Of the contemporary indigenous production it is worth noting the mural decoration with ochres by the Nguni and the Sotho groups, who use to cover the walls of huts and courtyards with very varied designs. The Sotho, like the neighbors venda, are also known for their beautiful pottery, decorated with engraved and painted motifs. The Dutch colonization gave a specific imprint to the urban planning and architecture of the cities, which arose in the 10th century. XVII and XVIII as refueling places for the ships of the Dutch East India Company. The first urban centers developed around the Dutch forts and military garrisons from the century. XVII to XIX (Cape Town), English in the century. XIX (Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Pretoria). The first fort was that of the Cape of Good Hope, built in 1652 by the Dutch J.; with a stellar plan, the building, although remodeled, retains its aspect of a Renaissance fortress. A first urban nucleus arose around it, De Kaap (later Cape Town), which still retains its primitive structure, with a distinctly Dutch character, and some eighteenth-century buildings, such as the Town Hall; the houses with steep sloping roofs and simple facades surmounted by pediments decorated with reliefs, also frequent in other nearby towns, are characteristic. With the English colonization (from 1806) and the further development of the Dutch expansion, new cities were founded and the oldest ones enlarged, endowing them with European-style architecture. Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance and Georgian were the most popular styles. In Pretoria, founded in Transvaal in 1855, the Provincial Council building and the Anglican Cathedral were built in the Renaissance style; in neoclassical style the Union Building, now the Government Palace (1910-13), the work of H. Baker. Architects such as Naude, Helmut, Eaton and others have contributed to giving the city its present appearance, with large green areas, residential centers and an administrative center, which groups public buildings and university buildings. In Johannesburg, the City Hall, the Free Mason’s Lodge and the old university are neoclassical. New construction criteria distinguish the buildings of the station, the library, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the South African Airways Company and the new pavilions of the university founded in 1922. Rational architecture developed between 1925 and 1940 by R. Martienssen, WG McIntosh, NL Hanson and others. After the Second World War there was a distinct influence of American architecture. For the type of service sector, the American model was adopted with particular reference to the work of the Skidmore Owings) Merrill studio. This openness to a more eclectic modernism was later taken up by D. Cowin and H. Le Roith. In the field of the visual arts, South Africa has remained substantially alien to the more lively European and American currents. After painters such as H. Naudé and P. Wenning, landscape painters linked to the nineteenth-century tradition, the expressionism of I. Stern and M. Laubser exerted considerable influence. Among contemporary artists, only JH Pierneef and D. Portway have shown themselves to be sensitive to European avant-garde currents, while many others prefer to refer to local tradition or to the motifs of indigenous cultures. Similar trends are reflected in sculpture, which for a long time remained of mediocre level and whose greatest contemporary exponent, M. Kottler, is inspired by African art.
According to naturegnosis, the music scene in South Africa appears extremely articulated. Four main lines can be identified: cultured and consumer music of the Euro-American type, which has its centers in the main cities of the country; the popular music of English bands; that of Dutch groups (Boers) and finally traditional and recent black music. The music of the Euro-American tradition has good schools, housed, at the higher levels, in the universities of Cape Town, Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosch, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Potchefstroom, Pretoria. Excellent orchestral ensembles operate in Cape Town (which also has an opera house), Durban and Johannesburg. Overall, however, neither on the executive nor on the compositional level, the country has produced internationally prominent personalities. Afrikaners, linked to the themes of colonization and the Anglo-Boer war. Black music has characters similar to those of the south-eastern area of the African continent: the high social importance dedicated to the drum, the tendency to an elaborate use of the polyphonic structure (to the detriment of the search for complex rhythms), the mass in evidence of the relationships between leader and choir in different varieties of responsorial style, the enhancement of tonal schemes in the melodic invention, the large choral practice. Furthermore, South Africa is the African geographical area in which the process of conservation and creative elaboration of indigenous musical folklore and the search for new expressive modes are most active, which even in the cultured elaboration respect the original musical data.