Factors Of Apartheid In South Africa

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The National Party came to power in 1948 and implemented the policy of Apartheid which remained entrenched in South Africa (SA) until 1994. Sport is an important factor in South African’s lives owing to their strong sports culture. It unified people as well as publically highlighted the Apartheid racial policies through the use of media coverage of sporting fixtures.

Essentially, international factors created external pressure on the Apartheid government through the use of sports boycotts. The sports boycotts started with the exclusion of South Africa in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics followed by SA being barred from the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico with the aim of forcing SA to abolish racial discrimination. In 1968, the Basil D’Oliveira affair
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International and domestic pressure through sport influenced the South African government to make changes to Apartheid and promoted multiracial interactions. Sport boycotts were effectively used to create global and national publicity about Apartheid. South Africa was isolated by the sports boycotts which resulted in adding pressure onto the NP to transform racial policies. In addition, sports media coverage focused countries’ attention to the Apartheid regime and thus created resistance to racial discrimination. Furthermore, the renowned sporting culture in South Africa built nationalism and unity amongst people of all races with a common goal of opposing Apartheid segregations and protesting against inequality.

Although there were multiple rebel tours which went against the sport boycotts of South Africa and groups that viewed sport to be unrelated to politics, sport has shown to have built internal and external resistance to the Apartheid Regime in which the NP was pressurized to change policies.

Ultimately, sport boycotts were used as a political weapon and consequently to a large extent assisted in ending

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