How did apartheid affect people's lives?

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Apartheid in South Africa significantly affected people’s lives. This system of governance divided the country along racial lines. It increased racial prejudice between the people of South Africa, since the white race was deemed superior to others. Apartheid laws favored the whites at the expense of other races in the country. For instance, white people had access to the best public facilities, unlike their non-white counterparts (e.g., Indians, coloreds, and blacks). As a result, the black population was adversely affected. Their career options were limited, and unlike the whites, they received a second-rate education. High school education was the most many could hope for, and, as such, they could not pursue high-paying careers in fields like medicine or law. Furthermore, blacks would not be allowed into certain territories without providing their identification cards. Ultimately, Apartheid claimed many people’s lives, dispossessed many blacks, and caused unmitigated racial discrimination.

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Apartheid laws in South Africa during the second part of the 20th century impacted the lives of South Africans in significant ways. For example, the Race Classification Act, which allowed the government to classify individuals not deemed European into racial categories, actually split families in some situations; in some cases, the parents were designated as 'colored' while the children were designated 'white.' This system divided groups and created more cultural and interpersonal distance between South Africans, especially when the government began to remove people from their homes in order to move them to areas designated for their race. In many cases, black South Africans were removed from their farmlands and their property was then sold cheaply to white farmers who had more of a claim to the land due to their racial classification. When resistance began to take place by individuals who insisted that South Africa was for everyone, violence ensued. Revolts, demonstrations, strikes and protests affected many people on both sides of the conflict as death, injury, imprisonment and abuse resulted from the resistance movement.

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