Apartheid In South Africa Essay

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South Africa has been the scene of a number of momentous social engineering projects from colonialism and segregation to apartheid and currently, the democratic transformation (Christopher 2001). The system of racial segregation in South Africa, known throughout the world as apartheid, effectively found its way into every dimension of black people’s lives. The apartheid regime under authoritarian leadership of the National Party (1948-1994), sought to control black lives from the cradle to the grave. The forms of control ranged from the denial of full citizenship to inferior social services. Apartheid was not just a system of racial segregation, more powerfully, it was also a socio economic system based on the exploitation of black labourers …show more content…
The Afrikaans word “apartheid” has become the universally employed organisation for legalized and enforced racial and ethnic discrimination, notable in the fields of residential segregation, job opportunities and political rights (Christopher 2001). Visser (2007) refers to apartheid as a “culture of violence”. Visser (2007) highlights that during the period 1934-1948, the South African government officially adopted a policy of racial segregation which would lay the foundation for the establishment of an apartheid government in 1948. The policy of apartheid prevented black South Africans from meaningfully participating in the affairs of government and its ultimate aim was to ensure supremacy of white South Africans. As early as the 1930’s, black South Africans gradually mobilised themselves into various movements that would later develop into massive resistance against the oppressive policies of apartheid. The policy of apartheid was enforced through violence. In order to uphold apartheid, spatial and social segregation was enforced through a battery of laws. The Group Areas Act of 1950 was one of the cruellest acts passed by the apartheid government. It made residential segregation compulsory, leading to eviction of Indians, Blacks and Coloureds from their homes. As a result, long established communities were destroyed (Visser, 2007). Apartheid was officially made a universal term by the United Nations in the 1976 (Mama, 1995). According to Mama (1995), apartheid is characterized by forcible transfer of populations, land control, labour exploitation, humiliation and murder. Under apartheid, various races were separated into different regions, and discrimination against people of colour was not only acceptable but legally entrenched; with whites having priority housing, jobs, education, and political power. Essentially, the role of enforcing

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