The Republic of South Africa is a country made up of several different cultures and languages, a struggling economy as well as a struggling government. South Africa has 11 recognized official languages along with several others. The variation in languages and cultures as given the country the name “Rainbow nation”.
It has a population of over 50 million people and a land area of 1.22 million square kilometers. Everyday life in South Africa varies greatly depending on skin color, the white population has a great advantage. The remaining 85% of the population has Third World living standard. The large unemployment rate of 26,2% (in 2003) leads to high poverty rates.
Even though South Africa has the largest economy the country still struggles with both HIV and AIDS, about 5.3 million people suffer from it in South Africa alone. The Republic of South Africa has seen major events in history take place, many of these with a racist background or reasoning behind them. The history of South Africa starts as early as the 4th century with migrants from the north settling. In 1652 the Dutch East India Company founds the Cape Colony, in 1795 British forces seize the Cape Colony from the Netherlands.
Territory is taken back to the Netherlands in 1803 and then again taken by the British forces in 1806. During 1860-1911 several labourers as well as traders arrived to South Africa from India, these are the forefathers of the majority of the Indian people in South Africa. The Native National Congress is founded in 1912, which is later on renamed the African National Congress (ANC).
The black populations was in 1913 banned to buy land outside of reserves, this did not apply to those living in Cape Province. In 1914 the National Party was founded, this would later on lead to the apartheid. The last of the British power was discarded in 1934, this lead to South africa being declared “a sovereign independent state”. The policy of apartheid is set in place when the National Party sets into power in 1948. Two years later the population is classified into groups by race, the Group Area Act is passed in order to segregate the black population from the white. The Communist Party is banned and the ANC declared a campaign of civil disobedience, all led by Nelson Mandela. In 1960 700 black demonstrators are killed and the ANC is banned.
In 1964 Nelson Mandela, the leader of ANC is sentenced to life long imprisonment, two years late the Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd is assassinated. During the 1960’s South Africa was facing international pressure against the government which led to the Olympic Games banning them. During the 1970’s over 3 million black people were forced into black “homelands”, this may have been one of the causes leading to the 600 people being killed in clashes when black people protested the security forces, this started the uprising in Soweto. Several ANC activist were freed in 1989 after the presidential shift, public facilities were desegregated and the following year the ban towards the ANC was lifted. The ban being lifted was not the only event of 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment.
Multi-party thoughts reach into play and the last of the apartheid laws are repealed, as well as the international sanctions being lifted are events of 1991. In April of 1994 the African National Congress won the first non-racial elections, Nelson Mandela becomes president and the Republic of South Africa takes seat in the UN General Assembly after a 20-year leave.