south_african_and_british.jpgThe Colonisation of South Africa

The South African colonisation started in 1652, when the Dutch East India Company started their colony at Cape of good hope. When they made it permanent, they told the indigenous people to either move away or work for them as slaves. So those who chose to leave, left their homes and went to find a new place to settle down and recover from what had just happened.

The Indigenous People

The Khoi-Khoi people had occupied the Cape of Good before the White Settlement. They numbered around 100,000 before the white settlement. There were many tribes and could be found spread over the area south of the Orange River and in the coastal belt from South-West Africa across to the Transkei. The Khoi people had sheep, cattle, iron and copper and they traded between tribes. Around 2500 people were in each tribe.
They hunted for their own food. They would hunt, fish and gather berries. There cows would only give them sour milk, but on special occasions and celebrations they would kill their cows.
These people compared to the some of the other tribes, could stay in one place for a longer amount of time because of the pastures for their animals but they would usually move because of season.
Their herds did a lot for them and also made it possible for then to live in larger groups then other tribes.
They lived in huts which were made out of framework and thin poles bent into semi-circles. The poles were covered in woven reeds, mats and in winter, they were covered in skin. They shape of the hut would usually be a circle and outside and surrounding it would be a fence for their herds at night.
They wore leather cloaks, loin clothes and fur hats and sandals
The men controlled the cattle, which is where they got their wealth from. Women were not treated as kindly and had close to no say in clan affairs. Neither the men nor the clan were strong and they re-formed every time they moved pastures and would raid each others herds. When they would sometimes be in drought, the different clans would fight and battle over who would take possession of it.
The Khoi-Khoi believed that their ancestors spirits of lived on after death. The god that they believed in was the God of rain and they believed he spoke through thunderstorms and when the needed rain they would offer prayers and sacrifices.

The Empire Colonisation

The Portuguese were the first to reach Cape of Good Hope although permanet white settlement did not begin until 1652 when the Dutch East India trading company established a provisioning station on the Cape. Gradually the Dutch settlement grew into a permanent colony, called the Cape Colony, forcing the local people to move away or work on the colony's farms as slaves. In 1806 the British occupied Cape Colony because they thought any Dutch settlement outside Europe was a target. Britian mains purpose of taking control of parts of Africa in order to protect it's slave traders as well as providing naval bases for the Royal Navy. It took serval decades for Britian to build it's Empire in Africa but it took less then 3 decades to give those colonies independence after the end of the second world war. The British took permenant control of Cape Colony in 1814, when the Dutch government handed it over for 6 million pounds.

Cape Colony was granted self government in 1872 which was followed by two Anglo-Boer and Azulu wars. In 1910 the country was unified under British dominion.

South Africa Today

South Africa is now better then it was back when it was colonised. They are now approaching their ninth year of the longest economic upswing since national accounts have been recorded.
South Africa is now a republic and one of the most flourishing economies. But they still have some major problems with health, education and employment. Health would have to be the biggest problem. South Africa has the biggest rate of HIV AIDS in the world and half of the south African people are under the poverty line. But south Africa was made some wonderful and great improvements

Many of the people that live there now are desendents of slaves that were brought to the Cape Colony between 1653-1822.


A History of South Africa (By Martin Roberts)

South Africa - From Settlement to Self Determination (By Jill Fenwick & Carol Rosenhain)

South Africa in Pictures (By Janice Hamilton)