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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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  • (RP) strictly IPA: /əˈpɑːthaɪt/, SAMPA: /@"pA:thaIt/ or IPA: /əˈpɑːtheɪt/, SAMPA: /@"pA:theIt/ but the h is very often not pronounced because of the difficulty of following /t/ by /h/
  • (US) strictly enPR: ə-pärtʹhīt, IPA: /əˈpɑrthaɪt/, SAMPA: /@"pArthaIt/  Audio (US)help, file or enPR: ə-pärtʹhāt, IPA: /əˈpɑrtheɪt/  Audio (US)help, file, SAMPA: /@"pArtheIt/ but the h is very often not pronounced because of the difficulty of following /t/ by /h/


From Afrikaans apartheid (1929 in a South African socio-political context), literally "separateness", "apartness", from Dutch apart (separate) (from French àpart) + suffix -heid, cognate of English -hood.




apartheid (uncountable)

  1. The policy of racial separation used in South Africa from 1948 to 1990.
  2. By extension, any similar policy of racial separation.


  • 1963 "When the doors of a business are open to the public, they must be open to all regardless of race if apartheid is not to become engrained in our public [...]" — Lombard v. Louisiana 373 U.S. 267 (Justice William O. Douglas, concurring)






  1. apartheid




  1. apartheid



Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it


apartheid m. inv.

  1. apartheid

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|Sign at a beach in Cape Town: This beach has been reserved for white persons only.]] [[File:|thumb|right|250px|Sign from South Africa during apartheid]] Apartheid was a political system in South Africa, which was in use in the 20th century, mainly between the 1940s and the 1980s. In the system, the people of South Africa were divided by their race. Even though black people were the majority in the country, a small number of white people ruled them and held most political offices. There were laws that kept up the racial separation. The system of Apartheid was abolished in South Africa in 1994. The last president of the Apartheid regime was Frederik Willem de Klerk, the first non-white president was Nelson Mandela. Both were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. Today, the term apartheid is sometimes used to speak about similar systems in other countries.


How it worked

During apartheid, people were divided into racial groups and kept apart by law. The system was used to deny many rights of non-white people. The laws allowed the white minority to keep the black majority out of certain areas. Black people had to carry special papers (passes) or have permission to live and work in particular areas. The government separated mixed communities and forcibly moved many people. Many laws were made, for example: people of different races were not allowed to get married; black people could not own land; and black people could not vote.

Many countries and the United Nations did not agree with the South African government's policies. There were protests in South Africa, like in Sharpeville in 1960 and in Soweto in 1976. The Soweto uprising started because Africans were forced to study some subjects at school in Afrikaans. Many black people did not like Afrikaans because it was not the first language of black people, but the language of the apartheid government.

Finally, after much struggle, the South African government ended apartheid in 1994. After that, equal rights were shared among both black and whites. Nelson Mandela stood up to apartheid and became president when apartheid was ended. Although granted equal rights since 1994, 90 percent of the country's poor people are non-white, and so poverty remains a big problem.

Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning "separateness".


The aim of apartheid was to separate all the people of South Africa into small independent nations. But the National Party government did not want to spend a lot of money on this project. Also, they wanted to keep most of South Africa's land for white people. Especially the rich parts of the country, like the gold mines of Johannesburg. They also wanted black people to work in these mines for little money. But they did not want black men's families to live in the same area.

Other related pages

South Africa under apartheid



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