Apartheid in South Africa
Apartheid (which is an Afrikaans word meaning "apartness") was a political and social system in South Africa while it was under white minority rule (meaning white people ruled the country, even though there were not as many of them as there were black people). This was in use in the 20th century, from 1948 to 1994.  In the system, the people of South Africa were divided by their race and the races were forced to live apart from each other. There were laws that kept up the racial separation. The system of apartheid in South Africa was banned in 1994. The last president under apartheid was Frederik Willem de Klerk. After this, Nelson Mandela became the first black president  . Both were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. Today, the term apartheid is sometimes used to speak about similar systems in other countries.
How it worked [change]
During apartheid, people were divided into racial groups and kept apart by law. The system was used to deny many rights of non-white people. The laws allowed the white minority to keep the black majority out of certain areas. Black people had to carry special papers (passes) or have permission to live and work in particular areas. The government separated mixed communities and forcibly moved many people. Many laws were made, for example: people of different races were not allowed to get married; black people could not own land; and black people could not vote.
The United Nations did not agree with the South African government's apartheid policies . There were protests in South Africa, like in Sharpeville in 1960 and in Soweto in 1976. The Soweto uprising started because Africans were forced to study some subjects at school in Afrikaans. Many black people did not like Afrikaans because it was not the first language of black people, but the language of the apartheid government.
Finally, after much struggle, the South African government ended apartheid in 1994. After that, equal rights were shared among both black and whites. Nelson Mandela stood up to apartheid and became president when apartheid was ended. Although granted equal rights since 1994, 90 percent of the country's poor people are non-white, and so poverty remains a big problem.
The aim of apartheid was to separate all the people of South Africa into small independent nations. But the National Party government did not want to spend a lot of money on this project. Also, they wanted to keep most of South Africa's land for white people. Especially the rich parts of the country, like the gold mines of Johannesburg. They also wanted black people to work in these mines for little money. However, they did not want black men's families to live in the same area.
- Race (sociology)
- Racial segregation
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
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