Life under apartheid
Apartheid is an Afrikaans word for separation or setting apart. The objective of apartheid was to separate Whites, Blacks and Métis. Each group had to live in a particular place. Services and public places were also separated: toilets, taxis, beaches and even park benches were reserved for either Whites or Blacks. According to apartheid, nearly all rights and privileges were reserved for Whites only. Even if they worked in the city, Blacks were not allowed to stay in the city for more than 72 consecutive hours. Blacks were forced to live far from the urban centers where they worked.
The following are some examples of how apartheid affected the everyday lives of certain people:
*It is unlawful for an employer to pay an African worker the same salary as a White worker, even for the same work and the same time. *All Africans aged 16 and over must produce, upon request of a police officer, a “reference document” showing race, tribe, place of residence, place of work, income tax, etc. * No White is allowed to teach an African how to read. * It is prohibited for any African to attend a family reunion if the number of guests makes the meeting “undesirable.” * It is unlawful for any White person to have sexual relations with an African person, Métis or Indian. * It is prohibited for any African to go on strike for any reason whatsoever. * No African has the right to own a property or land throughout the territory of South Africa. * Only Whites have the right to vote.
Author: Marianne Giguère
French if available (si disponible)