Note: Bantustans in South Africa // Murder at Sharpeville 21 March 1960 // Cape-coloured-children
Women under apartheid
Colonialism and apartheid had a major impact on black and coloured women, since they suffered both racial and gender discrimination. Jobs were often hard to find. Many black and coloured women worked as agricultural or domestic workers, but wages were extremely low, if existent. Children suffered from diseases caused by malnutrition and sanitation problems, and mortality rates were therefore high. The controlled movement of black and coloured workers within the country through the Natives Urban Areas Act of 1923 and the pass laws separated family members from one another, because men could prove their employment in urban centres while most women were merely dependents; consequently, they risked being deported to rural areas.
Sport under apartheid
By the 1930s, association football mirrored the balkanised society of South Africa; football was divided into numerous institutions based on race: the (White) South African Football Association, the South African Indian Football Association (SAIFA), the South African African Football Association (SAAFA) and its rival the South African Bantu Football Association, and the South African Coloured Football Association (SACFA). Lack of funds to provide proper equipment would be noticeable in regards to black amateur football matches; this revealed the unequal lives black South Africans were subject to, in contrast to Whites, who were obviously much better off financially. Apartheid's social engineering made it more difficult to compete across racial lines. Thus, in an effort to centralise finances, the federations merged in 1951, creating the South African Soccer Federation (SASF), which brought Black, Indian, and Coloured national associations into one body that opposed apartheid. This was generally opposed more and more by the growing apartheid government, and – with urban segregation being reinforced with ongoing racist policies – it was harder to play football along these racial lines. In 1956, the Pretoria regime – the administrative capital of South Africa – passed the first apartheid sports policy; by doing so, it emphasised the White-led government's opposition to inter-racialism.
While football was plagued by racism, it also played a role in protesting apartheid and its policies. With the international bans from FIFA and other major sporting events, South Africa would be in the spotlight internationally. In a 1977 survey, white South Africans ranked the lack of international sport as one of the three most damaging consequences of apartheid. By the mid-1950s, Black South Africans would also use media to challenge the "racialisation" of sports in South Africa; anti-apartheid forces had begun to pinpoint sport as the "weakness" of white national morale. Black journalists for the Johannesburg Drum magazine were the first to give the issue public exposure, with an intrepid special issue in 1955 that asked, "Why shouldn't our blacks be allowed in the SA team?" As time progressed, international standing with South Africa would continue to be strained. In the 1980s, as the oppressive system was slowly collapsing the ANC and National Party started negotiations on the end of apartheid. Football associations also discussed the formation of a single, non-racial controlling body. This unity process accelerated in the late 1980s and led to the creation, in December 1991, of an incorporated South African Football Association. On 3 July 1992, FIFA finally welcomed South Africa back into international football.
Sport has long been an important part of life in South Africa, and the boycotting of games by international teams had a profound effect on the white population, perhaps more so than the trade embargoes did. After the re-acceptance of South Africa's sports teams by the international community, sport played a major unifying role between the country's diverse ethnic groups. Mandela's open support of the predominantly white rugby fraternity during the 1995 Rugby World Cup was considered instrumental in bringing together South African sports fans of all races.
Asians during apartheid
Defining its Asian population, a minority that did not appear to belong to any of the initial three designated non-white groups, was a constant dilemma for the apartheid government.
For political reasons, the classification of "honorary white" was granted to immigrants from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – countries with which South Africa maintained diplomatic and economic relations – and to their descendants.
Indian South Africans during apartheid were classified many ranges of categories from "Asian" to "black" to "Coloured" and even the mono-ethnic category of "Indian", but never as white, having been considered "nonwhite" throughout South Africa's history. The group faced severe discrimination during the apartheid regime and were subject to numerous racialist policies.
Chinese South Africans – who were descendants of migrant workers who came to work in the gold mines around Johannesburg in the late 19th century – were initially either classified as "Coloured" or "Other Asian" and were subject to numerous forms of discrimination and restriction. It was not until 1984 that South African Chinese, increased to about 10,000, were given the same official rights as the Japanese, to be treated as whites in terms of the Group Areas Act, although they still faced discrimination and did not receive all the benefits/rights of their newly obtained honorary white status such as voting.
Indonesians arrived at the Cape of Good Hope as slaves until the abolishment of slavery during the 1800s. They were predominantly Muslim, were allowed religious freedom and formed their own ethnic group/community known as Cape Malays. They were classified as part of the Coloured racial group. This was the same for South Africans of Malaysian descent who were also classified as part of the Coloured race and thus considered "not-white". South Africans of Filipino descent were classified as "black" due to historical outlook on Filipinos by White South Africans, and many of them lived in Bantustans.
Alongside apartheid the NP government implemented a programme of social conservatism. Pornography and gambling were banned. Cinemas, shops selling alcohol and most other businesses were forbidden from operating on Sundays. Abortion, homosexuality and sex education were also restricted; abortion was legal only in cases of rape or if the mother's life was threatened.
Television was not introduced until 1976 because the government viewed English programming as a threat to the Afrikaans language. Television was run on apartheid lines – TV1 broadcast in Afrikaans and English (geared to a white audience), TV2 in Zulu and Xhosa and TV3 in Sotho, Tswana and Pedi (both geared to a black audience), and TV4 mostly showed programmes for an urban-black audience.
Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance. The government responded to a series of popular uprisings and protests with police brutality, which in turn increased local support for the armed resistance struggle. Internal resistance to the apartheid system in South Africa came from several sectors of society and saw the creation of organisations dedicated variously to peaceful protests, passive resistance and armed insurrection.
In 1949, the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC) took control of the organisation and started advocating a radical black nationalist programme. The new young leaders proposed that white authority could only be overthrown through mass campaigns. In 1950 that philosophy saw the launch of the Programme of Action, a series of strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience actions that led to occasional violent clashes with the authorities.
In 1959, a group of disenchanted ANC members formed the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), which organised a demonstration against pass books on 21 March 1960. One of those protests was held in the township of Sharpeville, where 69 people were killed by police in the Sharpeville massacre.
In the wake of Sharpeville, the government declared a state of emergency. More than 18,000 people were arrested, including leaders of the ANC and PAC, and both organisations were banned. The resistance went underground, with some leaders in exile abroad and others engaged in campaigns of domestic sabotage and terrorism.
In May 1961, before the declaration of South Africa as a Republic, an assembly representing the banned ANC called for negotiations between the members of the different ethnic groupings, threatening demonstrations and strikes during the inauguration of the Republic if their calls were ignored.
When the government overlooked them, the strikers (among the main organisers was a 42-year-old, Thembu-origin Nelson Mandela) carried out their threats. The government countered swiftly by giving police the authority to arrest people for up to twelve days and detaining many strike leaders amid numerous cases of police brutality. Defeated, the protesters called off their strike. The ANC then chose to launch an armed struggle through a newly formed military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which would perform acts of sabotage on tactical state structures. Its first sabotage plans were carried out on 16 December 1961, the anniversary of the Battle of Blood River.
In the 1970s, the Black Consciousness Movement was created by tertiary students influenced by the American Black Power movement. BC endorsed black pride and African customs and did much to alter the feelings of inadequacy instilled among black people by the apartheid system. The leader of the movement, Steve Biko, was taken into custody on 18 August 1977 and was beaten to death in detention.
In 1976, secondary students in Soweto took to the streets in the Soweto uprising to protest against the imposition of Afrikaans as the only language of instruction. On 16 June, police opened fire on students protesting peacefully. According to official reports 23 people were killed, but the number of people who died is usually given as 176, with estimates of up to 700. In the following years several student organisations were formed to protest against apartheid, and these organisations were central to urban school boycotts in 1980 and 1983 and rural boycotts in 1985 and 1986.
In parallel with student protests, labour unions started protest action in 1973 and 1974. After 1976 unions and workers are considered to have played an important role in the struggle against apartheid, filling the gap left by the banning of political parties. In 1979 black trade unions were legalised and could engage in collective bargaining, although strikes were still illegal. Economist Thomas Sowell wrote that basic supply and demand led to violations of Apartheid "on a massive scale" throughout the nation, simply because there were not enough white South African business owners to meet the demand for various goods and services. Large portions of the garment industry and construction of new homes, for example, were effectively owned and operated by blacks, who either worked surreptitiously or who circumvented the law with a white person as a nominal, figurehead manager.
In 1983, anti-apartheid leaders determined to resist the tricameral parliament assembled to form the United Democratic Front (UDF) in order to coordinate anti-apartheid activism inside South Africa. The first presidents of the UDF were Archie Gumede, Oscar Mpetha and Albertina Sisulu; patrons were Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Allan Boesak, Helen Joseph, and Nelson Mandela. Basing its platform on abolishing apartheid and creating a nonracial democratic South Africa, the UDF provided a legal way for domestic human rights groups and individuals of all races to organise demonstrations and campaign against apartheid inside the country. Churches and church groups also emerged as pivotal points of resistance. Church leaders were not immune to prosecution, and certain faith-based organisations were banned, but the clergy generally had more freedom to criticise the government than militant groups did. The UDF, coupled with the protection of the church, accordingly permitted a major role for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who served both as a prominent domestic voice and international spokesperson denouncing apartheid and urging the creation of a shared nonracial state.
Although the majority of whites supported apartheid, some 20 percent did not. Parliamentary opposition was galvanised by Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin and Harry Schwarz, who formed the Progressive Federal Party. Extra-parliamentary resistance was largely centred in the South African Communist Party and women's organisation the Black Sash. Women were also notable in their involvement in trade union organisations and banned political parties.