South Orange Free State were established. In the beginning

South Africa is a country
that has long since been the target of many corporations, due to its vast
reserves of natural resources. The mines found in South Africa have an
abundance of diamonds, therefore, it is also the leaders of producing diamonds.
In the 17th Century, South Africa was colonized under the British
rule. Descendants of the Dutch were being colonized by the English, due to
which the colonies of Transvaal and Orange Free State were established. In the
beginning of 1900s, the discovery of diamonds led to the Boer War when the
English invaded the land. Eventually, there was a struggle for Independence
from the British and an uneasy struggle continued regarding the sharing of
power between the two parties.

In the 1940s, Afrikaner
National Party was able to gain a majority, which led to the creation of
apartheid. It was used as a means to cement control over the social and
economic system of the country. At first, the objective of introducing
apartheid was to maintain control of the white domination, and ensure racial
separation. In the 1960s, however, the plan of the grand apartheid was put in
place which focused on separation based on territories and police repression.

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In 1948, when the
apartheid law was enacted, racial discrimination was made a norm. It was
considered okay for people to exhibit their superiority based on color. Every
aspect of social life was being governed by race laws, including the right to
marriage, job opportunities, education opportunities, a race classification
board was established1, different residential
areas were created for the two races, they could not mingle or be friends,
communism was defined in such a manner that it could be changed according to
any situation, and communists could also be banned from participating in
political groups or organizations. People of color were assigned areas in which
they could work or be trained as artisans, anybody found to be working in the
Urban areas, was severely punished.

In 1956, an amendment was
made in apartheid law, which prevented black people from voting, and the prime
minister even had the right to evict anyone with black origin from their own
lands, whether they were publicly or privately owned. Apartheid assured and
safeguarded rights of the white people in all aspects, however, the rights of
the black were ignored and overwritten intentionally. From 1976 to 1981, four
of these homelands were created, denationalizing nine million South Africans.
The homeland administrations refused the nominal independence, maintaining
pressure for political rights within the country as a whole. Nevertheless,
Africans living in the homelands needed passports to enter South Africa: aliens
in their own country (Academic Evergreen). The penalties that were imposed all
kinds of protests were severe. States of emergency continued in intervals until
1989, where anyone could be detained by a low level officer, without being
granted a hearing. There were many arrests and thousands of people who had been
brought into custody died due to immense torture. People who did receive a
trial were either imprisoned for life, sentenced to death, or banished.

Effect
of Colonialism on Apartheid

The impact of colonialism
on the world has often been viewed in negative terms. What is sad to note is
that this has led to the destruction of many economies, and cultures, and has
also resulted in thousands of deaths. It is true that the objective of colonization
was to extract the resources of the country and reap their benefits. However,
in doing so, the British ended up making things worse for the residents of the
country and eventually created further problems which led to warfare and
bloodshed. The effect of colonization on the education and lifestyle of the
residents of South Africa were severe. There is no university in many of the
cities, and very few Africans are educated. Colonialism’s effects whether in
the past or present are also quite apparent. It is not an overstatement when
Edem Kodjo, who authored ‘Africa Tomorrow’ describes the condition of Africa as
“torn away from the past, and propelled into a universe fashioned from outside
that suppresses his values, and dumbfounded by a cultural invasion that
marginalizes him. The African of today is a deformed image of many other people
and cultures. Its own culture and traditions got lost with the passage of time.
(Pheko, Motsoko, 2012). If we were to look at the strictly political and legal
aspects of the apartheid, then the majority of the population was denied their
rights, were brutally treated just to ensure superiority for the white people.
As can be seen from the aforementioned examples and ideas, the colonial powers
adopted and implemented such policies that ended up destroying the system
rather than helping build an improved version.

Africa’s economics,
politics, and culture was severely affected by the colonization, as instead of
giving them their rights, the aim was to extract resources while making life
difficult for the residents of the country. Black people needed passports to
enter their own country, due to the Bantu Authorities Act. Africa’s traditional
lifestyle, culture, their heritage, everything was destroyed as a result of
colonization. The British and other European powers who were invested in
extracting the resources did not have the interests of Africa in mind, all they
did care about was suppressing the people and gaining benefits of the resources
they accessed through mining activities led by the black people. 

1-    Much
of the land which was owned by the Black people, i.e. the people of Africa was
taken away, either for commercial use or for personal use. They identified the
best land and called it their own, by passing such laws that were in their
favor

 

2-    The
ruling party required many workers for the land, which including mining, and
managing their farms. The residents of Africa served as cheap labor, as they
had to adhere to the new rules in order to survive. Having lost their lands,
and in order to find work, people started moving to other towns or mines, in
which they had to face horrid working conditions, since it often involved
receiving corporal punishment. Additionally, there was shortage of food as it
was provided in the form of rations, and the wages were extremely low, leaving
very little for the families. The Africans faced a tough time during this
period.

 

3-    Additionally,
the Africans were taxed heavily, because the governing colonies were not
receiving aid from the mother countries, due to which there was shortage of
funds and finances were low. What little that the people of Africa earned would
have to be paid off in the form of taxes. While using African labor, the taxes
also had to be paid by them which made it necessary for them to work for the
colonial government.

 

4-    In
the 1920s the policy of forced labor was introduced, due to the loss of much of
the manpower in the previous world wars. Due to this, many of the Africans
forced to work on farms, mines, and even in towns. Men were separated from
their families, which in turn cause a lot of problems for their families.
Villages lacked the manpower which could have been used to produce food, and
help prevent famine, however, famine increased and it became difficult for the
people to survive. Prostitution and homosexuality increased, and traditional
village life was also alienated. This resulted in the decline of power of the
village chiefs, which led to creation of increased tension between the Africans
and foreign immigrants.

5-    The
economic structure of the African economy was also changed with the
introduction of cash crops and commercial crops. Those crops which were more
important for industrial usage were given priority over simple crops that may
have addressed the issues of famine and strife. Coffee, cocoa, tea, and cotton
were focused on to be produced in large scale, and the mining of minerals took
place extensively. All the crops that were produced were exported to the home
countries, and the prices were non-negotiable as they were decided by investors
and parties from the home countries as well. Trade was not allowed between
Africans, who were the ones doing all the hard work and taking care of the
issues being faced out in the field.

 

6-    On
top of all this, the colonial powers taking care of the country and extracting
all the natural resources did not have any plans to modernize or industrialize
the nation. While Africa produced all the raw materials that were then sent to
the home country for production, they were in turn important in the form of
finished goods from the home country and sold at higher rates. Money making and
capitalization was their primary focus, and many of the Africans could not
afford to pay for these products. While the products were being consumed by the
white people leading and governing the colonies, the masses could not avail
these products due to high price points.

 

 From all the points stated above, it can be
seen that colonization had an immensely negative impact on the economy and
culture of Africa. Their people suffered as even the most basic rights were
stripped from them. The people of the country were exploited, forced to leave
their homes, and taxed in an unfairly manner. There were no plans to
industrialize the economy or even modernize it. In turn conditions for the
country and its people worsened, until civil wars and protests broke out and
lead to the deaths of many of the residents. However, over the past couple of
years’ things have significantly improved. Approximately 60 percent of the
budget as decided by the government is allocated to social wage, and this
expenditure has, over the years, doubled in real terms over the past decade.
Per capita spending on health has also doubled in the same period, now even the
poorest of the residents can avail basic education for free, making them 60
percent of learners, and the level of hunger which was reported by the people
has been reduced to half of what it was. More than 15 million people receive
social assistance, enrolment in primary schools is approximately 98 percent,
and nearly 3 million houses and housing units have been constructed to serve as
homes for poor people. Access to basic services such as piped water,
sanitation, electricity and refuse removal have all improved, all contributing
to a decline in both absolute and relative poverty, and to improving equality
of opportunity. Over the past 20 years, the rate of unemployment has remained
stagnant at 20 percent; a huge improvement over the apartheid era.  (Philip, Kate, Mbofholowo Tsedu and Meshack
Zwane, 2014). The situation has significantly improved over the 20th century,
however, there are still many things that require attention, such as basic
necessities and amenities. The people who are unemployed are either not covered
through any kinds of social protection. The employment rate needs to be reduced
further and the living conditions need to be improved as well. While apartheid
ended over 20 years ago, the first generation of free people who were born
after that era is now entering their high schools and colleges and only some
have entered the labor market; most of the people who are of working-age have
experienced apartheid, which still affects their lives in one form or another
and the opportunities that they are provide today (Philip, Kate, Mbofholowo
Tsedu and Meshack Zwane, 2014).

However,
inequality in terms of employment opportunities and the challenges faced by the
people of Africa are still there and need to be addressed. Additionally, the
discrimination that was faced by the people during the apartheid era is still
experienced by many people of Africa. The revolution came due to the struggle
of Nelson Mandela, and many of his supporters, many of whom even died
to bring about the change, however, situations haven’t improved entirely and it
will take another fifty years for things to become normal for the people of
Africa, with basic amenities, like health care, food, and education being
available to every individual without any discrimination. Job opportunities
also need to be increased and made available for all of the people while
providing each person equal opportunity for employment. Poverty and inequality
– both aggravated by unemployment – are two of the most significant challenges
for South Africa (Philip, Kate, Mbofholowo Tsedu and Meshack Zwane, 2014). 

Barriers
to Economic Development

After World War II, the
economic growth prospects for South Africa were considered to be high and the
country was thought to be the “Japan of Africa” (Rattso, Jorn, and Hildegunn E.
Stokke).

The growth was to be
based on openness and industrial development and diversification, however, this
trend came to an abrupt halt in the 1970s when the country faced a long period
of stagnation. Pritchett (2000) describes South Africa as a ‘mountain’, where
the per capita growth over 1.5% per year changed to negative numbers (Rattso,
Jorn, and Hildegunn E. Stokke). There were many barriers to economic
development, and income distribution was sill biased. Due to intense racism,
income was not distributed equally, rather it was distributed in an unfair and
unjust manner. People who actually worked hard to make ends meet were given low
wages based on color and creed whereas those who were ruling would reap all the
benefits and earn even higher from the rightful ones. Economic growth was
turned into stagnation during the sanction period, but the recovery of growth
later has been slow. Interestingly, even the unskilled labor’s relative wage
has been steadily growing even during times of sanctions. The internal struggle
over Apartheid was highly significant for the stagnation during the late 1970s
and 1980s, however, most people are surprised that the growth rate have never
caught up to the apartheid year. The opening of the economy post- Apartheid has
stimulated productivity growth, but not nearly back to old growth rates
(Rattso, Jorn, and Hildegunn E. Stokke).

Many barrier models were
used to identify the reasons for the lack of growth and also to identify why
the growth never reached the same rate as the apartheid era. During the
international sanctions, the economic growth was held back, because of reduced
spillover by international parties. Perhaps it was because the unjust manner in
which the people of Africa were being exploited was no longer in play, or
simply because the resources had depleted from the level at which they were
available in the early 1920s. However, the cause for the slow economic
development has not been apparent, and yet South Africa has not been able to
reach the level of growth that everybody thought it could. In the recent years,
South Africa has become one of the most corrupt countries in the world and the
level of corruption has been increasing with the passage of time. One of the
primary factors affecting growth in the country is its ever changing government
policy which at times contradicts the previously implemented practices. The
country needs to grow at a high pace if they are to reduce unemployment and
poverty, however, this has not been possible due to two major reasons. The
first is that expenditure to redress the apartheid legacy has reduced the
resources available for investments in the knowledge economy through
investments in research and development, infrastructure and tertiary education.
The second reason is that many of the government’s honorable and justifiable
goals have been accompanied by large amounts of wastage, policy experimentation
and cronyism (Cilliers, Jakkie, 2015).

However, external factors
are also affecting the performance of the country. In recent years, the country
could have had better economic growth had it not been because of the weaker
than expected impact of global economic recovery. This was an important trading
partner for South Africa, however, due to the decline in its performance the
country also suffered. Domestic policy has been changing every few years due to
poor leadership on part of the government and a lack of direction and vision
from the selected leaders. What it needs to do is become aware of where the
country needs to head, and how? A clear sense of direction would not only help
the country in overcoming the issues it is currently facing, but, it will also
help them in overcoming the internal and domestic strife that they are
currently facing. Corruption has a huge role to play in the downfall of the economy.
While the country has a lot of potential, there is still that is lacking in
both the government as well as the people of South Africa. The desire to make
things better, and improve the lifestyle will eventually incite in them the
passion to help their country grow and achieve the economic growth that most
believe to be possible.

The
Evolution of South Africa

The popular image of
South Africa’s transition after it was freed from apartheid is of a “miracle”
(Waldmeir 1997) that helped the country achieve a peaceful move to democracy
under the leadership of Nelson Mandela (Kaufman, Stuard J. 2012). However, this
was a false presumption on part of the world, as the transition was anything
but peaceful. While Nelson Mandela led the movement and helped free the people
of Africa from apartheid, he was not fit for leading the country out of the
economic mess it has dug itself into. The leadership that the country needed
was of President F. W. de Klerk. During the decade of transition, South Africa
experienced a minimum of two civil wars, which resulted in the death of more
than 20,000 people. The first phase remained between 1985-1986, in which there
was an uproar in the black townships, which was inspired by the United
Democratic Front allies, and the African National Congress party. Many other
terrorist campaigns were also backed and funded by the same party. This
uprising resulted in the deaths of between 2,000 and 3,000 people— most
famously the hundreds who were “necklaced,” or burnt to death with a flaming tire
around their necks, by pro-ANC township youths (Kaufman, Stuard J. 2012). It
was brought to a stop because the government declared a state of emergency. Due
to this the rate, caused by political violence was cut in half. However, the
next stage of the violence was much worse, as the supporters of the two parties
were pit against the supporters of Zulu of the Inkatha movement and many other
parties got involved as well. This fight resulted in the deatlth of over 15,000
people between 198 and 1995. However, since the government was no part of the
rebellion, it cannot be considered as a civil war. The two main rounds of
fighting were brought to an end by President F. W. Klerk. He courageously
passed the point of no return early in his presidency by unbanning the ANC and
other opposition groups, and who managed to keep his reformist government on
the path to a negotiated settlement in the face of fierce opposition by
hard-line opponents (Kaufman, Stuard J. 2012).

The results of these
events were that may predispositions that were symbolic in nature and in favor
of apartheid eroded with the passage of time. However, this was associated with
the economic troubles that were being faced by the country as it was becoming
isolated from the world. De Klerk was known for his credibility which is one of
the main reasons the negotiations went smoothly between all parties. White and
Black voters alike, all supported him and his views were welcomed with open
arms. The ANC, for its part, had nothing to lose from joining the talks. ANC
narratives had always focused on the injustice of apartheid, favoring a
strategy of peaceful mass protest; “armed struggle,” they claimed, was a last
resort. The final agreement achieved the ANC objective of majority rule, with
the temporary concession of a transitional period of power sharing (Kaufman,
Stuard J. 2012). 

South Africa’s transition
from apartheid to a democracy that was supported by all races is one of the
most significant events of the century. After the peaceful negotiation, the
democratic bargain is still being held, and even though there are still high
rates of unemployment in the country, the life of an average South African, no
matter to which race they belong had improved. Things have definitely
economically improved as compared to the last years of apartheid.

The final constitution
established three important principles for the governance of the new federal
democracy. First, it accepted the geographical boundaries of the nine
provinces, and thus their anticipated political control. Second, provinces were
given responsibility for the provision of fundamental services—K–12 education,
health services, and housing—and for the administration of transfers to the
poor and elderly. Third, the national government was required to share national
tax revenues with the provinces to finance assigned provincial services (Inman,
Robert P. and Daniel L. Rubinfield).

Eventually most of the
supporters of ANC wanted to follow a more moderate path, even though the party
kept on making a radical decision. This was primarily done to ensure that the
party had the upper hand during negotiations, and that they could leverage it
based on the disorder on the streets. This was one of the things that was of
concern for them. However, with the passage of time things improved and
democracy had a strong role to play in calming down the tense situation in the
country. With time the economy started to grow and the lives of South Africa’s
residence show a significant turn. Even so, as mentioned previously, there are
still many things that need to be looked and considered in order to make
conditions even better. Also, the level of corruption needs to be addressed,
otherwise, it will become difficult to manage the increasing disarray among the
people. 

Conclusion

The democratic end of
apartheid was brought forth by the hard work of many people, one of whom is the
renowned and celebrated Nelson Mandela. However, his efforts were not effective
in bringing about the change that was necessary to bring about democracy the
country. By the end of apartheid, many parties had formed who were each
fighting for a separate cause. The one who brought them together was W. F.
Klerk.

Apartheid resulted in
many injustices being carried out in the name of law by the governing authority.
Additionally, it resulted in the creation of many issues for the people of
South Africa for example, interracial marriages were banned, and anybody found
to be interacting with a person of another race could be condemned for life,
whereas, education, lifestyle, property facilities were forcefully taken away
from the Black people, who made up a large proportion of the population.

On the other hand, the
resources that were being mined and farmed were being exported to the home
country, which resulted in famine. The exported raw materials were used for
industrialization in Europe and imported at higher rates. These products could
not be bought by the masses, as they were priced higher, and due to taxation,
whatever little they learned, they could not spend on high priced products.
Shortage of rations resulted in fights over food, at which severe punishments
were laid out. 

Things looked dull until
finally, through negotiations and understanding between the parties, it finally
ended in 1994. Policies were introduced to ensure that people from all races
would get a better lifestyle. And now, things have finally improved enough to
help sustain the economy, however, the level of corruption and lack of basic
amenities needs to be addressed.

 

1
In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be
racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or
colored (of mixed decent). The colored category included major subgroups of
Indians and Asians. Classification into these categories was based on
appearance, social acceptance, and descent.