Apartheid is the organization of laws and measures structured to suppress the rights of the black people in the nation while supporting the preeminence of the white people within the high positions of the government as well as leaders of the communities. The laws were known to be cruel and unfair in nature.Apartheid was introduced in South Africa in the year 1948 when the Afrikaner Nationalist Party came into power. The law was laid down by Rhodes & Milner who targeted to overturn the relaxation of power by Smuts and attain new confrontations with a stiffer group of racial strategies. The supporters intended to give the white people in South Africa full control over the economy of the nation and to institute legal racial separation in the country. This was being done so as to give the minority number of white people in the country the power to rule the majority of black people in their own nation.
Historically, this was the first nation to legalize racial discrimination worldwide. The idea was opposed by other nations in the world but they had nothing to do over it. At the same time, it was seen as if the nation had been possessed with evil spirit as according to Christianity, this was known to be a serious sin to be committed in any country, as every individual has equal opportunity to the natural resources at their disposal.
After 317 thorough establishment of laws that could have impact on all the features of the black people living in the country, the law was legalized in the country.It was mainly concerned with the essential lifestyle issues such as job opportunities, residence, housing, constitutional rights, land issue, personal relationships and general rights of the black people in the country. Upon its establishment, the law was purposed to be in place for the next 30 years but after peaceful demonstrations of the blacks in the nation, the law later faced some opposition from the black people in the year 1960.
As much as the black people tried to regain their nation back to their own rule, they could not achieve it as at that time, there was no one of their own who could rule them, this was because the major and famous people such as Xzuma and Mandela had been imprisoned due to their protest over the discrimination that was going on. To this effect, the law was still implemented till the year 1991 when it was ruled out legally and the country called for elections. At that time, South Africa acquired the first black president Mandela in the year 1994; he inherited leadership from the Europeans. At that time, we find that majority of the Africans in the nation were unskilled, unemployed, poor and had poor health as they were not initially provided with any previllages to access good health facilities. This gave the upcoming authority major problems that have been witnessed even in the present situation.
The paper purposes to look at the post apartheid South Africa. In this, it will focus more on the problems that the country is undergoing and why it is believed that they result from apartheid that took place between the years 1948 to 1991 (Nowak M & Ricci L 2005). South Africa has emerged from cruel period of apartheid into the era characterized by democratically elected & constitutional government having a bill of right that forbids the existence of discrimination of any kind such as race, religion, ethnicity, gender and color. To this reason, the country has been structured with new rules and regulations to protect all the citizens including the minorities. Since then, the country is noticed to be facing problems such as poverty, high AIDs/HIV infections among the citizens and the crime problems in the nation among other problems. These are the major problems known to be dragging the economy and development of the country behind.
From the researches that have been conducted in the country, the state tends to blame apartheid that occurred in the nation some times back as the main cause of the problems in the nation today.Due to this reason, the paper is keen to look at what extent apartheid can be blamed for the problems that post apartheid South Africa faces today. The paper will have to look at the major problems experienced in the nation separately and illustrate to what extent apartheid is to be blamed. Giving the ways at which people think that they(the problems) result from apartheid.
South Africa one of the countries in the Africa continent, had a very complicated racial problem in the past years. The white people who were the minority group in the nation became the people in charge of all the proceedings that took place in the country. It was since the year 1994 that the black people took over the governance of the country. The main cause of the racial problem was colonialism and imperialism of the country. This has continuously been a problem to the country even after the apartheid period.
Today, citizens are seen to discriminate people who do not belong to their own races. In this, we can then say that the nation is facing the racial opposition and dislike towards individuals who belong to other races other than their own. This begins when people identify themselves with certain group of people having the same characteristics and then trying to separate themselves from the other group of people in the society (Beinart W 2001 p143). This is believed to have been caused by two major factors that arose from apartheid experienced in the country.
The effect on people’s mentality after going through the apartheid period has been the main contribution to the problem.Owing this to the fact that people’s minds do affect their lifestyle; it is then evident that whenever one faces an incident in life it proves quite difficult to forget about it in his life time.Due to the fact that during apartheid period, the white harassed the black people, the blacks developed hatred towards the whites, the effect has still remained the same ever since . This has made the participation of people to the economy growth of the country to be divided thus reducing the rate of economy growth in the nation.
The second cause of the problem is the social and class division which was one of the causes that rose during the apartheid period in the country. This caused people to be grouped according to their status in the society. As result of this, many of the citizens have been discriminated from others due to their status and ability to influence the society as a whole (Nowak M & Ricci L 2005). At the same time, the different level of education that was being offered to the people in the country during that time has also caused separation of people within the society. This is to the fact that, people would prefer to be associated with people of the same level of education thus discriminating the “un-elite” individuals in the nation.
Poverty is the second problem that South Africa is facing today in their government. The problem is believed to have been contributed largely by apartheid that occurred in the country. Having the fact that during apartheid, the black people were offered with minimal education opportunity as compared to the whites, it is then clear that, they could not attain the best jobs in the country even after the revolution that has just taken place (Bhorat H & Kanbur R 2005). As result of this, many of the black people are known to be living below the living standards in the nation due to their inability to acquire income.
At the same time, during the apartheid period, the blacks were meant to live in the suburban freehold areas such as Sophia town in Johannesburg. Here, they were forced to live in shanty houses and not allowed to move to better places (Bhorat H & Kambur R 2006). This denied them with exposure forcing them to live and intermarry amongst themselves increasing the number of poor people in the nation.
HIV / AIDS PANDEMIC
The country has been noticed to face high rise of HIV infection amongst its citizens. This tends to reduce the production rate of people to the nation’s economy thus negatively interfering with their lifestyle as well by resulting to low living standards. During the apartheid period, it was noticed that, the black people were subjected to unprotected sex with the white people who were affected with the virus in order to allow them to attain their survival in the country. This was sometimes through rape cases (Squire C 2007). As a result of this; the nation’s population grew with more infected people.
There has been a high rise of criminals being reported in the nation especially rape cases. Many of the minority people in the country together with women have been raped by the majority people in the nation (Shaw M 2002). This is more evident from the case of Jacob Zuma which was filed in the country on 6th Dec 2005. The case revealed the intensity of rape problem that prevailed the nation at the time.
This is established from the roots of apartheid in the country. Being one of the top ranked individual in the country, he used his power to intimidate the low ranked people in the country.
In conclusion, it has been clear that, all the problems South Africans go through today has risen from the effect that apartheid had to the people of the nation both physically, psychologically and even socially. Thus, it will take South Africa a longer period of time to do away with the problem as some of the problems have penetrated deeply into people’s minds.
In order for the nation to minimize the level of problems that they are going through, the paper does recommend that; first, the government has to establish some programs that will allow it to educate its citizens on the importance of living in harmony with each other. This will give the rich people in the society the knowledge to appreciate the poor people in the nation and thus helping them to grow economically thus increasing the economy of the country jointly. Secondly, to initiate a program that will counsel the people who went through the tough and cruel times of apartheid. This will change the mentality of the people in the nation and thus making them appreciate every individual in the nation.
1. Beinart William 2001 Twentieth Century South Africa 2nd Ed Oxford University Press pp 143-243
2. Deegan Heather 2001 The Politics of the New South Africa Apartheid and After University Of Michigan Longman
3. Downing David 2004 Apartheid in South Africa Heinemann Library
4. Clark Nancy & Worger William 2004 South Africa the Rise and Fall of Apartheid Longman
5. Nowak Michael & Ricci Luca 2005 Post-apartheid South Africa International Monetary Fund
6. Bhorat Haroon & Kambur Ravi 2006 Poverty & Policy in Post Apartheid South Africa HSRC Press Pretoria
7. Bhorat Haroon & Kanbur Ravi 2005 Poverty & Well Being in Post Apartheid South Africa
8. Shaw Mark 2002 Crime and Policing in Post-Apartheid South Africa Transforming Under Fire C. Hurst & Co. Publishers
9. Squire Corinne 2007 HIV in South Africa Talking About the Big Thing Routledge
10. Henrard Kristin 2002 Minority Protection in Post-Apartheid South Africa Human Rights Minority Rights & Self-Determination Greenwood Publishing Group pp 50
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