Charity organisation, South African Family Relief Project (SAFRP), claims that the country is home to hundreds of white squatter camps due to race-based laws that prohibit whites from gaining employment.
SAFRP claims that it assists minority groups who are refused assistance from the government.
According to the charity group, the country has approximately 460 white squatter camps. It said that the camps began ‘popping up’ in 1996.
The organisation highlighted a squatter camp in Munsieville in the Krugersdorp area in Gauteng Province, home to approximately 300 people.
A majority of the white settlers in Munsieville were moved from Coronation Caravan Park, also in the Krugersdorp area at the end of 2014.
Some moved to a housing project called Kleinvallei – a development exclusively for poor whites.
Reports by several UK media titles previously stated that more than 400,000 white South Africans live in poverty,with more than 80 squatter camps around Pretoria alone.
In 2013, Africa Check investigated similar claims made by the BBC (and others including the Daily Mail) on white squatter camps – citing the same figures – and found that they were largely over-stated, based on civil estimates.
“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,” said Africa Check.
It stated that 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.
Stats SA notes that an informal dwelling includes a shack in a backyard or a shack not in
backyard – an informal/squatter settlement – or on a farm.
According to Stats SA, 2,193,96 South African households live in informal settlements – 13% of the country’s population (household).
Using claims that there are approximately 460 white squatter camps in the country, and dividing a hypothetical 31,000 people, it would mean an average of less than 68 people per settlement.
Local media point to a white informal settlement in Cape Town called ‘Klein Akker’ which contains 72 people – 18 families.
Other than the three mentioned informal dwellings, there are few other reports of white squatter camps in South Africa, which leads to the conclusion that they either do not exist – or may indeed be dotted around the country, but under a more loosely defined term of ‘informal dwelling’.