Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination that existed in South Africa between 1948 and 1991. It was based on white supremacy and the repression of the black majority of the population for the benefit of the politically and economically dominant group, Afrikaners, and other Whites.
Broadly speaking, apartheid was delineated into petty apartheid, which entailed the segregation of public facilities and social events, and grand apartheid, which dictated housing and employment opportunities by race. Prior to the 1940s, some aspects of apartheid had already emerged in the form of minority rule by white South Africans and the socially enforced separation of black South Africans from other races, which later extended to pass laws and land apportionment. Apartheid was adopted as a formal policy by the South African government after the ascension of the National Party during the country's 1948 general elections.