Aparthied | Coloured classification in South Africa
Aparthied and Coloured classification in South Africa,the population was classified into four groups: Black, White, Indian, and Coloured (capitalised to denote their legal definitions in South African law).
Coloured children of South-Africa.
The Coloured group included people regarded as being of mixed descent, including of Bantu, Khoisan, European and Malay ancestry. Many were descended from people brought to South Africa from other parts of the world, such as India, Madagascar, and China as slaves and indentured workers.
The apartheid bureaucracy devised complex (and often arbitrary) criteria at the time that the Population Registration Act was implemented to determine who was Coloured. Minor officials would administer tests to determine if someone should be categorised either Coloured or Black, or if another person should be categorised either Coloured or White. Different members of the same family found themselves in different race groups. Further tests determined membership of the various sub-racial groups of the Coloureds. Many of those who formerly belonged to this racial group are opposed to the continuing use of the term "coloured" in the post-apartheid era, though the term no longer signifies any legal meaning. The expressions "so-called Coloured" (Afrikaans sogenaamde Kleurlinge) and "brown people" (bruinmense) acquired a wide usage in the 1980s.
Discriminated against by apartheid, Coloureds were as a matter of state policy forced to live in separate townships, in some cases leaving homes their families had occupied for generations, and received an inferior education, though better than that provided to Blacks. They played an important role in the anti-apartheid movement: for example the African Political Organization established in 1902 had an exclusively Coloured membership.
Voting rights were denied to Coloureds in the same way that they were denied to Blacks from 1950 to 1983. However, in 1977 the NP caucus approved proposals to bring Coloureds and Indians into central government. In 1982, final constitutional proposals produced a referendum among Whites, and the Tricameral Parliament was approved. The Constitution was reformed the following year to allow the Coloured and Asian minorities participation in separate Houses in a Tricameral Parliament, and Botha became the first Executive State President. The idea was that the Coloured minority could be granted voting rights, but the Black majority were to become citizens of independent homelands.
These separate arrangements continued until the abolition of apartheid. The Tricameral reforms led to the formation of the (anti-apartheid) United Democratic Front as a vehicle to try to prevent the co-option of Coloureds and Indians into an alliance with Whites. The battles between the UDF and the NP government from 1983 to 1989 were to become the most intense period of struggle between left-wing and right-wing South Africans.