The apartheid era in South Africa was a period of oppression and inequality that had attracted capitalism. To uphold racist order requires continuous scrutiny and recurring doings to brutally dismiss any effort that aimed at defying or posing any form of challenges towards apartheid or capitalism. The apartheid system served, both, to defend as well as to preserve the rights and capital of the previously white dominant class.
The apartheid system also certified to maintain the cheapest potential labor supply not only for local capitalists but also for foreign corporations. This essay will discuss how racism was functional to South African capitalism during the apartheid era by looking at the Bandstand, Bantu education system, passport systems and inequality amongst the oppressed black citizens and how they played a role in capitalism under the apartheid regime in South Africa.
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During the apartheid era, South African economic development was profoundly structured by racial labor policies, shaped by ideology and a violent racially repressive socio-political environment thus it was inevitable for the state to become capitalist because apartheid and capitalism had similar features that complimented ACH other such as inequality, oppression, exploitation, a distinction between those regarded as superior and those regarded as inferior whereby in the apartheid system, the inferior were the black people, who would take the role of proletariat’s (workers) in a capitalist system, and the superior were the white people who would take the role of the bourgeoisie, those who own the nears of production, in a capitalist system.. Capitalism can be understood as an economic structure whereby capital resources are privately owned. In order to ensure a sustainable profit in a market economy, goods and services are produced. In a capitalist system, those who own the nears of production determine the prices that goods and services are traded.
The main features of capitalism comprise the procedure of capital growth, viable markets as well as wage labor. Systems such as Bantu education, Pass Laws and Bandstand, introduced by the apartheid government enabled capitalism to be functional within South Africa during the apartheid era. The control of the black political encounter by the apartheid government involved the removal of all human rights which blacks and all the other citizens who were labeled ‘non-white’ had and placed them with completely new and different oppressive laws which would ensure that any radical organized opposition remained prohibited, thus the lack of any rights for black people would easily enable capitalism to be functional within South Africa.
The apartheid government took action in order to prevent and comprise the increase of burden on the level of minimum wages that would be issued to Black laborers; under such circumstances, one can consider the Natives Act that prohibited black people to demand higher wages or upgraded working conditions. Trade unions to represent any of the black laborers were not legally recognized, this was to ensure that black people remained without a voice to protest against any law presented by the government and to allow capitalist to exploit African workers to the fullest and generate large profits, therefore, it is evident that racism was functional to South African capitalism.
The apartheid government had full control of the development of strong black laborers’ pressure for higher wages; this can be recognized as one of the important methods that were introduced by the racist overspent relating to black Jobs and physical movement by black workers. The obligations of these methods had been disguised by the terms what seemed to be understood as the fitting and correct rules introduced by the apartheid government in their strategy statements to the consequence that black people would not be regarded as permanent citizens in the urban areas, thus their presence in urban areas would be temporary and only relevant if they were serving the needs of white people. The introduction of the Pass Laws as well as the Native Urban Areas Act of 925 was developed to ensure full control of the right of residence in urban areas.
The Pass Laws alongside the development of labor organizations, served to guide Black workers to where White capitalists needed them and their cheap labor, this had an influence through a series of adjustments to old apartheid laws. The introduction of new laws unquestionably entitled the apartheid government to excessively oppress and exploit Blacks and presented exceptionally wide power that enabled the apartheid government to move Blacks out of one area and into another, if it suited and benefited them. Under the dominant internal passport system, all Blacks had to carry racial identification passes. They are barred from entering “white only” areas except to work. They are herded into barren “homelands” where women, children and surplus workers are forced to eke out a pitiful existence.
Since 1960, 3. 5 million blacks have been forcibly moved into designated tribal homelands. Some 8 million blacks have been stripped of South African citizenship by classifying them citizens of the homelands. In the past year alone, 160,000 blacks were arrested for acts against the pass laws. There was essentially a lack of permitted boundaries on he above mentioned powers, this allowed the apartheid government to freely remove Blacks from areas where their labor was not required or needed, without anyone questioning them. The racist government of the apartheid era placed Blacks in distant, inaccessible areas where they would be politically harmless.
As other international states became aware of the oppressive ways of the apartheid government, they began to put pressure on the apartheid government thus they came up with the Bantus policy of separate development, which one can argue that it was the response the external political pressures . According to Svelte, The Bandstand policy was considered in a manner that would not only distract opposition but also, it would ensure that there was no conflict in urban areas where Whites stayed, but only in the rural homelands where Blacks stayed, through this, the Blacks would desire a better life thus going to the urban areas and seeking a better standard of living through selling their labor very cheap and dealing with exploitation in return of a wage that would help them to improve their standard of living, this strategy clearly indicates that racism was functional to South African fatalism.
The result of separation of races in the Bandstand was to ensure that the economic and political purposes of the Reserves remained the same, without any form of change (Legalistic, 1972: 30) and thus to preserve the social basics of the system of cheap black labor. Through the development of policies of labor force, the cheapness of Black labor increased in the urban industrial areas, which indicates that racism was indeed functional to South African capitalism. The state which South Africa was in under the apartheid era can be identified as a mechanism f oppression by the dominant white racial group over the disadvantaged Blacks who had limited access to anything that would enable them to fight the ‘superior’ race.
Separation of racial groups during the apartheid era provided a strong political structure for the oppressive apartheid government. One can argue that the apartheid government strives to maintain the frequency of surplus or additional value and growth in the appearance of the division of the pre-capitalist economy. The apartheid government structured the separate development in a manner that would ensure that a high rate of capitalist exploitation was well maintained through a Truckee which assured capitalists had endless access to cheap and controlled labor-force of Blacks; this indicates that racism was functional to South African capitalism.
Even Blacks who had some sort of ownership of agricultural resources in the Bandstand, opted for employment in the capitalist urban areas for wages, this was because the Bandstand were rural and had no economic growth and development as it lacked any form of industrialization. The apartheid government ensured that Reserves had no access to foreign investments and innovative technological advances, this was to ensure that the economic situation of many Blacks was filled with desperation which would inevitable allow for capitalism to enter into, lives of Blacks and convert the rural Black economy by presenting Jobs that rewarded them with minimum wages due to the fact that the condition of the homelands where Blacks stayed was of dismal insufficiency and poverty stricken.
Blacks in Bandstand lived below the level of maintenance. It was without doubt that in order for capitalism in South Africa to remain strong, there was a huge demand for Black workers thus the apartheid government enforced low standards of living in Bandstand so that Blacks would go out seeking for employment from capitalists. Another peculiar feature of the labor-force presented by the apartheid government was the introduction of Bantu Education, which ensured that Blacks received poor education that would only enable them to do hard, man, physical labor and restricted them from gaining an education that would help them in any way to become intellectuals.
Bantu education restricted Blacks from ever getting qualified enough to attain qualifications that would enable them to seek employment as lawyers, doctors or any other high post in the urban areas, thus with the poor level of education, Blacks had no choice but to work for exploitive capitalist because that is all they were perceived to be good at, nothing else. This kind of indoctrination and educational system shows that racism was functional to South African capitalism. This essay has shown that Apartheid…. The separation of races under the apartheid system can be understood as a philosophy which tolerated and replicated capitalist associations of construction.
The dominant white government continuously changed conditions within South Africa in ways that only benefited the white class and intended to exploit the black population and through this, racism assisted capitalism to proper in more than one way. However, it is worth noting that capitalism can exist even in a state that does not promote racism, in so saying, one should bear in mind that capitalism did not necessarily need apartheid in order for it to exist because apartheid came to an end and capitalism still exists. Nevertheless, the capitalist class stood firmly behind the racist South African government. They had evidently reaped and continued to reap the benefits of racist exploitation. Capitalists were getting rich off cheap black labor in South Africa.