Homelands portrays the landscape and the dependence on the ubiquitous diet of 'mielies' (corn) on which the African population subsists.



  Homelands  30.5" x 37"  Mixed Media    2000                     (Not for Sale)


In 1948 the Nationalist Party came into power and the official policy of Apartheid or Separate Development was formulated. The 1950's version of ethnic cleansing was formulated in The Bantu Authorities Act, 1950 and the Promotion of Self-Government Act, 1959 which together provided the legislative framework to establish ten independent ethnically based homelands where the ten African (Bantu) national groups could evolve toward self-government. This Homeland policy was a major element in the context in which the crimes under Apartheid occurred.


Under Prime Minister, Hendrik Verwoerd (1958- assassinated in 1966) known as the 'Architect of Apartheid', the policy was aggressively implemented by forcibly removing blacks from urban areas and other areas designated for whites only. By 1970, the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act forced all black South Africans to become citizens of one of the tribal homelands, irrespective of whether they had ever lived there. They would then be regarded as aliens in South Africa. By 1981, eight million Africans had been de-nationalized and were considered foreigners in the land of their birth.


The homelands consisted of the least desirable and least developed land and designated 13% of SA's total land to 85% of the population. Frequently, an individual homeland consisted of multiple parcels of land that were non-contiguous, with the intervening areas, usually more prosperous areas, reserved for whites.


The world community did not recognize these homelands as independent countries for both political, economic and human rights reasons. The homelands were only semi-autonomous with limited legislative powers; were not economically viable since they lacked basic infrastructure and industry and had no major urban centers. There was limited if any housing, no utilities, no jobs and no means to become self-sustaining. The SA government provided tax incentives for white-owned business and industry to locate close to the borders of the homelands which were to provide cheap labor; but there was little success with this program.


The Homeland security forces were not completely autonomous since the SADF (SA Defense Force) provided the training, equipment and leadership. The SADF and homeland security forces took on the roles of 'kingmakers' to support the local regime/tribal chief and curb opposition to the homeland governments and/or the SA State. The goal of those fighting the War of Liberation was a united, democratic South Africa under one non-racial government, not a fragmented State with the majority population cast-off and confined to the poorest areas. The SADF manipulated the homeland forces using them as allies in the fight against the War for Liberation.


While under the New South Africa, the Homelands have been officially abolished millions of people still live in these impoverished areas though huge numbers have chosen to migrate to the cities seeking new opportunities.