The apartheid system had a deep and lasting impact on the spatial reality of South Africa. Almost every city in this country has some evidence of apartheid era planning policy in its physical makeup. Bloemfontein, in central South Africa follows a model Apartheid city planning type, and in contemporary south Africa the planners and architects have to engage with ways to work against this physical structure. Towns that rely on each other for economic reasons also face challenges. Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu are almost 50km’s apart, but a large component of Bloemfontein’s labor reside there. This is also a remnant of apartheid where certain towns formed part of ‘native homelands’. Now that Bloemfontein and Thaba N’chu form part of the same municipality, planning, administration and physical distance create new challenges.
Wanda Verster is a PhD student at the University of the Free State, department of Architecture in South Africa. Her focus is on threshold spaces in planning and architecture. She holds a Masters in Architecture and Hons in Art History (both from the UFS), she is also a part time lecturer at the Department of architecture where she teaches theory of architecture to post-graduate students. She spent 6 months at Uppsala as part of an Erasmus Mundus exchange. She works as a departmental research assistant and is a professional architect and runs a small local practice.