The following is some information
on South Africa:
The San (Bushmen) are among the oldest indigenous peoples of South Africa. In
1488, a Portuguese navigator became the first European to round the Cape of
Good Hope. Although European vessels frequently passed by South Africa on their
way to E Africa and India, and sometimes stopped for provisions or rest, no
permanent European settlement was made until 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck and
about 90 other persons set up a provisioning station for the Dutch East India
Company at Table Bay on the Cape of Good Hope. By 1662, about 250 Europeans
were living near the Cape and gradually they moved inland. In 1689 about 200
Huguenot refugees, (escaping religious persecution) from Europe arrived. By
1707 there were about 1,780 freeholders of European descent in South Africa,
and they owned about 1,100 s1aves. During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic
wars, the British replaced the Dutch at the Cape from 1795 to 1803 and again
from 1806 to 1814. In 1833 slavery was abolished in the British Empire, an act
that angered South African slaves owners.
To escape the restrictions of British
rule as well as to obtain new land, about 12,000 Boers left the Cape between
1835 and 1843 in what is known as the Great Trek. Some remained in the higbveld
of the interior, forming isolated communities and small states. A large group
traveled eastward into what became Natal. The first indentured laborers from
India arrived in Natal to work on the sugar plantations, and by 1900 they outnumbered
the whites there. Diamonds were discovered in 1867 and in 1870 at what be-came
Kimberley; in 1886 gold was discovered.
These discoveries (especially that of
gold) spurred great economic development in S Africa during 1870-1900; foreign
trade increased dramatically, rail expanded from 70 mi (110 km) in 1870 to 3,600
mi (5,790 km) in 1895, and the number of whites rose from about 300,000 in 1870
to about 1 million in 1900. In 1961, South Africa left the Commonwealth of Nations
and became a republic. In 1984, a new constitution was made. The new Parliament
included the House of Representatives, comprised of Coloreds; the House of Delegates,
comprised of Indians; and the House of Assembly, comprised of whites.
left the whites with more seats in the Parliament than the Indians and Coloreds
combined. Blacks violently protested being shut out of the system. In 1989,
President Botha fell ill and was succeeded, first as party leader, then as president,
by F. W. de Klerk. De Klerk's government began relaxing apartheid restrictions
and in 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years of imprisonment and became
of the recently legalized ANC. Despite obstacles and delays, an interim constitution
was completed in 1993, ending nearly three centuries of white rule in South
Africa and marking the end of white-minority rule on the African continent.
In April 1994, the first multiracial election was held. The ANC won an overwhelming
victory. and Nelson Mandela became president. In 1994 and 1995 the last vestiges
of apartheid were dismantled and a new national constitution was approved and
adopted in May 1996. The population of South Africa is 75% black (African) and
13% white (European), with about 9% people of mixed white, Malay, and black
descent (formerly called "Colored"). and 3% of Asian (mostly Indian)
background. South Africa has 11 official languages, nine of which are indigenous:
Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana Sotho, Swazi, Venda, Ndebele, Pedi, and Tsonga. Many blacks
also speak Afrikaans (the first language of about 60% of the whites and the
majority of those of mixed race) or English (the first language of most of the
rest of the nonblacks. 68% of the population is Christian, major groups include
the Dutch Reformed, Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Zionist churches.
Over 28% of the population follows
traditional African religions, and there are small minorities of Muslims, Hindus
and Jews. Republic of South Africa, republic (1995 est. POP 45,095,000), and
the land size 471,442 sq mil (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. It borders on the
Atlantic Ocean in the west, on Narnibia in the northwest, on Botswana and Zimbabwe
in the north, on Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast, and on the Indian
Ocean in the east and 5outh. The largest city is Johannesburg.
Cape Town is the legislative capital, Pretoria the administrative capital, and
Bloeinfontein the judicial capital. Until about 1870 the economy of the region
was almost entirely based on agriculture. With the discovery of diamonds and
gold in the late 19th century mining became the foundation for rapid economic
development. Whites largely control the economy, but nonwhites make up more
than 75% of the workforce. South Africa is a world leader in the production
of gold, diamonds, alumi nosilicates, chromium, manganese. vanadium. and platinum.
Other leading minerals extracted are copper ore, coal, asbestos, iron ore, silver,
and titanium. Uranium is also whole life mined.
THE RICHES ARE THE PEOPLE OF AFRICA!