Mining facilities in Thabazimbi

History of South Africa

Modern man has existed in South Africa for thousands of years, and the first discoveries date back over 200,000 years ago. The world’s oldest man-made drawing from over 70,000 years ago is found in South Africa. Two of the oldest population groups living in today’s South Africa are descendants of khoi-khoi and san. Bantu people immigrated from the north, including the Zulu and Xhosa groups. The Portuguese Bartholomeu Diaz has been honored to be the first white discoverer of South Africa in 1488. The Portuguese established some trade with the locals. European influence gained momentum as the Dutch East India Company established a trading station in today’s Cape Town in 1652.

Mining facilities in Thabazimbi

Mining facilities in Thabazimbi in eastern South Africa, not far from the border with Mozambique.

Thus, South Africa’s recent history is characterized by colonialism and apartheid, and it eventually became a struggle between English and Dutch influence. The Dutch descendants developed a national identity as Africans / farmers. The European expansion, both by Englishmen and residents, met with fierce opposition from the locals. There were long-standing wars, among other things, with the well-organized Zulu kingdom.

The country’s industrialization and urbanization process accelerated after large mineral deposits were discovered in the late 1800s.

After the two so-called Boer wars between the English and the Boers, the South African Union was formed in 1910. In 1948, the African Party National Party (NP) won the election on a program for enhanced racial segregation under the name apartheid.

Apartheid faced strong opposition both nationally and internationally. The ANC was banned in 1960, but continued to organize resistance in exile. In the late 1980s, the regime was economically and politically weakened, lifted the ban on the ANC, released imprisoned ANC leaders and initiated negotiations for a peaceful transition. On April 27, 1994, the country held its first free democratic elections, and Nelson Mandela became the country’s first democratically elected president.

Although South Africa has implemented a number of reforms since 1994, society is struggling with the effects of the apartheid era. In recent years, there has been a growing criticism of the ruling party, including for the inability to even out differences and for increasing corruption.

South Africa has a rich cultural life

South Africa has a rich cultural life. Author JM Coetzee won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003, as did Nadine Gordimer twelve years earlier.

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