The effort to censor Inxeba, rhetoric about land expropriation and Johannesburg’s campaign against inner-city residents all have something in common. They fail to internalise the extraordinary internal resettlement reshaping SA’s economy, culture and politics. The former so-called homeland areas have seen mass out-migration, largely to Gauteng, Cape Town and mining towns in the northwest of SA. Out-migration mostly leads to slower growth in population, not actual decline. It is transforming where and how South Africans live. In the 1980s, estimates were that half the population lived in so-called "homelands". These were far from economic centres and impoverished, but before 1994, pass laws and removals made it hard for many to leave. That changed with the advent of democracy and by 2017 the share of the population living in these areas had fallen to a third.Broader out-migration from the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape and Free State complemented that from the former ...

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