Explain the causes of disparity: South Africa was colonised in 1652. The Dutch East India Company set up Cape Town as a half-way station between Amsterdam and South-East Asia. The Dutch soon recognised the possibilities South Africa and sent company servants to start farming the land. The Dutch soon established slavery as the main labour force in South Africa. Slaves were imported from South-East Asia, Madagascar and Mozambique as well as the Indigenous people of South Africa. While some were owned by the company and laboured on company farms, outposts and docks, many were sold to Europeans settlers to become domestic servants or labour on private farms. Soon, slaves outnumbered settlers. While slave revolts were uncommon and minor, desertion was common and many joined Indigenous groups or formed their own groups. During the Napoleonic wars, the British took over South Africa and then later returned it to the Dutch as part of a peace treaty. When the Napoleonic wars resumed the British took back South Africa. Slavery was abolished in 1834 but many slaves continued to work as farm labourers. These people experienced poor working conditions and living conditions (long hours). The “dop system” was also prevalent, especially in the Western Cape where wine farms were common, where workers were paid with jugs of sweet wine instead of money. This led to these people becoming dependant on alcohol, which is still a huge problem in the Western Cape, as well as making these people unable to become independent by earning a wage.
Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racism including a system of legislation that upheld segregationalist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa. Apartheid was caused by the fear white people had that the non-white people would take their jobs as well as a feeling of superiority that stemmed from slavery. The National party created policies of white supremacy which aimed to empower white South Africans, descendants from Dutch and British settlers. Different races were to live separately from each other as well as use separate public facilities. Marriages were banned between different races. The population registration act created the base for apartheid by classifying everyone in four categories; black people, white people, coloured people and Asian people. Laws gave the white minority 80% of the land in South Africa and denied non-white participation in government. It was even referred to as “separate development”. Black people were forcibly removed from their homes and this land was sold cheaply to white people, plunging the black people into poverty. School was compulsory for white, coloured and Asian people but not for Black people and most of the education budget was spent on the schooling for white people. Schools were also seen as a major vehicle for propagation of its beliefs.