BY: JOHN NJERI
The apartheid regime in South Africa was a cruel system of dividing people on the grounds of skin color. It gave freedom and privileges to the colored people and oppressed the black inhabitants of the land. Being colored was a bonus at the time since one had a pass to all government offices and services and any other activity one preferred. The segregation was also divided into two where there was the petty apartheid and the grand apartheid. The petty one would discriminate the blacks from certain social events and also public facilities. On the other hand, the grand apartheid dictated on job opportunities and housing with regard to the color of one’s skin. It was a hell on earth for the blacks since the superior color did what pleased them at their expense.
With the introduction of computers in South Africa, blacks would now work at “whites only” areas as slaves or laborers as long as they had a properly endorsed pass book attained at an age of sixteen. The pass book had the details of the person and was part of the population registry database of the government, If found without it, one would be jailed and might never see again his or her family. Though those with the pass book had access to jobs they were separated from their families, their tax was too high as compared to their counterparts the whites and the rents too thus leaving them with something less to survive with.
Love and marriage between blacks and whites was prohibited. There was not to be any interaction between the blacks and the whites at all circumstances. The non-whites especially the blacks lost their freedom and were placed into tribally-based groupings and homesteads called Bantustans. The white government made sure there was no political representation of the blacks hence no one to fight for their rights. There were even shops for blacks that sold cheap grade-B products while on the opposite streets some more shops were there which were decent and classy but were strictly for whites only. Benches at parks and toilets too, the classy for whites and the rest for the blacks.
The Bantu Act of 1953 degraded the education opportunities for the blacks to make them inferior. A black’s man life never mattered to them but if a white man died mysteriously the blacks around would face the wrath. The blacks lacked jobs and had the poorest amenities ranging from poor health care to poor school curriculum and unemployment.