Apartheid Museum – The rise and fall of apartheid in Johannesburg

The part of the Gold Reef City complex, was opened in November 2001. The museum illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa.

The Pillars of the Constitution is the first exhibit. Located in the courtyard, it includes one pillar for each of the seven values that are enshrined tin the South African Constitution: democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom.

The Pillars of the Constitution / Image source

Race Classification is both an entry point and exhibit. Apartheid was built on divisions by race: native, white, colored, and Asian. Required identity documents indicated one’s race, and these are on view in this exhibit. Visitors to the museum have just entered at this point, using one of two entrances, white and non-white, based on randomly generated entrance tickets. The actual items one sees in the exhibit is determined by which entry point one has had to use.

On the way to the museum building, is Journeys. It includes large photos of the descendants of individuals who came to Johannesburg in the aftermath of the discovery of gold in 1886.

Apartheid Museum Entrance / Image source

The Segregation exhibit provides background on the official policy of segregation that became a feature of the union of South Africa, which was formed in 1910. Blacks and white women were not allowed to vote under this policy. Segregation laid the way for apartheid.

At least five times a year events are held at the museum to celebrate the end of apartheid and the start of a beautiful democracy for the people of South Africa.

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