South End Museum recognises the relevance of the Apartheid struggle within the educational curriculum of today. We strive to portray an all-encompassing picture of life in both South End and South Africa as it was pre-Apartheid and during the struggle. The presentation that is given to school children is in line with the South African curriculum and, therefore, adds much value to the lessons being taught within the classroom.
Several aspects are of the museum, South End and the Apartheid era are covered during the visit:
1. SOUTH END MUSEUM’S LOGO
The logo that was designed for the museum is rich in symbolism. Understanding each aspect adds a new dimension of understanding for the school children. They are taken on a brief journey of the museum and its context just by considering the different elements of the logo; including the Wild Fig tree, fishing hooks, tram, ship, bridge and “Katonkel”.
2. ORIGINS OF SOUTH END
In this section, children learn that the old suburb of South End was home to people of all races, including blacks, whites, coloureds, Indians, Malays, Chinese, Jews, Greeks and Portuguese. The once-united suburb was then divided into four areas, and people of different races were forcibly removed and sent to other suburbs and areas in and around Port Elizabeth.
3. FORCED REMOVALS
In this section, we provide a brief summary of The Group Areas Act of 1950 and what it implied for the residents of South End. We also cover the specific areas to which different racial groups were evicted, as well as the current dispersal, i.e. where they are now.
4. APARTHEID LAWS
Several laws defined the Apartheid era in terms of the restriction they placed on people of colour. These laws included, among others, The Population Registration Act, The Separate Amenities Act (which stipulated that non-whites were not to use the same bathrooms, waiting rooms, and even entrances as whites), The Mixed Marriages Act (prohibiting a white and a non-white person from marrying or even having sexual relations with each other), The Group Areas Act (ousting different racial groups to different areas, which were usually far away from their places of work or medical facilities), The Job Reservations Act (which prohibited people of colour from obtaining any certification or from performing skilled labour).
5. RESISTANCE LEADERS
This is an inspiring peek into the men and women that dedicated their time, careers and sometimes even their lives to the social upliftment of a nation experiencing extreme injustice. Some of these figures remain political leaders, while others have gone back into the community to enjoy their new-found freedom. Wherever they found themselves in the New South Africa, their efforts need to be remembered and admired.
South Africa and, indeed South End, is rich in cultural, racial and religious heritage. For this heritage to shape the current and future generations, it needs to be recognised, accepted and acted upon. This heritage allows us to consider the actions of the past and let these work to guide us towards a happier and more productive future.
It is under these broad headings that children will get an idea of the value of the South End Museum and the trials and victories it represents.