Racial Segregation in South Africa
Apartheid in South Africa
Apartheid meaning "apartness" was a period of great racial segregation in South Africa. The apartheid started after World War II and wasn't dismantled until 1989. Apartheid brought great racial struggles to South Africa. The African National Congress (ANC) struggled to fight against and eventually end apartheid.
The History of Apartheid
Apartheid changed the history of South Africa forever. Apartheid was created by Afrikaner intellectuals during the 30s. They said that racial mixing would weaken the community and hinder its development. The British had control of South Africa, but Afrikaners exercised power and implemented laws that segregated the races and gave unfair advantages to whites. The apartheid era lasted almost 50 years and brought racism and segregation to the people of South Africa. It wasn't dismantled until prosident Botha was forced to retire and brought in a successor Frederik de Klerk who was more open minded and soon begain to get rid of apartheid. the leaders of the ANC were freed and the National Party was defeated in elections for the first time in 46 years.
The people of South Africa was affected greatly by the government under apartheid. As the supremacist National Party set up apartheid in the government of South Africa racial segregation was also established. Because of the implementation of apartheid, the African National Congress was formed and was the main opposition to apartheid. The ANC met with other opposition groups to sign the Freedom Charter. However violence from the ANC's Spear of the Nation (established by Nelson Mandela) was met by fierce resistance by the government and by 1963 most of the ANC leaders had either fled or were imprisoned. New protesting began in the 1970s resulting in the Soweto massacre and forced the apartheid regime to consider implementing some reforms to ease the tensions between the races.
Social Impacts of Apartheid
Apartheid brought great social changes to the people of South Africa. Several pieces of legislature passed by the South African government under apartheid divided the country into racial groups and gave whites benefits such as better schools and more land. ANC leaders protested an end for apartheid and launched the defiance campaign of the 50s. 8,000 people were arrested. In 1960 protesters in Sharpeville were fired upon and 69 people died leaving 186 wounded. The Soweto massacre of 1976 where tens of thousands of students were fired upon with more than 1,000 people left dead is a huge impact of apartheid.
Economic Impacts of Apartheid
South Africans saw great economic change through the apartheid period. The Sharpeville massacre drew the attention from activists in Europe and the United States. A powerful anti-apartheid movement soon erupted and this resulted in large economic sanctions on South Africa. This crippled the economy of South Africa. By the late 1980s, the South African regime had no friends or supporters internationally, and it was facing growing confident opposition movement in it's cities. President Botha was forced to step down due to medical reasons and the and of apartheid soon followed.
South Africa Today
The people of South Africa today are still being affected by the apartheid period through the past years. In 1989 President Botha resigned due to illness and Frederik de Klerk stepped up. Apartheid was dismantled and apartheid laws were repealed. The ANC won the elections of 1994 with Nelson Mandela elected president of South Africa and served until 1999. Although still effected by the intense racial segregation of past years it is nothing compared to how South Africa was under apartheid.