The Soweto Uprising is commonly known for the protest in education. However, there is often little emphasis on the issues on the causes of the uprising as well as the effects that followed thereafter. This assignment is aimed at addressing what happened on the 16th of June 1976, the building up of causes along with the ripple effects of this sudden revolt.
In 1976, South Africa was still under Apartheid rule by President B.J Vorster (Balthazar Johannes Vorster). Early in 1976, John Vorster received a letter from Bishop Desmond Tutu in which he lists why the black community was unhappy(Source A) Desmond Tutu was a bishop in Anglican Church of South Africa; he was known to encourage people to seek justice and freedom from oppression. In this…show more content… The Bantu Education Board was set up with the aim of catering to the educational need to the native African community in South Africa; this was a separate sector to that dealing with the education provided to the white community at the time. It is believed that the gap between the standards aggravated the social discrimination issue and angered the black community mainly the youth of Soweto. According to statistics (Source B) the number of pupils present in a class was a headcount of 60 pupils in a total of 280 schools present in the region. Thus, classrooms were overcrowded, teachers were reportedly unqualified and there were no decent and basic facilities that should have been present in any school, regardless of race. What sparked the uprising was the Memorandum passed down to schools and educational institutes by Deputy Minister, Dr Andries Treurnicht justifies his decision of Afrikaans or English being the compulsory language of Tshwana School Boards as the black communities’ taxes being sent to the education of homelands while the white community taxes are being used to enrich black originating children. It seems that the Deputy minister felt is was right for the black community to satisfy the white community since they are portrayed to have been doing…show more content… In words of the poet Dinesh Brijbal, the Soweto Uprising could be seen as a turning point as if it was not for the “sheep” (Source P) who were “met with weapons and force and hostility”, South Africa would have not become the infamous and united “Rainbow Nation”
Therefore, even though the direct cause of the Soweto Uprising was caused by the fight for education, it is important to understand that there were several factors that aggravated the black community and it was that agitation which resulted in action. It took an action by thousands of students to ignite an unstoppable force that impacted in equality and unity for years to come in South