township, noun

British EnglishShow more Special senses of British English township ‘each of the local divisions of, or districts comprised in, a large original parish (etc.)’ (OED).
1. [Probably from Australian and N.Z. English ‘a site laid out prospectively for a town’ (from 1802) (OED).] A site laid out by a local authority for a new suburb; an area of land to be subdivided and sold by developers as freehold residential or industrial plots.
Quotations 1929 and 1934 might belong at sense 2 a.
1929 Workers’ Herald 7 Sept. 4The Township of Sophiatown, one of the suburbs of the City of Johannesburg, is being severely exercised by the Proclamation issued by the Governor-General under the Natives (Urban Areas) Act, declaring the Township as one of many where Natives are not allowed to reside except those who own plots of ground.
1934 Lovedale Sol-Fa Leaflet No.17 4When the Bantu Township of Nancefield or Klipspruit (eleven miles West of Johannesburg) was first settled as a Suburb of the Rand Municipality, the late Enoch Sontonga..was a teacher in one of the Methodist Mission Schools.
1937 C.R. Prance Tante Rebella’s Saga 140The tide of progress should enable Oom Sandy to float Suikerboswoestyn as a township and health-resort, and so to get away with enough ‘unearned increment’ to provide for his old age.
1971 Daily Dispatch 4 June (Suppl.) 5Why have the council planned a new industrial township east of the town and situated on an area some 800 ha in extent?
1971 Grocott’s Mail 2 June 3Four camps have been made available for grazing in the area to be developed as an industrial township.
1971 Daily Dispatch 22 May 13The purchase price was to be R50000, payable in cash enabling him to establish a township in Stafford Hills, East London.
1982 E. Prov. Herald 29 Dec. (Suppl.)Proclaimed township with insurance guarantee covering Tarred roads. Water. Electricity.
2. a. [from sense 1; see quotations 1929 and 1934 above.] A suburb or city developed near a ‘white’ urban area for occupation by black African people only (see quotation 1980); Bantoedorp, see Bantoe sense 2; location sense 3 a; stat sense 2. See also black-belt (black adjective sense 1 d). b. Less frequently, a residential area for ‘coloured’ people. Also attributive.
1941 W.M.B. Nhlapo in Bantu World 1 Mar. 9Most of the townships (except Pimville) now have some form of street lighting.
1946 P. Abrahams Mine Boy (1954) 98This side of the township had mostly Coloured people. The other side was where the native people were.
1951 Drum Nov. 10Nearly every location and township has these [stokvel] clubs where weekend debauchery has a lot to do with the large numbers of murders and assaults.
1953 P. Lanham Blanket Boy’s Moon 33‘Is the Moruti staying in Johannesburg?’ ‘Yes, I stay at Orlando township — that big location we are now approaching.’
1956 T. Makiwane in New Age 30 Aug. 6Full time entertainers..who were built up on the rough boards in the African townships and locations before the audiences who make township jazz what it is.
1963 Wilson & Mafeje Langa 1Langa is a township on the periphery of the city, very poor by comparison with most of the suburbs, and reserved for occupation by black Africans, most of them Xhosa-speaking.
1964 Drum Nov. 47From Edenvale and Kempton Park some 20,000 Africans have been resettled in Thembisa — probably the largest single township in the Republic.
1966 K.M.C. Motsisi in Post 30 Jan. (Drum) 16There are the Municipal cops who the township wits call Black Jacks, so called because of their black uniform.
1968 J. Lelyveld in Cole & Flaherty House of Bondage 8For a white South African the real risk of entering a township is something more terrible..than the remote chance that he may be assaulted...Seeing black South Africans in their sprawling encampments could, just possibly, raise one or two questions about the set of principles that decrees this lopsided form of social organization.
1971 Sunday Times 14 Nov. (Mag. Sect.) 5Last year he wrote ‘Qundeni’ a contemporary play about township life.
1973 Sunday Times 18 Feb. (Mag. Sect.) 3How many White South Africans have ever set foot inside a township, or have counted the hours workers spend going to and from work.
1976 J. Becker Virgins 10Ashley had two wives, one at home in the country and one in the township. His township wife, Matilda, came sometimes on a Sunday and sat in the kitchen talking.
1977 B.L. Leshoai in E. Pereira Contemp. S. Afr. Plays 257A single bedroom-kitchen type of township room.
1977 E. Prov. Herald 29 Nov. 3There are an estimated 40 000 Africans living in Grahamstown’s townships.
1980 D.B. Coplan Urbanization of African Performing Arts. 348The S.A.B.C...increased cultural communication among diverse groups, exposing urban Africans to traditional music and migrants to ‘township jazz’.
1980 D.B. Coplan Urbanization of African Performing Arts. 441Township, The current official term for urban residential areas where Africans are authorized to rent houses built by the government, subject to the Group Areas Act of 1950. Replaces the obsolete ‘location’ and does not apply to freehold or slum areas.
1982 Staffrider Vol.5 No.1, 34In his novel To Every Birth its Blood he has captured that most elusive of creatures, the urban slum neighbourhood, that unique present-day South African anomaly, the township.
1982 Star 11 Nov. (Tonight) 4It is ‘tsotsi taal’ which is more established, that has the aura of the brimming township lifestyle.
1982 Times (U.K.) 1 Dec. 1More than 2,000 blacks have been arrested over the past months in Cape Town’s ‘townships’ for breach of the pass laws which control the movement of blacks throughout South Africa.
c1985 J. Cronin in Eng. Academy Rev. Vol.3 34This poem closely resembles the rhythmic qualities of contemporary ‘township’ music in South Africa.
1985 J. Thomas in Fair Lady 3 Apr. 152The quick, high-stepping, intensely rhythmic, familiar winding-out of the township beat.
1985 E. Prov. Herald 30 Oct. 12Abroad the trend towards disinvestment and punitive sanctions will accelerate — a prospect which will encourage the township radicals to believe that they are winning.
1987 Sowetan 5 May 2Soul Brothers elevated the show with their township sounds.
1987 NELM News (Nat. Eng. Lit. Museum) May 1Black poets sought to assert their identity by recovering a sense of cultural continuity with the heroic, pre-colonial past..while at the same time valorising the township sub-culture of their experience.
1987 Cosmopolitan Aug. 192As the song threatened to end, the audience would whirl their hand in the air — township jive for ‘rewind’ — and the band would begin the song again.
1987 New Nation 1 Oct. 11‘How would you describe the theatre you’re trying to develop?’ ‘I’ve always said it’s township theatre, not protest theatre.’
1988 1820 Foundation Annual Review 3The language of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton and Keats is take a few knocks from ‘township taal’ and ‘metro’ slang.
1989 Weekly Mail 20 Oct. 31Smal Ndaba and the Sibikwa Players’ So Where To? is an interesting example of the dominant tropes of the genre now called ‘township theatre’.
1990 Weekend Argus 17 Feb. 14Two dance shows opened last week...The varied a fascinating fusion of African, township and contemporary styles.
1990 Drum May 28The sight of a white living in a township still raises a few eyebrows.
1990 M. Kentridge Unofficial War 48Clusters of township houses, four-room cinder-block constructions with corrugated iron roofs.
1991 R. Riordan in Crux Feb. 5Your first two plays, No-Good Friday and Nongogo..were ‘township’ plays..scripted around and for black amateur casts.
1991 Weekly Mail 15 Mar. 1The White Paper..granted freehold ownership to 1,3-million township households.
1991 D. Tutu in Sunday Times 26 May 2We are losing our self-respect; demonstrated, it seems to me most graphically, by the horrible extent of dumping and littering in our townships.
1992 Weekly Mail 24 Apr. 32Through his works..he (sc. George Pemba) has become..the ‘grandfather of township art’.
c. In pl. : The townships, collectively, the urban black residential areas of South Africa; transferred sense, the people of the townships.
1973 Argus 1 June 8Life of fear in the townships.
1982 D. Tutu Voice of One 72The Pass Laws are designed to keep the black population ‘in their place’, by..restricting them to the ‘homelands’ or to the Townships.
1983 Fair Lady 2 Nov. 137Amampondo, the Cape-based band that has burst on to the South African music scene, rallying the townships and bringing..audiences to their feet.
1986 N.C. Charton Informant, Grahamstown (now Makhanda, Eastern Cape)Every young black leader is in prison; in the townships anarchy reigns; to live there is pure hell.
1987 N.S. Ndebele in Eng. Academy Rev. Vol.4 Jan. 10Relations of power within the African family, particularly in the townships, appear to have undergone a tremendous transformation.
1987 Drum Mar. 48A highly successful model a graceful hostess and the toast of the townships.
1988 J. Le May in Inside S. Afr. May 14Growing criticism of the use of the troops in the townships.
1988 Frontline Oct. 31From the point of view of the black person in the townships, none of the political movements are achieving.
1989 Weekly Mail 3 Nov. 2We are doing our best to restore peace and calm to the townships.
1990 Sash Vol.33 No.1, 24The idea of whites marching into the townships to show their rejection of apartheid, and their desire to work with those on the receiving end of it.., came originally from University of Port Elizabeth academics.
1991 Economist (U.K.) 18 May 13South Africa’s black politics is dominated by the people of the townships, the hideous dormitory suburbs into which millions of people migrated in the apartheid years.
1993 Cape Times 10 Aug. 6We wept for all the violence in the land — almost all of which has been much closer to her than it has to me. That is, in the townships.
A site laid out by a local authority for a new suburb; an area of land to be subdivided and sold by developers as freehold residential or industrial plots.
A suburb or city developed near a ‘white’ urban area for occupation by black African people only (see quotation 1980); Bantoedorp, see Bantoe sense 2; location sense 3 a; stat sense 2.
Less frequently, a residential area for ‘coloured’ people. Also attributive.
In pl. : The townships, collectively, the urban black residential areas of South Africa; transferred sense, the people of the townships.
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