Atteridgeville

Population nearly 180,000 People
Elevation 1,437 m
Area 9.84 km2
Makeup Black 99.1%
Coloured 0.3%
Indian/Asian 0.1%
White 0.2%
Other 0.3%

Atteridgeville was established in 1939 for black people by the government, after much lobbying by Mrs. Myrtle Patricia Atteridge. The Apartheid Government was voted in in 1948 after Atteridgeville was founded. The first occupants were moved to Atteridgeville on 26 May 1940. Mrs. Myrtle Patricia Atteridge, philanthropist, Black Sash activist, Pretoria City Councillor and deputy mayoress of Pretoria endeavoured to improve living conditions of Blacks who were previously living in appaling conditions in Marabastad. Atteridgeville provided brick housing; lighting; toilets etc. Later, to further enhance living standards the township was also connected by train to Pretoria CBD. Schools, creches, clinics etc. were to follow. The naming of the township was in fact suggested by the black people themselves who also requested Mrs. Atteridge to represent them in parliament which she refused as she was disinclined to participate in an exclusionary regime. Between 1940 and 1949 more than 1500 houses were built for people relocated from Marabastad, Bantule and other areas around Pretoria.

Development was frozen between 1968 and 197 in accordance with the government’s policy that housing provided for black people be limited to the homelands. In 1984, Atteridgeville was granted municipal status.

1984 saw school boycotts and general unrest when demands by the Congress of South African Students to implement democratic Students’ Representative Councils in schools were rejected by the Department of Education and Training.The first victim of the school boycotts was Emma Sathekge from David Helen Peta High School(01.02.1984).The schools were suspended for the better part od 1984 and exams were not written by all High school learners.

On 15 April 1988 a bomb explosion caused damage to the Atteridgeville Municipal buildings; no-one was injured during the attack. The attack was planned by Umkhonto we Sizwe and executed by one of their members, Johannes Maleka. In November 2000, Johannes Maleka was granted amnesty for his part in the attack by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Atteridgeville is the only township in Gauteng that blocked Zulu-land migrants from forcefully occupying Hostels, prominent members of the ANC in the township including Dr Abe Nkomo, Mr Rami Dau, Reeves Mabitsi and Kgomotso Mokoka held the fore front.
In March 2008 seven people were killed in xenophobic attacks when their shops and shacks were set alight.

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