1947 (policy begun 1948), from Afrikaans apartheid (1929 in a South African socio-political context), literally "separateness," from Dutch apart "separate" (from French àpart; see apart) + suffix -heid, cognate of English -hood. The official English synonym was separate development (1955).
"Segregation" is such an active word that it suggests someone is trying to segregate someone else. So the word "apartheid" was introduced. Now it has such a stench in the nostrils of the world, they are referring to "autogenous development." [Alan Paton, "New York Times," Oct. 24, 1960]