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How important was the opposition of other countries in bringing apartheid in South Africa to an end?

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Introduction

How important was the opposition of other countries in bringing apartheid in South Africa to an end? There were many ways in which the opposition of other countries helped bring apartheid to an end. I think that the most important way in which the opposition of other countries helped bring apartheid to an end was by imposing economic sanctions on South Africa. In the 1960's most Western companies had avoided criticising the Nationalists as they were making good profit under apartheid and they also knew that South Africa could easily ignore any opposition due to it's economic strength. The reason why there was a change of attitude during the 1970's is because business leaders began realising that apartheid laws were getting out of hand and were also getting in the way of economic progress. Many famous foreign companies in South Africa (for example Tate sugar) were also internationally criticised because they were not paying their black workers the decent wages which kept them out of real poverty. Business leaders all round the world therefore tried to improve the working conditions for the blacks working in their South African factories. For example, many American companies (e.g. General Motors) agreed to the 'Sullivan Principles' which guaranteed equal pay for equal work, no segregation and better training for blacks. However, for many critics of apartheid, things like the 'Sullivan Principles' were not enough. ...read more.

Middle

By 1980, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Malawi and Zambia had all become independent and were now unfriendly with South Africa. This posed a great threat on South Africa because these countries were no longer in an economic 'strangle hold' to South Africa and therefore if they disagreed with any of South Africa's policies, they did not have to think twice before opposing it. Also, the goods which South Africa supplied to the rest of the world could instead produced by the neighbouring countries of South Africa which were now independent. This is because they also had access to the 'riches of South Africa' such as gold, diamond, valuable minerals etc. This meant that during the economic sanctions, the international countries still got most of the products which they usually would have received from South Africa and therefore had no reason to end the economic sanctions. Also, neighbouring countries of South Africa would make a lot of money from the trading they did with international countries, therefore making them able to spend money on armed forces, consequently making them stronger and more secure. The independence of neighbouring countries to South Africa was always going to happen and I don't think that it had a very significant part in bringing apartheid to an end. It just made South Africa more paranoid which consequently convinced Prime Minister De Klark to it end apartheid in a fear of a war or something similar! ...read more.

Conclusion

Because of the riots, there were therefore many devastating photos of deaths, destruction etc taken by black photographers. When broadcast round the world, these shocking photos convinced even more people outside South Africa that apartheid should end because in the photos, they saw the misery and pain apartheid caused the blacks. I therefore think that the forcefulness and riots caused by the black people themselves was a very significant cause of the fall of apartheid. This is because without these photos and without any shocking incidents, the rest of the world would never have even known about the black suffering! In 1989, De Klark replaced P.W. Botha as Prime Minister. He greatly influenced the fall of apartheid because he brought new reforms into South Africa which legalised the ANC, the OAC, and the SACP. Hundreds of political prisoners including Mandela were released and announced that he wanted to create a new constitution which would give all equal rights to every South African. An obvious reason for these new reforms was economic pressure which De Klark probably realised would get worse if apartheid was not ended. Without the release of political prisoners, Mandela would also never have been able persuade De Klerk to release the ANC leaders. Without the ANC leaders, Mandela would never have been able to become president and free South Africa of apartheid. In my opinion, I think that the pressure the people within South Africa imposed on the government was just as effective as the pressure imposed by other countries. Both pressures were long term because...... ...read more.

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