Racial segregation remained a feature of life on Robben Island. Black people were housed in separate inferior accommodation – a derelict building and then in tents close to the Cornelia Battery in the northern region of the Island. African construction workers were housed in a ‘native compound’ on a site where the present day MSP is (west of the harbour). White women were housed in the village and closely guarded at night. White male soldiers and engineers lived in the southern region of the Island in barracks in the village.
The Department of Prisons took over the Island on the 24 March 1961. They dismantled some of the guns and refurbished others and established the infamous Maximum Security Prison which is what the Island is mostly known for today.