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South Africa is a country blessed with an abundance of natural resources including fertile farmlands and unique mineral resources South African mines are world leaders in the production of diamonds and gold as well as strategic metals such as platinum The climate is mild reportedly resembling the San Francisco bay area weather more than anywhere in the world South Africa was colonized by the English and Dutch in the seventeenth century English domination of the Dutch descendents known as Boers or Afrikaners resulted in the Dutch establishing the new colonies of Orange Free State and Transvaal The discovery of diamonds in these lands around 1900 resulted in an English invasion which sparked the Boer War Following independence from England an uneasy power-sharing between the two groups held sway until the 1940s when the Afrikaner National Party was able to gain a strong majority Strategists in the National Party invented apartheid as a means to cement their control over the economic and social system Initially aim of the apartheid was to maintain white domination while extending racial separation Starting in the 60s a plan of Grand Apartheid was executed emphasizing territorial separation and police repression With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948 racial discrimination was institutionalized Race laws touched every aspect of social life including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites and the sanctioning of white-only jobs In 1950 the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories white black African or colored of mixed decent The coloured category included major subgroups of Indians and Asians Classification into these categories was based on appearance social acceptance and descent For example a white person was defined as in appearance obviously a white person or generally accepted as a white person A person could not be considered white if one of his or her parents were non-white The determination that a person was obviously white
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