing of other forms".

The few who prefer customary union do so because: "When the
marriage breaks down, there are less legal and no religious ties;
divorcing is bad and expensive; customary union insists on the
obedience of the wife, while Christian rites makes the sexes equal;
there is no special advantage in any, but customary union is customary".
In the one case where civil rites union was preferred, this was on the
understanding that 1o6olo would not pass, since: "lo6olo is a nuisance;
it may prevent marriage because the husband has not the money". This
is an important point which will be discussed later.

- 91 -

In most responses, then, Christian rites is implicitly or ex-
plicitly contrasted with customary union in respect of stability,
strife, expense and the Christian way of life, and customary union is
in all respects found wanting.

Choice of Mate.

We have already seen that Baumannville has a tribally homogeneous
population, 74 per cent being Zulu. Other tribal elements represented
include small numbers of Swazi, Xhosa and Mpondo tribes which belong
to the Nguni group, and Sotho, Thonga, Griqua and ex-Union tribesfolk
which make a non-Nguni group. Table 29 shows the extent of inter-
marriage between the Zulu and these groups.


Tribe of Husband -
Tribe of Wife Zulu Other Nguni Non-Nguni Total Wives:

Zulu 78 4 9 91

Other Nguni 4 9 2 15

Non-Nguni 7 2 5 14
Total Husbands: 89 15 16 120

The majority of marriages (78) are all-Zulu otherwise Zulu hus-
bands are as likely to marry other Nguni wives as the latter are to
marry them, and about as likely to marry non-Nguni wives as the reverse.
Also, other Nguni husbands seem as likely to marry non-Nguni wives as
the latter are to marry them. In general, while Zulu tend to marry
one another, non-Zulu origin within the African people is not a bar to
intermarriage, either with the Zulu or among themselves. The situation
is related to an observed tendency in the location for other and non-
Nguni to pass for Zulu, and for tribal differences on the whole to be
played down.

The people were asked to say, what personal qualities they con-
sidered important in the choice of a mate. Table 30 inventories the
qualities mentioned.

Table 30 is divided into three sections: attributes valued by both
sexes of one another, those sought by men in women and those appreciated
by women in men. It is noticeable that attributes in the general
section would not be inappropriate to European choice, whereas those in
the male and female sections are more characteristic of the patriarchal
relationship of tradition. In other words, there is a blend in these
social values of the new and the old.12 Good family name and background,

/ although .....

Levin, op. cit. p. 70, briefly shows a blend of ideal marriage
values for Langa. The ideal wife is diligent, hospitable, pleasant,
discreet and thrifty; the ideal husband, steady, not drinking too
much, treats his wife well, and is not lazy or extravagant.

- 92 -

For a MAN, For a WOMAN,
Attributes: a woman should a man should
be/have: be/have:

Good character 7 8
Love 7 5
Manners 4 8
Intelligence 4 5
Good family background 2 4
Good-lboking 2 3
Wealthy 2 2
Christian 1 3

Hard Working 6
Humble, obedient and quiet 6
Good child-bearer 1 -
Master in the house, responsible 6
Kind and helpful, respectful to the old 6
Regular worker, thrifty, honest 4
Non-drinking 3
Total responses: 42 57

although not appearing frequently, are making their appearance as an
indication of class-consciousness in urban African marriages. As one
woman put it: "(he must have) class, not be a raw Native"; or even
more trenchantly, as put by a man: "Look at her father, look at her
mother, and then look at her".


It is one thing to desire a girl as a wife because of love
or her good qualities, but quite another thing in the urban economic
environment to marry her. It has been shown that in 90 per cent of
all types of marriage in Baumannville, lo6olo passed. Traditional-
ly, lo6olo was the collective name for the ten head of cattle nor-
mally transferred from the bridegroom's to the bride's people in
consideration of the passage of the girl's reproductive and labour
capacity from the latter group to the former. The passing of these
cattle also bound the two kinship groups to reciprocal rights and
obligations, and determined membership within the husband's lineage
of any children of the union. The possibility of the return of the
cattle or the return of the girl acted as a guarantee of the good
conduct of both husband and wife.

Today, as Table 31 shows, lo6olo in cattle has almost
entirely become lo6olo in money, and the situation is very different
from olden times.

The proportion of money payments alone against other forms
of payment is ver, significantly higher in the post-1930 than in the
pre-1930 period.

/ Table .....

13 = 17.8. P<.01)

- 93 -

AFTER 1930

Pr 1930 Pos 1930
Cattle Cattle
Lo6olo and/or Cattle and Money Cattle and Money Unknown
izi6izo alone money alone alone money alone
Cattle Money
1-5 head: 1-25 16 1 5 2 1
6-11 head: 26-55 18 10 3 2* 17 1
over 11 56 + 2 1 6 1 13 1
Unknown, or in kind
other than cattle: 8

TOTALS: 20 17 16 5 7 32 11

S1-11 head + 56 +

Table 31 shows, moreover, a tendency for 1o6olo payments to have
increased in recent times, ahd for these higher payments to have been
in money. It is fairly safe to assume that 1o6olo payments of cattle
in earlier times were generally in respect of marriages taking place in
rural areas, whereas payments in cash are largely in relation to urban
marriages, and urban homes, where there is no place to keep cattle.14

Another important factor relating to the use of money instead of
cattle for 1o6olo is the Natal custom of izi6izo payments. These are
illegal monetary demands over and above the statutory requirements of
ten head of cattle or the equivalent of 50 (at 5 a beast) as laid
down in the Natal Code of Native Law. With the rising cost of living
and the increasing use of money, the Zulu of southern Natal have been
in the habit in recent years of asking for these izi6izo payments in
cash over and above the 10601015 to offset, as they say, the increased
expense of bringing up their daughters in these times. In some cases
the izi6izo for desirable and sought-after girls has outstripped the
lo6olo, running into 100 or more while the cash 1o6olo becomes vesti-
gial or disappears. The process is accelerated by Christian parents
who, knowing in many cases that their White churches are sternly against
the practice of "buying" wives with lo6olo, claim their due entirely
in a large sum of izi6izo. In general, there is obviously a transition
taking place from a cattle 1o6olo with group functions to a cash pay-
ment with individual functions.

/ Not .....

This generalization is made with some caution, however, since, as
Krige points out (op. cit. p. 14), many urban families will accept
cattle and send the beasts to relatives out of town who keep them
with their own cattle.
vide D.H. Reader, "Marriage among the Makhanya", International
Archives of Ethnography, Vol. XVII No. 1, 1954, p. 74, for an
account of izi6izo among a Zulu tribe in Southern Natal.

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