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South Africa

Clarification of Terms as used in South Africa


Apartheid:                  the system initiated by the National Party when it came into power

 after World War II that was designed to keep a strict separation of each of

 the various racial groupings that lived in South Africa


Racial Classifications:            African (Bantu) – the vast majority of the population that is black

 and culturally comes from several large tribal groups (i.e., Zulu, Xhosa,

 et.al.) and many smaller tribal groups. (around 21 million)*

                                    Afrikaans (Boer) – the largest group of white South Africans who are descended from Dutch and French Huguenot settlers.  The English pushed them inland when the English took over the Cape Colony.  They gained political power with the election of the National Party to the majority in the South African Parliament in late 1948.  They held power throughout the Apartheid period until the election of Nelson Mandela and the ANC in the first elections in which blacks were given the right to vote. (around 3 million)*

                                    English – the white group of the population that enjoyed economic and educational superiority over all other groups, including the Afrikaans.  They controlled Parliament until 1948. (around 2 million)*

Coloured – a racially mixed group that may include (genetically) white, African and Asian backgrounds. (around 3 million)*

                                    Asian – mostly Indian (Hindu) with some Indonesian (Moslem) heritage that were originally brought to South Africa as farm and mine labor.  They are the smallest of the racial groups and often feel most at risk. (around 1 million)*


Nearby Countries:            Lesotho (former English colony)

                                    Swaziland (former English colony)

                                    Botswana (former English colony)

                                    Namibia (former German colony – was called Southwest Africa)

                                    Zimbabwe (former English colony – was called Rhodesia)

                                    Mozambique (former Portuguese colony)


Homelands:                Bophuphatswana





Townships:                 Soweto

                                    King Williams Town



Squatter’s Camps:            Crossroads


*These population statistics are from Africa News, 1983 as found in Time Running Out, Global Perspectives in Education, Inc., p.22.