Traditional historiographic research is challenged by the very nature of post-modernism which, in terms of one of its less radical viewpoints,
views history not so much as truth-seeking, nor objective activity, but rather re-interpreting it as story-telling and as history reflective of itself
-an approach which have determined the nature and style of this study.
The study was prompted firstly by my exposure to the legacy of apartheid with regards to land and past planning policies while working at the
Department of Land Affairs, and secondly by my personal involvement in Hammanskraai/Temba. The latter straddles the border of a former
homeland, formed part of the previous governments' border industry programme, suffers tenure problems on land-ownership issues and is
bisected by two present provincial boundaries. For a long time to come Hammanskraai/Temba will struggle to overcome results of
modernistic grand apartheid policies as reflected in gross inequalities, uncertainty and the like. The aim of this study was therefore to form an understanding of the grand generalising and local narratives regarding borders, boundaries
and barriers in the Hammanskraai/Temba area, as well as the influence of the discourses of development intent on the area and its people.
In order to address the issues it was necessary to deconstruct the discourses in development intent that affected the Hammanskraai/Temba
area, and to tell the respective role players' stories of the shaping of borders, boundaries and barriers in the area, as well as to play off the
various discourses in grand, local and expressive narratives, as it is still unfolding. Instead of giving an 'all encompassing truth' or deliberately
simplifying the 'story' in order to fit into a logical, chronological structure (arguing 'modernisticly', so that the reader cannot do otherwise than
to agree with the argument), I rather opted towards telling some of the stories reflecting on various experiences regarding borders,
boundaries and barriers in the area.
There are stories of artificial boundaries, of racists and capitalists, of land and tenure, of division, separation, independence and later
integration, of reserves and their underdevelopment, of people suffering and struggling, and of unviable towns and demarcations. In these
stories the immense influence and effect of policies and development intent on peoples lives, as well as on the physical, social and
economical environment, are illustrated. However, the stories illustrate that not only were complicated barriers created, but also how in
some cases, they were perpetuated and enhanced.
The value of this historical narrative, lies in the way it makes sense of events, actions and experiences, bringing forward stories that 'deserve
to be told', thus opening up a new way of looking at planning and planning history. It illustrates the complexity and intriguing relationships
and problems of an area influenced by a magnitude of modernistic planning policies and actions, casting a glimpse on the effect of borders,
boundaries and barriers on the lives of those who have to live with it, cross it, or in the worst instances, struggle against it - somehow
always with a glimmer of hope.
Dissertation (MTRP)--University of Pretoria, 1997.