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What Explains the Adaptation of the 1948 Apartheid Law in South Africa?

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What explains the adaptation of the 1948 Apartheid law in South Africa?

South Africa’s Apartheid was a political system founded in racial segregation. The National Party, the only governing party between the years 1948 to 1994, committed itself to oppressing the country’s people through racial legislation. What factor explains the adaptation of the Apartheid law in 1948? An Afrikaner (southern African ethnic group) minority ruled the population, enacting Apartheid once white supremacist leaders and racial segregation had become a central aspect of the South African policy after World War II. The Afrikaners had also formed some Broderbund organizations, developing and imposing ideology that helped in pushing the Apartheid agenda. Such ideology was officially administered in South Africa through the mandate of the League of Nations, later revoked in 1966 via the United Nations 2145 Resolutions (Barbarin, Oscar & Linda 2013, 221).
The Great Depression 1929 resulted in a bad economic turn in South Africa, and saw many Afrikaner whites move to the city in search of jobs from previously settled rural areas. However, due to high taxes, native South African tribesmen had to work in the mines resulting in an increase in the number of black people in the manual labor workforce. Racial segregation itself began during the colonial period under the rule of the Dutch empire until the British appropriated the Cape of Good Hope in 1795 (Clark, Nancy & William 2013, 113) The structured policy of Apartheid was officially introduced after the South African general elections of 1948. Legislation soon classified the population into four racial groups creating ultimate segregation. That being said, the main classification was based according to the white. Indians and the colored. ( Barbarin, Oscar & Linda 2013, 114). The colored and the Indians were also subclassified and their residential areas were segregated In fact, Apartheid operated under a strict set of segregated laws, including registration required by an act in 1950 (Barbarin, Oscar & Linda 2013, 320). South Africans were classified in a specific number based on population groups, fully provided for and edified by the act (Marks, Shula & Stanley 2014, 115). All the separation and reservation of the Separate Amenities Act in 1953 allowed a public premise where the services and vehicles were segregated by one race. During Apartheid, land was allocated based on race. Most of the land was owned by whites while 7 % was allocated to blacks. However, the Land Act increased the Native Trust in 1936 to 14 % of the whole land area of South Africa. As for the Indians, the 1946 Indian act emerged while the Asians also had their own Land Act that was restricting their land ownership to towns and cities. Various legislative acts divided urban and rural area land ownership based on race. In addition, colored people were forced to operate under a Communal Act that kept certain tribes together, limiting their movement to certain land tracts. A Preservation Act served to entrench white ownership of land already settled by the white population. Last, an act controlled the aliens, such as Asians, who occupied a part of southern South Africa. The government meant to limit contact between races, limiting non-whites to activities that involved manual labor. Labor unions were set for the non-whites and they were all denied from participating in national government issues. Equal facilities were certainly not available to all. Another Apartheid law regarded jobs, specifically to force blacks to work in the mines. The natives were also affected since they were the main workers in the building industry (Barbarin, Oscar & Linda 2013, 230). Legislation not only segregated work places and living conditions, but also the bedrooms of the population. From 1960 to around 1984, 3.4 million non-white South Africans were evicted from their native homes. It was one of the largest mass removals of its kind in modern history (Marks, Shula & Stanley 2014, 87). All public services were also formally and practically segregated, where those provided for colored were far inferior to those provided for whites.

As shown in Table 1, the majority of discrimination was aimed towards the blacks. Peter Kallaway in his book The history of education under apartheid analyses the history of the education system for the period 1948 - 1994 during the rule of the National Party. The separation was extended to all facets of life from education to development, to religion and churches, to human rights among others (Kallaway 2). Kallaway explains that the separate school systems were predominant during 1948 - 1994. However, the different schools for the blacks and the whites had been separate from the onset. He views the Bantu Education Act of 1953, advocated by the Minister of Native Affairs, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd.The legislation and report were utilized as tools to achieve state control of the black majority. The missionary churches for responsible for the governance before state intervention. The funding allocated to the schools depended on the system and clouded with inequality. White schools received a higher funding than all other systems, with black schools receiving the least amount (Kallaway 5).
In his book, Kallaway, states that the different schools had separate syllabuses. The government policy was to train the black Africans to be servants and labourers to the whites, and not to educate them to aspire to positions they will never hold. Instruction in primary schools with black majority primarily consisted of mother tongue with a few exceptions. The author also analyses the steps the oppressed black Africans took in rebellion to the educational ideologies imposed by the National Party (Kallaway 8). The author also explores the segregation characterized post-apartheid education culture, and the desired changes and improvements. As seen in Image 2, the racial segration between the white kids were very strongly based.
Marquard in his book "The Peoples and Policies of South Africa." examines many of the issues that plagued South Africa during the period of Apartheid. He focuses on race, religion and politics. In his discussion of religious issues, he primarily concentrates on the interaction between white churches and apartheid (Marquard 23).
Walshe, the author of “Christianity and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle: The Prophetic Voice within Divided Churches” argues in this paper that the church was an essential and integral part of the anti- apartheid struggle. Religion was another element recreating racial segregation. He states that the church became increasingly politicized through the years providing rebellion against the apartheid system, especially due to prophetic Christian churches. The churches involvement in the rebellion against apartheid as explained by Walsh heightened in the 1980's (Walshe 31).
Lastly Miguel Rodriguez examines the role of the church, focusing on theology text and religious leaders in the struggle against segregation. The author illustrates in the article that contextual theology was a vital component in rallying the church against the oppressive government of the time; the National Party that governed the country during the apartheid period. The church was very popular among the black South Africans as they worked with the poor and oppressed, which was the state in which they were in at the time. As the authors state the church leaders were not responsible for ensuring that radicalization did not take place in the church. They had to provide proper leadership within the communities they operated (Rodriguez 25).
By the mid-1980s, these laws were repealed. More than anything, Apartheid was based on geographical segregation and land tenure (Clark, Nancy & William 2013, 112).

However B.J Vorster one of many leaders made sure to prioritize white supremacist policies in the country. B.J Vorster's government enacted legislation that led to removing four members of the House of Assembly. Dating back from the collapse of Portuguese rule that left South Africawith a white minority government which was not to Vorster's liking. A white supremacist state was of course logistically difficult when outnumbered by far more numerous blacks. Noticing this, Vorster pressured non-militant Black Nationalist leaders and Ian Smith to sign an internal settlement prioritizing white supremacy in the country (Clark, Nancy & William 2013, 311). While voters were all separately represented, the parliament soon abolished all remaining coloured political representation. Other elected leaders from the representative council replaced this representation, though their limited powers solidified white supremacy (Clark, Nancy & William 2013, 320). In fact, dissenting political parties could not interfere with the Ethical Politics in Act 1968. In 1983, the Constitution Act separated the parliament into different houses. One of the houses was for the whites, the other for the Indians and the coloreds. By 1993, establishing non-racial suffrage replaced these practices.
In an attempt to eradicate poverty amongst the whites, another well-known leader Hendrik Verwoerd proposed restricting black immigrants; the idea was to increase the work opportunities available to whites. Verwoerd finally brought his idea for racial division into policy in 1948 when the Nationalist government began its rule (Hepple, 32). White supremacy was not a new concept to South Africa’s policy, as there was the 1913 Land Act, requiring black South Africans to live on reserves where they were limited to working as sharecroppers. This strategic separation along racial lines would be implemented through very strictly enforced rules and regulations. The main aim was to distinguish between the white minority and the non- white majority, but also creating conflict among black South Africans along tribal lines so as to prevent a political uprising against white minority rule. Hendrik Verwoerd reinforced his cause as the Minister of Native Affairs in collaboration with other Nationalists by implementing a number of laws, some of which included the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950 which gave the government the authority to disbar any organization deemed to be influenced by Communism. This was a way to legally ban movements against segregation. He also passed the Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 for recruiting informants by giving them illusions of power through the perceived authority to rule their people. Moreover, the Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 1953 made it illegal to oppose decisions made by the government in any way. The Bantu Education Act of 1955 gave the government authority to control schools attended by black South Africans (Hepple 116).
In September of 1958, Hendrik Verwoerd finally became the sixth prime minister of South Africa. During the duration of his rule, he advocated for white supremacy, Apartheid and separate development. Specifically, he invoked teachings of Christianity and democratic rule in a misguided way to legitimize his policies, protecting the interests of the minority (Hepple 273 - 277). The cabinet was made up of people that shared his opinion on South Africa’s development and progression of Apartheid. Any opposition met with limiting laws against the cause, detainment and even torture. Verwoerd’s tenure came to an end in April of 1960, when he was assassinated. Verwoerd’s commitment to racial segregation and pre-emptive policies targeting black political involvement, not to mention his violations of human rights, demonstrate his significance in the rise and reinforcement of white supremacy in South Africa (Hepple 273 - 278).
The end of the madness
Apartheid finally and successfully came to an end in the early 1990's. Opposing to it resulted in many incidents of violence. Several political strikes and protests eventually turned into armed resistance. The South Indian National Congress helped to organize a meeting that was for all the people in 1951. A congress group was set up as a freedom charter in 1955, spearheading political equality for the South African people. The government quickly broke up the meeting and arrested 150 people on charges of high treason. Thousands of black children from Soweto and around Johannesburg helped to demonstrate against Afrikaans, which was a major language requirement for all black South African students (Clark, Nancy & William 2013, 871). The police openly fired teargas and bullets into the crowds. Eventually, the United Nations openly denounced Apartheid in 1973. In 1976, the United Nations Security Council voted to impose an obligatory embargo to restrict selling of all arms to the South African government. The United States and the United Kingdom took it upon themselves to impose strict economic sanctions on the country in 1985 (Barbarin, Oscar & Linda 2013, 76). Reforms to abolish past laws were put in place by the government of Pieter Botha. In 1994, a new constitution ended racial grouping. A new coalition government was elected and was nonwhite headed, signaling the end of Apartheid. Most discrimination created and retained by Apartheid still exist in South Africa. The country still has one of the largest income gaps between whites and blacks. Around 50 % of the population, mostly black, earns a salary that is less than 4200 per year (Clark, Nancy & William 2013, 56). The other population has an income that is over the expected salary of 350000 per year. Most agricultural land is still in the hands of whites. As a result, a number of white farmers have been killed since 1994; indeed, racism is still dominant due to the way the country is governed.
Despite these factors, the people of South African live peacefully compared to the time of Apartheid. The government has also passed some affirmative action laws that have helped to adjust employment equity. The government helped to assess all the employment contracts, including those in private sectors. The appointments in provincial, local and national governments are always dictated by unique legal actions. The ANC policy focusing on Black Economic empowerment should be followed. It helps to protect ethnicity and racism in South Africa. Policies such as Apartheid should be prevented by all means in any country. All people should be treated equally without discrimination.

Barbarin, Oscar A., and Linda M. Richter. Mandela's children: Growing up in post-apartheid South Africa. Routledge, 2013. Print.
Clark, Nancy L., and William H. Worger. South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid. Routledge, 2013. Print.
Hepple, Alex, South Africa: A Political and Economic History. New York." Journal of Asian and African Studies, 1967: 15- 117.
Hepple, Alex, South Africa: A Political and Economic History. New York." Journal of Asian and African Studies, 1976: 15- 117.
Marks, Shula, and Stanley Trapido, Eds. The politics of race, class and nationalism in twentieth century South Africa. Routledge, 2014. Print.
Marquard, Leo. The peoples and policies of South Africa. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969: 1- 284. Print.
O'Laughlin, Bridget, Henry Bernstein, Ben Cousins, and Pauline E. Peters. "Introduction: Agrarian change, rural poverty and land reform in South Africa since 1994." Journal of Agrarian Change 13, no. 1 (2013): 1-15.
Kallaway, Peter. The history of education under apartheid, 1948-1994: the doors of learning and culture shall be opened. Cape Town: Pearson Education South Africa, 2002:1- 399. Print
Rodriguez, Miguel. Confrontational Christianity: Contextual Theology and Its Radicalization of the South African Anti-Apartheid Church Struggle. University of Central Florida, 1997
Walshe, Peter. "South Africa: Prophetic christianity and the liberation movement." The Journal of Modern African Studies 29. 1, 1991: 27-60. Print.

Table 1

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...This book owes a great deal to the mental energy of several generations of scholars. As an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, Francis Wilson made me aware of the importance of migrant labour and Robin Hallett inspired me, and a generation of students, to study the African past. At the School of Oriental and African Studies in London I was fortunate enough to have David Birmingham as a thesis supervisor. I hope that some of his knowledge and understanding of Lusophone Africa has found its way into this book. I owe an equal debt to Shula Marks who, over the years, has provided me with criticism and inspiration. In the United States I learnt a great deal from ]eanne Penvenne, Marcia Wright and, especially, Leroy Vail. In Switzerland I benefitted from the friendship and assistance of Laurent Monier of the IUED in Geneva, Francois Iecquier of the University of Lausanne and Mariette Ouwerhand of the dépurtement évangélrlyue (the former Swiss Mission). In South Africa, Patricia Davison of the South African Museum introduced me to material culture and made me aware of the richness of difference; the late Monica Wilson taught me the fundamentals of anthropology and Andrew Spiegel and Robert Thornton struggled to keep me abreast of changes in the discipline; Sue Newton-King and Nigel Penn brought shafts of light from the eighteenthcentury to bear on early industrialism. Charles van Onselen laid a major part of the intellectual foundations on which I attempt to build. I must......

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