There’s a lot of talk of South Africa’s population being dominated by the youth. But we’re less youthful than we have been for decades. The end of apartheid, better healthcare, widespread social welfare and greater economic opportunities all mean South Africans are now able to live longer lives.
From 1960 to the late 1980s, apartheid laws kept families and communities in poor rural areas. Young men alone were allowed to move to the cities, where their labour was valuable. After the end of apartheid, from the mid-1990s, urbanisation increased rapidly.
Charting South Africans’ life expectancy is to track the country’s modern history. In 1960, when the state was grimly implementing apartheid laws, an average newborn child was expected to have a lifespan of only 52 years – 50 years for boys. In 2015, life expectancy was 62 years.
Before South Africa’s 1996 constitution, the country was divided into four provinces set aside for white people, and 10 “homelands”, tiny states designated for black people.
Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 and died, aged 95, on 5 December 2013. His large and flourishing family tree remains, growing from three wives and six children to 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and on, into the next generation.
A comprehensive timeline of the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – revolutionary, soldier, political prisoner, president of South Africa, statesman and global icon of social justice.
Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo were friends for six decades, from student days through their law firm, then imprisonment and exile until the final victory over apartheid.
It took one day for young South Africans to change the course of the country’s history. That day was 16 June 1976. Here’s an hour-by-hour account of the events that sparked the 1976 Soweto students’ uprising.
Robert Sobukwe was one of South Africa’s greatest but forgotten heroes of the struggle for human rights and nonracialism.