A look at South Africa History

Apartheid in South Africa





Looking at South Africa history, the policy of consistent racial separation was introduced in 1910 through a group of laws that further curtailed the rights of the black majority. The "Mines and Works Act" of 1911, for example, limited black workers exclusively to menial work and so guaranteed the availability of cheap labour and secured the better positions for white workers. The "Native Land Act" of 1913 set aside 7.3 per cent of South African territory as reservations for black people and barred them from buying land outside these areas.

Deprived of the right to vote or to strike, the black population had no means of political influence, and so the ANC, African National Congress, and other resistance and liberation movements formed. They were all initially badly organized and minimally effective. The white governments pursued their politics virtually without obstruction. After the Second World War, the conflicts intensified and black workers went on a number of wild strikes. The whites became nervous and helped the right-wing National Party to an overwhelming election victory in the elections of 1948.

The NP was led by D.F. Malan, who stood for drastic measures against the "black menace," coined the concept of "apartheid" and consistently enforced this devious policy. From then on, it was not "only" about the separation of the races in the economic sector, but increasingly the private domain of all non-white people was regulated and controlled as well. Marriage or any love realationship between members of different racial groups were forbidden, and in all public institutions and offices, in public transport and on public toilets, racial segregation was introduced. More detrimental because of long-term consequences was the education system, the so-called Bantu education, which tried to keep the black children at a very low standard. Subjects were even dish washing and the weeding of flower beds.


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