Whites Blamed for Black Slums

South Africa’s Pretoria branch of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has blamed whites because black residents have turned the formerly pristine city center into what local media called a “crime and filth” permeated slum.

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said in a statement this week that “racism” was to blame for the decay and that white people were “deliberately neglecting the apartments.”

The city center of Pretoria has long been noted for its collection of high-density apartment buildings, and under the previous white government, was an Afrikaner-dominated area which enjoyed an active nightlife and provided a safe infrastructure for the students attending the city’s university.

Since the collapse of the white government, the city center’s relatively cheap apartments were quickly taken over by a large influx of blacks, to the point where there are hardly any whites left in the area at all.

A September 2016 report in South Africa’s Independent Online newspaper said that the city center has “turned into a nightmare, as the realities of overcrowding, pests, frenzied noise levels, crime within the apartment blocks and on the streets, filth and the general neglect of the apartments and high rental fees take root.”

The newspaper described the situation at the densely populated Ultramar Building, just across the way from the Pretoria central police station, as follows:

“Residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said life inside the huge building was hell.

‘I didn't know how cocaine looked like before I moved to this building. Here it is common stuff. Any drug you want, it is available. The police know it but they do nothing about it. I cannot risk my life reporting to police what they know already. Even robbery and common theft takes place in this flat. I fear for my two children every day,’ said a Malawian national.”

The article added that overcrowding had become a severe problem, as illegal subletting was now the norm, with three sets of families or more sharing one room.

According to a 2015 article in the Business Tech journal, official data revealed that Pretoria Central was now ranked at number three in the most crime-ridden areas of the Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg.

The blame for all these conditions has now been put on the owners of the buildings, rather than the residents. Although the owners are unidentified—as almost all the apartment rentals are handled by corporate agencies, the ANC has now claimed that the owners are all whites who have deliberately let the area deteriorate.

The ANCYL said this past week that “property management and rental agencies were deliberately neglecting their Pretoria central apartments, occupied mainly by thousands of black families, and had diverted their focus to properties in affluent suburbs where white people predominantly resided.”

“The ANCYL can today state that the maintenance of the properties is prioritised along the location of the property and racial profile of its residents/tenants,” ANCYL Greater Tshwane regional spokesperson Ezra Letsoalo told the African News Agency (ANA).

Singling out the Huurkor and City Property management groups, which rent out a large portfolio of properties in Pretoria, Letsoalo said the endemic non-maintenance of the properties around the city center was deliberate.

“For that reason [the racial profiling of tenants] Huurkor properties in Montana, Hermanstad, Sinoville and other affluent white suburbs give a probable impression that the failures to maintain the properties [in the city center] is both deliberate and due to the utter disregard of the health concerns of the black residents who constitute the majority of the dwellers of the decaying buildings, the majority of whom are low-income students of various institutions across the spread of the city.”

In a statement, Huurkor denied the allegations, saying that they kept up the buildings with a maintenance department, and added that the buildings which were in a bad condition were not theirs, but belonged to “property owners [who] had not set foot at their properties in decades. Some are based in foreign countries,” the statement said.

The ANCYL dismissed these claims, saying that Huurkor’s maintenance department was “dysfunctional” and that “deteriorated buildings often produce an array of social malice and such deterioration breeds crime, disease and other undesirable social conditions. . . the decaying buildings have become dungeons and hide-outs for drug dealers and various criminals, but of course, entities such as Huurkor have demonstrated that they care less as their priority portfolio of buildings that are well maintained are on the outskirts of the city center.”

No one dares point out the obvious, namely that when the city center was inhabited by whites, it was not a slum, but now that they have gone, it is rapidly descending into one.

Instead of address the real reason, the ANC—and liberals generally—resort to their standby argument of blaming whites once again.