Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Gauteng

You are only moments away

SSouth Africa is a vibrant and diverse nation with a unique spirit that is born from a dark beginning, but one that brings South Africans together. This beginning has through adversity shaped what South Africa has blossomed into, providing the world with a lesson that should never be forgotten. Although history can never be changed, it can always be learned from, and humanity can always find inspiration in its stories. 

The Apartheid Museum, close to downtown Johannesburg, gives life in remembrance to the notorious system of racial discrimination that became synonymous with South Africa from 1948 (when the white-minority National Party was voted into power) until 1994, the year in which the country held its first fully democratic elections, when a  New South Africa was born.

TThe implementation of apartheid policies by the white minority and South Africa's peaceful transition to a non-racial democratic society are important to this unique cultural destination.  This is what makes the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg worth visiting,   not only for tourists but South Africans themselves.

Did You Know?
IIn 1952, African National Congress stalwarts Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo established South Africa's first black law firm, called Mandela and Tambo.

VVisitors to the museum are greeted with a very real reflection of what it was like to live in a racially segregated society. The museum has two entrances labelled “White” and “Non-white”, and depending on which ticket you are issued, you will be ushered through one of the two.

The Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg

TThe laws that governed which entrances people could use or which bus to catch were classed as “petty apartheid”, but there were far more serious overtones to this system of racial classification. Under apartheid, the majority of people in the country were dispossessed of land, economic opportunity and their democratic right to choose their own leaders, simply because of their racial classification.

When the National Party took over leadership of the country in 1948, it began entrenching racial segregation under the auspices of the South African Bureau for Racial Affairs. Before long, racial laws, such as the Population Registration Act that assigned every citizen to a racial category, and the Group Areas Act that enforced separate urban areas for race groups, came into being.

Other repressive measures included making striking illegal and limiting freedom of movement for non-whites through curfews and pass books. Apartheid led to growing resistance among the disenfranchised, which in turn led to more punitive measures from the state, resulting in several states of emergency in the 1980s.

IIt was the unbanning of the African National Congress and the release of its leader, Nelson Mandela, in February 1990 by former president FW de Klerk that sparked a new era for the country and the start of negotiations for a more equal and democratic society. Both men were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for their role in ensuring South Africa's transition was peaceful.

Throughout,  Nelson Mandela emerged as the man able to lead the country out of the political wilderness and unite all population groups. Consequently, it's no surprise that the most popular of the more than 22 displays is the Mandela Exhibition, a life-map of South Africa's greatest son and arguably the world’s greatest humanitarian icon.

Who to contact
How to get there
Best time to visit
Around the area
Tours to do
Get around
What will it cost
Length of stay
Where to stay
What's happening

Related articles

Mandela Museum in Qunu

Vibrant culture
Mandela Museum in Qunu

Walking in the footsteps of a great man - a remarkable museum dedicated to Madiba

Mandela Day Marathon - Run for Unity

Vibrant culture
Mandela Day Marathon - Run for Unity

Run for unity at the Mandela Day Marathon and enjoy the beautiful KZN Midlands scenery.

Footsteps to Freedom - Discover the heart of Cape Town with a walking tour

Vibrant culture
Footsteps to Freedom - Discover the heart of Cape Town with a walking tour

Footsteps to Freedom will take you on a walking tour of all the great struggle sites in Cape Town.

Rhythm and blues at The Market Theatre

Vibrant culture
Rhythm and blues at The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre has played and continues to play a pivotal role in South Africa’s story.

UNISA - A university with a storied past

Vibrant culture
UNISA - A university with a storied past

UNISA is one of the biggest and oldest universities in South Africa with over 300 000 students and 4000 teaching staff.

Ohlange Institute - Walk a heritage trail like no other to the Ohlange Institute

Vibrant culture
Ohlange Institute - Walk a heritage trail like no other to the Ohlange Institute

Visit the Ohlange Institute in Inanda - KwaZulu-Natal - where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote, and tap into critical South African history.

FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” - one of Africa’s biggest stadiums

Vibrant culture
FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” - one of Africa’s biggest stadiums

The FNB Stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto Derby featuring Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Mandela House Museum - Small and modest yet so powerful and strong

Vibrant culture
Mandela House Museum - Small and modest yet so powerful and strong

The Mandela House in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, is now a small but interesting museum where you can learn more about Nelson Mandela's life.

Groote Schuur Building - The house where South Africa’s freedom was born

Vibrant culture
Groote Schuur Building - The house where South Africa’s freedom was born

The old official residence of the president of South Africa, Groote Schuur, is the very place where the country’s bright, new future first came into being.

St Mary’s Cathedral - Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

Vibrant culture
St Mary’s Cathedral - Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg is significant in taking a firm stand against apartheid.

House of Dr. A.B. Xuma in Sophiatown - If walls could speak: The fascinating stories inside Dr. A.B. Xuma’s home

Vibrant culture
House of Dr. A.B. Xuma in Sophiatown - If walls could speak: The fascinating stories inside Dr. A.B. Xuma’s home

Dr. A.B. Xuma’s house in Sophiatown tells the story of a way of life during apartheid.

Naval Hill - Relish in Naval Hill’s beauty

Vibrant culture
Naval Hill - Relish in Naval Hill’s beauty

Visit Naval Hill in Bloemfontein and enjoy its views and rich history.

Nelson Mandela stands tall in Hammanskraal

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela stands tall in Hammanskraal

Take a trip through Madibaville and experience the Madiba fever for yourself.

Kholvad House - A landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Vibrant culture
Kholvad House - A landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Flat 13 Kholvad House remains one of Johannesburg’s most treasured heritage gems.

Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City

Vibrant culture
Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City

The Mandela Rhodes Building was built in 1903 and now houses the headquarters for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Nelson Mandela Youth & Heritage Centre - Reliving the early years of Nelson Mandela’s life

Vibrant culture

The Bhunga Building - Home of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha

Vibrant culture
The Bhunga Building - Home of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha

Built to house the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, the Bhunga Building hosts a number of exhibitions in its three wings.

Nelson Mandela Burial Site - The final resting place of Nelson Mandela

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Burial Site - The final resting place of Nelson Mandela

For the first time since his death, Nelson Mandela’s gravesite will be open to the public.

Mandela Memorial Square (Stellenbosch)

Vibrant culture
Mandela Memorial Square (Stellenbosch)

There’s much more to Stellenbosch than wine. The town is also an arts primer, boasting the Mandela Memorial Square among other artworks.

Beyond a reasonable doubt, the Palace of Justice warrants a visit

Vibrant culture
Beyond a reasonable doubt, the Palace of Justice warrants a visit

Nelson Mandela and other political leaders stood trial in the Rivonia Treason Trial at the Palace of Justice in 1964.

The South African National Archives - a repository of South African stories and history

Vibrant culture
The South African National Archives - a repository of South African stories and history

National Archives and Records Service of South Africa - the Reading Room is open for public use and is free of charge.

Steve Biko Centre, a journey of remembrance and discovery through our struggle history

Vibrant culture
Steve Biko Centre, a journey of remembrance and discovery through our struggle history

The Steve Biko Centre is located in Ginsberg, King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, and entrance is free.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building

Vibrant culture
Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building

Cape Town City Hall is indeed a grand old building.

Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility - Feel the chill of one of SA’s most notorious gallows

Vibrant culture
Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility - Feel the chill of one of SA’s most notorious gallows

The Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility gallows is now a museum. It memorialises the 3500 souls who lost their lives here.

The powerful "bomb cyclone" that battered the Northeast over the weekend also uncovered the wreckage of a ship that could date back to the Revolutionary War https://t.co/JeJ0HjmV2C https://t.co/dEIFnP22NM

@CNN Retweet

"Hello world"
Nick Bester

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
| Terms and conditions | Disclaimer | Privacy policy