Presentation on theme: "Images of Apartheid. District 6."— Presentation transcript:
Images of Apartheid
The following slides are all adapted from the website:www.capetown.at/heritage/history/apartheid.htmwww.capetown.at/heritage/history/apartheid.htm
Segregation The apartheid policy of the National Party, which came to power in 1948, brought a barrage of legislation to bear upon South Africans that, firstly, categorised them by race and then controlled their freedom according to their race group.
Enforcement The government enforced apartheid ruthlessly. Large areas of Cape Town were designated 'white suburbs' and coloured and black communities were forced to leave and settle on the Cape Flats. Black people had to carry a pass giving them permission to stay in Cape Town and were forced to leave if they were not in work. The government closed down mission schools and excluded blacks from advanced education.
Resistance and Repression There were widespread attempts to protest against the apartheid system in the 1950s. Coloured people campaigned against their removal from the voters roll. But their opposition became divided and broke down. The ANC-led Congress movement developed more unified opposition, but they faced various laws that gave the Government draconian powers to suppress opposition. As large-scale anti-pass demonstrations and marches broke out in Cape Town and elsewhere in 1960, a State of Emergency was declared, and the ANC banned.
The Silent Years In the 1960s the breadth of apartheid laws and the power of the police made it impossible to legally protest against the system. Opposition groups were banned and many leaders exiled or jailed. Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison and sent to Robben Island. The ANC and PAC turned to armed resistance, but the police successfully suppressed their activities.
Influx Controls Apartheid policy was to create 'homelands' for blacks, and exclude them from cities in 'South Africa'. Especially in Cape Town where, the government maintained, blacks had no historical right to live, blacks were only permitted to stay only on a temporary basis. Nevertheless, shanty towns continued to grow as poor people migrated fearlessly into the city, driven by poverty. In spite of brutal slum clearances and the eviction of thousands of people, areas like Crossroads continued to grow.
The 1976 Uprising Following the example of the children of Soweto, near Johannesburg, youth in Cape Town demonstrated against apartheid in 1976. Street battles ensued as police tried to crack down on demonstrations. 128 people were killed and over 400 injured in related violence in the city that year. The scale of the violence shocked Capetonians and the world, and marked the beginning of a new phase of struggle against the authorities.
Post-'76 Reform Under pressure at home and abroad the Government promised change, and ceased to enforce petty apartheid. Cape Town City Council and private companies were quick to remove segregation. Public places were opened and people began to mix more freely. However, laws that required segregation of residential locations and schooling remained firmly in place throughout the 1980s. Political changes to allow coloured participation in government were seen as tokenism, and blacks remained excluded.
Resistance in the 1980s The reform of apartheid did not impress the growing number of activists and a formidable range of organisations began to work together to fight apartheid. Church leaders, such as Desmond Tutu, students, unions, welfare organisations and civic bodies began to work under the United Democratic Front to coordinate protests. Although most protests were peaceful, many ended in violence as the police tried to break them up.
Turning Tide By the mid 1980s the tide had turned and the movement against apartheid gathered an unstoppable momentum. The government resorted to declaring a 'State of Emergency' several times, but these only confirmed the failure of apartheid and the government's illegitimacy. Against a backdrop of increasing economic hardship and international pressure the government secretly began negotiations with Nelson Mandela.
Mass Action By 1989 a mass movement for democracy had developed that included people from all backgrounds, including City and church leaders. Multi-racial beach parties were held on 'white only' beaches and staged marches to celebrate District 6. Police used violence against peaceful protests and 30,000 people marched through Cape Town led by the Mayor, Desmond Tutu and others to remember those who had been hurt and call for an end to segregation.
Mandela's Release President FW de Klerk took the world by surprise in February 1990 when he announced the unbanning of the ANC and other parties, and the release of political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. His purpose was to stop violent insurrection and begin a process to negotiate a 'a new and just constitution' for South Africa. It was the end of apartheid. After 27 years in jail, Mandela walked free on the 11th February and that evening spoke to a huge crowd that had gathered in the centre of Cape Town.
Negotiations In spite of promising first meetings in Cape Town it took two years for formal negotiations to begin. The ANC and other parties had to re- establish themselves in the country. Meanwhile political violence in the townships soared, and accusations were made that government agents were trying to destroy black unity. The National Peace Accord of September 1991 helped to restore trust, and negotiations began in December, but soon broke down again amid fresh violence and accusations.
Agreement Despite the public breakdown in negotiations, meetings continued in secret between ANC and government leaders. The assassination of a well-known black youth leader, Chris Hani, brought the country to the brink of civil war. Suddenly there was quickening of pace and the two main parties pushed the process forward, setting a date for the election. But as people across the country helped prepare for the vote, other forces threatened to sabotage the election and violent incidents continued.
Elections After nerve-racking brinkmanship, all major political parties took part in the election, 26 - 29 April, and contrary to many forecasts it was peaceful. In spite of long queues there was celebration in the air, and the image of South Africans standing together to vote replaced the old images of division. The ANC swept to power with a huge majority
New Government The ANC made dramatic promises, raising high expectations. A new and highly-acclaimed constitution was established and various new commissions, including the unique Truth and Reconciliation Commission to resolve the abuses of the past. Poverty, however, continued and unemployment grew worse. Crime rose dramatically. With the appointment of blacks to senior positions there was hot debate about a decline in 'standards'. Crime and affirmative action encouraged many whites to emigrate and significant foreign investment did not materialise. New challenges were replacing old.
Continuity and Change Although there was no sudden or dramatic change in Cape Town, steadily the city became more racially integrated, first in government institutions and then the suburbs. A sharp rise in crime was effectively fought by private-public partnerships that increased security, especially in the city centre. Migration from the poor rural areas led to sprawling shanty areas, especially at Khayelitsha, and a massive increase in the city's black population. The council were hard-pressed to keep up with the provision of services, but were making good progress by the end of the decade