Apartheid. What is it? Who or what were involved? And how did it end in South Africa?

Essay by keiko306High School, 10th grade May 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.0


Imagine living in an actual time and place similar to George Orwell's "1984." There was a chillingly similar place for "non-whites" in South Africa from the 1940's to the 1990's. I believe that enforcing Apartheid is unjust and immoral. Reading this paper you will learn: What is apartheid? Who were involved? And how did apartheid end in South Africa?

What is apartheid? The system of apartheid--"apartness" between races--began in 1948 and in the time span of one generation, it wove itself into every aspect of life. Apartheid was a radical and extreme extension of segregation originating in colonial conquest in the seventeenth century by the Dutch (known as Boers or Afrikaners) and English.

Apartheid was separation by race and by location. Apartheid laws were enacted in 1948, these laws institutionalized racial discrimination. These laws touched every aspect of life, including: The prohibition of interracial marriage between whites and non-whites and the reservation of white-only jobs.

In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified. The four groups of race were: Whites (or Europeans), Coloreds (people who were a mixture of different groups including whites), Asians (Indians), and Bantu (or Africans).

In 1951, the Bantu Authorities Act was established. This act forced all non-whites to move to reserves known as "homelands" or Bantustans. These homelands were independent states to which every African was assigned by the government according to the record of origin (which was often inaccurate). All political rights, including voting, were restricted to the designated homeland. The idea behind this was that non-whites would be citizens of their homeland, losing any right of involvement with the South African Parliament that held complete control over the homelands. From 1976 to 1981, four of these homelands were created, denationalizing nine million South Africans. Africans living...