“There was simply too much water” : exploring the Laingsburg Flood of 1981

Pietersen, Ashrick (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis provides a revised, inclusive, integrated, pre-and post-apartheid contextual presentation of the Laingsburg flood disaster of 1981, still widely regarded as one of the most devastating natural disasters in South African history. To develop and compile a balanced and comprehensive account of this catastrophe, multiple untapped primary and secondary sources were utilized. The memorialization of this event was also explored and care was exercised to address the lacuna created by the lack of contextual information and the exclusion of “non-white” flood survivors’ narratives. The aim of this thesis was thus broadly two-fold. As far as possible, it attempts to provide an inclusive, comprehensive, politically contextual account of the disaster and then to document the subsequent attempts to memorialize it via commemoration and commercialization.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie verhandeling bied ‘n hersiene, geïntegreerde voor en post-apartheid kontekstuele weergawe van die rampspoedige Laingsburg vloed in 1981 wat nog steeds as een van die mees verwoestende natuurlike rampe in Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis beskou word. Ten einde ‘n omvattende en gebalanseerde ontleding daar te stel, is ‘n verskeidenheid van voorheen onbenutte primêre en sekondêre bronne ingespan. Die wyse waarop die gebeurtenis in herinnering geroep is, is eweneens ontleed. Die fokus was onder meer op die leemtes wat ontstaan het as gevolg van die gebrek aan kontekstuele inligting en die uitsluiting van die narratiewe van “nie-wit” vloed oorlewendes. Breedweg was die doel van die verhandeling tweeledig. Dit poog om sover as moontlik ‘n inklusiewe, omvattende en polities kontekstuele weergawe van die ramp te gee en dan om die daaropvolgende pogings om die gebeurtenis in herinnering te roep deur onder andere kommersialisering, te dokumenteer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103772
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