Saturday, March 12, 2011

Research Paper on Apartheid

Research Paper on South African Apartheid

In February/March 2003, South Africa competed in the cricket world cup for the first time. This was unusual because up until then South Africa was not allowed to have anything to do with other countries due to boycotts. However out of the whole team there was only one black player.

Apartheid was first introduced in 1948; it was to ‘separate the races’, not just white and black people, but groups of non-whites as well. With laws that totally separated the races, from employment to health, no two races were equal.

Apartheid ended because the government literally couldn’t control the country. A phenomenally high violence rate, economic sanctions and no black skilled workers was making South Africa fall. However, one man sought to repair South Africa’s problems, Nelson Mandela, whom was released from prison in 1990, creating the ANC who won the first democratic election in 1994. Mandela then became president of South Africa.


During the ANC’s election campaign in 1994, they produced a five-year plan to meet what Mandela called “the basic needs of the masses”. The RDP (Reconstruction and Development Program) set out an $11 billion plan to create jobs and training opportunities for two and a half million people in public works projects. Free education was promised to children and people who had missed out on education in the last ten years. It also promised to redistribute 30% of all farming land to those who had lost their land under Apartheid. But the people of South Africa need many things improved. Most importantly were the land situation, housing, education, violence and crime and racism.

During Apartheid millions of South Africa’s non-white population were pushed out of their rightful homelands into reserves and townships. They could do nothing about it because the whites ‘owned’ the country and any opposition would most likely be jailed or killed. A prime example of non-whites getting kicked out is Sophia town, a small town that grew up four miles from the centre of Johannesburg since 1905. It was not a preferable place to live since it was next to a sewage farm. The inhabitants came from many different races and many of them actually owned their homes. This was seen as a threat to Nationalists: non-whites living in a white area.

So, in 1954, the government passed the Natives Resettlement Act. It was to move all 57,000 people out of Sophia town.

Many black farmers also lost all their land, so it is clear that many blacks lost a lot of land because of Apartheid. But returning land that has been taken for such a long time is a difficult procedure, since legal documents that blacks once possessed were mostly lost or forgotten about.

Overall, the loss of land was due to racism and there has been slow progress since large landowners do not want to simply hand over their land.

Housing in South Africa for blacks is certainly unequal to whites. Whereas most white South Africans live in detached and comfortable houses with servants and swimming pools, the majority of blacks live in overcrowded areas that lack basic services. In 1990, South Africa lacked 1.3 million homes. Only 50,000 houses were built in 1992. South Africa Blacks were promised a minimum of a million low cost houses to be built over five years. Progress is slow however because most effort has been put in to find the money for this program. But money is not an easy thing to get I South Africa. Due to the world rejecting trading with South Africa, due to nothing worth trading in South Africa because they have no black skilled workers because education is poor due to no money for that. The spiral goes on and on and sadly South Africa is having a hard time escaping from it.

Education is South Africa has been awful during and after Apartheid. In 1988 it was estimated that about 22 percent of black students between the ages of 6 and 14 were not attending school. Average student-teacher ratios in white schools were 20:1, in black schools 41:1, and in some Soweto schools it was possible to find a hundred students to one teacher in a classroom. In 1988, Port Elizabeth, at least 14 black high schools throughout the province produced no successful candidates and dozens had pass rates as low as 8 percent.

Hardly anything has been done to improve the situation with South Africa’s education. In 1995 only a quarter of black teachers had then required minimum qualifications for teaching. Teachers received wages 30% lower than comparable positions in the private sector. The reason for this poor progress was simply the white government. Statistics clearly show how blacks get pathetic resources compared to whites. For example, a blacks maximum wage was Ј320 a year, whereas whites had a minimum of Ј603 a year. Black schools were given less equipment and no money to repair buildings and replace furniture, and secondary school pupils boycotted to exams.

The attendance of black children to schools is a large factor to why there are no ‘black skilled workers’ in South Africa today. The ANC is partly to blame for this. The young Lions were used by the ANC in campaigns that kept township youths out of school to help with riots, protests etc. With no pupils attending school, then no pupils will be educated, relating to the why apartheid ended in the first place – lack of ‘black skilled workers’.

Many other factors are responsible for the education problem. Money. With no money then school equipment, facilities, quality of teacher training amongst many other things can be improved. Then there is the question of ‘how do we get this money?’ The answer to that is a mystery too, due to the economic sanctions in South Africa, and the world rejectment to investing in anything in South Africa. Because when it comes to this, who will trade, invest etc. with a country indulged with violence, crime and overall a disarrayed country? The answer is no-one, and this is not going to change with a click of someone’s finger. To solve one problem, other problems have to be considered, and it seems that the government don’t know where to start.

Overall poor education in South Africa due to the racism of the white government who are a minority in South Africa, and felt that black education was worthless compared to the whites.

Before Apartheid laws of the state were equal for everyone. However, because of Apartheid there were different laws for different races. But before Apartheid could be put into practice, the government needed to know who belonged to which racial group – white, native and colored. So after 1951 a racial register was started. The register also divided natives and colored into smaller groups. Whites were just whites, a sign of racism maybe? This law was called the Population Registration Act. There was then the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, which banned marriages between whites and non-white. And the Immorality Amendment Act that banned sex between whites and non-whites.

The Afrikaners were determined that non-whites should not be allowed to vote. They succeeded in 1956. There was also Petty Apartheid, laws which controlled minor aspects of life. For example, if a non-white was sitting in a bus, and a white entered, the non-white would have to give up their seat, no matter what. Now this is clearly racist. All these laws gave whites as a group privileges, and non-whites got the scraps. The whites were not split up into European, American etc, but the non-whites were.

Racism has hardly changed since Apartheid left, people’s attitudes do not change overnight, and it will take many years for it to do so.

During Apartheid non-whites rightly saw the government as their enemy. They resorted to violence to show the government that they were not happy. Even children would join the struggle. So, with a generation of violent non-whites, violence and crime was very high in South Africa. Even when apartheid was over and the enemy was gone violent acts were aimed towards anyone with money. Mandela even said, “The enemy is now you and me, people who drive a car and have a house”.

It is vital that violence stops in South Africa because who will want to invest or trade with country that when you step out into the street, your life is at risk? And without that South Africa will have no money to repair their country. Also the whites and non-whites need to learn to work together to restore South Africa.

The problem with solving one problem in South Africa is that you have to take into account that there are many other problems that are affected at the same time. So it is very difficult to solve them all at once. And with so many rivalries throughout the country it is not going to be easy to get South Africa back on its feet. To me, money is the key to start off the reparations, but it’s getting it that is difficult. If I were to choose an aspect of life to specifically improve then it would be education because with skilled workers, maybe the outside world will wish to place factories, industry etc. in South Africa, which will hopefully increase the money coming into the country, which is what is needed. However, it will take time, some things cannot be solved overnight, hence the legacy of Apartheid.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Apartheid topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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