Article from ROAPE Volume 11 Number 29
Land, Power and Class in the Thaba'Nchu District, OFS

Land, Power and Class in the Thaba'Nchu District, Orange Free State
Vol.11 No.29 (Summer 1984), pp30-48
The complex processes of dispossession by which Africans first lost their land in SA, were deprived of independent productive opportunities on white-owned land, and were finally concentrated into over-crowded, impoverished reserves, is demonstrated in the story of the Barolong people. The dissolution of a relatively independent peasantry into an agricultural proletariat living on white farms or into a migrant wage labour force domiciled in the African reserves was common elsewhere on the Highveld in the late 19th century, however, Thaba'Nchu represents a peculiar variation: political incorporation into the ORC (Orange River Colony) being accompanied by the formal constitution of a black landowning class. Despite land alienation from speculative capital, the practice of the SANT (South African Native Trust), and direct subordination to the apartheid state, there has been continued dominance by a local black elite (partly through the BPA (Barolong Progressive Association)) which has survived incorporation into Bophuthatswana. In recent years, an influx of Basotho refugees, giving rise to the rural slum of Botshabelo/Onverwacht, has promoted ethnic tensions, particularly between Thaba'Nchu and Qwaqwa.