Why was apartheid in South Africa brought to an end, and how successfully did the ANC govern the country up until 2009?

South Africa remained under the system of apartheid without any concessions to black people until 1980. However, after this the situation in Africa arose such that apartheid had to be put to an end by the ruling whites. These situations were:

  • The Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Organization for African Unity started criticizing this practice vehemently. Moreover, the external pressure rose in 1975 with the colonies of Angola and Mozambique achieving independence and the African takeover of Zimbabwe removed the last trace of colonial rule. So, the black states became hostile against the whites in South Africa.
  • When South Africa was hit by economic recession in the 1970s many white people became worse off. Slowly, the whites started emigrating and their population had become only 16 per cent of the total population.
  • The anti-apartheid movement also received support of USA which had started treating its black people well. It criticized the racist policy of South Africa.
  • Although President Botha who was a white tried to silence the protest by giving some rights to the black people, they were not satisfied by it and decided to set for nothing less than political rights.
  • The international forum responded heavily by imposing sanctions on South Africa if it did not abolish apartheid.

After the abolition of apartheid in 1993, the ANC swiftly gained popularity and was able to establish a black majority rule. Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa. He and Mbecke led a successful transition to a black majority rule without any outbreak of civil war. Some contributions of the ANC were:

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up to check the apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela had gained huge popularity both at home and abroad for his leadership qualities and restraint. He was a staunch believer of forgiveness.
  • Mbecki although a little slow to deal with the issues and facing several economic problems, did manage to reach South Africa to positive economic growth. In 2004 when he was re-elcted various black houses received electricity and their dignity was enhances. There was diversification of exports and growth of tourism industry.
Question for UPSC Mains:
Why was apartheid in South Africa brought to an end, and how successfully did the ANC govern the country up until 2009?

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

Comments