The history of Johannesburg is intricately linked with the political situation of the region.  More specifically, a discussion of the history of the area is not complete without an understanding of the effects of apartheid.  This is a system of oppression of the native Afrikaners of the area and the British settlers who moved in to the area, a system which began in the early years of the twentieth century and lasted throughout the entire century.

The Union of South Africa was first declared to be its own region in 1910, but it was a region which was controlled by the British, meaning that there was white control over a primarily black African government.  In this oppressive system, blacks and other natives in the area were forced in to slavery or, at the very least, taxed in ridiculous amounts so that they could not make a living wage in the area.

As if this was not harsh enough, the government of South Africa soon began instituting a system of forced removal of non-white inhabitants from the area to areas just outside of Johannesburg.  This continued unabated until the middle of the 1970’s when students began protesting the mistreatment of the natives of the area.  Others soon joined the students in these protests, but it took another fifteen years before apartheid officially ended.

Although apartheid ended in 1990, the effects of the history of apartheid are still felt to this day.  Racial tensions are slowly easing and the area is beginning to develop both socially and culturally.  Travelers can read more about Johannesburg’s history by checking out the books listed at .