Racism and apartheid
Law about the racial segregation in South Africa was published in 1910, same year as the constitution of South Africa. There came a lot of resistance against racial segregation. Between 1910 and 1930 Africans founded many political parties and labour organizations. For example South African Native National Congress was founded in 1912. It later became the most famous and biggest of the parties and is called ANC, African National Congress. The leader of this party is Nelson Mandela. (http://www.helsinki.fi/jarj/polho/1_98/soweto.html)
South Africa is known about its history of apartheid. Africaner intellectuals started to use the word apartheid in the 1930s. The word means apartness. (Thompson 1996, 186.) In 1948, The Afrikaner National party wan a general election and began to apply its policy of apartheid. Strategists in the National Party invented apartheid as a means to cement their control over the economic and social system. Initially, aim of the apartheid was to maintain white domination while extending racial separation. Racial discrimination was institutionalized with the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948. In 1950, the Population Registration Act classifies people by race. There were three categories: white, black (African) and coloured (of mixed decent). The coloured category included major subgroups of Indians and Asians. (http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html) Thompson says (1996, 190) that the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949) and the Immorality Act (1950) created legal boundaries between the races by making marriage and sexual relations illegal across the colour line.
The National party used its majority in Parliament to eliminate the voting rights of Coloured and African people. Thompson (1996, 191) says that the government transformed the administration of the African population. It grouped the reserves into eight (eventually ten) territories. These territories became "homelands" for potential African "nation", administered under white tutelage by a set of Bantu authorities. The idea was that Africans would be citizens of the homeland, losing their citizenship in South Africa and any right of involvement with the South African Parliament which held complete hegemony over the homelands. All blacks were required to carry "pass books" containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas (http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html).
In 1952, ANC and its allies launched a passive resistance campaign. In 1953 the government assumed control of African education. (Thompson 1996.) The Bantu Education Act denied blacks to get higher education. Next year the government decided to resettle 60 000 Africans, Indians, coloured and Chinese from Johannesburg to the South-West of the city. The remove was called Western Areas Removal Scheme. In 1955, National Conference of ANC accepted foundation of the Congress of the People. Same year the Congress of the People adopted a Freedom Charter. It had four points: 1) The People Shall Govern, 2) All National Groups Shall Have Equal Right, 3) The People Shall Share In The Country's Wealth, 4) The Land Shall Be Shared Among Those Who Work It. (http://www.helsinki.fi/jarj/polho/1_98/soweto.html)
Pan African Congress (PAC) was founded in 1959. In 1960 African and Coloured representation in Parliament was termined. Same year police kill 67 African anti-pass-law demonstrators at Sharpeville and the government bans African political organizations. Nelson Mandela and other ANC and PAC leaders sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964. In 1984, a new constitution gave Asians and Coloureds but not Africans limited participation in the central government. First contacts between the government and imprisoned and exiled ANC leaders happened in 1985. De Klerk became leader of the National party and then president in 1989. He unbans the ANC, PAC and SACP and releases Mandela and other political prisoners in 1990. In 1994, the ANC won first nonracial election. Nelson Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa. He formed Government of National Unity. (Thompson 1996, 1959 - 1960.)
According to Thompson (1996, 221-240) apartheid was in crisis in the years 1978 - 1989. There came domestic resistance against apartheid. The end of apartheid was really important stage in South Africa. Years 1989 - 1995 were time of transition (Thompson 1996, 241-277).
In 1997 Helsingin Sanomat wrote an article about black people coming to business life in South Africa. Most of the black enterpreuners have small enterprises, but there are also some very rich owners and businessmen. (http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/uutisarkisto/19971116/talo/971116ta06.html)
Apartheid ended in 1994, but South Africa still struggles with racism and racist attitudes. One story on BBC News (26.8.2001 http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_1511000/1511723.stm) tells about a black South African woman, who works in a coffee shop. She was attached by white man, who told her that there is no place for kaffir lover like her in the town. And he used a sharp instrument to carve a "K" onto her chest. "K" denoting an abusive term for black people. BBC (28.8.2000 http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_899000/899543.stm) tells also about quite new racism, a dramatic rise in xenophobia towards black African immigrants.
Kuzwayo, E. 1987. Sano minua naiseksi. (Call me woman). Naisten kulttuuriyhdistys. Gummerus. Jyväskylä.
Thompson, L. 1996. A History of South Africa. Revised edition. Yale University Press. New Haven and London.
- history of apartheid in South Africa
- Liikanen, article about Soweto
- the Commission on Gender Equality in South Africa
- article about racism in South Africa
- article about new racism in South Africa
- article about black people coming to business life in South Africa