Why South Africa is still so segregated

How centuries of division built one of the most unequal countries on earth.
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For decades, South Africa was under apartheid: a series of laws that divided people by race. Then, in the 1990s, those laws were dismantled. But many of the barriers they created continue to divide South Africans by skin color - which in turn determines their quality of life, access to jobs, and wealth. Racial division was built into the fabric of cities throughout South Africa, and it still hasn't been uprooted.
That's partly because, while apartheid was the culmination of South Africa's racial divisions, it wasn't the beginning of them. That story starts closer to the 1800s, when the British built a network of railroads that transformed the region's economy into one that excluded most Black people -- and then made that exclusion the law.
Sources and further reading:
If you want to learn more about the railroads and how they impacted Cape Colony’s economy, check out this paper by Johan Fourie and Alonso Herranz Loncan:
academic.oup.com/ereh/article-abstract/22/1/73/3930943?redirectedFrom=fulltext
To understand segregation in South Africa’s major urban centers, take a look at this paper about segregation and inequality:
www.seri-sa.org/images/SERI_Edged_out_report_Final.pdf
For more information on post-Apartheid cities, you can read this paper by Edgar Pieterse (who we feature in the video):
www.africancentreforcities.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/post-apartheid_geographies_pieterse_15dec09.pdf
To explore the history and legacy of District Six, visit the District Six Museum website:
www.districtsix.co.za/
Thanks for watching and let us know what you think in the comments!
Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com​.
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  • Hey! We have a new video newsletter. Want behind-the-scenes access and a heads up on our new series? Sign up here: www.vox.com/video-newsletter

    VoxVox23 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Aa

      raveneye12raveneye122 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • And they say america is the problem. It's everywhere not just USA

      Mountain ProwlerMountain Prowler3 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • was this video made by the same people whop were in charge of apartheid? Because the energy and sentiment feels exactly the same. yikes

      P RedP Red5 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • sensationalist khunts. @GeographyNow! does it MUCH better. go take some tips

      P RedP Red5 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Gordon Bartholome lol god isnt real, and if he was, he would have hated you

      P RedP Red5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • This is more of a divide between the rich and the poor, than segregation between races. It may be becuase of past segregation, but it's not why it is still going on now. Jacob Zuma(previous president) honestly destroyed SA with all his racist propoganda and with his corruption. Its going to take another 40 years to undo all the damage he did to the economy and people. It's sad to think that things were actually looking for for everyone after Apartheid until he took over.

    juicebox_tgsjuicebox_tgs40 นาทีที่ผ่านมา
  • So?

    riptornriptornชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • 🤔

    Gacheru MburuGacheru Mburu2 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Africa is Black Country why the white people have so beter life than a black 😡😡😡

    Eri LoveEri Love2 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Knock it all down and rebuild and place people randomly.

    CarleyCarley2 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • This is why we have affirmative action then isn't it. We can't expect that soon after ending apartheid all people have equal opportunities, a child in the slums can compete with a child who goes to a private school and lives in the suburbs. Ending apartheid doesn't mean bantu education never existed. It's sad the government isn't doing enough to help, with all the corruption going on.

    Ntuthuko NeneNtuthuko Nene2 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • There are many slums with just white people in Africa too. So yeh.

    CarleyCarley2 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • @Nick Widmer literally type white slums into youtube.

      CarleyCarley6 นาทีที่ผ่านมา
    • @Carley So none. Thought so.

      Nick WidmerNick Widmer53 นาทีที่ผ่านมา
    • @Nick Widmer Google it

      CarleyCarleyชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • Name one.

      Nick WidmerNick Widmerชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Nothing new, this is happened to USA too and continues happening.

    KobaKoba3 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • I love these pieces by VOX. So informative.

    Anabel CorreaAnabel Correa3 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • As a human race we really need to move past this obsession with colour of your skin ! We are ALL human with thoughts and feelings. It’s a persons behaviour not colour of skin

    Louise 001Louise 0013 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Fun fact now a days a large portion of white farmers are being persecuted and killed by racist black south africans but you will never hear vox talk about this things...

    Deivs HdzDeivs Hdz4 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • so.... most of the problem we are seeing now is cause by European , UK and US? so why arent they paying for all the damages ?

    Dan. ODan. O4 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Not different than any city in the usa

    DAVID HENNINGDAVID HENNING5 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • The truth is, it has nothing to do with skin colour and everything to do with wealth and education. People don't automatically get to live in the nice area because they're white or are confined to the poor area with poor services because they aren't allowed to live elsewhere.

    MatthewMatthew5 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • Apartheid literally mandated that white people "automatically get to live in the nice area" until 1996. British colonial rule did the same thing before that. And so on. So your statement is a bit silly to say the least.

      Nick WidmerNick Widmerชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • It's not true for example in India only white people can get top positions and 2nd tiers were loyal Indians to them (few, zamindars etc) so they(1st tier) looted all wealth to England while 3rd tiers were local people who were exploited to bones and when they left 2nd tier got everything.

      goku super saiyangoku super saiyan4 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • I wonder how do whites feel after watching videos like this?

    bbe388bbe3886 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • So whats your point ? All white people in the world today are responsible for Africa not being colonized with Equity ! Baaaa HAAAAA HA HA ! Cultural outcomes are determined by belief systems .

    Roha WahaRoha Waha7 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • As a South African, please keep in mind that those of you that live in first world countries will never know what we experience. This video has truths but there are also twisted words here. Of course racism is still a problem, everywhere not only sa. Our government is corrupt, our taxes go towards cars and houses to those in power. Promises of housing for those less fortunate are never kept and when these promises are met, they are done with poor quality. Apartheid is no longer the only reason for South Africa’s downfall, if we don’t hold our current government accountable we will never move forward. There are so many other issues in South Africa other than our divide. Please if you come from another part of the world, do thorough and intensive research before replying to me.

    Teagan DanneyTeagan Danney8 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • As a "first world" immigrant to SA I'm observing a severe lack of willingness to really unpack the horrors of Apartheid amongst many white South Africans. The issue is often trivialised and minimised. As if just simply ending Apartheid on paper automatically levelled the plainfield overnight. While it is true that the current government is failing underprivileged people at large, this makes for a very poor justification for continued racism and Apartheid denialism. The truth is that the ANC has largely protected white business interests and there are many white beneficiaries of these "BEE" contracts that are otherwise often bemoaned as constituting "reverse racism" and other nonsense.

      Nick WidmerNick Widmerชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • 1:50 morgan freeman?!?

    snowshawnskatesnowshawnskate8 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Why is white people over there ?

    john tranjohn tran9 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • The answer is rampant financial corruption by the price gouging private sector and convicted terrorists that now serve the ANC mafia government of South Africa not to mention 2 million illegal migrants entering from African countries a year with no hope of employment.

    Innaman JoubertInnaman Joubert10 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Id love to see a map of IQ dots on a map :)

    XeonophonXeonophon10 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • have you ever stopped and thought that this problem might not be all Racism

    chase connorchase connor10 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Vox you got it wrong its not a matter of skin color... its a matter of money.

    Ali TajikAli Tajik11 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Sue em

    Jay Jay's ADS7.8BILLIONSJay Jay's ADS7.8BILLIONS11 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Why would anyone with a sane mind wanna live anywhere in Africa is beyond me.

    Salem RemnantSalem Remnant11 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • @lil' razorblade Sounds lot like the us

      Salem RemnantSalem Remnant7 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • They don't have a choice, they were born in poverty there and don't have enough money to get out.

      lil' razorbladelil' razorblade7 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • It’s not black and white areas it’s wealthy areas and poor areas the rich black people live in the wealthy areas too. South Africa has one of the largest wealth gaps in the world.

    eafeaf12 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Because white people are the most racists people in the WORLD!

    jorge cervantesjorge cervantes12 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • I'm sorry, but I'm so glad I don't live there.

    Blu PyxiBlu Pyxi12 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • You know nothing.

    kyle williamskyle williams13 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • The division has nothing to do with the colour of skin , but everything to do with the corrupt ANC Government that has lined it’s own pockets for the last 25 years. Voters only have themselves to blame for the failure of the Country since the fall of apartheid

    James SuttonJames Sutton13 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • This is how it is on most colonized countries from Hong Kong to southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc. Even the native American population in the US is seperated from everyone else. The main difference are in many other countries the whites were either killed or fled the country while in south Africa most of them stayed. Or in case of the US, the opposite happened where the natives got killed

    tristan 123455tristan 12345514 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • If whites leave SA, SA would colapse1

    ArchiveArchive15 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Can Vox give me a like just for the love?

    Infinite UniversesInfinite Universes15 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Reparations should be paid to the citizens of the countries there colonizers stole and ruined for generations

    Alex PerezAlex Perez15 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Lesser than uk

    VIVEK KUMARVIVEK KUMAR15 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • That's what the United States looked like in the 50's and 60's. White Middle-class families lived in quite suburban areas and minorities in the city. South Africa has 60 years of catching up to do... sad.

    vassilis kazakosvassilis kazakos15 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • My area is pretty diverse,I live in the west of jhb,and my neighbours are of quite a variety of races and cultures. I have noticed that the richer areas around where I live and work are predominantly white though.

    Greg LaneGreg Lane15 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • excuse me, can you give me a definition of "colored"? they've seperated the black and asian cathegory tho and i'm confused

    mambo wumbomambo wumbo16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • excuse me, can you give me a definition of "colored"? they've seperated the black and asian cathegory tho and i'm confused

    mambo wumbomambo wumbo16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • Live in south Africa it very wierd with it self in us they would be considered black but the here in south Africa it very different they baicly black and white mix but it not just skin that separates it from the two but it cultures and they way they speak you sreach it up for more info on how it came to be this is an abridged version of it

      Lure your preyLure your prey16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Ódio das pessoas do passado que pensavam que eram superiores pela cor da pele! Mas infelizmente em 2021, ainda tem gente que pensa que tem direito a escravizar, minimizar e humilhar os outros... deveríamos estar todos na categoria de humanos, e pronto!

    Jaqueline Santos ZafirahJaqueline Santos Zafirah16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Indian and Asian live with White

    Amorkoko1218Amorkoko121816 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Please do one on Namibia

    Chill BChill B16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Now the white in SA are segregated, very smart move.

    Ivan YosifovIvan Yosifov16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • White supremacists are the same no matter where in the world they are.

    Erick ParraErick Parra17 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Withe people be like...

    Eutanacio MendelezEutanacio Mendelez17 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • corruption is the new Apartheid

    zack van stadenzack van staden17 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Don't forget its not the colour of your skin as much as its the government getting fok all done

    ChickenHawkChickenHawk17 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • BLACK OR WHITE

    lucianni rasoalucianni rasoa18 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • US can take poor people and settle them in NY or California.

    Champion NinjaChampion Ninja19 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Imagine the anc and guptas didnt steal billions.

    Daxaaar The BotDaxaaar The Bot19 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Hearing these stories it's hard not to like these people (white people).

    ALJ1981ALJ198119 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • White people go home please 😤😖

    Yanga MagaziYanga Magazi19 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • Black people also should go back to Africa from Europe.

      Andor KovácsAndor Kovács5 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • So many racists in the comments saying that white people should get out of South Africa. Imagine Europeans threw out every black person in Europe and shipped them back to Africa. That would get you cancelled real quick because as everyone knows non white people cannot be racist.

    Sebastian GruenfeldSebastian Gruenfeld20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • And remind me why people of color can't build their own houses, water systems, or anything else. Apparently, everything is white people's fault.

    Keith GulbroKeith Gulbro20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • @Keith Gulbro Amazing. What a shame they raised you as a racist.

      Nick WidmerNick Widmer7 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • @Nick Widmer my father, grandfather and probably my ancestors that lived in Norway did, so yeah.

      Keith GulbroKeith Gulbro18 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • Wow, so you built your own house and water system? Impressive.

      Nick WidmerNick Widmer18 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • They only have energy to chase out other Africans but can't fix their nation by removing the root cause of the problem affecting them! 🤦.

    SominaSomina20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • What is the problem then?

      ebola recordsebola records38 นาทีที่ผ่านมา
  • White people works hard they respect life so blacks don't yet blaming them for their issues

    xaviénxavién20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • black people.

      martha :/martha :/20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • wait. this is so racist wth!

    H3LLCATH3LLCAT21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Anyone has opinions on why previously opperresd communities do worse off than thier peers all over the world?

    Maadhu JoviMaadhu Jovi21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • Every community in the world has been oppressed at some point. It’s a matter of healing and the right people that improves a community socially and economically.

      SprutzySprutzy20 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • How are the schooling conditions though for the black community? Do they have access to a good education?

    Angelolatreia TremendaAngelolatreia Tremenda21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Asuming that living together is the right thing to do...? Yes maybe. For now not so much. Black people do not want to live together with white people, they just want the same services/lifestyle

    Timo BrownTimo Brown21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • People need to stop being victims and build the communities they want to see. The problem is inherent, systemic corruption and lawlessness not oppression. What you're seeing is the result of this.

    JustElvinJustElvin21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Comments time

    Rhema Jumbo-NzeRhema Jumbo-Nze21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • black people should show some respect for white people! remember it was white people who made the civilised world and trained the other colors to be like us. if they dont like it they should just back to there country moving forward!!

    ima Jeniusima Jenius21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
    • The term "CIVILISED" i Is very wraped

      Lure your preyLure your prey16 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Where do the rappers live?

    dave latumbodave latumbo21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • So basically white people are the reason for segregation there. Tale as old as time🙄

    C JoC Jo21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • More of rich or poor rather than black and white. It just happen that more white people is rich than black people. It is a simple social problem that happen everywhere in the world.

    abcabc21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Strand means beach in german

    Jordans HJordans H21 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Human nature?

    Phillip JacksonPhillip Jackson22 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • This is a really egregious misrepresentation of South Africa's history.

    Dangerous DaveDangerous Dave22 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
Why South Africa is still so segregated