South Africa Problems Essay, Research Paper
During the 17th century, South Africa was colonized by the English and Dutch. The Dutch descendants – called “Boers” (from the Dutch word for ‘farmer’) or “Afrikaners” – revolted against English Rule in 1899. This war was called the Boer War (also known as the South African War) and lasted until 1902. In 1910, the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, and Natal were all combined to form the Union of South Africa which was allowed semi-independent status from Great Britain.
In 1948, the Afrikaner Nationalist party came to power and implemented Apartheid. Under Apartheid, blacks were excluded from political life and discriminated against in all facets of society. The Nationalist party used Apartheid as a means to cement their control over the economic and social systems of the country. Originally, Apartheid was meant to maintain white domination while extending racial separation. “Grand Apartheid” was started in the 1960’s which emphasized territorial separation and police repression.
Before April 26, 1994, this was the flag of South Africa.
This flag is a combination of the former flag of the Netherlands, (the three equal horizontal stripes) and three miniature flags that are for the old Orange Free State, the United Kingdom, and the old Transvaal Republic.
Apartheid became know as an extreme form of discrimination. Race laws touched every aspect of social life. All inter-racial acts were banned, including marriages between whites and non-whites. Non-whites were turned away from “white-only” jobs. In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent, mostly Indian and Asian). Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance, and descent. If a person looked white, they were accepted as white. If a person had a non-white parent, they could not be considered white. The Department of Home Affairs was created for the classification of the citizenry. Non-compliance with the race laws were dealt with harshly. All blacks were required to carry “pass books” containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas.
In 1951, the Bantu Authorities Act established a basis for ethnic government in African reserves. These reserves were known as “homelands.” Africans were assigned into one of these “homelands” by the government. Africans were only allowed political rights such as voting inside of their designated homeland. The main intent of these “homelands” was to get Africans to be citizens inside of their “homeland,” thus losing their citizenship to South Africa. The South African Parliament, however, held complete power over all of the “homelands.” From 1976 to 1981, four of these homelands were created, denationalizing nine million South Africans. The homeland administrations refused the nominal independence and claimed that they still had power inside of South Africa. Nevertheless, “former” South Africans living in the homelands needed passports to enter South Africa
In 1953, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed. These Acts allowed the South African government to declare “states of emergency” and also increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law. The penalties included fines, imprisonment, and whippings. These acts showed that the government had no intention of changing the unfair rules of Apartheid.