Apartheid as a word is almost the synonym of South Africa. For it is almost if not impossible to name the word without talking about South Africa. The word emanated from “apart-hood” which literally means “the state of being apart”, and from 1948 to the mid 90’s, apartheid represented a system of racial segregation in South Africa which was enforced via the legislation of the National Party to extensively abridge the rights of the black populace of South Africa.
As Peter Abrahams inscribed in his novel “Tell Freedom” all the good things of life were then “Reserved For Whites Only”. So, apartheid by extension refers to the forms of systematic segregation. If that’s the case, here are evidence that will reveal the masked face of apartheid in South Africa.
Apartheid In The Present Day South Africa
The All-White City
You’ll know apartheid still exists in South Africa when you read Carel Boshoff IV statement. Carel, the great son-in-law of the former prime minister Henrik Verwoerd, that orchestrated apartheid, told Sowetan Live that “when new people come to Orania, they are interviewed by a group of people to make sure that they have sufficient understanding of what the town is about.” With such a statement, one begins to understand why all the residents of Orania are the descendants of white migrants of Dutch and German. Could it be that the black faces that appeared in Orania failed the said interview and were disqualified as ineligible to live in Orania? Why are there no blacks in Orania? Despite claims by the white community in Orania that the town is not racist, the only reasonable answer to the questions above is apartheid.
2. Unequal Standards Of Living
Blacks Are Left Behind
A vast majority of citizens materially excluded in South Africa are blacks. A study that categorized and measured the standard of living of South Africans reported that an overwhelming majority of the poor are blacks. Data from the study revealed that 35.4 percent of black South Africans are in the lowest four Living Standard Measure (LSM) categories, 48.2 percent are in the middle categories and 16.3 percent are in the highest four categories. Whereas for white South Africans, 0% are in the lowest four LSM groups 5% are in the middle categories, and 95% are in the top four categories.
3. Rejection Of Interracial Marriage
Interracial marriage, the most intimate of the forms of integration received the lowest level of approval from South Africans. With that, one can absolutely infer that the blacks, whites and colored South Africans do not want to bond. They do not want any link, connection or union. Thus they have effectively stayed apart. That’s definitely something apartheid can cause.
4. Unequal Education
Yes, racial segregation which is a profound indicator of apartheid was officially abolished about 20 years ago. However, the schools attended by South African students is still largely categorized based on race. Schools dominated by white students are functional whereas those that are attended by a majority of blacks struggle to bestow the much-needed literacy ability. Check out the quality of private schools in South Africa which predominantly serve white students, then do the same for schools with poor facilities and less qualified teachers, I guarantee you will find no white student there.
5. Unequal Employment Opportunities
The quality education provided for the white as enabled by the apartheid government ensured that majority of whites retained good jobs and that still happens up till date. As such, South Africans have consistently experienced a huge disparity in job distribution where the minority whites are largely employed and the black majority are hugely unemployed. One can conclusively say the blacks in South Africa are set-apart for unemployment.
6. The Black Phobia
The obsessive and sometimes irrational fear of the black race by the whites effectively kept the white race apart from the blacks in South Africa. MailOnline once reported that Kobus Jonck, a sheep farmer residing in Orania (the all white town) expressed this fear when he opined that the whites are safe in Orainia as they do not have to worry about locking their cars and house doors at night. Now that’s just not right.
7. Unhealthy Racial Integration
Look around you, you’ll surely observe that the blacks and whites in South Africa are socially apart. The SARB (South African Reconciliation Barometer) 2014 results shows that “racial identities are becoming stronger while a united South African identity is becoming weaker”. Only about 27 percent of South African citizens always or often on ordinary weekdays interact with other citizens of another race. 26 percent do same sometimes whereas 44 percent of South African population hardly or never speak to someone with a different sink color.
8. Residential Segregation
Although there have been changes in the residential pattern of South Africans since the abolition of racial segregation, residential segregation still exists in South Africa. Hence signifying that apartheid is not dead in South Africa. The white South Africans are largely residing in the most affluent urban and suburban areas while the blacks are dominating the densely populated locations found on impoverished edges of major cities with a majority of them living in shack homes.
9. Persisting “Colored” Identity Crisis.
The fact that the term ‘colored’ is still used to describe people of mixed race descendants suggests that Apartheid is not completely eradicated. The “not white enough” and “not black enough” syndrome is very much around as it emphasizes the need for the identity of mixed race descendants of South Africans to be primarily recognized as South African citizens, without the “colored” descriptive antedate.