Essay: Negative Impact of Post Apertheid

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[. . .] This congestion and inadequate social amenities especially for the poor black people led to the outbreak of diseases that claim the lives of hundreds of people. Hard economic conditions due to inequality is a major contributor to people's participation in social evils such as prostitution and drug abuse. Prostitution is high in major cities of South Africa because young people cannot find jobs.

High crime rates in towns and cities are also a result of negative economic impact of apartheid. Research and studies point out that, the majority of the population prefers to stay in the cities irrespective of the hardships rather than going back to the rural areas. The apartheid regime segregated the African rural areas, and there is little or no economic activities taking place in these areas. The land is infertile and supports little agriculture. The post apartheid era is characterized by hatred and bitterness especially in the utilization of public resources, which were initially exclusively for the whites. Poor living standards and economic hardship brought about by the apartheid policies of segregation led to the formation of big slums in the country. There is absolute poverty in the slums accelerated by the outbreak of deadly diseases such as HIV and Aids. Weiss, Cortright, Lopez & Minear (1997) explains that the sanctions from the apartheid era cost many jobs in South Africa and consequently led to increased poverty and insecurity in the cities especially among the majority population.

This resulted from the fact that the economy grew at a slower rate than the increase in population. Loss of jobs led to poor welfare among the people. Very few people could afford proper health services due to restrictions by the white minority. Poor health services resulting from economic hardships led to increased infant and child mortality rates in South Africa during the post apartheid era. Weiss, Cortright, Lopez & Minear (1997) explains further that, the mortality rates due to poor living condition and poor health services in the post apartheid era was two times higher for the blacks than whites. Studies show that the major impact of apartheid in South Africa was the slowest rate of job creation and resultant job loss when imposition of sanctions to the nation took place. This situation dominated in the better part of the post apartheid era due to slow structural and economic reforms that would pave the way for job creation and economic stability. Perpetrators of apartheid policies could not easily intermingle with the rest of the population and allow a smooth flow of economic activities.

Post apartheid period in South Africa experienced non-whites labor deficits in the labor market because of hatred and lack of faith to one another between blacks and whites. The whites still dominated most of the economic resources and jobs were on racial grounds irrespective of one's qualifications. Deficits in the black labor market are also because of the poor education and learning facilities to African schools and colleges during the apartheid era. Discrimination in the labor market shuns many qualified blacks from getting suitable jobs especially in the whites dominated sectors. Wage disparities and gaps between the whites because of the apartheid policy discouraged many blacks from working in the same environment with the whites. Low rates of domestic savings in the post apartheid in South Africa slowed the pace of economic development especially in the regions dominated by blacks. Low rates of investment due to lack of capital and the necessary infrastructure do not pave the way for economic development in South Africa.

According to Lachman & Bercusion (1992), the early attempts to improve distribution of resources faced two main challenges. Improving resource distribution to the less advantaged in the country through fiscal expenditures would divert resources needed for investment. These measures would also require taxation, which may introduce strong disincentives to work. Higher wages that the whites continued to receive during the post apartheid era do not help to improve the overall living standards or help in the distribution of income. The high wages act raises a steep barrier between the employed whites' population and the unemployed black population. The apartheid policy negatively affected the South African economy due to distortions from the political policies and views. The policies aim to exclude the African majority from significant participation in the nation's wealth.

The post apartheid South African economy continued to experience much of apartheid segregation that accelerates hunger, malnutrition and under education especially in the larger parts occupied by blacks. Purely local resources could not sustain industrial development and growth that could absorb the large population. This is because of the sanctions that trade partners earlier imposed. Economic historical facts show that the post apartheid period experienced stagnations due to a reduction in foreign capital. To overcome capital and financial deficits in the industrial sector, investors opted to keep African wages significantly low. This resulted in mass protests and condemnation. The new government from mid 1990s faced a great challenge of improving the living standards of the people and managing the country's resources profitability. Reconstruction and development programs faced various challenges especially politically. This is because the new government inherited an extremely poor and uneducated society from the apartheid regime.

The apartheid affected the economy negatively because it benefited one side of the nation's population. The other side, which forms the majority, did not get an equal share of the national wealth. Attaining economic equality after the apartheid era required a stable political environment and a government dedicated towards the improvement of its citizens' welfare. Corruption and embezzlement of funds directed towards raising living standards by political leaders slowed down the pace of economic development. Provision of basic amenities in the society required taxation and foreign funding. Most of the donor agencies were still holding on to the sanctions long after the end of the apartheid era. This led to problems in raising financial resources needed to provide better living standards to the poor society. A new constitution passed in 1994 ended the use of racial categories in determining social and economic opportunities, but the economic systems of 1990s continued to reflect the majority of the economic patterns that had developed during the apartheid era.

These oppressing economical systems slowed down the pace of economic development in South Africa in subsequent years. The segregation of people through the apartheid policy led to a drastic change in the county's population distribution and regional economic patterns. These caused a lot of problems in economic data and analyses in many years after the apartheid era in South Africa. Research findings by Pollin, Epstein & Ndikumana (2011), show that the years that follow the apartheid era experience very little in terms of the labor composition in the industrial sector. Economic systems and apartheid trends continued to dominate the labor market due to various factors such as lack of skills by the African population and Discrimination in the labor market. The abject poverty of the apartheid period led to the inability of the homeland residents to support themselves. This owes partly to the homelands' arid land, inferior roads and transportation. Many Africans had to travel long distances to work in the whites' land. This too discouraged many blacks from offering their services in the South African labor market. In addition, the national accounts excluded many black workers because of lack of legal documents as South African residents.

The South African apartheid regime, which lasted for almost 40 years, was the worst period in the history of the country's economy. The regime affected negatively the economy resulting in a slow pace in development and great suffering to its people. Apartheid policy forced people especially the black majority to move out of their ancestral lands to poor areas and subject them in absolute poverty. People could no longer access the basic needs and resources due to restrictions on movement in their own country. Recovering from this era takes a long time due to many structural changes that need to be set in place. The country faced many sanctions that significantly affected the economy and its people. For the trading partners to regain their confidence back, the country needs to set up an environment that is conducive for its people and outsiders. Today the country is one of the wealthiest nations in the continent developing at a first rate due to its well-developed financial sector, modern physical infrastructure and a large domestic market (U.S. International trade commission, 1999).

References

Beck, B.R. (2000). The History of South Africa. Printed in the U.S.A. Green Wood Press.

Nowak, M. & Ricci, L.A. (2006). Post Apartheid South Africa: The First Ten Years. Washington D.C: International Monetary Fund Publications.

Bhorat, S.M & Kanbur, R. (2006). Poverty and Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Lodge, T. (2011). Sharpeville: An Apartheid Massacre and its Consequences. New York: Oxford

Spence, J.E. (1965). Republic under Pressure. London: Oxford University Press

Pollin, R., Epstein, G. A and Ndikumana, L. (2007). An Employment-targeted Economic

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