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Elaine E. Bunbury

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The Legacy of Apartheid.
by Elaine E. Bunbury   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, February 24, 2007
Posted: Saturday, February 24, 2007

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How the legacy of Apartheid still affects South Africa to-day with three major problems viz. HIV/Aids, poverty and crime and how this is illustrated in the story I tell in What Hope Have You!

Some say that Apartheid is now over. However, it is important that history not be forgotten but that we learn from it. George Santanaya wrote, "Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it."
There are three major problems South Africa faces to-day; the HIV/Aids pandemic, poverty and crime. All three are a direct legacy of the Apartheid system which made racism legal. Under the Apartheid government the country was divided into white areas and black areas, called 'homelands'. However, the black homelands were not viable, mainly located in rural areas and with no mineral resources. Black labour was needed in the towns and cities but workers were not permitted to having their wives and children living with them. This was to control the number of black people in urban areas. Large corporations, such as the mining companies, built houses for their white workers for families; black workers were housed in male-only compounds. Likewise, domestic workers, living in back-yard rooms in the suburbs were not permitted to having their spouses living with them. This break-down of black family life caused prostitution and as many workers were brought in as cheap labour from other African countries, it is highly probably that the HIV/Aid virus, which was first detected in central Africa in the late 1970's, was carried into South Africa and spread because of this breakdown of black family life.
As regards poverty, six times more was spent on white children's education than on black children. Laws were passed restricting black people from being trained for skilled work and wages were kept low for black people, doing unskilled work. This causes poverty which in turn causes crime.
To-day there is a noted growth of a middle-class in the black population but there is still a need to catch up on educating the masses. White South Africans mainly control the economy and higher wages should be paid to black workers to address the serious problem of poverty and crime in South Africa to-day.
In my book, "What Hope Have You!" a story of three families of the different racial groups over a period of one hundred years and four generations, from the 1870's until the 1970's, I attempt to show the affect of Apartheid upon these families, how closely the races lived together; yet, in fact, so far apart. It is clearly seen how the legacy of this repressive system, is the cause of serious problems in South Africa to-day.

Web Site: Legacy of Apartheid

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Reviewed by Milton Handfield 5/10/2009
Great article.Indeed, apartheid left a scar on South Africa that is ever lingering.

Reviewed by Cass Shen 8/12/2008
Reviewed by John Domino 8/1/2008
In the USA we have had our share of social problems. Still, the South African govt. could have learned from our mistakes. You said,
"Laws were passed restricting black people from being trained for skilled work and wages were kept low for black people, doing unskilled work. This causes poverty which in turn causes crime."
What did these leaders expect??? "You reap what you sow."

Thanks and God Bless you and your beautiful country.

John Michael
Reviewed by Lavendar Jazz 6/3/2008
Wise words and I pray a solution is found to help all the people who are affected by Apartheid.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 5/23/2008
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Reginald Johnson 8/7/2007
In spite of its problems, South Africa is a beacon of light on the desolate continent of Africa. While it is true one should not forget the past ... it would be counter productive to develop a "victim mentality." South Africa is resilient because it respects and allows participation from all its citizens. It matters not that the face is black or white, what matters most .. is its contribution. Good people like you and your family is why it can and will continue to prosper.

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