Extremes of Riches and Poverty in Cape Town, South Africa

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Big cities of the rich American world comprise great extremes of wealth and poverty. The same is true of the cities of the poor world, if not more true. South Africa’s Cape Town could easily be said to straddle both the rich and the poor worlds in one city. Specifically, Cape Town experienced racial segregation during and after apartheid, which contributed to the making of rigid class systems. Also, globalization and economic aspects forced segregation of this urban space. With all of these factors combined, divisions of the urban space of Cape Town soon emerged, creating the extremes of riches and poverty. The word apartheid is defined as "separateness" in the Afrikaans language and is described as the severe racial divisions that were between the governing white minority population and the non-white majority population in South Africa. This system existed from 1948 until it was abolished in 1992. South African apartheid laws classified people according to three major racial groups: white, black Africans, and Coloured. These laws dictated where members of each group could live, what jobs they could pursue, and what type of education they could receive. Furthermore, these laws prohibited most social contact between races, allowed segregated public facilities, and denied any representation of non-whites in the national government. The Group Areas Act directly portrayed the usage of segregated facilities to distant the races of South Africa, more specifically, Cape Town.
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