On the outskirts of Kraaifontein in Cape Town lies a well-known white squatter camp. Only 72 people make up its small community, but it has made the news. Catching a glimpse of a squatter camp filled with pale faces certainly is rare in South Africa.
It’s true: All too often squatter camps are made up of non-white people, and because of this their existence is excused. But the question that many have to ask is just how many white types of squatter camps actually exist in the country?
Well, that depends on which source you fancy.
You see, South African Family Relief Project (SAFRP), a local charity organisation, claims the country is home to hundreds of these camps due to “race-based laws that prohibit whites from gaining employment.” Like BEE.
The charity assists minority groups who are refused assistance from the government and since 1996, they claim approximately 460 white squatter camps have sprung up.
SAFRP used another well-known white squatter camp in Munsieville in the Krugersdorp area as an example, claiming it is home to around 300 people.
But barely any other white squatter camps in South Africa are spoken about.
Several reports by UK media (*cough The Daily Mail cough*) have previously claimed that more than 400 000 white South Africans live in poverty, and that there are more than 80 white squatter camps in Pretoria alone.
But this doesn’t really add up. According to Africa Check:
The claim that 400,000 whites are living in squatter camps is grossly inaccurate. If that were the case, it would mean that roughly 10% of South Africa’s 4.59 million whites were living in abject poverty.
Census figures suggest that only a tiny fraction of the white population – as little as 7 754 households – are affected.
The claim that there are 80 or more ‘white squatter camps’ in the Pretoria area would also appear to be grossly overstated. Many of the places referred to are not camps at all.
If each of the 7 754 white households living in informal settlements consisted of four people, it would mean that there were around 31 000 whites living in informal dwellings.
But what does an “informal dwelling” refer to? Stats SA notes:
An informal dwelling includes a shack in a backyard or a shack not in backyard – an informal/squatter settlement – or on a farm.
Stats SA claims that 2 193 96 South African households live in informal settlements, which is 13% of the country’s household population. If you use the claims of 460 white squatter camps, with 31 000 people living in them, that would there are on average about 68 people per camp.
Like Klein Akker.
In that sense, the claim may make sense. But does it mean the the SA government is neglecting its white population? Ummm, no, I really think it has bigger problems than the poor white man.
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