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Apartheid: Separate Ameneties Act 1953

Essay by   •  March 26, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  1,158 Words (5 Pages)  •  7,530 Views

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Separate Amenities Act:

The Separate Amenities Act was a South African law put in place during the Apartheid era, 1953 to reserve the best of the country’s resources like public premises, vehicles and services were reserved for white people. The only thing that was an exception to the law. This law increased and enforced the segregation of all the different races but unlike in America which had the ideal of “separate but equal” in South Africa the facilities were allowed to be of different standards.

This law was implemented by putting up boards that notified the people certain areas were reserved for white people or non-whites, they were put up in places like parks, beaches, stadiums, toilets, public pools and benches. If I person sat somewhere that was not designated for their race they were either prosecuted or brutally beaten by the police.

This law affected all races, some positively and some negatively the positively. Those who were affected positively were the white people as they got to use the best of all facilities, those who were affected were non-whites as they had to use facilities that were of a lower standard to the white people.

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Interviewer: What year were you born and do you think that would have at all have influenced the way you experienced Apartheid?

Interviewee: I was born in 1964 and being born at that time certainly influenced how I experienced apartheid because it was right in the middle of the nationalist party rule which came into power in 1948, and in 1964 that’s when former president Nelson Mandela was sentenced for life.

Interviewer: Regarding the Separate Amenities act, did you ever experience it or know someone who did, if so, how so?

Interviewee: When I grew up, I was born in a rural area, so I never…growing up, going to school and going all the way up to high school, I never directly experienced it. In fact I wasn’t even so much aware of it, growing up in a rural areas, I just thought that I could go anywhere I wanted to go and whether it’s a school or business, basically I didn’t know that I would be forbidden, but as I grew up, the more I came to know about separate amenities, it was in fact during a time when apartheid laws were beginning to repealed. At the school where I went, the high school where I did grade 11 and 12 it was a blacks only school but the teachers were mixed, in fact half the teachers were white and half were black and they had separate staff rooms, black teachers had their owns staffrooms and white teachers had their own staffrooms, they couldn’t use the same facilities.

Interviewer: What did you think about Apartheid and the more specifically the Separate Amenities Act?

Interviewee: I thought it was not a good act at all or legislation. It forced people to live separately if they were from different backgrounds or cultures, if you didn’t do that you were liable for imprisonment, you were breaking the law of the land, which is what was really bad about it because it was legislated segregation.

 Interviewer: What is the law that mostly affected you during the Apartheid era?

Interviewee: The law that most affected me? Although I grew up not really aware of what was happening but I think that Bantu education would have affected the kind of education that I received. Although I know that I don’t believe that there was anything inferior about it but I think that that’s the law that would have mostly affected me because the privileged white schools had all the facilities, science laboratories and everything, all the facilities they needed for learning but at the school where I was there wasn’t any facilities or any laboratories that would help or facilitate the learning during my time. For example although physical science was part of the curriculum, I never really did it until grade 11 and 12 when I was at a school where there were teachers, and facilities like laboratories. Before that, although the teachers were supposed to teach it right from grade… well right from primary school up to grade 10, the teachers didn’t know science, couldn’t teach it, although they were supposed to, so they were many  years that I missed out and lost out so that affected my education. I think that the apartheid laws affected me mostly in terms of the kind of education I got because of the poor or lack of facilities at the schools. I do know that other race groups, like the whites, in terms of government subsidies, got the most and then the Indians were second and then the coloured people were third and the African people were right at the bottom of the pile



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