Make your own free website on

Boundaries and shapes of states

The development of Apartheid in South Africa

Population registration act (1948)
citizens classified as members of one of four racial groups:

White - 5 million
Asian - 1 million
Coloured -  3.5 million
Black - 29 million

Throughout the early 1950's a series of laws were passed to institutionalize racism.

Separate amenities act
White and non-white amenities were designated.

Mixed marriages act
to prevent 'mixed marriages'

Immorality act
to prevent social contact between races

Group areas act
to segregate residential areas on the basis of race

1960's formal Apartheid
Creation of black bantustans or  homelands - based on ethnicity.

By granting independence, blacks were expected to exercise their political rights in their own 'countries.'

Non-contiguous territories with no significant mineral resources or farmland.

Boundaries were drawn to avoid major core areas, infrastructure and resources.

As the bantustans were 'independent countries,'  Blacks had to have a pass to enter South Africa.

Severe backwash effects were created as able bodied males migrated far for work.

In reality, by the 1980's, half the black population lived in 'White' South Africa.

International sanctions in the 1980's and the end of the cold war led to the dismantling of apartheid in 1994.

Why did apartheid last as long as it did?
Why did it take world powers like the U.S. so long to condemn apartheid?

East/West divide: communist and noncommunist countries respectively.

domino theory: if one country in a region chose or was forced to accept a communist political and economic system, then neighboring countries would be irresistibly susceptible to falling to communism.

North/South divide: the differentiation made between the colonizing states of the northern hemisphere and the formerly colonized states of the southern hemisphere.

colonialism: the formal establishment and maintenance of rule by a sovereign power over a foreign population including the establishment of settlements.

decolonization: the acquisition, by colonized peoples, of control over their own territory.

neocolonialism: the domination of peripheral states by core states, not by direct political intervention but by economic and cultural influence and control.

unitary state: a form of government in which power is concentrated in the central government.

federal state: a form of government in which power is allocated to units of local government within the country.


Aryeetey-Attoh, Samuel 1997 Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ

Johnston, R.J. Dictionary of Human Geography Blackwell Press 2000