South Africa Revision


Life in South Africa 1948: race & segregation

  • 4 racial categories White, African (black), Coloured and Indians
  • Afrikaners and the British were divided because of the Boer War (1899-1902), British taking over Afrikaners land
  • Grand Apartheid (Underlying limitation on black South Africans, land and political rights, denied political representation, even citizenship)
  • Petty Apartheid (Streams of laws introduced during early 1950s focuses on everyday life to segregate public places and services like restaurants, parks, beaches etc.)
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Urbanisation and industrialisation


  • Created 7 Areas in SA known as Bantustans, set aside black people. Live + farm.
  • Bantustan - homeland for black people that had self-government
  • First was Transkei (1962) - 'independent' (1976)
  • Verwoerd knew much opposition to apartheid, wanted to show that blacks could develop as they wanted in their own territory - idea that they could become completely independent nations if they wanted.
  • In reality SA gov. controlled Bantu economically and politically - overrule decision
  • Black Africans made up 70% population, Bantu had 13% of the land.

Enforced movement of Black Africans

  • 3.5 million Moved from homes. Blacks moved out of white areas.
  • Sophia town was bulldozed and rebuilt as white suburb called Triumph.
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Effects of Apartheid System on life and work in SA


  • National Party believed black and whites were different - therefore taught differently, designed to teach Black Africans to 'Know their place'
  • Each racial group required to attend separate schools
  • Recourses for black children was limited, considerably more spent on whites.
  • Many parents withdrew children, when ANC argued education key to political and economic change.
  • 'Non-white ‘universities set up, courses and student life strictly controlled.
  • Housing Most Black Africans, not allowed to live in cities, lived in townships around them. Soweto, one of the most famous, townships became recruiting grounds for organisations such as ANC + PAC.
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Effects of Apartheid System on life and work in SA


  • Black homeland farms - smaller, less productive.
  • Blacks only permitted to live in cities temporarily, if employed by whites.

Discrimination in wages. Unemployment was high, some trade unions, workers in essential industries were barred from striking.

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Reasons for the National Party victory 1948

  • United party leader, Jan Smuts was getting old and out of touch with the Afrikaner society
  • National Party promised to bring back or give jobs to white people over black people as people Afrikaners 
  • United Patry helped the British in WW2, Afrikaners despised this decision and voted for national party in 1948 election
  • National party was more appealing to white voters, key strategy as black people couldn't vote
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Codifying and implementing apartheid

National Party and Apartheid

  • 1948, National Party (Afrikaaners + Doctor daneil Milan) came to power
  • Government introduced racist laws (Apartheid-Seperateness)
  • 'Seperate developement' - races should develop in their own way.
  • White supremecy- excluding non whites from economic, social, political advantage. Apartheid exsisted before 1948- National Party ruthlessly enforced it.

White Rule in South Africa

  • Known as the Boers,(farmers) developed their own language of Afrikaans.
  • Dutch were the first to settle, capetown 1652, colonised the area.
  • Belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church, taught that white man superior to lesser races. Used Black slave labour.
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Apartheid Laws

  • The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages act (1949) - Illegal mix races to marry.
  • The Population Registration act (1950) - Forced people into groups; Whites, Natives, Coloureds. races made seperate. goverment knew groups.
  • The Group Areas Act (1950) - Kept each race to its own residential and trading towns and cities. people in 'wrong' areas forced to move.
  • The supression of Communism act (1950) - banned any politcal group, who aimed to bring about change, by promotion of disturbances and disorder.
  • Native Laws Amendment act( 1952) - Controlled movement of blacks, police given power to Arrest at will.
  • Abolition of passes act(1952) - Contradiction, made all black africans carry a pass, without which living and working in white areas was illegal.
  • Seperate Amenities Act (1953) - Gave public services and spaces (parks and trains) ' Europeans only' or ' Non europeans only'
  • Bantu Education act (1953) - Provided lesser education for black students - prapare them for less skilled work.
  • Resettlement of Natives act (1954) -compulsory movement of 100,000 africans.
  • Senate act (1956) - Removed the right of black people to vote.
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Verwoerd and Laws

Verwoerd - South african Premier from 1958-66. Confident and Powerful leader. He beliveved he had god given mission to secure future of Christian white South Africa.

Laws - Anti Aparthied groups banned (Supression of communism act 1950), Criminal Amendment Act 1953, illegalto protest against any law.

Banning and Detention

  • Defiance Campaign 1952, Non-violent protest agaisnt apartheid, deliberatly broke laws seen as unjust. Many black africans arrested, ANC membership rose.
  • Meeting to adopt freedom charter 1955, police arrested everyone on suspicion of treason. Bannings were served - suspects preventedfrom writing, making broadcasts, attending meetings or leaving home.
  • Sabotage act 1962, made political opposition punishable by death, No trial act - allowed police to arrest anyone, hold them in prison for 90 days.
  • Vorster - succeeded Verwoerd tightened up state security BOSS (the burea of state security 1969) - secret police aimed to enforce apartheid laws.

Censorship -- SA broadcasting company - pro-white nothing ant-apartheid broadcasted. News papers were also strictly controlled. The publications control board banned import of works and films thought to be a threat to state security.

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African nationalism

Nelson Mandela

  • Born in 1918. Expelled from uni for planning a student demonstration, but eventually completed a law degree.
  • involved in the ANC (African National Congress) its president in 1951.
  • 1956 charged with treason, trial lasted 5 years, eventually aquitted.
  • He helped start Umkhonto We Sizwe (Spear of the nation) - ANC millitary branch in 1961 after the ANC + PAC were planned.
  • Arrested again 1962, for incitement and leaving the country illegally. At the Rivonia trials in 1964 sentanced forlife.Symbol of resistance while imprisoned on Robben island, 1990 he was released.

Steve Biko -

  • Born 1946, began to campaign for an all black uni movement.
  • 1969 became president of SASO (South African Students Organisation).
  • He wanted freeing of the black mind became known as Black consciousness. Died in 1977 after 26 days in police detention due to a blow to the head.
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  • Leading voice for change in SA, when national party came to power, set up in 1912, campaign fro the rights of black SA, became more organisedunder leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Albert Luthuli.
  • ANC aims were to fight for freedom, from white domination, and gain representations of black africans in all official insitutions.
  • Belived in using peacefull protest to achieve these aims.
  • Day of defiance 1952, blackSAwalked into forbidden areas without their passes,aswell asmeeting forfreedom charter for theright to vote and equality before the law, ended in many arrests, for treason, treason trials.


  • The need for more millitant violent approach, led to formation of PAC, 1959.
  • Formed by Robert Sobukwe, rejected colaboration with Asian and Coloured SA.
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Other Opposition

White Opposition Groups

  • United Party-official opposition 1948, rejected apartheid but supported white supremacy and seg.
  • Progressive Party-Branch Of United Party 1959, protection of human rights, all racial groups to be represented in SA parliment, Helen Suzan Campaigned kept her seat in next election.
  • Liberal Party-spoke out against Apartheid dissolved in 1969 as didnt follow the law of different races being members of parties.
  • White congress party-against idea of white supremacy banned as connections with communism.
  • Black Sash-white women, human rights group, took up legal cases on behalf of black people.

Other Opposition and individual Opposition

  • Inkatha Ya Kwazulu-black opposition group 1975, Cheif Buthelezi PM of Kwazulu Homeland.
  • wanted zulu nation to be independant contrasted to ANC aim for a united SA explited by gov.
  • UDF(united democratic front)-1983 Dr Alan Boesak, 565 of different races and backgrounds, all united to oppose apartheid-major threat to national parties grip on power in SA.
  • Father Trevor Huddelstone + Bishop Ambrose Reeves best known white opponents of Apartheif of Anglican Church.
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu awarded noble peace prize 1984 non-violent campaign.
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Events of Opposition

ANC Yough League - The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) is the youth wing of the African National Congress.

Freedom Charter - The Freedom Charter was the statement of core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the African National Congress (ANC) and its allies - the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People's Congress. It is characterized by its opening demand; "The People Shall Govern!". As Nelson Mandela claimed, one man one vote.

Defiance Campaign - The Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws was presented by the African National Congress (ANC) at a conference held in Bloemfontein, South Africa in December 1951. The Campaign had roots in events leading up the conference. The demonstrations, taking place in 1952 were the first "large-scale, multi-racial political mobilization against apartheid laws under a common leadership.

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