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Politics and Labour

Politics & Labour

Expanding the Narrative of South African art
Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Architects, fine-artists, photographers, sculptors etc.

Science & Medicine

Notable theorists, scientists & doctors
Community & Religious Leaders

Community & Religious Leaders

                    
Writers & Thinkers

Writers & Thinkers

South Africa's great literary & philosophical minds
Popular Culture

Popular Culture

celebrities, sports stars, musicians, etc
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An age of Hope

Landmarks in a century of struggle (1900s)

Turning points

great overview of South Africa's history

Organisations

Histories of Political, Civic & International organisations

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Culture and Society

Origins of South African Society, heritage and the arts

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History of place

Land dispossession, forced removals, town and country

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History of elections in South Africa

Turning-point elections in South Africa, 1910 - 2009

Regular elections are widely regarded as indicators of democracy. Most African societies in the 20th century were characterized by governments that stayed in power over extended periods of time, with tyrannies of varying types holding on to political office despite their growing unpopularity. This has led to most observers equating regular elections with democratic systems. South Africa has held regular elections since the establishment of Union in 1910. Yet, until 1994, South Africa was reduced to be a pariah state, precisely because it was roundly condemned as undemocratic.

This feature examines the history of elections in South Africa from 1910 to 2009, selecting “turning-point” elections that became political expressions defining modern day South Africa for generations. The 1910 election gave expression to the majority of white South Africans’ desire for the forging of a racially divided society. The second in 1948 was an expression of a lack of confidence in the ability of segregationist policies to contain Black resistance to white rule. The third held in 1994, represented the triumph of the struggle for non racial democracy over systems based on racial oppression. Each of these will be examined in greater detail ... read on.