Detailed TOC
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26

Chapter 24 - Black, Brown and White

One new factor in the affairs of the community was the increasing number of its Black and Brown citizens. In 1956 representations were already made in the Council, following discussions with the Station Com­mander of the South African Police, concerning Africans unlawfully sleep­ing in servants' quarters, but little change occurred in the situation until 1961, when, following a request from the Government for comments on the "Bantu in European Areas Bill", it was decided to refer it for discus­sion by the United Municipal Executive for the Cape Province. Early in 1965 a proclamation was issued declaring Milnerton a "White Area", with beaches reserved for Europeans. For this reason, on May 18, a public meeting was convened by Councillor J. Gelb "to test public opinion and to stimulate discussion". The principal speaker, Councillor P. V. Faure, began by pointing out that "the Salt River and Woodstock Beaches have always been used by Coloureds. From the Total Tanks to Blouberg, there is a seven-and-a-half-mile strip of beach and the major use of this is in the vicinity of the Golf Course used by Whites and Coloureds". His sugges­tion was for "a portion of the beach, measuring approximately half a mile from the Milnerton Municipal boundary in the south to the Lagoon Mouth, to be set aside for use by Coloureds. As it is not safe for anyone to swim in the Lagoon, I suggest they do not go as far as the Lagoon Mouth . . . If Milnerton takes the initiative, other municipalities of the Peninsula would also consider giving this facility to its Coloured people. Even if they are living outside the Milnerton area they should be allowed to make use of the suggested portion". This drew comment from the Mayor: "If the beach is granted to the Coloureds, provision will also have to be made for Bantus. The half-mile of beach proposed by Councillor Faure is totally in­adequate. Should separate amenities be provided, extreme difficulties will be experienced in demarcating the different areas. Signs will have to be erected, and there may have to be beach constables with power to arrest."

In contrast to these discussions was the decision to allow the Western Province Coloured Championships on the Milnerton Golf Course on February 8th and 9th, 1965. Three years later came the enquiry from the Department of Transport, asking Milnerton's views on the matter of bus services for Whites and Non-Whites.

An outspoken plea was voiced in 1966 by the Mayor, Councillor S. Kotze, against the official ban on a Coloured Township, which was prov­ing a real handicap on industrial development and in 1974 Milnerton once again set an example to the whole country when it provided, on its beach, the venue for the First Multi-National South African Surf Life Saving Championships, in the presence of the World President of the Association of Life Saving Clubs, Mr. Osborn of Durban. From every part of the Republic there were teams - White, Coloured, Indian and African, all the participants being entertained at a Cocktail Party by Councillor A. Sher, the Mayor, with the blessing of the Government Sports Department.

Economic effects of certain actions by the authorities were less gratify­ing. The principle of reducing the number of Bantu brought about what Mr. Raats described as "a reluctance to agree to the establishment of any industrial townships in the area with which the Company is concerned, presumably because it is of the opinion that such action would lead to an influx of Black labour".

In common with virtually every other municipality in the Western Cape, Milnerton was deeply stirred by the implications of that official memorandum, released in 1967, known as the Slater Report. Prepared by the former Provincial Secretary, Dr. W. J. Slater, this monumental docu­ment surveyed future prospects of urban development, particularly in and around Cape Town.

Commenting on the Report, Mr. F. G. Kotze, the Mayor, said on March 20, 1967: "In my view, Dr. Slater has done a splendid job and it is obvious that a great deal of study, research and application have gone into it of which he may be justifiably proud. Only a man with his tremendous capacity for work and his knowledge of Local Government could have undertaken this task." From the Milnerton point of view, however, the Mayor considered the findings did not go far enough and that in certain matters the Commissioner "had been too hide-bound". His Worship drew special attention to Dr. Slater's ideas on the backlog of 30 000 Coloured houses in the Cape Peninsula. "He recommends that the responsibility for the provision of Coloured Housing be placed with a Metropolitan authori­ty to relieve Cape Town Municipality of this unfair responsibility, since the Coloureds work all over the Peninsula and not necessarily only in Cape Town. The first question that springs to mind is: From where must Milnerton, the fastest-expanding Municipality, which has no Coloured township, draw its labour, more especially in the light of the Government's policy of no Bantu in the Western Cape'? From where must our industrialists draw their labour? Or was this policy formulated to discriminate against other municipalities with industrial townships?" Mr. Kotze also wanted to know: "Why does Community Development allow this to continue, since these houses are built with State funds lent to Cape Town. . .?" He also complained that, because employers, situated at a distance from Coloured townships, had to pay higher wages to cover travelling expenses, any Municipality like Milnerton, without residential facilities, was at an obvious disadvantage. He also disapproved of allocating particular beaches to Non-Whites, since, amongst other things, this involved extra expense, for which the Central Government should be responsible. Future planning, he demanded, should be left in the hands of a "Committee of young, radical thinkers under the wise chairmanship of Dr. Slater".

The Theo Marais Park home of rugby, cricket, hockey and indoor sports in Milnerton.

The Milnerton Tennis Club, situated in its beautiful parkland setting.

The Milnerton Aquatic Club, situated on the Rietvlei, world renowned for its birdlife and its recreation amenity.

Brought to you by Blaauwberg Online