From 1948 to 1994, the apartheid system was ruling South Africa. It's a system of
racial segregation legislated by the the national party.
In this system, the Afrikaner minority was ruling and governing the black majority
inhabitants. Apartheid, as an official policy, was introduced following the general election of
1948. It classified inhabitants into 4 groups: white black colored Indian. Indian and colored
were also divided into more small groups. During this policy, even residential areas were
segregated. Apartheid reforms in the 1980' failed to suppress the mounting opposition and in
1990 president Frederick Willam de Klerk began negotiation to end apartheid culminating in
multiracial democratic elections in 1994, won by the African national congress under Nelson
Mandela. The vestiges of apartheid still sharp South African politics an society. Although, the
official abolition of apartheid occurred in 1991with repeal of the last of the remaining
apartheid laws. The end of apartheid is widely regarded as arising from the 1994 democratic
general elections. Currently, the 24th of April which is the date of liberation is a national date
in South Africa.
II Post Apartheid South Africa, BOOM OR
Apartheid in South Africa came officially to an end with the democratically held
elections in 1994, and in its wake left a population with vast inequalities across racial groups.
At least 58% of all South Africans were in poverty in 1995, while poverty was virtually non-
existent for Whites, thus making South Africa one of the most unequal countries in the world.
The country also inherited vast inequalities in education, health, and basic infrastructure, such
as access to safe water, sanitation, and housing. For instance, while only a quarter of Africans
had access to piped water in their houses, Asians and Whites had universal access.
Over the rainbow[political issues]
The collapse of the apartheid state and the ushering in of democratic rule in 1994 represented
a new beginning for the new South Africa.
In the 18 years since black-majority rule began and South Africa became a full democracy, its
people have made progress. Many more now have access to clean water and electricity.
Between 1996 and 2010 the proportion living on less than $2 a day fell from 12% to 5%. The
racist legislation of apartheid has been abolished. The new constitution is liberal and
But 20 years fast forward the farce of South Africa's "miracle transition" is fast unraveling.
The ANC is no longer the vanguard of the revolution; the beloved party has been caught on
the frontline of the protection of white interests. And yes, despite the cold, hard facts of
socioeconomic inequality, South Africa is subject to conflicting narratives. A non-racial South
Africa simply cannot exist if 9% of one racial group earn six times more than the majority.
And yet in other ways South Africa is in a worse state than at any point since 1994.
The clashing rainbow colours
One of the most far-reaching effects of Apartheid was the role it played in generating
extreme inequality between race groups in South Africa. Not only does South Africa have
among the highest levels of income inequality in the world, but this inequality is strongly
racial in nature
In fact, 20 years after the end of white minority rule, it seems that South Africa
remains racially divided. Actually, one of the so many aspects of social inequalities is that
black Africans still have lower wages than Whites, and the consequences of this inequality are
mainly reflected on education.
A recent study made a year ago in Johannesburg found that 43.5% of South Africans rarely
or never speak to someone of another race. Little more than a quarter (27.4%) interact with a
person of another race always or often on ordinary weekdays, while 25.9% do so sometimes.
The inequality is deeply rooted in South Africa, and still shapes the lives of those born after
An economically flourishing Nation
After 1994, Nelson Mandela could have embraced Mugabe-style redistribution.
Instead, he pragmatically and wisely embraced big business (assisted by the end of economic
sanctions).The result was booming investment and growth in 70 quarters out of 73; inflation,
interest rates and the deficit fell sharply. Since the end of Apartheid, the economy has doubled
in real terms and South Africa is now the economic super power of the region. Not only is this
proof that an African economy can be run efficiently as part of the global community but it's
also a model that many other countries are following – with enormous success. With booms in
minerals and telecommunications, African capitalism is in the ascendant.
III Heroes of a Nation
Nelson Mandela was born South Africa on July 18, 1918. He studied law and later on
joined the African National Congress in 1944 The African National Congress (ANC) is the
Republic of South Africa's governing political party) and was engaged in resistance against
the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for betrayal in 1956-
1961 and was acquitted in 1961.
After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a
military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on
the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in
Mandela's campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the
formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years'
imprisonment with hard labor. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the
Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting
to overthrow the government by violence. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including
Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated off
Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.
During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela's reputation grew steadily. He was widely
accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of
resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to
compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself
wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out
almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside
South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President
of the ANC.
Desmond Tutu has formulated his objective as "a democratic and just society without
racial divisions", and has set forward the following points as minimum demands:
1. Equal civil rights for all
2. The abolition of South Africa's passport laws
3. A common system of education
4. The cessation of forced deportation from South Africa to the so-called "homelands"
But for another South African Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, all is not well in the new South Africa.
Now, Desmond Tutu has raised new issues. He is worried about crime - the high
murder rate, the rape of children, and the cold-blooded, gratuitous killing of motorists whose
cars are hijacked. What has happened to us? he asked. Perhaps we didnt realise just how
apartheid damaged us so that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong As a result
perhaps, it is easy to take for granted, the rather extraordinary surroundings in a big city like
For those who can afford it, there are high walls and electrified fences around their
properties. Alarm systems and armed response teams supposedly provide another layer of
protection against the criminals. People drive with their car doors locked and their windows
closed. The other day, we had a major power-cut across northern Johannesburg. As traffic
lights failed, and queues began to build up, a local radio station gave a timely warning about
the increased danger of smash and grab incidents at road intersections. In 2005, Tutu called
on world leaders to promote free trade with poorer countries. Tutu also called on an end to
expensive taxes on anti-AIDS drugs. Rainbow Nation is a term coined by Archbishop
Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa's first fully
democratic election in 1994.The phrase was elaborated upon by President Nelson Mandela
in his first month of office, when he proclaimed: Each of us is as intimately attached to the
soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa
trees of the bushveld - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.
The term was intended to encapsulate the unity of multi-culturalism and the coming-
together of people of many different nations, in a country once identified with the strict
division of white and black.
Even if South Africa has lived political changes after the apartheid, it remains that the
majority of populations is still facing many social and economic difficulties. On one hand,
there are a lot of problems of insecurity, of unemployment, lack of electricity and water ..,
especially in underprivileged areas. Similarly, crime (theft, assault, murder) became very
common. On the other hand, AIDS continued to make many victims in the country, because
the cost of treatment is very expensive. Many South African intellectuals denounce the
incompetence and inefficiency of policies employed by the government and the inability of
the police to restore order, limit crime and assure the safety of people in some neighborhoods.
However, the country is considered as the richest in the world because of its diamond
deposits; it also produce significant amounts of zinc , tin, lead , copper, silver , gold, and
tungsten . The country is also wealthy regarding its mining: diamonds, uraniums rare metals –
In consequence, migrants from other African countries try to reach South Africa in search of
a better life and a better place to live in. The question arises whether the free and democratic
society in which all persons live together in harmony and with the same opportunities is truly