History Of South Africa

People have inherited southern Africa for thousands of years. Members of the Khoisan langauge groups are the oldest surving inhabitants of the land, but only a few are left in South Afica today. Most of today’s black South Africans belong to the Bantu language group. The Portugese were the first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good Hope. However, permanent white settlement did not begin until 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a provisioning station on the Cape. By 1779, European settlements extended throughout the southern part of the Cape and east towars the Great Fish River. The British gained control of the Cape of Good Hope at the end of the 18th century. Beginning in 1836, partly to escape British rule and cultural hegemony and partly out of resentment at the recent abolition of slavery, many Afrikaner farmers undertook a northern migration that became known as the “Great Trek.” This movement bought them into contact and conflict with Afican groups in the area. In 1912, the South Africa Native National Congress was founded in Bloemfontein and eventually became known as the African National Congress (ANC). Its goals were the elimination of restricions based on color and the enfranchisement of and parliamentary representation for blacks. Despote these efforts the government continued to pass laws. In 1948, the National Party (NP) won the all-white elections and began passing legislation codifying and enforcing an even stricter policy of white dominationa and racial separation known as apartheid. The ANC and PAC were forced underground and fought apartheid through guerrilla warfare and sabotage. In May 1961, South Africa relinquished its dominion status and declared itself a republic. It withdrew from the Commonwealth in part because of international protests against apartheid. In 1984, a new constitution came into effect in which whites allowed colored and Asians a limited role in the national government and control over their own affairs in.