13 Apr 2022


Post-Apartheid Effects on Black People

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Post-Apartheid South Africa has had a myriad of challenges that can be traced to the excesses of the former regimes. Besides poverty and the general state of despondency, the people are also exposed to violence from many quarters. South Africans are yet to reap the full fruits of the freedom they fought to enjoy. A pointer to this undesirable state is the fact that most South Africans still live in informal settlements prone to high levels of crime. Soweto Slum, for instance, is Africa’s largest slum yet the country tops the continent in riches. This paper discusses the many cases of violence met at South Africans after the Apartheid era in cases related to health and power.

The regime of President Thabo Mbeki was characterized by some challenges that saw the public express their displeasure openly for the first time since independence. One cause of the discontent way the country handled the fight against the international scourge, HIV/AIDS. South Africa is one of the most hit nations globally. Part of the reason the disease spread in the country was because inappropriate government measures put up to tame it. There was a certain level of denial from the government that the disease was within the control of local mechanisms and that there was no need to raise public awareness as other countries did. The minister for health, Tshabalala-Msimang was often quoted referring to local medication as the best cure for the disease and consequently discouraging the use of antiretroviral drugs. Many patients went for these solutions and ended up dying out of non-treatment. The effectiveness of these local drugs was not as desired ( Levine, 2012)

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The same regime that downplayed the seriousness of the disease was on the offensive harassing activists and citizens who demonstrated while demanding action from the government over this issue. People had realized that the government’s stand on this agenda was not genuine and was responsible for the many deaths they witnessed each day. This prompted them to accuse the government of conspiring to execute genocide on its people. Street protests always attracted police brutality and several arrests (Kleinman, 2000). On closer look, it was somewhat clear that the government was interested in promoting the use of local medication so as to benefit some few individuals who were in the government. The evidence of direct benefit to some government officials got to public knowledge and brought out a clear discontent among them. Ministerial position on the issue became more evident with time and public outcry from all nations was no longer possible to contain. South African rural and poor residents died faster since they could not afford the local medicine sold. The ARVs was their only hope since it was given out free. In a real sense, the government can be accused to have orchestrated these deaths. In the modern day South Africa, such does not happen. Lessons were learnt from the previous faults and had consequently added to the new fight against the scourge. 

People living with AIDS face stigma from the society. Even with the abandonment and despair, they will try to fend for themselves despite the medical incapacitation ( Ross, 2010) . This is a form of violence and has been witnessed in the country. Poor education and awareness campaigns have contributed to this kind state of affairs. The governments stand to promote local solutions and shun scientific treatment was ill-advised and is cited as the leading cause of the many deaths that have so far happened. Such deliberate denial of proven remedies can be termed a violation of human rights ( Levine, 2012)

South Africa has also witnessed a series of violence among the blacks. Xenophobic tendencies have fueled power struggles in the post-apartheid democracy. Locals have a feeling that blacks from other countries residing in South Africa are putting them at losing end in the scramble for the available jobs. The reason for this resurgence of xenophobia can be attributed to economic challenges that are not duly being addressed by the country. Violence remains an option for self-expression to people who have lost hope. It is also an avenue through which many other political maneuvers have been seen to happen. Violence in public protests has been the order of the day as people demonstrate. In the coal mining sector, the power plays employed by the owners of the mines have put them at loggerheads with the workers. The conflict hinged on terms of service has been the cause of much unrest witnessed in the country. The miners on their hand are always accused of violence against the owners of the mines and the others they perceive to be in support of the miners. Their conflict with the police is often violent resulting in the loss of lives (Kleinman, 2000).

The post-Apartheid regime in South Africa has been rocked by many acts of violence among the blacks. The challenges of the black people have been on matters of economic, political and social issues. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, which falls on the social issues, has attracted ill-treatment among the patients ( Ross, 2010) . It is considered an act of violence to subject these vulnerable people to inhumane treatment. The government has had to take its part of the blame on this and now it is possible to support better lifestyles among the patients. The future that is desired is that with no violence but peace.


Kleinman, A. (2000). The Violence of Everyday Life. The Multiple Forms and Dynamics of Social Violence . In Das, V. “ Violence and Subjectivity .” University of California Press. 

Levine, S. (2012). Testing knowledge: Legitimacy, healing and medicine in South Africa . HSRC Press

Ross F. C. (2010). “Chapter Seven: Illness and Accompaniment ” in “ Raw Life, New Hope: Decency, Housing and Everyday Life in a Post-apartheid Community .” London: Juta and Company Ltd, pp168-200

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