Apartheid In South Africa- Facts And Insights

In the article of today: the apartheid in South Africa: facts and insights, we are going to explain a bit about how the apartheid in South Africa developed and what happened during history.

If you would like to learn some more about the people of South Africa themselves, here’s what you can read about that topic.

So let’s just dive straight into things!

What Was Apartheid All About?

A number of laws were enacted during South Africa’s apartheid era, and they were intended to impose racial segregation against the nation’s non-white population.

When the National Party of South Africa (NPSA) came to power in 1948, it immediately began implementing the country’s existing racial segregation legislation.

Under apartheid, nonwhite South Africans (who make up the vast majority of the population) were compelled to live in separate communities and use separate public services from white South Africans.

Racial segregation happened in a lot of countries worldwide, also in the USA.

A minimal to a non-existent amount of contact would occur between the two groups.

Despite widespread and repeated criticism from both inside and beyond the country, South Africa’s apartheid laws stayed in place for the better part of 50 years, despite international condemnation.

In 1991, President F.W. de Klerk’s government took steps to abolish a slew of laws that had been supportive of apartheid in South Africa.

President de Klerk and activist Nelson Mandela were jointly given the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their work on South Africa’s new constitutional framework.

Who Started Apartheid in South Africa?

Racism and racial supremacy were entrenched in South African politics even before the country was divided by apartheid.

Three years after South Africa gained independence, the disputed 1913 Land Act was passed, barring black Africans from residing in reserves and making it illegal for them to work as sharecroppers.

It was formed by opponents of the Land Act, who eventually went on to found the African National Congress (ANC).

Nelson Mandela

As a result of the Great Depression and World War II, South Africa’s economy suffered greatly as a result of the need to tighten racial segregation regulations.

After winning the 1948 general election under the slogan “apartheid,” the Afrikaner National Party was founded. (which translates as “separation”).

The apartheid regime intended to divide South Africans along tribal lines, both non-white and black, in order to undermine the country’s democratic authority.

The Apartheid Laws

South African legislation made it illegal for whites to marry non-whites and for blacks and whites to have sexual relations by 1950, according to the authorities of the country.

Because of the Population Registration Act (1950), which divided all citizens into three racial categories: “Bantu,” “Colored,” and “White,” apartheid was established in South Africa, in large part due to the implementation of apartheid.

A total of four new categories were formed: Indian, Pakistani, and Asian groups (i.e., Indian and Pakistani).

Here’s an older historic documentary for you on Youtube if you would like to know more:

The rule, which allowed parents to be categorized as white while their children were classified as colored, caused some families to fall apart, according to one report.

Non-whites were required to carry certificates proving that they had legal permission to live in certain zones under a series of Land Acts that earmarked more than 80 percent of the country’s land for the exploitation of the white minority.

A number of measures were taken by the government to keep the races apart, including the construction of separate public buildings for whites and nonwhites, restrictions on non-white labor union activities, and the prohibition of non-white participation in national government.

How Was Apartheid Practiced In South Africa And Separate Development?

When apartheid’s idea was finally developed, Hendrik Verwoert, who rose to become Prime Minister in 1958, worked to refine the concept of “separate development” even further.

Following the passage of the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act in 1959, eleven Bantustans, also known as Bantu homelands, were set up.

Black South Africans were even isolated from one another, allowing the government to maintain that there was no black majority, and the probability of blacks joining a single nationalist organization was lowered.

In spite of the fact that they had full political rights, black South Africans were virtually barred from the government because of their position as “Bantustans citizens.”

The most horrific aspect of apartheid was the government’s forceful relocation of black South Africans from “white” rural areas to their ancestral homelands and the low-cost sale of their property to white farmers to fund the regime’s policies.

Learn more about the separate relocation of the Bantustans in the video below:

Between 1961 and 1994, more than 3.5 million people were forcibly uprooted from their homes and deported to the Bantustans, a country of poverty and agony.

Who Fought Against The Apartheid In South Africa?

Separatist opposition in South Africa took several forms ranging from peaceful demonstrations and marches to political engagement and then, inevitably, military struggle.

An event organized by the South Indian National Congress and the African National Congress in 1952 was attended by a large number of people, many of whom tore up their membership cards.

According to a Freedom Charter released by the Congress of the People in 1955, “South Africa belongs to everyone who lives there, black or white.”

Black people rise up against apartheid

The police dispersed the crowd and charged 150 people with high treason as a result of their actions.

In 1960, police opened fire on a gathering of unarmed blacks belonging to the Pan-African Congress (PAC), a fraction of the African National Congress (ANC), in Sharpsville, a black township.

When the group decided to show up for their scheduled appearance at the police station without a valid pass, they were driven by defiance.

According to estimates, at least 67 black individuals have been killed and more than 180 others have been wounded throughout the United States.

Following Sharpsville, many anti-apartheid activists realized that they would be unable to achieve their objectives via peaceful means alone.

Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was captured

As a result, both the PAC and the ANC created military wings, albeit neither posed a significant military danger to the South African government.

Considering that Mandela was a founding member of the anti-apartheid movement’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, his imprisonment from 1963 to 1990 garnered widespread international attention and support for the anti-apartheid fight (“Spear of the Nation”).

Apartheid Comming to an End

Hundreds of African adolescents marched in 1976 outside of Johannesburg’s Soweto neighborhood to protest the need for black pupils to learn Afrikaans as part of their high school education.

The officers opened fire with tear gas and bullets to disperse the crowd.

Following protests and government crackdowns, as well as a national economic recession, South Africa’s apartheid regime was exposed as an untrustworthy peacekeeper and a stumbling block to economic growth.

A mandatory arms embargo on South Africa was imposed by the United Nations Security Council in 1976, after the condemnation of apartheid by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973.

During the 1985 Iranian hostage crisis, both the United Kingdom and the United States imposed economic sanctions on the country.

The International Community exerted considerable pressure on Pieter Botha’s National Party, which intended to adopt a number of reforms, among them repeal of the passed laws and the restriction of inter-racial sexual relations and marriage.

After the reforms were seen to be ineffectual, pressure mounted on Botha to resign in 1989 and be replaced by F.W. de Klerk as president of South Africa.

It was De Klerk’s government that overturned the Population Registration Act, which had been used to keep apartheid in place.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990, by President F.W. de Klerk.

When Did Apartheid End In South Africa?

Separatism in South Africa came to an end in 1994 when a new constitution granted the right of blacks and other ethnic groups to vote.

Elections that year resulted in a coalition government dominated by nonwhites, marking the end of apartheid.

So to answer the question: “how long did apartheid last in South Africa?” would be: 46 years! From 1948 to 1994.

Visit The Museum On Apartheid.

If you are someone that likes to visit museums as much as seeing nature or cultures in Africa and if you would like to learn more about the history of apartheid in South Africa, then the ApartheidMuseum is definitely worth a visit!

My Final Conclusion.

I hope that you now have a better understanding of the Apartheid in South Africa and its history, but if you have any more questions, feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Would you like to see more pictures of my travels to Africa? Then also please join me on one of my social media pages below or my wonderful Facebook group, thanks!

I wish you happy travels!

Kind regards,



Maylam, P. (1990). The rise and decline of urban apartheid in South Africa. African Affairs, 89(354), 57-84.
Teeger, C., & Vinitzky‐Seroussi, V. (2007). Controlling for consensus: Commemorating apartheid in South Africa. Symbolic Interaction, 30(1), 57-78.
Shapiro, I., & Tebeau, K. (Eds.). (2011). After Apartheid: Reinventing South Africa?. University of Virginia Press.
Clark, N., & Worger, W. (2013). South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid. Routledge.
Noble, M., & Wright, G. (2013). Using indicators of multiple deprivation to demonstrate the spatial legacy of apartheid in South Africa. Social Indicators Research, 112(1), 187-201.

4 thoughts on “Apartheid In South Africa- Facts And Insights”

  1. Wow, I learned a lot about the Apartheid in South Africa.  Crazy that laws like this ever existed.  Seems they went to great lengths to keep the races apart.  And then forcibly removed from their homes and relocated.  Then to not end until 1994 is just unbelievable.  Sounds like something Putin would do!

    • Yes, it is amazing how people can treat each other right? Sadly this also belongs to the history of Africa 🙁

      Kind regards,


  2. An unforgettable moment was in 1988 at the concert at London’s “Wembley”, when 72,000 people sang the song “Free Nelson Mandela”. Millions of spectators watched this concert. After nearly 30 years in prison, he was released on February 1, 1990.
    He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and a year later became the first black president of South Africa.


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