Essay on Ending Of Apartheid In South Africa

627 Words3 Pages
There were many factors which contributed to the ending of apartheid. After years of segregation and oppression of blacks, many different chronological events put together led to an eventual reform in South Africa of equality and democracy for everybody.

However, the factor which I think played the most important part in the ending of apartheid was releasing ANC leader Nelson Mandela in 1990. Not only did it symbolise a fresh start for the country, but also a new found uniformity of its people.

At the time, this move by the government was quite unexpected, but in retrospect, an inevitability. The prime minister of South Africa in 1989 was PW. Botha, however after having a stroke, and being forced into bitter resignation, was replaced
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However, the most probable reason was that apartheid was no longer practical or possible to maintain in the country. This underlying fact had been brought about by several events.

Fourteen years prior to Mandela’s release in 1976 school pupils had rioted in Soweto, the result of which had been many deaths amongst the children. The cause of the riot had been because of the appauling conditions in black township schools. Classes were over-crowded, there were no facilities and most importantly the pupils were being taught in Afrikaan. The language was not spoken anywhere else in the world, and they felt that they were simply being prepared as slaves for the whites.

The horrifying incident caused uproar in many other townships which lasted for months. Although the government claimed the riots were unpolitical, the Soweto troubles let loose by far the largest period of unrest in South Africa’s history. It showed that officials were beginning to loose control.

In 1985 a partial state of emergency was declared in South Africa. This was as a result of further violent uprisings and clearly showed the national’s weakening hold over the townships. Black resistance made many parts of the country ungovernable.

On top of all this, there were many economic pressures. In the 1970’s, western business leaders found that apartheid laws were effecting economic progress and people began to feel that imposong sanctions on South Africa would be the only way
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