The Unseen Benefits Of Apartheid Kosar Aziz

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Imagine living in a society where the color of your skin determines the quality of your life; whether the quality of life is determined by the education you receive, the money you are paid, or the social class you are classified by. This was a harsh reality for the colored people of South Africa in the 1900’s. This period in time later became known as Apartheid to scholars, and it shaped modern history to what is today. It was several years of colored people being oppressed by white supremacy. Due to intense white ruling, several movements attempting reform by the use of boycotts, along with passive resistance were seen and heard from the maltreated people of South Africa. Many people today believe Apartheid had no benefits, and that life is much better now that white supremacy is gone, however, if it had not been for Apartheid, many securities would never have been granted for the people of South Africa, and now that Apartheid is gone, the community of South Africa has far worsened socially as well as economically.

Apartheid was first established in 1948 and lasted until the late 1900s, specifically, it was 1964 when Nelson Mandela attempted to overthrow Apartheid rule. Apartheid rule was South African whites who ‘…attempted the impossible task of creating an industrialized economy based on cheap African labor while limiting African social and political integration in every conceivable fashion’ (Strayer 891). This segregation occurred after the rise of the National Party in 1948. It soon became the white domination that lasted many years. The majority of South Africans were black, while the minority of South Africans were white. Apartheid forced blacks to be under the rule of the whites, which caused a major imbalance within the nation. This imbalance turned into a civil war, where the people of South Africa were rebelling against their government, which treated them poorly both economically as well as socially. It initially started with the whites using the blacks as slaves to work for them and letting the rich white minority profit easily without working much. Lasting nearly 50 years, Apartheid was and is a major part of world history as a whole.

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Apartheid also affected South Africa negatively in some ways as the blacks were often attacked by racial discrimination and were seen as lower status and by some whites, they were not even considered humans worthy of living a proper life. The tension between blacks and whites eventually led to an unintentional civil war. Initially, the whites felt that enslaving black people was something to better the standard of living for themselves as a whole. They felt that poor treatment was a necessary part of enslavement. Black people were evicted from their homes and environment, excluding them from the norms of society and forcing them to accept white superiority, even if they did not agree with it completely just so they can live a semi-normal life. Not only were the blacks used as slaves, but they were also mistreated and forced to obey the whites without consent. Although apartheid later became a symbol of exploitation, it does not necessarily mean this system of living was terrible all around.

Along with safer communities, one of the qualities Apartheid had was ensuring a job, no matter the wage. This was specifically true in the younger generation, which now does not have a guaranteed income. Before, during the time of Apartheid, almost the entire population of South Africa had a salary and was paid. The jobs might have had high expectations along with difficult hours, nevertheless, it guaranteed a wage, no matter how small. This helped the economy and prevented it from going into a depression with high unemployment rates. Linked with this is the fact that poverty rates in South Africa have increased detrimentally, and millions of South African residents live in shacks, not houses of their own. ‘Rain and dust get in, there is no security against burglars…’ (BBC 18) just explains the poor lifestyle that South Africans are forced to live in, which could have been easily prevented if Apartheid was better adopted and they maintained a successful economy.

Along with the previous reason, during the 1900s, South Africa had lower crime rates, better infrastructure, and friendlier bureaucrats. Without Apartheid, blacks are indeed free from racial discrimination, however, many opportunities are restricted. “According to Bernstein around 80% of public schools are dysfunctional and the quality of schooling for the majority of poor people is abysmal” (Kangarlou 15). Almost a third of the population of South Africa is unemployed, and many of those are not able to work due to their poor academic level. Now that Apartheid is no longer a way of living, the people of South Africa have come to realize that even though life under Apartheid was bad, it is indeed much worse now. If it was a debate between now and life under Apartheid, many black South Africans would choose the latter, as the ratio of its pros to cons greatly differs from life today in South Africa. If we bring back Apartheid without the poor treatment of the blacks and use the other factors, South Africa might be greatly impacted in a better light.

The majority of modern society claims Apartheid had no positive effects on the life of South African people, and that life for them is much better now that white supremacy is gone which may be true, however, if it had not been for Apartheid, many securities would never have been guaranteed for the people of South Africa, and now that Apartheid is no longer effective, the community of South Africa has far worsened not only socially but also economically. Although it may seem like something with no benefits and life is better off without it, apartheid had its positive effects just as well as it had its negative ones, and now that it is gone, people of South Africa are starting to notice the unseen benefits of apartheid, and are learning to implement the good traits of apartheid without the rest. Every nation needs a higher power to authorize them to do things forcefully, but without the negative effects that Apartheid had due to racial discrimination. By reserving the benefits of Apartheid without the poor treatment of the South African residents, the economy of South Africa will greatly benefit and so will its residing citizens. 


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