Work Place Regime During Apartheid

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During the workplace regime of apartheid in 1948-1994 it caused major exclusion on the less “superior” races including Indians, coloured and especially black people and this exclusion affect they daily lives, their futures, their educations and what they were allowed to do and go. This exclusion from over 20 years ago still impacts their lives today. The topic I going to speak about it the race division and will incorporate it through the racial division of labour and the racial segregation of facilities

The racial division of labour in apartheid consisted of the white people who held superior, operating and skilled jobs, doing white- collar jobs which resulted in higher wages and allowed for growth to higher positions in the company. These jobs typically involved more job security and stability which provide benefits like health care, retirement plans, bonus. While the black people worked in mostly blue-collar work which didn’t allow much progression or promotion, they typically worked for a employer doing farm or mined work in mostly inhuman conditions which resulted in underpay and limited or no labour rights at all. Black people worked far away from towns and due to the underpay they received it cause young men in the family to leave and look for work else where to earn money from their families, this migration led to problems in the society as young men could not marry until allowed by chief, some farms were left in hands of women and children and families were disrupted. This division still cause exclusion in post- apartheid times as most of the people who were disadvantaged during apartheid are still suffering with economic disadvantages with the higher rate of unemployment as the government doesn’t spend a lot of money on empowering middle class the unemployment rates are high. with the disadvantage the black people suffered it still effects their lives as majority of them still live in rule areas and applying for social grants to provide for themselves. Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) has been introduced post-apartheid to create work opportunities for those people that were excluded during apartheid times, it is a racially selective programme launched by the South African government to redress the inequalities of Apartheid by giving black (African, Coloureds, Indians and Chinese) South African citizens economic privileges that are not available to White South Africans, in essence wealth redistribution. Although race is the overriding factor, it includes measures such as Employment Preference, skills development, ownership, management, socioeconomic development, and preferential procurement to improve and better the lifes of those who were previously disadvantaged. Another way the government is trying to redress the inequalities is through South Africa’s triple transition-toward political democracy, economic liberalization, and racial transition has generated a variety of responses at workplace level. This transition provided efficiency, rights and equity in the work place as the shift in workplace regime changed as more black people got managerial postions so it also impacted as the number of unskilled and semi- skilled people reduced. Unions all impacted as brought equality in the workplace as more people were becoming skilled and educated which therefore brought more diversity in workplace as more black people were been hired.

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Racial segregation of facilities during apartheid separated the people according to their races and this determined where they could be and where not to. During these time white people lived in town, in the richer part of the area and they had more luxury and spacious housing. They had less restrictions implemented and has better access to education as the white people attended private or more fancy schools. The white people also had selected areas only accessible by white people like entertainment areas for example the Highveld Club. Due to the policy of segeration some black people wre forcibly removed from their land to make it a white only area therefore Black people had smaller, less comfortable housing located on the outer skirts of the town which cause limited water resources to be available. Black people had a poorer education in a more rural, underprivileged school with limited resources. They had heavier restrictions and curfews put into place and would be punished in this was broken. All these laws were conducted by white political, trade union rather than the law itself. This affects their lives post- apartheid as now in majority of the urban areas consist of white people and some black people still live in more rural areas as there is no spatial planning and most private or more advanced schools are located in a “white” area. The lack of education of limit to education affects black people as they are still stuck in poverty and cant leave townships or better their life, his can also cause unemployment as due to their lack of education they cant get better jobs. The NUM has developed a new legistration to help set up businesses of their own whose aim is “a transfer of managerial skills to the previously disadvantaged”.


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