The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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This publication explains why apartheid was abandoned by South Africa's ruling white National Party (NP) in detail and why the NP was brought back to the negotiating table with the African National Congress and other black political organisations.

Until 1970, those white interest groups which perceived themselves to be adversely affected by a market economy successfully used apartheid to control 'colour-blind' social and economic forces to their advantage. From 1970, however, power shifted, first to other white groups with interests in the erosion or abolition of apartheid and later from whites to blacks, who also undermined apartheid. In this way, anti-apartheid market forces were directed initially by whites, then by blacks. The author examines the underlying conditions for these shifts of power and the NP's failure to maintain apartheid.

It is argued that the revolutionary attempts by black political organisations to influence or initiate change through armed struggle, education boycotts, sanctions and 'mass mobilisation' proved disastrous in consequence. The author suggests that political action was not necessary to end apartheid, since apartheid's dismantling displayed key characteristics: apartheid legislation was already unenforced or unenforceable before its repeal; the decisive pressure on apartheid came from people, not political activists or organisations; and people defied apartheid for socio-economic rather than political reasons. In this publication, written in the early years of South Africa's democracy, apartheid's decline is examined under three categories, that of occupational, geographical and political apartheid. It is thus of great historical and sociological interest to researchers and theorists.

Product information

Format : 148mm x 210mm
Pages : 160
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-1821-X
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-1821-5
Publish Year : 1997

The demise of occupational apartheid

The demise of geographical apartheid

The demise of political apartheid

Economic sanctions against South Africa

Forward to people's war

The New South Africa

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D

Glossary of Terms


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