Overcoming Bantu Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Project Author: 
Greta Weber
Fall 2014

The South African education system under Apartheid was a highly discriminatory institution that upheld racist policies. Implemented in 1953 as part of these policies, the Bantu Education Act separated black and white education, leading to decades of inequality that perpetuated the ideology of white superiority. Although student and teacher resistance to Bantu Education loosened the system’s harsh policies, it was not until the official end of Apartheid in 1994 that the nation could build toward educational equality. With the election of Nelson Mandela, who initiated marked steps toward governmental reform, South Africa started bridging the gap between black and white education. However, educational disparities continue to plague the system. This project examines these transformations base on a variety of sources, from teachers’ testimonies, to contemporary posters, photographs, and videos. It shows that, as South Africa moves forward in its post-Apartheid period, education reform will remain a key issue in achieving an equal democracy. 


Weber, Greta, “Overcoming Bantu Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” In Digital History. Columbia: University of Missouri, 2015.

Nelson Mandela