THE AFRICAN IN THE URBAN AREAS
Perhaps the most meaningful social revolution in Africa today is the rapid urbanization of the African population. Industrialization, the attractions of the "bright lights" and economic and legal pressures (such as are manifest in the tax laws and the Land Husbandry Act of Southern Rhodesia) all combine to bring the native population out of the bush and into the towns built by the white settlers.
With more than 1,000,000 Africans already urbanized and almost that many more expected in the next decade, what preparations are being made by the towns to absorb this great influx of low-income workers and families?
In all three territories there are, in practice, only two places in the towns where Africans may live. One is in the native township, the black ghetto. The other is in the servants' quarters behind the houses in the white residential areas.
The existing urban accommodation system constitutes not only a device for racial segregation and police-control (discussed above) but also a form of paternal welfare-statism. Southern Rhodesian law is clearest in this regard. All regular employers of African labor are required to provide or rent accommodation for their employees either in private premises licensed for the purpose1 or in a native township set aside under the Land Apportionment Act.2 The worker is only in rare exceptions paid a wage which permits him to rent his own accommodation. The impression persists that natives are not capable of managing their own money in such a way as to cope successfully with the necessities of life. Indeed, it is only in recent years that some industry has begun to pay a wage, which permits the worker to buy his own food, instead of paying a weekly ration of meat and produce.