The response to apartheid, c.1948 - 59

Race, segregation and discrimination

  • 1948: Four racial groups - Black Africans, Coloureds, Asians, and Whites
  • Population:

      Black Africans: 7,830,000

      White:               2,372,000    

      Coloured:             928,000

      Indian:                  285,000

  • 1913 Native Land Act: Land ownership limited to tribal reserves (7% of total land in S.A.)
  • 1923 Urban Areas Act: Must live in townships in white areas
  • 1936 Native Trusts and Lands Act: Tribal reserves could be extended to 13.6% of total land                                                               area of S.A.
  • Pass Laws: All black male migrant workers had to carry passes (internal passport system)
  • White South Africa grew more urban and industrial into the 20th century - result of the mining industry (e.g. large quantitites of gold found in the Transvaal in 1887)
  • Led to huge demand for African migrant workers, had to return to tribal areas after end of contracts - by 1946, 23% of Africans were living in urban areas
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Afrikaner culture and politics

  • Afrikaners descended from Boers (came largely from Holland and Germany in 18th/19th cent.)
  • Afrikaners and the British were divided because of the Boer War (1899-1902) and WW1
  • British abolished slavery within the British Empire in 1883 - many Boer settlers (with slaves) moved into the hinterland
  • Laager mentality: determination to proceed with apartheid and white supremacy despite opposition internally and externally
  • Feared for their safety if Africans gained political/economic rights
  • Believed segregation was in the African's best interests, most content living separately
  • Often felt excluded from power: most successful parties dominated by English speakers
  • Afrikaners developed the Broederbund (est. 1918) and from 1948-1994 every S.A. leader was a member
  • National Party main Afrikaner party: promoted Afrikaner identity and values, wanted apartheid, white supremacy and to reduce ties with Britain
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