A Continental Drift towards the Abolishment of Segregation: Revisiting the End of Apartheid in 1992
The South African Apartheid highlighted one of the most racist centered struggles endured by a nation. Apartheid or the system of segregation simply means the existence of a system that is prejudiced on the skin color of the individuals included in the system. It is historically known that the South African nation was divided into different colonial powers centuries ago. The strong colonial influence created a system where the colonists (whites) are deemed to be mentally and professionally superior over the colonized (blacks). This event that has transpired in the vast lands of South Africa lasted almost five decades (1948- 1994) before it was formally ended. The Apartheid was demolished through the votes that consolidated a strong civil and legal front pushed against the Apartheid system; forever freeing the South African nation from the misconceptions and prejudices of five decades of racism. This paper is not a historical accounting of the South African Apartheid; instead this paper will be geared towards explaining in full swing the social implications made by the end of the Apartheid in 1992. It can be said that this paper deems that the end of the Apartheid in 1992 has created changes in the socio- political landscape of South Africa.
In 1992, a referendum was made regarding to abolish or to maintain the system of segregation or the Apartheid system (BBC News, 1992, p. n.pag.). The referendum was one of the highest votes turn out in the history of South Africa; the referendum towards the abolishment of the Apartheid was achieved by a majority vote of 68.6% in one of the average highest vote participation rate of 96% (BBC News, 1992, p. n.pag.). The referendum created a two to one margin in favor of those that seek to abolish the Apartheid. The end of the Apartheid highlights the end of a single race dominated nation to a shift of national powers towards multi racial entities consolidated in the formation of a new South Africa (BBC News, 1992, p. n.pag.).
The end of the Apartheid is a very idealism burdened effort as exemplified by Nelson Mandela. It can even be said that due to the strong implications of the Apartheid in terms of the ideals it pursues; the final days of those that support the system of segregation were not ended during the 1992 referendum. Many of the Apartheid’s supporters still have control of the political and economic fields of South Africa; due to this integrating the supporters of the Apartheid to a government free of the Apartheid seemed to be the most imminent task needed to be accomplished by the entering government under Mandela. Adding to this problem, there appears to be a party centered political rift that emerged from the Apartheid. There are many parties which can still be considered as conservative. However, the Apartheid is a social change that was able to transcend both its influences and lessons to almost every single corner of the globe such as the Apartheid similar struggles in the United States of America (Cable & Mix, 2003, p. 183).
White domination in the South African nations can be dated as far as 1652 with the incursion of the Dutch East India Company; the system of apartheid can be said to start during the flourishing of capitalism and the onset of colonialism (Callinicos, 1994, p. 2355). The system of the Apartheid is even worsened by the specializations that the white colonizers were able to stratify with the black members of the society being the less skilled and intelligible. However as the centuries endured, the social topography that is ideal for the continuous implementation of Apartheid changed to a less suitable social topography. The social topography that became unsuitable for the Apartheid came into view in the 1960s where economic strains put more tension on the fragile balance of the oppressed and oppressor (Cable & Mix, 2003, p. 2356).
Highlighted by the new demand for skilled and semi skilled workers during warring times; the surplus of skilled white workers was depleted. Due to this, the white producers were forced to train those that they deemed to be of lower mental capabilities the blacks (Cable & Mix, 2003, p. 2356). After more than three decades of training, a new social class came into view- a trained and middle class black population (Cable & Mix, 2003, p. 2357). The emergence of this new social class made the struggles towards desegregation more and more potent and powerful. Even in the urban areas, what used to be single polar white dominated regions slowly became populated with black families that are equally productive in terms of the economy and influential in terms of their participation in the political arena. Soon the inevitable happened, the desegregation took place and what used to be white controlled aspects of South Africa were shared to the black population.
The abolishment of the Apartheid is definitely won by the black population of South Africa; but it became a pandemic that has spread towards other countries even thousands of miles away from South Africa. The downfall of the Apartheid signified the global issue on racism; particularly in the United States of America where racism is also a struggle that marginalized communities are put up with (Cable & Mix, 2003, p. 184). There are said to be similar events that are transpiring in other parts of the world such as the USA that denote the existence of strong racist idealisms. Amidst these struggles, the success of those that voted for the abolishment of the Apartheid set an example to the whole world by explicitly showing that even four centuries of oppression are not enough to justify an unjust practice. The referendum of 1992 may have changed South Africa by demolishing the Apartheid; but it will constantly change other places through the ideals that made the referendum possible. Through these reasons, this paper deemed that 1992 is indeed a year of global celebration.
BBC News. (1992). 1992: South Africa Votes for Change. Retrieved July 20, 2010, from www.bbc.co.uk: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/18/newsid_2524000/2524695.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/18/newsid_2524000/2524695.stm
Cable, S., & Mix, T. L. (2003). Economic Imperatives and Race Relations: The Rise and Fall of the American Apartheid System. Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 , 183-203.
Callinicos, A. (1994). South Africa: End of Apartheid and After. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 29, No. 36 , 2355-2363.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (2007). NATO Library: South Africa Ten Years After the Fall of Apartheid. Retrieved July 20, 2010, from www.nato.int: http://www.nato.int/structur/library/bibref/them0604.pdf
No related essays.