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South Africa: A Case Study Analysis

1450 words - 6 pages

South Africa is one of the most developed nations in Africa, though like all other developed nations, it was not always that way. The major developments occurred over an extended period of time and were, arguably, brought on by many different factors. Previous literature and theories tell what helped the nation come to a state of development. One such theory is that the apartheid’s previously established democratic institutions contributed to the government’s smooth transition into democracy. Additionally, an indigenous model employed in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, also contributed to the transition from the old apartheid system of rule to the evenly applied democracy it currently has. A case study on poverty and well-being in South Africa, in the post-apartheid era, sheds some light on the truth to these theories. My hypothesis, based on data from the World Bank and this case study, is that South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, paired with the apartheid regime’s previously established democratic institutions, helped the nation democratize. However, some of the “traditions” under the apartheid have contributed to the stunting of South Africa’s economic development.
South Africa was initially colonized by the Dutch, who arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. Albeit, the tellers of South African history, mainly the Afrikaners, claim that the area was essentially unoccupied at the time the Dutch arrived, there were actually indigenous tribes already there which the Dutch then enslaved. Moving forward to 1795, the Dutch colony was seized by the British. Because of the British takeover, the Cape Colony Boers, the Dutch settlers and their slaves, migrated to interior portion of African in an attempt to regain sovereignty. This migration was slowed when the Boers ran into resistance of previously established kingdoms and tribes that occupied the area and became involved in the Boer Wars. After a few years of battling it out with these tribes, the Afrikaners established themselves in South Africa’s interior by the early 1840s. The British endured this establishment until diamonds and gold were discovered in the interior, at which point English-speakers overwhelmed the city of Johannesburg, leading it to become an English-speaking dominated region. Attempts were made to limit English influence on the area, however, a rebellion among the English was incited; subsequently, war was declared on England by the president of the Boers. The Boers were outnumbered and were defeated in 1902. Following their defeat, the Afrikaners and the English reached a peace agreement and which was finalized in 1910, forming the Union of South Africa. Because of this union, the English and the Afrikaners joined to form a collective British colony. The Afrikaners had political rights, though the black did not, but because the English held a majority of the wealth, the Afrikaners formed their own political party, known as the National...

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