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APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA SITUATION OF BLACKS BY NANDINI MAHARAJ
SITUATION OF BLACKS Although they made up the vast majority of the population, black Africans suffered even worse discrimination than black people in the USA. The whites dominated politics and the economic life of the new state, and, with only a few exceptions. Black people had to do most of the manual work in factories, in the gold mines and on farms; the men mostly lived in barracks accommodation away from their wives and children.
Black people generly were expected o ive in areas reseved for them away from white residential areas. These reserved areas made up only about 7 per cent of the total area of South Africa and were not large enough to enable the Africans to produce sufficient food for themselves and to pay all their taxes. Black Africans were forbidden to buy land outside the reserves The government controlled the movement of blacks by a system of pass laws. For example, a black person could not live in a town unless he had a pass showing that he was working in a white-owned business.
An African could not leave the farm where he worked without a pass from his employer; nor could he get a new job unless his previous employer signed him out officially; even under abusive employers. Living and working conditions for blacks were primitive; .for example, in the goldmining industry, Africans had to live in single-sex compounds with sometimes as many as 90 men sharing a dormitory. By a law of 1911, black workers were forbidden to strike and were barred from holding skilled jobs.
The Natives' Land Act of 1913 severely restricted the ownership of land by blacks, at that stage natives controlled only 7% of the country
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