Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
Did you know?
Apartheid was a system to make blacks foreigners in their own country, welcome only as cheap labour.
The Apartheid Museum documents the struggle for freedom during the darkest days of racial oppression in South Africa.
The National Party came to power in 1948 in a surprise election victory. There were many reasons why it triumphed, but none more so than it offered segregation of the races in simple, easy-to-grasp terms.
To give effect to this philosophy, the South African Bureau for Racial Affairs was launched. This led directly to a number of racial laws, including the Population Registration Act, which assigned every person to a racial category; and the Group Areas Act, which enforced separate urban areas for each race group.
There were myriad other repressive measures. It was a crime to strike and freedom of movement was severely curtailed. 'It was a crime to walk through a whites-only door,' wrote Nelson Mandela, 'a crime to live in a certain area and a crime to have no place to live'.
Apartheid led to growing resistance, which brought greater oppression and a reign of terror by the security establishment. It is this struggle for freedom that is the focus of the Apartheid Museum at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.
Set on 7 hectares of superbly landscaped grounds, this historical museum has 22 exhibition areas designed by a team of curators, filmmakers and historians. Film footage, text panels and artefacts are arranged in such a way as to recreate the experience of what it was like under apartheid.
The R80-million complex includes the following themes: Pillars of the Constitution, Race Classification, Migrant Journeys to Johannesburg and the social and political forces that gave birth to apartheid.
The latest display is the Mandela Exhibition, broken up into the following sub-themes: Character, Comrade, Leader, Prisoner, Negotiator and Statesman. It is an intriguing life-map of South Africa's greatest son.
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Who to contact
The Apartheid Museum
Tel: +27 11 309 4700