Edexcel 2F2: South Africa, 1948-94, from apartheid state to rainbow nation'


South Africa in 1948


  • In 1910, the Union of South Africa had been created as a self-governing dominion. The South Africa Act gave whites the vote and banned black Africans from sitting in Parliament.
  • The Union of South Africa was divided into four provinces. Cape Province and Natal were mainly British. The Transvaal and the Orange Free State were mainly Afrikaner.
  • This gave whites complete political control over all other racial groups.
  • The Native Land Act (1913) prevented black Africans, except those in the Cape, from buying land outside 'reserves'.
  • The Urban Areas Act (1923) introduced residential segregation and provide cheap labour for industry.
  • In 1924, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party came to power in a coalition government with the Labour Party.
  • Afrikaners spoke Afrikaans, a form of Dutch. Afrikaans and English became the official languages in 1925.
  • The Colour Bar Act (1926) prevented black mine workers from practising skilled trades.
  • The native Administration Act (1927) made the British Crown, rather than native chiefs, the supreme head over all African affairs.
  • The representation of Natives Act (1936) removed black African voters from the Cape voters' roll.
  • South Africa was a largely rural country; farming was an important industry. 'Boer' was the Dutch word for farmer. Apartheid created cheap labour for white-owned farms.
  • There was little industry, with the exception of mining for gold and diamonds. Black Africans were again used as cheap labour.
  • Increasingly, black Africans were forced to live in townships on the edges of major cities..