Comparative PoliticsGerard Chretien
APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA
This is a 2 page paper that discusses the development and progress of the APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA
The term apartheid (from the Afrikaans word for “apartness”) was coined in the 1930s and used as a political slogan of the National Party in the early 1940s, but the policy itself extends back to the beginning of white settlement in South Africa in 1652. After the primarily Afrikaner Nationalists came to power in 1948, the social custom of apartheid was systematized under law. The apartheid was a social and political segregation of the white rulers from the black locals of South Africa.
Dutch farmers, known as the Boers, settled African lands, taking them from the San and the Khoi Khoi. Eventually, a rising Great Britain noted the rich resources and strategic location of the country. Britain imposed its rule on rebellious Boers, pushing the Boers off their land and eventually sparking the Boer War. Britain employed an overwhelming force to subdue the Boers, who pioneered guerrilla warfare. Ironically, the Boers, now called Afrikaners, triumphed. Britain had granted them political rights which they used to take the government by way of the ballot box. Afrikaners imposed the apartheid system, which intended to keep the races separate. Black Africans were subject to many controls and were expected to work the low-wage jobs. Black resistance along with several other factors resulted in the end of apartheid. The white minority government negotiated a transition to majority rule, which meant black rule. Nelson Mandela was freed from prison to become South Africa’s first black president (1).
After the primarily Afrikaner Nationalists came to power in 1948, the social custom of apartheid was systematized under law. The implementation of the policy, later referred to as “separate development,” was made possible by the Population Registration Act of 1950, which put all South Africans into three racial categories: Bantu (black African), white, or Coloured (of mixed race). A fourth category, Asian (Indians and Pakistanis), was added later (2). This was the inception of the historical too of discrimination unleashed on the poor community of the blacks by the ruling whites called the Apartheid.
The clear reason of this apartheid was to have as less interference of the blacks in the governmental process as possible. Simple hatred could also be termed as a plausible reason. The social structure at that time for the blacks was deplorable, they were assigned to low wage jobs only, had no access to education, they were given separate homelands, territories where they stayed put and had to carry passports with their finger prints and photographs if coming into non-black areas’.From 1976 to 1981, four of these homelands were created, denationalizing nine million South Africans However there were apartheid rebels who demonstrated against the inhuman subjugation of the blacks. Politically they were imprisoned, killed or banished. Nelson Mandela was one such freedom fighter.
“South Africa’s party system is one-party dominant; the African National Congress holds nearly a 2/3 majority. The political culture is described in terms of racial and tribal groups. Class, religion, and other cleavages are not as significant. The ANC faces a fundamental political problem: coming through on promises to improve black conditions of life while not frightening the white minority that still controls much the country’s wealth. The ANC’s dominance can also lead to a degree of instability. South Africans debate how to manage their revolution, and how to implement capitalist policies. If disorder ensues, the ANC could become authoritarian, resembling Zimbabwe. The country has abundant resources and the most developed industry on the African continent. The question is whether it can harness these assets to serve the needs of the majority while maintaining democratic institutions.'(1)
The apartheid was actually started by the Dutch regime after they ousted the British. It meant imposing strict regulatory laws against and on the blacks and restricting their movement in their own country. The regime was however under constant disapproval by foreign nations. In 1961 South Africa was forced to withdraw from the British Commonwealth by member states who were critical of the apartheid system, and in 1985 the governments of the United States and Great Britain imposed selective economic sanctions on South Africa in protest of its racial policy. The architects most probably wanted to accomplish sovereignty of their rule over South Africa, however the 90’s revolution took place which landed Nelson Mandela as the first black African president.