Apartheid in South Africa

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Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid is the political policy of racial segregation. In Afrikaans, it

means apartness, and it was pioneered in 1948 by the South African National

Party when it came to power.

Not only did apartheid separate whites from non-whites, it also segregated

the Blacks (Africans) from the Coloreds (Indians, Asians).

All things such as jobs, schools, railway stations, beaches, park benches,

public toilets and even parliament.

Apartheid also prevented blacks from living in white areas. This brought

about the hated "pass laws". These laws required any non-white to carry a pass

on him or her. Unless it was stamped on their pass, they were not allowed to

stay in a white area for more than 72 hours.

Despite the fact that the whites only make up just over 14% of the

population, they own 86.3% of the land. However, it must be said that the

Afrikaaners are entitled to the Orange Free State and Transvaal as they were

first to use it after the Great Trek of 1836.

The average South African White earns eight times as much as the average

black man. Coloureds earn three times as much as black while colords earn well

over half of what whites earn.

During Apartheid, media censorship was at an all time high. People were

even banned from showing Soweto on television. It was common to see a newspaper

shut down, and then start again after being halted by the government.

Up until 1985, mixed marriages were banned. This meant that a person of

one race cold not marry a person of another race. Apartheid was not only used

in theory, but also by law. Every person was classifed, just like an animal, as

white, black or coloured.

The system of Apartheid began to deteriorate in the mid to late 1980's. In

1985, mixed marriages were allowed, the Pass laws repealed, and a general

weakening of petty segregation laws regarding parks and beaches.

In 1994, the entire system collapsed after Pres. F.W. de Klerk gave non-

whites to vote. Nelson Mandella was elected tooffice following his prison

release in February 1990.


A Group Areas Act, froom 1948, set aside most of the coutntry for use by

the whites. Smaller, and less desiracle areas called 'bantustans' were set

aside for blacks. These areas are over crowded, un sanitory, and most of all,

unhygenic. Soweto, a large bantustan, is the size of Brighton, yet has over two

million peopl in it.

Blacks were told to regard these desolate and unfertile areas as their

'homelands'. Over half of the black South African population lived, not in

these batustans, but in the white areas of the country for cheap labour.

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