The Apartheid Period

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Part 1: The political system of Apartheid

The Apartheid Period
In the historical context of South Africa, it is evident that conflicts during colonial times contributed to the scramble for Africa, and led to the beginning of separation between Africans. In 1948, the Afrikaner-led National Party won elections on a platform of strict separation of the races.
What had until then been a slogan now became a national project and an international scandal (Keller, 2008). Apartheid laws made the whites officially superior, and the large black majority faced discrimination in every aspect of their lives. A system was created to keep them under control, to assure availability of cheap labor for white-run businesses, and the prevention of mixing races,
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The Population Registration Act, in 1950, emphasized on the importance of classifying every person by race: black, white, Indian or colored—a category of mixed race descendants—, every aspect of life depended on your classification. The prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949) dictated that people of different race could not marry each other (Keller, 2008). This sometimes led to the separation of families in which a couple is from a different race.
The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act (1953) allowed the government to provide segregated lower-class facilities to non-whites, from hospital wards to graveyards, and schools. Even in education, children of different race were not allowed to share the same schools. The Bantu Education Act (1953) destroyed the missionary education system that’d raised many of the black leaders (Keller, 2008). This law ensured that the black students received poor education, and a curriculum full of apartheid
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In the context of South Africa, ever since the early 1900s, black women in the rural areas struggled to provide for their children. Most men were on the move to cities as migrant laborers in search of work, which was usually in mines. With the absence of men and their support, women were forced to take care of the household and take up the man’s role. They had no other way to earn a living except in agriculture. As conditions worsened they were forced to migrate to the cities of South Africa in search of work, consequently, leaving their children behind with their grandmothers to look after them. Poverty was mainly the cause of the shift of women’s role from being mothers to becoming migrant
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