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:
To understand segregation in South Africa’s major urban centers, take a look at this paper about segregation and inequality:
For more information on post-Apartheid cities, you can read this paper by Edgar Pieterse (who we feature in the video):
To explore the history and legacy of District Six, visit the District Six Museum website:
Thanks for watching and let us know what you think in the comments!
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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

    VoxVox25 күн мурун
    • Aa

      raveneye12raveneye123 күн мурун
    • And they say america is the problem. It's everywhere not just USA

      Mountain ProwlerMountain Prowler5 күн мурун
    • 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 Red6 күн мурун
    • sensationalist khunts. @GeographyNow! does it MUCH better. go take some tips

      P RedP Red6 күн мурун
    • @Gordon Bartholome lol god isnt real, and if he was, he would have hated you

      P RedP Red6 күн мурун
  • Why South Africa is still so segregated... racism... ...checks out

    Charles BehrendCharles Behrend38 мүнөт мурун
  • Good

    Kadeho _Kadeho _44 мүнөт мурун
  • Sounds goods 2 me each race can live happily amoungs themselves😎

    Myrtle Beach WolfmanMyrtle Beach WolfmanСаат мурун
  • On this topic you've scratched a flake of dust sticking out on top of the surface. It's a start at least.

    Marchismo 85Marchismo 85Саат мурун
  • Many blacks benefited from apartheid.

    Chungus De LungusChungus De Lungus2 саат мурун
  • People are “waiting” to go back to the poorest of townships??? 😂😂😂😂 but I thought they were FORCED to live in the slum? Which is it? 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Jenny RebeccaJenny Rebecca2 саат мурун
    • They want to go back home. They were ripped out and forced to move to even poorer places. They want to live on the ground they come from.

      Chiedza DziruniChiedza Dziruni2 саат мурун
  • Good, keep it that way..

    RedRed3 саат мурун
  • why it's still segregated......MONEY MONEY MONEY, Who controls the money controls it's surroundings......white people controls industry, so white people controls who gets Jobs, they control income, ....so they control who lives next door to them......this is the same thing in the United States .....

    Warrior DogWarrior Dog3 саат мурун
  • South Africa was much safer under Apartheid.

    Reality CheckReality Check3 саат мурун
  • segregation is what OCBLM (only certain black lives matter) wants 🤷‍♂️

    Dark WingDark Wing3 саат мурун
  • Please it’s not a race problem. It’s a class issue. Stop pushing evil agendas. I am black and African too

    Isaiah GereIsaiah Gere4 саат мурун
  • What shame.. it’s sad to c that ur treated as an outsider on your own land something similar to Middle East smh... this gotta change ..

    Moose SqwadMoose Sqwad5 саат мурун
  • Racist documentary

    ManticOmar 11ManticOmar 115 саат мурун
    • @ManticOmar 11 What are your? 14 years old? How is it racist to talk about facts? That's like saying, "talking about slaver is racist because black people were enslaved".

      VqlcanoVqlcano3 саат мурун
    • @Historia cause its saying blacks and white don't live next 2 each other thats racist

      ManticOmar 11ManticOmar 114 саат мурун
    • How ?

      HistoriaHistoria4 саат мурун
  • Because some invented technology as were the others still live how they always did and that's 3rd world. Skin color means nothing. It's all a state of mind.

    Dennis MorganDennis Morgan5 саат мурун
  • love and respect to people of all colours and religions(except i....) and races hope we can live together in peace someday and without the rule of corrupt politicians who cast boundaries

    dank pandadank panda5 саат мурун
  • well lol idk which sports are popular in south africa but maybe common sports can bring people together somewhat like ,cricket brings people together in south asia

    dank pandadank panda5 саат мурун
  • Let's be real....all lives matter

    People are StrangePeople are Strange5 саат мурун
    • All lives matter but All lives are not in danger.

      HistoriaHistoria4 саат мурун
  • what are the houses in the middle

    meh!meh!5 саат мурун
  • District 9 is where it's at

    anonymous oneanonymous one6 саат мурун
  • Fun fact: "Strand" means "beach" in German

    GameFTFGameFTF6 саат мурун
    • It means beach in Afrikaans too

      Chiedza DziruniChiedza Dziruni2 саат мурун
  • Why? Because they are smart

    Rj LoretiRj Loreti6 саат мурун
  • Can’t wait to see the next Vox on apartheid. Israel I presume…

    お尻さいお尻さい6 саат мурун
  • Killing corruption is the answer.

    JonathanJonathan7 саат мурун
  • you cant keep blaming the whites, it is 100% the black ANC's fault for this continued segregation. the white ruling class has become a very small black ruling class stealing all the taxes meant for the poor blacks.

    sddssdds7 саат мурун
  • Most of the dark events in history completely/partially involves british

    AquaAqua7 саат мурун
  • So europeans settlers created these even in africa?

    Hakan ATEŞHakan ATEŞ7 саат мурун
  • Isn't ISRAEL doing same?

    • Not really

      Tigol BiddiesTigol Biddies8 саат мурун
  • Not only in South Africa, it's still happening in many countries

    H KH K8 саат мурун
  • I can’t say nothing but wow 😯

    Brandy GardnerBrandy Gardner8 саат мурун
  • Little known fact if you go look at the inequality rate in South Africa when apartheid ended and what it is now even before Corona it’s actually gotten worse

    Oliver YoungOliver Young9 саат мурун
  • Just shows me how great it is to live in the “ racist” U.S.

    Calvin SchilzCalvin Schilz9 саат мурун
  • Well with the way it's going there is gonna be conflict. Black people have too many kids, while the whites will lower in numbers.

    Lucien LachanceLucien Lachance9 саат мурун
  • In india, caste matters just like that.

    Balram KanwatBalram Kanwat10 саат мурун
    • Nope

      Tigol BiddiesTigol Biddies8 саат мурун
  • Not Asia, it's india

    Ashish LadAshish Lad10 саат мурун
  • It's fascinating- all the different concepts of so called "race" that exist in different nations, cultures and time periods. I read in the NY Times that in 2020 alone over 30,000 people in Brazil changed thier race to run for political office. It's amazing how many Americans still believe that race is genetic/ biological rather than cultural. The first step to ending racism is teaching school children what race really is and isn't, and where the concepts of race came from. And how they have all been scientifically debunked.

    • @Season 8 Challenger Not according to genetic scientists. Every theory of "race" has been debunked.

    • Still believe? Race is by definition genetical...

      Season 8 ChallengerSeason 8 Challenger2 саат мурун
  • Remind me of education system in Malaysia where it was separated by races and it's considered to be okay. Yet still them complaining about this and that.

    Lela RentakaLela Rentaka11 саат мурун
  • So Europeans colonize and put rules that suit them...

    Hamza HafHamza Haf11 саат мурун
    • @Dennis I guess the Umayyad's never existed lol

      TheCrayonMan529TheCrayonMan5292 саат мурун
    • Let's pretend Islamic Conquest and Bantu Expansionism never happened.

      DennisDennis3 саат мурун
    • @TheCrayonMan529 I totally agree. I'm just saying that as a Moroccan, and a north african. Colonization has made so much damage than good. France for exemple massacred millions in this region. stole ressources, put their rules and left. till this day, they still control indirectly our Investments, partners and decisions...

      Hamza HafHamza Haf6 саат мурун
    • I mean, every nation from the beginning of modern civilization to decolonization has done this. What we're in right now is still very very new, completely different than what we've done basically of all human existence. Id say, look at history as a whole rather than what nitpicking what fits into your worldview. From there, you'll get a better understanding of world history, peoples, and actions.

      TheCrayonMan529TheCrayonMan5298 саат мурун
  • Your District 6 would be District 9 if you turned the map over to the way it is suppose to be.

    None OfyourbusinessNone Ofyourbusiness11 саат мурун
  • Whites had the firepower and control, they had the natural right to do whatever they wanted.

    andreiradu1945andreiradu194511 саат мурун
  • Blame that on Islam.

    Asaad AlsuhaiqiAsaad Alsuhaiqi12 саат мурун
  • This is the same as Israel and Palestine. Apartheid.

    AiAi12 саат мурун
  • As expected no mention of the fact Whites brought civilization to South Africa.

    Ben CarrotBen Carrot13 саат мурун
    • @Out Of Ideas No, the Khoi San people generally kept to themselves. The blacks in South Africa today are almost all descendants from Bantu migrants up north.

      DennisDennis3 саат мурун
    • @Pierre Marais They exploited them for labour for their own personal game, and in their own time, the natives would have eventually found the diamonds as the advanced

      Out Of IdeasOut Of Ideas8 саат мурун
    • They did, but they also exploited the native people for wealth

      Out Of IdeasOut Of Ideas12 саат мурун
  • white people are always to blame

    Den TchasDen Tchas13 саат мурун
  • Because black and white South Africans are diffetent.

    Ben CarrotBen Carrot13 саат мурун
  • Because segregation is natural. Sociological studies tell us racial diversity destorys social trust and is bad for society.

    Ben CarrotBen Carrot13 саат мурун
    • Give the links to the studies then.

      Hello HumanHello Human11 саат мурун
  • Is there a problem, without white they will be poorer

    Nikita MelnikNikita Melnik13 саат мурун
  • You thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.

    Declan ShannonDeclan Shannon16 саат мурун
  • If wasn't Europeans there, you wouldn't have even paved roads. Thank Europeans for that.

    Lauren MartinsLauren Martins17 саат мурун
  • Let’s be honest, if you were build a business would you build it in run down neighborhoods? In 50 years people followed the same trend where they didn’t build businesses and higher quality of living in neighborhoods that aren’t nice. It just so happens that those neighborhoods are black, stayed black, but eventually those among the black community that made it out never looked back they upgraded to nicer neighborhoods.

    ElementsageElementsage17 саат мурун
  • 7 thousand white racists did not like this video

    TwitterkiwiTwitterkiwi18 саат мурун
  • Cape Town is waaay to expensive to live in. I can't keep up with what's happening here

    peter booipeter booi19 саат мурун
  • The Chinese will totally help.

    F OffF Off19 саат мурун
  • The main reason for the segregated country is the corrupt government that's making sure the people hate each other so they can keep stealing

    Daryl ChettyDaryl Chetty19 саат мурун
  • 😐

    Osman YacoubOsman Yacoub19 саат мурун
  • Love from Malaysia 🇲🇾 to all the South African❤

    Diva AADiva AA20 саат мурун
  • South africa is riddle with crime so the reason it is segregated is because you want to live with like minded people for your own safety. If I white person lived in a blacktown ship he wouldn't feel safe so he would want to live with other whites so he can feel safe

    jimbo jonesjimbo jones20 саат мурун
  • Typical britain, enslaving people and taking their resources, kind of ashamed to be british tbh.

    Gregor CameronGregor Cameron20 саат мурун
  • No different than Chicago

    jcman240jcman24020 саат мурун
  • Wakanda forever....Lol. If Europeans didn't settle Africa...the people there would still be rubbing sticks together to create fire.

    richystar2001richystar200121 саат мурун
  • I’m pretty sure all the white population are desperate to leave

    DavoDavo22 саат мурун
  • Well you guys had a black president? 🤣🤣🤣

    The Devil All The TimeThe Devil All The Time22 саат мурун
  • Okay that’s an international country and your an American based news station why would any else care if you claim America has more problems

    It’s yah boi communist ChungusIt’s yah boi communist Chungus23 саат мурун
  • Wow, been segregated in your on land.

    Sanghe DoudialikaSanghe Doudialika23 саат мурун
  • As a so called coloured person I could never call this country mine. Not under apartheid or after that. It was first owned by whites then blacks. I now live abroad and what I do know now is that people don't own anything, they just keep telling themselves they do.

    Fabian GroomFabian GroomКүн мурун
  • You've got to start with education. If you build enough schools, black people in the country will be able to move out of the townships and into the richer areas. The townships need upgrading too, so the inequality is less vast. More running water and internet access will also accelerate growth.

    Ivan IvanovicIvan IvanovicКүн мурун
  • White privilege

    Adam's RankingsAdam's RankingsКүн мурун
  • Where is malay cape town live?

    Rayyan TennysonRayyan TennysonКүн мурун
  • I think the money u make determines where you at in this lol

    ZekeZekeКүн мурун
  • Who creates the jobs in SA? Whites that’s who. Earn money and your life improves so create jobs hit job from vox IQ matters

    Braydon CotterBraydon CotterКүн мурун
  • im confused, isn't this what everyone wanted?

    samsonsamsonКүн мурун
  • education separates those people, not skin color

    Nauja dienaNauja dienaКүн мурун
  • European have a Agreed upon how to live! Africans, well? their not European! their African with their own ideas and culture. Africans lived in huts or whatever for thousands of years! far different from Europe and say Asia! So the way I see it it our choice and they have theirs! Now they want European style living...gotta earn it..but wouldn't not be Culture Appropriation? Can't have it both ways!

    george hustongeorge hustonКүн мурун
    • There were some developed kingdoms in Africa, like the Kushites.

      AnotherHistoryEnthusiastAnotherHistoryEnthusiastКүн мурун
  • The reason for this is because South Africa is JUNK.

    Audiotronix SAAudiotronix SAКүн мурун
  • Remember the South African Government passed the Black Empowerment Act which disbarred white South Africans from government jobs.

    Holden CrossHolden CrossКүн мурун
  • sugondeez

    Walter C. Clemens, Jr.Walter C. Clemens, Jr.Күн мурун
  • oh its this racism again. why do black suffer suffer while whites live in privilege? :(

    ralf tammisteralf tammisteКүн мурун
  • i think they need more people of color everywhere

    MichaelMichaelКүн мурун
  • Its pretty much the same like in the US

    Wulf DinterWulf DinterКүн мурун
    • Well, in the US you have every opportunity to improve your standard of living.

      AnotherHistoryEnthusiastAnotherHistoryEnthusiastКүн мурун
  • Your relating to correlation to causation instead of cause and effect.

    Inibrasium the firstInibrasium the firstКүн мурун
  • Lots of People just like to make race a problem around the world.

    D BD BКүн мурун
  • Jesus is coming back and the last will be made first!

    Sandile NdlovuSandile NdlovuКүн мурун
  • i think most of the country that has been colonialize still stuck with colonialization culture...

    PaleolitikumPaleolitikumКүн мурун
  • If the British used Cape town for trade then how wasnt it economically significant??????? This I must know

    Shadefinder1Shadefinder1Күн мурун
  • I just hear people told people where they live. I dont see how that is bad. But I do not hear color. I veiw the humans as grey blobs that hate eachother as much as they hate themselves

    Shadefinder1Shadefinder1Күн мурун
  • "How do we live together in the face of that history." -- by reversing the Apartheid, with Blacks now subjugating whites. It's comical this story pretends to be about unity and integration, when really it's just helping justify a new apartheid against whites.

    Robert XYZRobert XYZКүн мурун
  • I'm sure Vox supports the murder and taking of land that wasn't occupied by African people before the Dutch settled there.

    Robert XYZRobert XYZКүн мурун
  • Oh please! Most rich black people live in fancy areas, the rest of the black people are making babies to receive grants! So the problem is not apartheid but broken condoms😂

    King MufasaKing MufasaКүн мурун
  • And this is why CARDANO is going to CHANGE THE WORLD!! Google Cardano people! It’s not too late to join the cause!

    JohnnyBlaze6954JohnnyBlaze6954Күн мурун
    • 🚀

      JJ MagnificentJJ Magnificent25 мүнөт мурун
  • this is the exact same formula as redlining used in the USA. These situations are the same. white supremacy is still in effect, just in a more nuanced way.

    • If you can't make a decent living there, it's your fault.

      AnotherHistoryEnthusiastAnotherHistoryEnthusiastКүн мурун
  • Its not white and black anymore... its rich and poor... same as in tanzania. This story of South africa is the most divided country is rubish...

    marnus dixonmarnus dixonКүн мурун
  • Greetings From Indonesia🇮🇩

    Tipuan DuniaTipuan DuniaКүн мурун
  • It's called educated and less educated .

    Anthony dolanAnthony dolanКүн мурун
  • All hail Charlize theron

    Eric GEric GКүн мурун
  • This is class division not racial division. Simple poor and rich difference.

    Atay TaygaraevAtay TaygaraevКүн мурун
  • The poverty is due to illegal squating.

    FanusvdmFanusvdmКүн мурун