Following the end of World War II, South Africa entered four decades of history that became infamously known the world-over. Under Afrikaner minority rule, the governing National Party established a system of racial segregation and inequality throughout the country, enforced by government legislation.
This system – aptly named ‘Apartheid’ (which means “to be apart” or essentially, “apart-hood” – diminished the rights, associations and movements of the majority Black inhabitants and other ethnic groups, including Coloured and Indian communities.
Segregation was imposed within industry, education, medical care, housing, parks and other public spaces, and provided Black citizens with services that were greatly inferior to those of their fellow White countrymen. This sparked significant resistance and led to a series of uprisings and revolts, which in turn were met with further repression and violence.
It is within this context of social unrest that the Sugar Industry boldly established SITFE – The Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education. Despite the turmoil of the time, this agricultural and industrial giant sought to actively support the education of the oppressed majority, essentially ‘going against the grain.’