Despite many efforts to publish comprehensive literary histories of South or Southern Africa in recent years, few studies exist
in which a thorough comparative study is undertaken between two or more South African literatures. This article wants to
provide a practical example of such a study by comparing the urbanisation of Afrikaners in Afrikaans literature with that
of black people as seen in English and Zulu literature. The statement made by Ampie Coetzee that comparative studies
should take place within the framework of discursive formations is one of the fundamental starting points of this study.
Maaike Meijer’s concept of the “cultural text” is further employed as a theoretical instrument. The identification of repeating
sets of representation is central to the demarcation of a “cultural text about urbanisation” in Afrikaans, English and Zulu
literature respectively. The cultural text forms the basis from which a valid comparative study can be embarked upon, and
the results of the research have important implications for further comparative studies but also literary historiography.