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South Africa: The Black and Coloured Africans 1

South Africa:

The Black and Colored Africans

A Continent Rebuilding

By: Carrie Cornelison

Axia College

SOC/120

Prof. Randall Mitchell

4/18/2010
South Africa: The Black and Coloured Africans 2

South Africa

Africa, which is the second largest continent in the world, is home hundreds of languages

and cultures, extraordinary animals, and a warm, wet tropical climate. The people of South

Africa, which makes up about 13% of the world’s population(Africa), are full of excitement and

are always singing, dancing, drumming, and having concerts. South Africa brings to mind a

vision of undiscovered, unexplored country with the allure of mystery and wonder. Traveling to

the Republic of South Africa from the United States will take a long time, and a trip like that

allows travelers to feel like they are explorers on their way to a land of unknown experiences and

encounter an adventure surrounded by amazing people, plants, and animals. This adventure is

going to be an exciting and mystifying one, but it can also be one of misadventure and

disappointment.

`The Republic of South Africa is a country filled with anything and everything that

anyone can imagine and expect in hopes of experiencing that dream vacation. If you are looking

for the sights and sounds of busy urban life, we recommend the cities Cape Town and

Johannesburg. However, if you prefer quiet and serenity, the Karoo is the ideal place with its

wonderful expanse of hills and countryside to relax in. And for those who seek adventure, then

they will not be disappointed once they come across the Kalahari Desert which includes beautiful

tropics or long stretches of coastlines, such as the Cape of Good Hope, which offers much to

experience and enjoy. South Africa’s climate can be rainy or dry depending on the season. There

are a lot of preserves and sanctuaries filled with all kinds of animals that can visited. The

Okavango, situated in northern Botswana just below the Zambian border, is the world's largest

inland delta. It fans out from the Okavango River and forms a vast, 4,000-square mile marsh that

is crawling with hippo, antelope, wildebeest, giraffe and the occasional lion. Not many people
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know about the Okavango Delta. Kenya and Tanzania still dominate Africa's safari industry and

only a fraction of the number of tourists to those countries find their way south to Botswana each

year. Since almost 20 percent of Botswana's total area comprises national parks and game

preserves, chances are good that you'll cross paths with fewer than a dozen Land Rovers during a

two- week stay (Laura). South Africa is a land of beauty and adventure, and is an ideal vacation

for anyone young or old.

However, for those who prefer to step off the trail of the tourist sites, you won’t be

disappointed as they discover many other locations around South Africa with a mix of the

cultures history and way of life that is far from being the ideal vacation spots. South Africa, in

some ways, can be viewed as a disappointment to the world. South Africa can be beautiful and

enjoyable, but it can also be cruel and inhumane. There is a secret that some in South Africa

doesn’t want you to know about. It is a secret so bad that it has other nations turning their heads

in shame. If you are in South Africa, be careful how you tread and be wary of where you are and

who you are. The ugly truth of their secret is so devastating that it can be viewed as an

abomination. That secret is Apartheid.

The Coloured and Black Africans

Apartheid was the system of government that lasted in South Africa from 1948 until

1994. Under apartheid, black people did not have equal rights with white people. They were not

allowed to use the same facilities as white people, inter-marry, or mix with white people as

equals. Although this was made law after World War II, it really continued the racist treatment

that black people and other non-white people had experienced in South Africa for generations

(Apartheid). I believe that the racist treatment of all non-whites were the worst in history next to

slavery and the holocaust. It was really and truly a bad time in South African history.
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According to the Bureau of African Affairs from1948 to 1991, South African law divided

the population into four major racial categories: Africans (black), whites, coloreds, and Asians.

Although this law has since been abolished, many South Africans still view themselves and each

other according to these categories. Black Africans comprise about 80% of the population and

are divided into a number of different ethnic groups. Whites comprise just over 9% of the

population. They are primarily descendants of Dutch, French, English, and German settlers who

began arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in the late 17th century. Coloureds are mixed-race

people primarily descending from the earliest settlers and the indigenous peoples. They comprise

about 9% of the total population. Asians are descended from Indian workers brought to South

Africa in the mid-19th century to work on the sugar estates in Natal. They constitute about 2.2%

of the population and are concentrated in the KwaZulu-Natal Province (Apartheid).

The dictionary describes ethnicity as an “identity with or membership in a particular

racial, national, or cultural group and observance of that group's customs, beliefs, and language”

(Ethnicity) and race as “a group of persons related by common descent or heredity” (Race),

under Apartheid, I didn’t see where it made any difference. You could be a descendent of white

heritage with brown skin and still being discriminated against. The racial discrimination has been

going on for years and there have been a lot of resistance to Apartheid. Over the years, different

resistance groups have fought the good fight against racial discrimination and have lost. They

were either thrown in jail or worst killed. It was an endless battle with no end in sight which led

to war and poverty for blacks and coloureds alike. It wouldn’t be until June 12, 1986. That is

when the protests had reached a fever pitch and then President Botha declared a state of

emergency. In response, the USA introduced sanctions against South Africa (Apartheid) and that

was the start to the end of Apartheid.


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A Continent Rebuilding

Even though the government policy of Apartheid was officially ended in 1994, the South

African government started making changes as early as 1989. It was then the then President F W

de Klerk allowed black people to demonstrate and released members of the ANC (African

National Congress), who were the main resistant factor against Apartheid, from prison and

allowed them to became legal. The ANC’s leader, Nelson Mandela, was released from prison in

1990, and was elected as South Africa’s first black President in 1994(Apartheid).

During Nelson Mandela's five years Presidency of South Africa, the government had

committed itself to reform. It focused on social issues like unemployment, housing, and crime.

Mandela's administration implemented a market-driven economic plan known as Growth,

Employment and Redistribution (GEAR), which was designed to stimulate their economy and

try to reintroduce South Africa back into the global community. The government also tried to

heal the wounds created by apartheid by creating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

(TRC) which was under the leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They also tried to create a

single identity for South Africa and bring the people together under a single purpose of unity and

try to repair the split in the country that was created by Apartheid. Since political violence after

1994 had all but virtually disappeared by 1996 proof in the abilities of President Mandela to

achieve the difficult goal of fixing his country(Bureau).

President Mandela stepped down in 1997 and was replaced by Thabo Mbeki, who won

the Presidency in 1999. He continued the work by Mandela, but also shifted the focus of his

administration from reconciliation to transformation. He was trying to make sure that the

government played a more important role in stimulating the economy, reducing poverty and fight

crime. Mbeki served two terms as South Africa President with a lot of growth to that country
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before being defeated for a third term in 2007 by Jacob Zuma who was the former Deputy

President(Bureau).

Today growth and transformation are still happening. South Africa is not the same

country it was 26 years ago and they are growing. It is a wonderful country with lots of history

and plenty of sites to see. Overall, it is a wonderful place to visit, despite its bad history and it

will continue to grow and prosper and I recommend South Africa as the “ideal vacation” for all

who wish to set out on a most wonderful and exciting adventure.


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Reference Page

Africa. (2008). In Philip's Encyclopedia 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2010 from
http://www.credoreference.com/entry/philipency/africa

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Bureau of African Affairs, (2010, February). South Africa. Retrieved April 18, 2010, from U.S.
Department of State: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2898.htm

Ethnicity. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition.
Retrieved April 18, 2010, from Dictionary.com website:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethnicity

JOHN, R. (n.d). A new life for downtown Jo'burg In a bold move for the country, South Africans
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Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/race

“South Africa: Overview: Wildlife, Wild Times and a Culture in Repair” (NA). Lonely Planet.
Retrieved April 18, 2010, from http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/south-africa