The Legacy of Apartheid haunts the functioning of SA families

2013-01-11 14:22

In the dawn of South Africa’s celebrated constitutional democracy; promoting equality, accountability and accessibility to services. Inequality remains a reality for many people, the constant increasing gap between the rich and poor, unemployment, crime and corruption puts families in deprivation and disparity. This essay will discuss the impact of Apartheid in shaping contemporary families by taking into account racial and ethnic patterns in South Africa.

The legacy of Apartheid still haunts the functioning of South African families. Due to the vast racial, gender and class inequalities, the core functions of a family are in jeopardy. Firstly, socialization remains a vital aspect in which parents have the responsibility to teach and instill positive values to their children as tomorrow’s workforce. However, many South Africans live under poverty circumstance thus parents are more focused on gaining employment, survival and wellbeing instead of mentoring their children to become active citizens. Black people were taught under the Bantu Education system which deprived them of quality education, they were not equipped with the necessary skills to become professions (Ramphele, 1993: 30).

Nonetheless, South Africa’s increased political freedom and equality in its dawn of democracy has had an enormous influence on the way in which families perceive ideas and theories about family. Before 1994, families in South Africa were shaped by political ideology, as black people fighting for liberation and white people enjoying the benefits of bias laws. Family identities were formed by race, class and ethnicity, consequently the reality of nationalism did not exist during Apartheid (Ramphele, 1993: 23). Families that originate from deprived circumstances of Apartheid are the most affected by inequality and social disparity. It is without a doubt that the legacy of Apartheid still haunts the functioning of South African families.

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