Apartheid was a system of governance that was used in South Africa to treat the white minority and the non-white majority differently. This policy started from 1948 and was used to oppress people of colour. One of the most outstanding features of the Apartheid system was the separate development which was brought about by the 1950 Population Registration Act. The act classified the South Africans as Coloured, Whites and Bantu.

The Group Areas Act in 1950 led to the establishment of residential and business sectors in all urban regions separate for each race. More than 80% of the nation’s land was set apart for the Whites (Wilson, 2001). The pass laws were also made, which demanded that all the non-Whites should bear documents that authorize them to be in the restricted areas.

The Africans, categorized as the Bantus, staged opposition to this regime through demonstrations and strikes. The police took brutal measures to suppress them and this mostly led to deaths and injury on the protesters as it occurred in Sharpeville on 21st March 1960. The pressure in the campaign against Apartheid also came from the international level where South Africa was forcefully withdrawn from the Commonwealth and United Kingdom, along with the United States opting to impose economic sanctions on the country. The pass laws were eventually abolished in 1986.

The Apartheid system had negative impacts on South Africans. The major effect is that it promoted and also sustained racism in South Africa. Even years after the fall of the Apartheid regime, the nation is still struggling to be united (Mathews, 1986) as the discrimination damaged them psychologically. Some natives were condemned to poverty after their land was taken away.

Mathews, A. S. (1986). Freedom, state security and the rule of law: dilemmas of the apartheid society (Vol. 42). Univ of California Press.
Wilson, R. A. (2001). The politics of truth and reconciliation in South Africa: Legitimizing the post-apartheid state. Cambridge University Press.


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