Race and space in post-apartheid South Africa, 1996–2001

Fareeda M Griffith, University of Pennsylvania


As South Africa transitioned into a democratic society, the Group Areas Act of 1950 was dismantled and all racial groups were free to reside in previously restricted neighborhoods. My dissertation undertakes the important task of understanding the legacy of apartheid in the post-apartheid era through examination of post-apartheid residential segregation patterns in South Africa. The purpose of the dissertation is to provide a definitive account of the changes, if any, that resulted from this monumental legislation. Additionally, this dissertation project bridges the gap in the sociology of race and ethnic relations and social inequality literature by investigating the link between racial residential segregation, socio-economic status, socio-demographic variables, and chronic health conditions. My data are from the 1996 and 2001 South African Census and 1998 Demographic Health Survey. To investigate the associations, the dissertation employs the following methodologies: calculation of several residential segregation measures, indirect standardization, and hierarchical linear modeling. The study finds that (1) Whites are migrating at the international level, thus influencing residential segregation levels; (2) racial inequalities in schooling attainment, income level, and employment status persist in post-apartheid South Africa; (3) racial residential segregation is significantly associated with educational attainment for Blacks and Coloureds; and (4) after controlling for socio-economic status and socio-demographic characteristics, higher residential isolation among Coloureds and Blacks yields a higher odds of self reported chronic health conditions. Although anti-apartheid laws have been enacted, this dissertation illustrates that the implementation of the laws did not transfer uniformly to all individuals.

Subject Area

Ethnic studies|Social structure|Demography|Urban planning

Recommended Citation

Griffith, Fareeda M, "Race and space in post-apartheid South Africa, 1996–2001" (2009). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3381970.