01.05.02. History | South Africa

01.05.02. History | South Africa

12 Aug 2022

History of South Africa

Historically a Dutch and British colony and a half-way stop in the Spice trading route to India, the discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) intensified immigration and subsequent oppression of the original inhabitants (CIA, 2019). Despite the preceding war between the Afrikaners (Dutch descendants) and the British (1899-1902), they jointly ruled South Africa from 1910 (independence from British colonial rule) and became a republic for favouring whites only and leading to the institutionalisation of Apartheid by 1948 under the leadership of the National Party – i.e.,  the separate development of people as classified by race in favour of the white minority, and the underdevelopment of the other than white majority (CIA, 2019). The country’s first democratic, multi-racial elections signalled the end of this oppressive regime led by the opposition (the African National Congress) and appointing Nelson Mandela as the country’s first black president in 1994.


CIA. (2019). The World Factbook: South Africa. Central Intelligence Agency. Available from:  https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/south-africa/