Since the 1800s, South Africa has been dealing with the issue of apartheid, or racial segregation. This system was introduced in 1948 by the National Party and lasted until 1994. Apartheid divided South African citizens into four categories: white, black, coloured, and Indian. Each race had its own set of laws and rights, with whites holding the most power and blacks having the least.
Apartheid caused great inequality and hardship for South Africa’s black population. Blacks were not allowed to vote, hold political office, or own property. They were also forced to live in segregated areas, often without basic amenities such as running water or decent housing.
The whites had all the power and the non-whites were treated like second class citizens. This brutal system of segregation lasted until 1994 when South Africa held its first democratic election. The African National Congress, led by Nelson Mandela, won and apartheid was finally abolished. South Africa is now a multi-racial democracy where all races are treated equally.
Apartheid was a devastating chapter in South Africa’s history. Not only did it cause great pain and suffering for the black majority, but it also ruined South Africa’s economy. It will take many years to rebuild what was lost during apartheid. But South Africa is slowly rebuilding itself and is once again becoming a thriving democracy. South Africans must never forget the pain and suffering of apartheid, but they must also look to the future with hope and optimism.
Apartheid was based on the belief that different races are naturally unequal and should be kept separate. This system of apartheid divided South Africa into four groups: whites, blacks, colored (indians and asians), and natives (zulus, xhosas, etc). Each race had its own area, or “homeland”, where it was forced to live.
Apartheid South Africa was a dictatorship. The white minority held all the power while the non-white majority were treated like second class citizens. Blacks were not allowed to vote, they could not own land, they could not go to the same schools or hospitals as whites, and they were not allowed to work in certain jobs. They were also routinely arrested and tortured without cause.
The conditions in South Africa under apartheid were absolutely appalling. Black families lived in poverty and disease was rampant. Children were often malnourished and education was denied to most of them. The South African government did nothing to help the black majority, and in fact, they often made the situation worse.
In the early 1990s, the international community began to pressure South Africa to end apartheid. The United Nations passed a number of resolutions condemning South Africa’s racist policies. In 1992, South Africa was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations. And in 1993, South Africa was charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
The policies of apartheid also prevented blacks from living in white areas. This resulted in the reviled “pass laws,” which compelled any non-white to carry a pass with them at all times. They were not permitted to stay in a white region for more than 72 hours unless their pass was stamped. Despite the fact that whites make up only about 14% of South Africa’s population, they own 86.3 percent of the territory. However, it must be said that the Afrikaaners are entitled to the Orange Free State and Transvaal since they were first to use it after the Great Trek of 1836.
The British South Africa Company (BSAC) which administered the area from 1889 until 1924, granted Afrikaans settlers preferential treatment over British immigrants. The apartheid system in South Africa was based on white supremacy and racial segregation. This means that the whites were superior to all other races and that they were not allowed to mix with any other race. In South Africa, this policy was implemented through a series of laws which separated the races into different areas and prevented them from interacting with one another.
The typical white South African earns eight times the income of the average black man. Coloreds make three times as much as blacks, whereas whites make well over half of what people in other races earn. During Apartheid, media censorship was at its most severe. On television, people were prohibited from showing Soweto.
It was not uncommon to see a newspaper go under and then reopen when the government had banned it. Until 1985, marriages between persons of different races were prohibited. This meant that a person of one race could not marry another. Apartheid was utilized in practice as well as by legislation. Every individual was categorized, like an animal, as white, black, or colored according on their race.
South Africa is a country rich in minerals, yet the people living there are some of the poorest in the world. This all started to change when Apartheid was finally abolished in 1991. South Africans began to unite and work together to improve their country. South Africa has made great strides since then, but there is still much to be done. South Africa is a beautiful country with a rich history, and I am proud to be part of it.
Apartheid started to crumble in the mid-to-late 1980s. Mixed marriages were permitted in 1985, the Pass laws were repealed, and minor segregation rules governing parks and beaches became less stringent. In 1994, following Pres. F.W. de Klerk’s decision to allow non-whites to vote, the entire system came crumbling down when Nelson Mandella was elected president of South Africa (1990).
From 1948, the Group Areas Act created reservations for white people in much of the country. Blacks were designated smaller, less desirable territories known as ‘bantustans.’ These areas are crowded, unsanitary, and most importantly, unhygienic. Soweto is comparable in size to Brighton but has almost two million residents.
The ANC’s plan for South Africa included a policy of forced removals to environmentally damaged areas known as “black homelands.” Blacks were instructed to consider these barren and unproductive regions as their “homelands.” For cheap labor, over half of the black South African population lived not in the bantustans but in white sectors of the country. Nonwhites were forced to live in shantytowns while the whites resided comfortably.