South Africa: How Apartheid Was Defeated

Socialism 2018

July 05, 2018

The British and Dutch colonizers of South Africa built from the outset a society based upon the oppression and exploitation of the indigenous African population, where the latter were restricted from buying land outside of special “reserves,” given the worst jobs and legally considered “sojourners” in urban areas. In the late 1940s, the system of institutional Apartheid (separation) was created, where Blacks were forced onto fake “homelands,” required to carry passes, and subjected to a regime of extreme repression in order to sustain a system of racially-based labor exploitation. This talk will trace the rise of the resistance movement, from the ANC to the Black Consciousness Movement to the rise of a militant workers’ movement that was so central to apartheid’s demise. In the end, apartheid fell in a negotiated that established Black majority rule but stopped short at the kind of radical demands inherent in the anti-apartheid struggle.

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