South Africa, Republic of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

South Africa, Republic of


(Republiek van Suid-Afrika).

The Republic of South Africa is a state in extreme southern Africa. It is bordered on the north by Botswana and Zimbabwe, on the northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland, and on the northwest by Namibia (South West Africa); in the west it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, and in the east and south by the Indian Ocean. Located within the borders of South Africa and surrounded by it is the independent state of Lesotho. South Africa has an area of 1,221,000 sq km and a population of 26.1 million (1976, estimate). The capital is Pretoria, although Parliament holds its sessions in Cape Town. South Africa is divided into four provinces (see Table 1).

Table 1. Administrative divisions of South Africa
ProvinceArea (sq km)Population (1970 census)Capital
Cape of Good Hope (Cape Province, Kaapland)721,0006,731,800Cape Town
Orange Free State (Oranje Vrystaat)129,0001,716,400Bloemfontein

South Africa is a fascist and racist state of the Anglo-Afrikaner bourgeoisie. It carries out a policy of apartheid with regard to its non-European population, which numbers many millions. The policy, supported by repressive legislation that includes laws suppressing communism, laws on state security, and laws combating subversive activity, has resulted in the abolition of bourgeois-democratic rights and freedoms. It is embodied in numerous laws and decrees and is officially affirmed in the current constitution, which was adopted in 1961.

The head of state is the state president, elected to a seven-year term by an electoral college that consists of members of the Senate and the House of Assembly. The state president must be a white citizen at least 30 years of age who has lived in the country for at least five years. He appoints the ministers of state, including the prime minister; he has the power to dissolve Parliament and possesses absolute veto power over bills passed by Parliament. The state president is the commander in chief of the armed forces; he appoints ambassadors and enters into and ratifies international treaties. The state president exercises most of his powers on the advice of the Executive Council, a procedure that has led in practice to a concentration of power in the hands of the prime minister.

The Executive Council, which consists of the prime minister and 17 ministers, is responsible to Parliament. Parliament, whose members are elected by white voters only, consists of the Senate and the House of Assembly. The Senate comprises 54 senators, 44 of whom are elected by electoral colleges in the four provinces and Namibia, which elects two senators; each province’s electoral college consists of the province’s members in the House of Assembly and the members of the provincial council. Ten senators are named by the state president on the advice of the prime minister: two for each province, one for Namibia, and one to represent the interests of the colored population of Cape Province. Senators must be white citizens of South Africa who have reached the age of 30 and have lived in the country for at least five years. The House of Assembly comprises 171 members, elected by direct ballot; the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes—not necessarily a majority—is declared the winner. Parliament sits for a term of five years. Only white citizens who have reached the age of 18 may vote.

South Africa has a special agency of colonialist administration for the indigenous population: the Department of Bantu Administration and Development. Each province is governed by an administrator appointed by the state president to a five-year term. Each province has an elective body, called the provincial council, which is formed according to the same racist principles as the House of Assembly; the council in Namibia is called the legislative assembly. Each such body elects an executive committee headed by an administrator. In the cities, the bodies of local self-government are the municipal councils, whose members are elected by white voters to a three-year term, with one-third of the council up for reelection every year. Cape Province has divisional councils.

The most important component of the policy of apartheid is the program for creating Bantu homelands, called Bantustans. Under this program, South Africa is divided into white and black regions, as set forth in the Bantu Authorities Act (1951) and the Promotion of Bantu Self-government Act (1959). In the white regions, which account for 87 percent of South Africa’s territory, blacks are deprived of political and civil rights and are in effect treated as foreigners. In the black regions, which account for 13 percent of the country’s territory, ten Bantustans have been established; they constitute internal colonies of South African imperialism. Each Bantustan is headed by a commissioner-general appointed by the state president of South Africa. Under the commissioner-general are regional, local, and territorial Bantu authorities: agencies appointed by the state president and essentially consisting of tribal chiefs and elders. All the repressive legislation passed by the Parliament of South Africa applies as well to the Bantustans, whose judicial bodies and police are headed by whites.

The judicial system of South Africa consists of a Supreme Court, which comprises an appellate division and provincial and local divisions; in addition, there are circuit local divisions and regional magistrates’ courts. The magistrates’ courts have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases that have not been transferred to the Supreme Court or its divisions. Most cases heard at the magistrates’ courts involve the violation by blacks of the country’s numerous racist laws; proceedings are summary. The state president has created special criminal courts to try cases involving subversive activity.

South Africa lies south of 22°N lat., in the tropical and subtropical zones. The coasts are straight and primarily hilly, with few gulfs and bays suitable for harbors. The coast is low-lying and aggradational only in the northwest and in the east, north of Durban. Such wide indentations as Algoa Bay and Mossel Bay are located in the south. In the west the coast is alternately low-lying and hilly, with no large bays.

Terrain. The most conspicuous feature of the terrain is the Great Escarpment, a steep slope at the edge of the plateaus and tablelands that extends to the narrow belt of coastal lowland in the east and to the Great Karroo, a basin, in the south; beyond the Great Karroo rise the Cape Mountains (seeKARROO). The escarpment is expressed most sharply in the east, where it is known as the Drakensberg Mountains; in the mountains is Cathkin Peak, at 3,660 m the highest point in South Africa. The plateaus and tablelands beyond the escarpment originate as a series of plateaus (the veld), on which rise sharply peaked mountain ranges—the Soutpansberg, Waterberg, and Witswatersrand—and degraded flat-topped massifs. In the south are the marginal plateaus of the Upper Karroo; in the west is the Little Namaqua-land, a tableland with an average elevation of 1,200 m. North of the Orange River, at an elevation of 900–1,000 m, are the plains of the Kalahari, which are traversed by dry river beds.

Geological structure and mineral resources. Except for the Cape Mountains, which form part of the Hercynian fold region, South Africa lies in the southern part of the Precambrian African Craton, or African Platform (see: Geological structure and minerals). The principal structures of the craton are the Transvaal massif; the Archean mobile belt, which extends from the Limpopo to an area north of the massif; middle and late Proterozoic mobile belts (Namaqua in the northwest and Kheis in the west); the Karroo syneclise in the south; and the Kalahari syneclise on the Namibian border.

The basement of the craton is composed of granite-gneisses, granulites, and greenschist volcanogenic-sedimentary strata; in the massif the basement is overlain with an Upper Archean and Middle Proterozoic sedimentary mantle, 1.6 to 3.1 billion years old, that is composed of terrigenous and carbonate deposits, gold-bearing conglomerates, rhyolites, andesites, basalts, and tuffs. In the later stages of the platform’s development, the Transvaal syneclise emerged. The syneclise was intruded by the Bushveld lopolith (1.95 billion years old), composed of gabbros, norites, peridotites, anorthosites, and granites; it was also intruded by carbonatites and syenites (2.0 billion years old), kimberlites (1.6 billion years old), and Mesozoic alkaline granites (1.4 billion years old).

In the western part of the Kheis belt is a band of terrigenous, volcanogenic, and carbonate rocks of the Proterozoic, which have crumpled in folds. Formation of the mantle (Vendian-Cam-brian) in this region was preceded by metamorphism, the formation of pegmatites in the Kheis belt took place 1.0 billion years ago, and the intrusion of granites in the west 920–550 million years ago. A sedimentary mantle of the Phanerozoic eon is represented by Paleozoic and Mesozoic terrigenous and coal-bearing deposits, by early Jurassic basalts (the Karroo syneclise, several grabens, and the Mozambique downwarp in the east), and by Cenozoic sands, found in the Kalahari syneclise. Adjoining the Karroo syneclise on the south is the Cape folded zone, composed of multisynclinal deposits of the Ordovician and Lower Carboniferous.

The interior of South Africa contains abundant mineral resources. Unusually rich in their reserves are the deposits associated with the Bushveld complex and the Upper Archean system of the Witwatersrand. In 1976 the mineral reserves of greatest importance were uranium ores (128,000 tons of U3O8), manganese ores (3 billion tons of total reserves and 50 million tons of proved and probable reserves), chromites (1.1 billion tons, representing 63 percent of world reserves), lead ore (5.5 billion tons), zinc ore (10.8 billion tons), gold (25,000 tons), platinum and platinoids (12,400 tons), and diamonds. In addition to coal deposits, there are deposits of such minerals as iron, nickel, titanium, vanadium, copper, silver, tin, tungsten, cobalt, beryllium, lithium, antimony, thorium, zirconium, fluorite, barite, apatite, vermiculite, corundum, talc, graphite, mica, and asbestos.


Climate. South Africa’s climate is primarily subtropical; south of 30°S lat. it is tropical. The climate of the interior regions is considerably influenced by the Great Escarpment, which limits the penetration of moisture-bearing winds from the Indian Ocean. The coastal lowlands and the windward slopes of the Great Escarpment receive 1,000–2,000 mm of precipitation annually; in the interior and in the southwest, annual precipitation is as low as 150 mm. On the tablelands, average temperatures range from 18°C to 27°C in the summer and from 7°C to 10°C in the winter. In the southwest and on the veld plateau, frosts may occur for six months of the year, and droughts are frequent. In the subtropical areas the average summer temperature is about 21°C, and the average winter temperature is less than 13°C; annual precipitation is about 700 mm. The Atlantic coast has a desert climate, with average temperatures of H°−15°C in the winter and 18°−24°C in the summer; annual precipitation does not exceed 100 mm.

Rivers and lakes. Most of South Africa’s perennial rivers are part of the Indian Ocean basin; in addition to the Limpopo, with its tributary the Olifants, the largest rivers are the Tugela and the Great Fish. They transport a large volume of water and are fed primarily by rain; maximum flow occurs in the summer (in the winter in the southwest). The Atlantic Ocean basin includes the Orange River, with its tributaries the Vaal and the Caledon; the country’s largest river, it has rapids and an irregular flow rate. Some of the plains of the Kalahari belong to an endorheic region in which the episodic Kuruman and Molopo rivers are located.

Soils and flora. The eastern coastal area of South Africa as far as 30°S lat. has extensive typical savannas with acacias and aloes on red and reddish-brown soils; gallery forests grow along the rivers. South of 30° along the coast grow subtropical forests and sclerophyllous evergreen shrubs; on the mountain slopes tracts of monsoon forests, with coniferous and evergreen trees, have been preserved. On the eastern marginal plateaus of the veld are savannas, where baobabs on reddish-brown soils alternate with bush savannas on black soils; there are also steppes on gray-cinnamon soils. The plains of the Kalahari are occupied by dry savannas; south of the Orange river are bush semideserts and the deserts of the Karroo.

Fauna. South Africa lies in the Cape subregion of the Ethiopian zoogeographic region. Characteristic and partially endemic mammals include Cape golden moles, tarsiers, and aardvarks, as well as the springbok, quagga, and brown hyena. Insects include many termites; there are breeding grounds of tsetse flies and malarial mosquitoes. The fauna of South Africa has undergone great changes as a result of human activity: a number of species have been exterminated, and some species—elephants, rhinoceroses, zebras, giraffes, lions, and ostriches—survive only in reserves.

Preserves. In order to protect the country’s wildlife, national parks have been created; the most important are Kalahari Gems-bok National Park, Kruger National Park, and the Royal Natal National Park. Game reserves include Vaal Dam, Giant’s Castle, Mkuzi, and Saint Lucia.

According to a 1976 estimate, more than 70 percent (18.7 million persons) of the population is composed of black Bantu-speaking peoples, notably the Xhosa, Zulu, Basuto, Bechuana, Pedi, and Swazi; Bushmen and Hottentots also inhabit the country. There is a considerable substratum of mixed-bloods, referred to as coloreds, who are the result of mixed marriages between Europeans and blacks; they number 2.5 million. Among the whites, who number 4.3 million, Afrikaners and persons of British extraction predominate. Asians are represented by some 600,000 Indians. The official languages are Afrikaans and English. More than half the blacks adhere to their traditional beliefs; the remainder of the population is chiefly Christian, primarily Protestant. The Afrikaans Reformed sister churches are the largest group, followed by Methodists, Catholics, and adherents of various other denominations. South Africa uses the Gregorian calendar.

The population of South Africa was 6.8 million in 1920, 15.5 million in 1959, 22.5 million in 1970, and 25.5 million in 1975. It grew at an average annual rate of 2.7 percent between 1960 and 1970 and 2.6 percent between 1970 and 1974. In 1976 the average population density was 21 persons per sq km for the country as a whole and 44 persons per sq km in the Bantustans, including 200 persons per sq km in Transkei.

In 1970 the economically active population numbered 7,986,000. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing accounted for 28 percent of that figure, mining and quarrying for 8 percent, manufacturing for 13 percent, construction for 6 percent, commerce and finance for 9 percent, electricity, gas, and water for 1 percent, and services for 20 percent; 5 percent was unemployed or in unspecified categories. The mining companies also recruit blacks from such neighboring countries as Lesotho and Malawi as contract workers, a practice that constitutes a disguised form of forced labor. More than 48 percent of the population lives in the cities, the most important of which are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, and East London. In the cities, whites live separately from nonwhites, for whom special ghettos have been created; the largest is Soweto, which is located in a suburb of Johannesburg and has a population of more than 1 million.

The earliest inhabitants of South Africa were the Hottentots, who called themselves the Khoi-Khoin, and the Bushmen, who referred to themselves as the San. Long before the Europeans arrived, Bantu peoples inhabited all except the western part of the country. Archaeological finds in various regions of South Africa show that the local tribes had a relatively advanced culture and that they extracted ores and melted iron, copper, and other metals. By the time European colonization began, the principal occupation of the Bushmen was hunting. The Hottentots engaged in stock raising and made iron implements; there was considerable inequality among them with regard to property. The South African Bantu grazed cattle and knew how to farm with a hoe; a natural economy prevailed, but the products of labor were exchanged among tribes. The highest form of the Bantu’s social organization was the tribe, in which power was concentrated in the hands of rich dynastic families.

European colonization was begun by the Dutch East India Company, which in 1652 founded a settlement on the Cape of Good Hope (seeCAPE COLONY). Gradually extending the borders of the colony, the European (principally Dutch) colonists—the Boers, who subsequently came to call themselves Afrikaners—exterminated the Bushmen and Hottentots or pushed them into the desert areas. The Europeans seized the natives’ livestock and established farms that relied on the labor of enslaved Hottentots and slaves imported from West Africa, Asia, and Madagascar.

The principal occupations of the colonists, whose ranks were swelled in the late 17th century by French Huguenot emigres, were livestock raising, land cultivation, and viticulture. Among the Bantu peoples, who had attained a higher level of development than the Hottentots and Bushmen, there arose the preconditions for a shift from clan relations to early class relations and the beginnings of statehood. At the turn of the 19th century the Cape Colony was seized by Great Britain; this act was subsequently given sanction by the Congress of Vienna of 1814–15.

The struggle of the African peoples against the seizure of land by the colonialists began in the 17th century with slave revolts and uprisings by independent Hottentot tribes. From the 1770’s, after the Cape Colony had expanded eastward to the lands of the Xhosa, until the early 1880’s, wars and armed clashes continued between the Xhosa and the Cape Colony (seeKAFFIR WARS). The Zulu and Basuto fought against the Boers and the British colonialists. The mixed-bloods, or Griquas, who founded their own independent republics in the 19th century, carried on a spirited struggle for their rights.

Resistance to the European colonialists, as well as the unification and resettlement of tribes, helped undermine the clan-tribal organization and accelerated the consolidation of several South African peoples. The subsequent destruction of clan relations and the old tribal organization was in part a result of the policy of the colonial authorities, who established reserves in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in order to free land for the colonialists.

Conflicts between the Boers and the British authorities, as well as the abolition in 1834 of slavery, on which the Boer economy had been based, caused large numbers of Boer farmers to leave the Cape Colony and move northward; in the course of this exodus, known as the Great Trek, the Boers invaded the lands of the Xhosa, Zulu, Botswana (Bechuana), and other Bantu peoples and established several Boer republics deep in the interior of South Africa. One such republic, Natal, was annexed by Great Britain in 1843; the remaining republics merged in the 1850’s to form the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal), which were recognized by the British government. Most of the Boers, however, remained in the Cape Colony, where, beginning in 1820, thousands of immigrants from Great Britain settled.

In the 1870’s several regions, primarily in the Cape Colony and the Transvaal, experienced rapid capitalist development. European designs on southern Africa increased when, from the late 1860’s to the mid-1880’s, huge deposits of diamonds were discovered west of the Orange Free State and gold was discovered in the Transvaal. As a result of the diamond and gold boom, which attracted large amounts of capital and led to a wave of European immigration, the mining industry grew, and commerce and railroad construction expanded. In mining, monopolistic companies emerged; they were closely linked with the European, mainly British, financial oligarchy.

The formation of a proletariat and an intelligentsia proceeded at an accelerated rate. Beginning in the 1860’s, Indians were recruited to work on the sugar plantations of Natal; many remained in South Africa when their contracts expired. An influx of European workers and the ruin of the Boer farmers led to the formation of a white proletariat. In the 1840’s and 1850’s trade unions of European workers were founded. The first strike by black workers took place in 1882, and the first strike by white workers, in 1907. The rise of socialist organizations among the white population dates from the early 20th century.

In the 1870’s and 1880’s, Great Britain sought to consolidate all South Africa under its rule and to use the region as a base from which to penetrate deep into the African interior along a line running from Cape Town to Cairo. In pursuit of this ambition it seized the last remaining independent territories of the South African Bantu and initiated a fierce war against the Zulu, Xhosa, and Basuto. The numerous attempts by the British colonialists to annex the Boer republics led, in the final analysis, to the Boer War of 1899–1902; the war ended with the seizure by Great Britain of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

New forms of anticolonial struggle became widespread, as evidenced by the activities of such organizations as the native congresses, which were founded after the Boer War, and the black Christian churches, which emerged in the 1880’s; a considerable role was played by the black press, which appeared in the last few decades of the 19th century. A number of organizations of the Indian population were founded; the first—the Natal Indian Congress—was established in 1894 at the initiative of M. K. Gandhi, who lived in South Africa from 1893 to 1914. In 1902, mixed-bloods of Cape Town formed the African Political Organisation, which played a major role in developing the political awareness of the mixed-bloods and the black population.

Lengthy negotiations between the British authorities and the representatives of the large Boer landowners resulted in a compromise solution that called for the establishment within the British Empire of a dominion to be known as the Union of South Africa; a privileged segment among the Boers was assured of a voice in governing the country. In 1909 the British Parliament passed the South Africa Act, under which the Union of South Africa was founded; the act took effect on May 31, 1910.

The founding of the Union of South Africa helped accelerate the rise of South African imperialism. A unified system for the economic exploitation of, and racial discrimination against, the nonwhite population developed. The colonial status of blacks remained essentially unchanged. The struggle against the system of oppression that had been created in South Africa led in 1912 to the formation, from the native congresses, of the South African Native National Congress, renamed the African National Congress (ANC) in 1925; the organization extended its activities to include all of South Africa. The ANC became the most important political organization of the black population south of the Sahara; its founding was an important event for all Africa, since it inspired the creation of similar organizations in other countries.

The first governments of the Union of South Africa were headed by the leaders of the South African Party (founded 1910), L. Botha and J. C. Smuts, who represented the interests of British monopoly capital and of those circles of the Boer landowners that favored cooperation with the British authorities. The most nationalistic of the Boers, led by General J. Hertzog, quit the ruling party and founded the National Party in 1913. The Botha government, which was in power from 1910 to 1919, adopted a number of discriminatory measures with regard to the black population. The Native Land Act of 1913, which demarcated the areas of Bantu settlement, prohibited blacks from owning lands outside the reserves, and gave de facto sanction to corvée for blacks living on the lands of white farmers.

The period immediately after the formation of the Union of South Africa was marked by an upsurge in the working-class movement. In 1909 and 1910 the South African Labour Party came into being; it united white workers. In 1913 and 1914 the country was engulfed by mass strikes staged by white workers. In late 1914 the last armed Boer uprising against British domination occurred. South Africa took part in World War I on the side of the British. After the war it was given a mandate from the League of Nations over what had been German Southwest Africa, which South African troops had occupied in 1915.

The interruption of commercial ties during the war led to the growth of several mining and manufacturing industries. There was a sharp increase in the numbers of the working class. Influenced by the October Revolution in Russia, the South African working-class and national liberation movements experienced an upsurge. The first mass strikes by black miners took place between 1918 and 1920, and white miners in Transvaal Province staged an armed uprising in March 1922.

In 1915 the Labour Party’s left wing, led by W. Andrews, D. Ivon Jones, and S. Bunting, broke away and formed the International Socialist League, which advocated internationalism in the working-class movement and opposed the imperialist war and the policy of the South African government. Other organizations of internationalist socialists were founded, the most important of which was the Industrial Socialist League. In 1921, at a congress of representatives of socialist organizations, the Communist Party of South Africa was formed; it was the first multiracial proletarian party on the African continent. By the 1920’s, blacks comprised the majority in the party. Until the late 1920’s, the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (founded 1919), which took an anti-imperialist stand, enjoyed considerable influence among the urban and rural black population.

In 1924 the National Party came to power. During the elections it had appealed to the nationalistic feelings of the Afrikaner voters, reaffirmed the traditions of Boer republicanism, and promised to fight for the proclamation of South Africa as a republic. The Hertzog government, which was in power from 1924 to 1933, carried out a program designed to further entrench discrimination against the entire nonwhite population. Laws and circulars in the period 1920–26 pertaining to “civilized labor” established a color bar in industry; blacks were officially banned from most jobs requiring special skills.

The difficult position of the blacks further worsened during the world economic crisis of 1929–33. Strikes and peasant disturbances increased. The drought of 1931 and cattle murrain led to famine in the reserves, and peasants fled to the cities. In 1928, black workers had established the Non-European Trade Union Federation. In mid-1929 the Communist Party, together with the ANC, trade unions of black workers, and a number of organizations of the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, formed the League of African Rights, which demanded the abolition of the system of passes and permits for blacks and advocated that blacks be granted elementary democratic rights, including the right to vote and the right to an education.

The world economic crisis of 1929–33 seriously affected the position of the toiling masses. A wave of strikes and uprisings swept over the country. In response, South Africa’s ruling circles sought to smooth over their internal differences; their efforts were facilitated to some extent by the Statute of Westminster of 1931, which broadened the competence of the South African government, as well as the governments of the other British dominions. In 1933 a coalition cabinet was formed, with Hertzog as prime minister and Smuts as deputy prime minister. In 1934 the South African and National parties merged to form the United Party. The most reactionary Afrikaner nationalists refused to recognize the merger and in 1935 founded the “purified” National Party, led by D. F. Malan. The Hertzog-Smuts government was responsible for the racist Native Representation Act of 1936, under which the blacks of Cape Province (who, unlike the blacks in other provinces, had the right to vote) were removed from the common voters’ rolls and were given a special “native curia” that was to elect three members of European descent to the House of Assembly.

After the establishment of a fascist dictatorship in Germany in 1933, the fascist movement became widespread in South Africa. The Broederbond (founded 1918), an extreme nationalist Boer organization, became increasingly influential. Many fascist-type organizations, such as the Greyshirts, were formed and had their own paramilitary detachments.

At the beginning of World War II, some United Party leaders, led by Hertzog, and the National Party, led by Malan, were opposed to South Africa’s entry into the war on the side of Great Britain. A majority in Parliament supported Great Britain, however, and a new government was formed, headed by Smuts. Many Afrikaner nationalists left the United Party. During the war, South African troops took part in operations against fascist German forces in North Africa and Europe. In 1942 consular relations were established between South Africa and the USSR.

Hitlerite Germany, for its part, placed great hopes on South Africa’s fascist organizations and on Afrikaner nationalism; it sought to make use of the tens of thousands of Germans living in South Africa and South West Africa. On several occasions the National Party proposed in Parliament that South Africa withdraw from the war. The Smuts government was compelled to intern the most active Nazis. During the war years the country’s industrial development was accelerated; South Africa’s industry not only met the needs of its own army but also produced for the British armed forces. Afrikaner capital became stronger, especially in the manufacturing industry. American monopolies began penetrating into the country; at the same time, the position of Great Britain weakened.

During the war the trade union movement became stronger. The influence of the Communist Party and other democratic organizations increased. In 1944 the ANC adopted an extensive program, called the Bill of Rights. In the immediate postwar period, the struggle between democratic and reactionary forces grew more acute. In one week in August 1946, nearly 100,000 black miners were on strike. In the course of mass repressions, the entire Central and Johannesburg committees of the Communist Party were arrested and put on trial for sedition; the government was unable, however, to prove its case. The National Party’s accession to power in 1948 marked a major gain for reactionary forces. The governments of Malan (1948–54), J. G. Strijdom (1954–58), H. F. Verwoerd (1958–66), B. Vorster (1966–78), and P. Botha (since September 1978) stepped up terror and racial discrimination.

A distinctive feature in South Africa’s emergence as a minor imperialist power was racial discrimination and a policy of depriving nonwhites of all rights. The postwar period witnessed an accelerated development of an indigenous monopolist bourgeoisie, whose hegemony rested in part on an extensive state-monopolistic industrial sector. The export of capital assumed considerable dimensions. In 1948 the National Party officially proclaimed the policy of apartheid, thereby strengthening both capitalist and precapitalist forms of exploitation of the nonwhite population. The imperialist South African state has set a wage level for non-Europeans, established the length of their workday, and imposed color bars in various professions; it has introduced disguised forms of forced labor, has instituted the mandatory replacement of manpower at regular intervals, and has adopted other measures of extraeconomic constraint. As a result, South Africa’s socioeconomic and political development has exhibited a combination of features characteristic of a modern imperialist state and of a colony.

The Suppression of Communism Act of 1950, to which amendments were made in 1951, declared the Communist Party an unlawful organization; in 1950 the Party dissolved itself, but it soon resurfaced as the illegal South African Communist Party. The policy of apartheid was resisted by the country’s progressive forces. On June 26, 1950, mass demonstrations were held in protest against the banning of the Communist Party, against racist legislation, and against the harsh treatment received by those who had taken part in the May Day political meetings; June 26 has subsequently been observed as an annual South Africa Freedom Day.

In 1952 the ANC and the Indian National Congress of South Africa launched a mass campaign against unjust laws; the government arrested more than 8,000 persons who took part in the campaign, and in 1953 it adopted laws that harshly punish infractions of discriminatory legislation. Despite government crackdowns, new organizations emerged. In 1953 were founded the Coloured People’s Organisation (later renamed the Coloured People’s Congress) and the Congress of Democrats, which united democrats of European extraction. In 1955 the South African Congress of Trade Unions was established; it rejected the principle of racial discrimination.

Through joint efforts by the country’s progressive organizations, the most representative assembly in South Africa’s history was convoked in 1955: the Congress of the People of South Africa. The congress adopted a general program, the Freedom Charter, that included a demand for the complete elimination of racial discrimination and the implementation of broad democratic and socioeconomic reforms.

The convocation of the Congress of the People and the adoption of the charter marked the creation of an alliance of the progressive organizations that defended the genuine interests of all racial groups inhabiting the country. In December 1956 the authorities arrested 156 leaders of the organizations on charges of high treason.

On Mar. 21, 1960, the police fired on demonstrators in the townships of Sharpeville and Langa, near Johannesburg; in accordance with a UN resolution, March 21 has been designated an annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In 1960 a state of emergency was in effect for six months, during which 20,000 persons were arrested and the ANC banned. Other progressive organizations were also ordered to cease their political activities.

The South African government continued forcibly to maintain South West Africa in a state of colonial dependence and extended the policy of apartheid to it. For a long period the ruling circles of South Africa waged a struggle to seize the British protectorates of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland. South African troops saw action in Korea from 1950 to 1953. In 1956, South Africa broke off consular relations with the USSR.

The South African government was compelled to announce the country’s departure from the British Commonwealth after being pressured by African and Asian Commonwealth members, who protested against South Africa’s racist regime. After holding a referendum among the white population, the government proclaimed the country the Republic of South Africa on May 31, 1961. During the 1960’s, state-monopoly capitalism continued to develop. South Africa joined the ranks of the developed capitalist countries with regard to the structure of its economy, the scale of its main industries, and its use of hired labor. At the same time, the corveé system of landholding and primitive farming techniques were preserved in agriculture. The economy remained dependent on foreign capital. In the international capitalist division of labor, South Africa remained a supplier of raw materials, notably the output of the mining industry, to the capitalist countries of Western Europe and to the USA.

After the Republic of South Africa was proclaimed, the government’s policy became more antidemocratic. In 1962 the Congress of Democrats was banned, influential progressive publications were shut down, and prominent democratic leaders were arrested. The authorities carried out a policy aimed at reviving and reinforcing intertribal barriers. In the 1960’s and 1970’s under the Promotion of Bantu Self-government Act of 1959, national homelands, or Bantustans, were formed on the basis of ethnic criteria for such peoples as the Xhosa and Zulu; they were established on reserves that occupy less than 13 percent of the country’s territory. In the homelands, ten of which have been created, the power of the chiefs and elders was revived. The South African government granted “independence” to the Bantustans of Transkei in 1976 and Bophuthatswana in 1977; it intends to do the same for other Bantustans in the future. According to South African legislation, the granting of independence to the Bantustans necessarily entails the granting to the blacks of citizenship in one Bantustan or another and their loss of South African citizenship. The independence of Transkei and Bophuthatswana has not received international recognition. In defiance of a resolution of the UN General Assembly, South Africa has persisted in its illegal occupation of Namibia (South West Africa), to which the program for the creation of Bantustans has been extended.

In foreign policy, the South African government has followed the lead of the North Atlantic bloc; it acted in close concert with the fascist regime in Portugal that was overthrown in 1974 and with the racist regime in Southern Rhodesia. During the 1960’s and 1970’s the South African government sought to create a military bloc with the countries of the South Atlantic. It has undertaken efforts to support the most reactionary forces in the emerging African states and to penetrate their economies.

As a result of its policies, South Africa has become isolated in the international community. In the 1950’s several African countries began a boycott against South Africa, as did political and public organizations and trade unions in many countries outside Africa. Many countries have broken off diplomatic relations with South Africa. At its first conference, in 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) demanded the exclusion of South Africa from the UN; in November 1977 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing an arms embargo on South Africa. A resolution of the UN General Assembly proclaimed 1978 a year of struggle against apartheid.

The application of effective sanctions against South Africa has been hindered by reactionary circles in the West, which regard the country as a bulwark of neocolonialism in Africa and a source of huge profits. Many capitalist countries have continued to maintain diplomatic and consular relations with South Africa and to cooperate with it economically and militarily. Since the second half of the 1960’s the South African government, seizing upon the opportunity presented by the difficulties of the emerging African states, has sought to open up a dialogue with them in order to break out of its isolation; it has striven to bring under its influence Malawi, Lesotho, and certain other countries, hoping to use them as a means of establishing political and economic contacts with other states in Africa.

The collapse of the colonialist regimes in Mozambique and Angola created new circumstances in South Africa and brought about a widening of the liberation struggle in South Africa. Seeking to retard the national liberation struggle of the peoples of the African continent, the South African government has on several occasions undertaken armed provocations and direct acts of aggression against Angola and other independent states, and it rendered comprehensive support to the racist regime in Southern Rhodesia, .attempting to play the role of intermediary in the political solution being worked out in that country. Between 1973–74 and 1977–78, South Africa’s military budget increased from 480 million to 1,711 million Rands (R), or one-fifth of all government expenditures.

The domestic policy of the South African government in the late 1960’s and in the 1970’s exhibited an increasing tendency toward political maneuvering, aimed at preserving the foundations of the apartheid regime while eliminating certain of its most odious manifestations: the petty apartheid in such areas as sports and everyday life.

The 1970’s were marked by increased strikes by the working people of South Africa. In January 1973 alone there were more than 100,000 persons on strike at 125 enterprises in Durban. During the summer and autumn of 1976 there were large demonstrations by South Africans against the racist regime. On June 16, 1976, the police fired on a peaceful demonstration of 10,000 schoolchildren in Soweto. The disturbances caused by the shooting spread to many areas of the country. Between August and October 1976, mass strikes involving hundreds of thousands of persons paralyzed daily life in Johannesburg and other cities. Antiracist demonstrations brought on a new wave of repression by the authorities. In October 1977, 18 public and youth organizations were banned. The Thirteenth Assembly of the OAU, held in June and July 1976, affirmed the legality of the South African people’s struggle, under the leadership of its liberation movements, to eliminate apartheid; June 16 was proclaimed a Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Soweto. The leading role in the struggle against the apartheid system is played by the South African Communist Party and the ANC, whose programs assign primary importance to the elimination of the racist regime and the liberation of the black population by any means, including armed struggle.


Lenin, V. I. Imperalizm, kak vysshaia stadiia kapitalizma. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 27.
Lenin, V. I. “K desiatiletnemu iubileiu ‘Pravda.’” Ibid., vol. 45.
Lenin, V. I. “Tetradi po imperializmu.” Ibid., vol. 28.
Iastrebova, I. P. Iuzhno-Afrikanskii Soiuzposle vtoroi mirovoi voiny. Moscow, 1952.
Potekhin, I. I. Formirovanie natsional’noi obshchnosti iuzhnoafri-kanskikh bantu. Moscow, 1955.
Nikitina, I. A. Zakhvat burskikh respublik Angliei (1899–1902). Moscow, 1970.
Gorodnov, V. P. Iuzhnoafrikanskii rabochii klass v bor’be protiv reaktsii i rasizma (50–60-egg. XXv.). Moscow, 1969.
Davidson, A. B. Iuzhnaia Afrika: Stanovlenie sil protesta. Moscow, 1972.
Davidson, A. B., and V. A. Makrushin. Oblik dalekoi strany. Moscow, 1975.
Bryant, A. T. Zulusskii narod do prikhoda evropeitsev. Moscow, 1953. (Translated from English.)
Lebadi. Velikii Oktiabr’ i osvoboditel’noe dvizhenie v luzhnoi Afriki. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from English.)
Mandela, N. Net legkogo puti k svobode. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)
Aparteid: Ego posledstviia dlia obrazovaniia, nauki, kul’tury i informatsii. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)
Ritter, E. Chaka Zulu. Moscow, 1977. (Translated from English.)
The Oxford History of South Africa, vols. 1–2. Oxford, 1970–71.


Political parties. The National Party, founded in 1913, represents primarily the interests of the major industrialists, financiers, and landowners; it is closely linked with the Dutch Reformed Church. The Herstigte Nasionale Party (Reconstituted National Party) was founded in 1969 when the extreme right wing split from the National Party; it accuses the National Party of carrying out the policy of apartheid with insufficient firmness and of betraying Afrikaner nationalism. The New Republican Party, founded in 1917 from the United and Democratic parties, unites part of the big and middle bourgeoisie; it opposes certain aspects of apartheid but favors the retention of racial discrimination in some areas of national life.

The Progressive Federal Party, formed in 1977 when the Progressive Reform Party (founded 1975) merged with a faction of the former United Party, draws its membership from the white, mainly English-speaking intelligentsia and the petite and middle bourgeoisie. Having officially proclaimed its goal to be the elimination of apartheid and the creation of a multiracial democratic state, it advocates universal suffrage, although with certain property and educational requirements. The South African Party was founded in 1977 from the right wing of the former United Party.

The South African Communist Party, founded in 1921, was known as the Communist Party of South Africa until 1950; it has carried on its activities underground since the 1950’s. The African National Congress, founded in 1912, is a revolutionary democratic party of the country’s black population that accepts as members all races and nationalities; it wages a struggle against apartheid and racial discrimination and works to transform South Africa into a democratic, multiracial state. The Indian National Congress of South Africa was founded in 1920, and the Coloured People’s Congress was founded in 1953. The three last-named organizations work together to realize a single program, the Freedom Charter, which was adopted in 1955. Other organizations of the black population include the Black People’s Convention, founded in 1972, which opposes apartheid, and the Pan-African-ist Congress of Azania, created in 1959 by an extremist group that split from the African National Congress.

Trade unions. Trade unions of black workers are not registered and are recognized neither by the authorities nor by employers. Although it is forbidden to form multiracial trade unions, about 60 exist in South Africa. The South African Congress of Trade Unions (founded in 1955), which is made up primarily of black workers, rejects racial discrimination; it is a member of the World Federation of Trade Unions. The Trade Union Council of South Africa, founded in 1954, opposes a united trade union movement and recognizes the right of trade unions divided along racial lines to exist. The largest trade union organizations uniting white workers are the South African Confederation of Labor, founded in 1957, and the Coordinating Council of South African Trade Unions, founded in 1973.


General state of the economy. South Africa, an industrial and agricultural country, is economically the most developed state in Africa. It ranks first among the capitalist and developing countries in the mining of gold, metals of the platinum group, manganese, chromium, antimony, vanadium, and gem diamonds. It ranks second in the mining of asbestos and third in the production of uranium concentrates.

After World War II manufacturing industry underwent considerable development. In 1975 the gross domestic product was R24.3 billion, of which agriculture, forestry, and fishing accounted for 8 percent, mining and quarrying for 16 percent, manufacturing for 24 percent, construction for 5 percent, and trade for 14 percent.

The country’s economy exhibits features characteristic of the most developed capitalist states and of backward countries. Production and capital are highly concentrated, and the government controls the most important levers for influencing economic development; on the other hand, precapitalist forms of agricultural production are found in the Bantustans, raw materials account for a high proportion of exports, and the country is dependent on imported machinery and equipment.

Domestic and foreign monopoly capital plays a leading role in the economy. The mining of minerals is completely controlled by seven financial concerns; the largest is the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa, in which, together with British and American monopolies, a major role is played by members of the South African bourgeoisie of European descent. A number of the most important manufacturing industries, such as automotive assembly, petroleum refining, and the rubber industry, are dominated by multinational monopolies of Western Europe and the USA. At the end of 1974, foreign capital investment in the South African economy amounted to R12.8 billion; of this total, the member countries of the European Economic Community accounted for R7.9 billion, of which more than three-fourths came from Great Britain and the remainder principally from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and France. North and South America accounted for R2.6 billion, nearly all of which came from the USA.

State-owned enterprises play a major role in the economy; government investment approaches 50 percent of annual gross capital investment. In addition to most smelting operations involving ferrous metals, the government controls railroads, ports, several enterprises of the chemical industry, and the production of electricity.

Racial discrimination permeates all aspects of life in South Africa, including the economic sphere. Nonwhites, especially blacks, comprise the overwhelming majority of those employed; nevertheless, the color bar prevents the country’s indigenous inhabitants from taking many highly skilled jobs. This policy has led to an acute shortage of skilled manpower and has retarded the country’s economic development. There is a sharp discrepancy between black and white wage levels: a black worker employed in manufacturing industry earns only one-fifth to one-sixth the wages of a white worker; in mining, the gap is even wider.

Industry, MINING AND ENERGY INDUSTRIES. Mining is one of the leading industrial sectors in South Africa. Its development since the late 19th century has been associated with the exploitation of rich diamond and gold deposits. South Africa has become the chief supplier of many types of highly important minerals, principally gold, diamonds, and metals of the platinum group. Figures for the mining industry are given in Table 2.

Table 2. Extraction of principal minerals
11956 21975
Coal (million tons) ...............15.532.148.575.7
Iron ore (million tons) ...............
Manganese ore (thousand tons) ...............6325891,7755,7692
Chromium (thousand tons) ...............1695429422,0752
Copper ore (thousand tons, by metal content) ...............11.443.0605196.9
Antimony (thousand tons) ...............14.212.511.8
Gold (tons) ...............365.0454.1950.2713.3
Platinum and other metals of the platinum group (tons) ...............1.211.923.393.32
Diamonds (thousand carats) ...............1,0302,6295,0267,2952
Asbestos (thousand tons of fiber) ...............26.0109.0218.4370
Uranium concentrate (thousand tons of U3O8) ...............3.912 73.32

Coal is South Africa’s main source of energy and fuel. The largest deposits being worked are in the Transvaal (at the Witbank, Ermelo-Carolina, and Springs coalfields), which accounts for about three-fifths of the total amount extracted. Other deposits are located in the Orange Free State (at Vereeniging) and Natal (at Dundee-Newcastle and Vryheid). Most coal is consumed domestically; about 3 million tons are exported annually. In 1976 the port of Richards Bay, which specializes in the handling of coal exports, went into operation.

More than 98 percent of South Africa’s electricity is produced by coal-fired steam power plants, which had a total installed capacity of about 14 megawatts (MW) in 1975. Most are situated in the country’s main industrial region, which encompasses the southern Transvaal and the northern Orange Free State. In 1976, 78.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity were produced. In 1978 an atomic power plant with a capacity of 1,844 MW was under construction at Koeberg, 28 km from Cape Town.

Deposits of iron ore are being worked in the Transvaal (at Tha-bazimbi) and Cape Province (at Sishen, near Postmasburg); the port of Saldanha, on the Atlantic, is being equipped to export iron ore from Sishen. South Africa accounts for about one-fourth of the capitalist world’s production of manganese; most of the ore is extracted in the Postmasburg region. A considerable portion of the manganese ore is used to make ferromanganese, in the production of which South Africa is a leader.

Chromium is extracted in the Rustenburg and Lydenburg areas; South Africa accounts for about two-fifths of the output of the capitalist and developing countries. Copper is mined in western Cape Province (at the Okiep deposit) and in the northern Transvaal (at Phalaborwa and Messina). The mining of antimony is restricted to the northeastern Transvaal; South Africa produces about one-fourth of the capitalist world’s antimony.

Gold mining, which has been carried on since 1884, is of crucial importance to the economy. South Africa accounts for more than three-fourths of the gold extracted in the capitalist world. After World War II, gold mining was expanded when several new deposits were opened up in the southern Transvaal (the Far West Rand, Klerksdorp, and Evander goldfields) and in the northern Orange Free State (in the Welkom and Virginia areas); more than 50 large mines are being worked by 450,000–500,000 miners, primarily blacks hired on contract from the South African Bantustans and neighboring countries. Uranium is mined in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, in the Klerksdorp, Springs, Kroonstad, and Virginia areas; it is obtained principally from the slurry of enriching factories during the processing of gold-bearing conglomerates.

The mining of platinum takes place, for the most part, in the Rustenburg area of the Transvaal; South Africa accounts for more than four-fifths of the capitalist world’s output. Diamond mining is of considerable importance, with gem diamonds predominating. South Africa produces 20 percent of the weight and 65–70 percent of the value of the capitalist world’s diamond output. Most of the country’s diamonds are mined in Cape Province, in the Kimberley-Bloemfontein area (the De Beers, Bloemfontein, Du Toitspan, Weselton, and Finch diamond pipes), in the central Transvaal (at the Premier Mine), and in the southwestern Orange Free State (at Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein).

About 80 percent of South Africa’s asbestos comes from the Barberton and Carolina areas of the Transvaal; asbestos is also extracted in Cape Province, in a belt that runs from Prieska to Kuruman. Other minerals extracted in South Africa include tin, nickel, silver, titanium, vanadium, fluorspar, phosphates, and graphites.

MANUFACTURING. In 1972, metallurgy, metalworking, and machine building accounted for 38.2 percent of the value of manufacturing output, food processing for 19.7 percent, the textile clothing, leather and footwear, and knitwear industries for 11.7 percent, the chemical industry for 14.7 percent, the paper and printing industries for 6.4 percent, the wood-products and furniture industries for 3 percent, and other industries for 6.3 percent. Special attention has been devoted to the military industries, which have been developed with the help of Western Europe.

More than 85 percent of the pig iron and steel output is produced at enterprises of the state-owned South African Iron and Steel Industrial Corporation (ISCOR); metallurgical plants that work on a complete, closed metallurgical cycle are located in the Pretoria, Vanderbijlpark, and Newcastle areas. High-quality steels and ferroalloys are produced at plants in such cities as Vereeniging, Witbank, and Kukfontein. In 1976, South Africa produced 5.7 million tons of pig iron and 7.3 million tons of steel. There are iron and steel works in Springs, Germiston, Pretoria, and Okiep.

The chief centers of metalworking and machine building are Germiston, Springs, and Vereeniging. Also highly developed is the production of mining equipment (Springs), cranes (Pieter-maritzburg), and boilers (Cape Town, Durban, and Vereeniging). The automotive industry is represented by assembly plants owned by monopolies of the USA, FRG, Italy, and Great Britain; in 1975, 311,000 motor vehicles were assembled, including 206,000 passenger cars. The main center of the automotive industry is Port Elizabeth, with its satellite city Uitenhage.

South Africa has enterprises that build railroad cars (Cape Town area and Nigel), assemble locomotives (Bloemfontein and Uitenhage), and produce bicycles (Johannesburg, Vereeniging, and Springs). Johannesburg has a plant for the manufacture of internal combustion engines; the production of diesel engines has begun at a plant in Meyerton. Agricultural machine building is concentrated in Germiston and Springs. The production of electric motors and electrical equipment (Springs, Port Elizabeth, and East London) and cable (Vereeniging) has undergone considerable development. The port cities of Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and Durban turn out ships of modest tonnage.

The chemical industry is undergoing intensive development; it is represented by a number of large plants of the African Explosives and Chemical Industries, which is controlled to a considerable extent by British capital. Chemical plants have been built at various locations—including Modderfontein (near Johannesburg), Somerset West (near Cape Town), and Umbogintwini (near Durban)—for the manufacture of sulfuric acid, explosives, synthetic fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, synthetic materials, and other chemical products. A plant near Phalaborwa draws on local phosphorite deposits for the production of superphosphates. A plant in Klipfontein, near Johannesburg, produces most of the country’s caustic soda and chloride. Enterprises of the paint and varnish industry are located in East London, Durban, and Germiston. Tire plants are located in Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Pietermaritzburg; they are owned by the multinational monopolies Goodyear, Firestone, and Dunlop.

In petroleum refining, the dominant companies are Mobil, Caltex, and Shell; at the beginning of 1977 the output of the country’s four refineries, which import their petroleum, totaled 22 million tons. Large refineries are located at Cape Town and Durban. Most of South Africa’s synthetic liquid fuel is produced at a plant in Sasolburg, in the northern Orange Free State; owned by the government’s South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation (SASOL), it meets 9–10 percent of the country’s demand for liquid fuel. The plant produces such by-products as paraffin, pitch, and ammonium sulfate.

Cement plants are located near such large cities as Cape Town, and Johannesburg; 7 million tons of cement were produced in 1977.

The food-processing industry has undergone extensive development. It includes the production of canned vegetables, fruits, and fish; viticulture and brewing; and the manufacture of sugar. The textile industry, which underwent considerable development in the postwar years, includes the production of wool in such cities as Durban, Johannesburg, and Uitenhage, woolen and cotton fabrics in such cities as Cape Town, Johannesburg, East London, Port Elizabeth, Benoni, and Barberton, blankets in Harrismith, and synthetic fibers in Umkomaas.

South Africa’s industry is characterized both by the application of the latest industrial methods and by the widespread use of manual labor based on the ruthless exploitation of the blacks.

Agriculture. Agriculture is the principal means of subsistence for two-thirds of the indigenous population. There are two types of farms in South Africa, which differ markedly from one another: the large, market-oriented farms of the European sector, and the extremely primitive farms of the blacks, in the Bantustans. In 1969 there were 91,900 farms in the European sector, with a total area of 88.5 million hectares (ha). According to the 1961 census, farms of 4,000 ha or more accounted for 4.1 percent of the total number of farms and occupied 38.6 percent of the total farmland. Farms that did not exceed 85 ha accounted for 30 percent of the total number of farms but occupied only 7.7 percent of the total farmland. Between 1961 and 1969 the number of farms fell to 13,300.

White farmers make extensive use of forced and semiforced labor by black farmhands and by squatters (small-scale renters who live on farms with their families and lease bits of land on the condition that they pay rent in the form of work). The number of blacks being exploited on white farms exceeds 2.5 million. After World War II, agriculture on the white farms became more intensive as the level of technology rose, as machinery was introduced, and as synthetic fertilizers came into use. In 1975, South Africa’s farms had 176,000 tractors and 21,500 grain harvesters. In 1972–73 the output of white farms totaled Rl,629 million, of which land cultivation accounted for R828.3 million and livestock raising for R800.7 million.

Land suitable for cultivation comprises 12 percent of the country’s total area. Artificially irrigated tracts of land occupy 3.7 percent of all the cultivated land on white farms and 0.1 percent in the Bantustans. The irrigation systems now in operation use water from such rivers as the Orange, Vaal, Olifants, and Great Fish. On the white farms, the total area planted with various crops was 11.7 million ha in 1972. Most of the sown area is devoted to grains. The area and harvest of grain crops is given in Table 3.

Maize, the most important grain crop, is cultivated primarily in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State; about one-fourth of the harvest is exported. Wheat is produced mainly in southwestern Cape Province and the northeastern Orange Free State. The production of industrial crops—sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, and peanuts—is of great importance. Sugarcane is cultivated chiefly in a zone running along the coast of Natal; cotton and tobacco are produced mainly on irrigated lands in the Transvaal. In 1976 the yield of industrial crops was as follows: 2,042,000 tons of raw sugar, 27,000 tons of cotton fiber, 34,000 tons of tobacco, and 153,000 tons of unshelled peanuts.

Fruit growing and viticulture occupy an important place in white agriculture. Fruit growing is devoted to citrus fruits (primarily in the Transvaal), peaches, apricots, pears, apples, and plums. The main center of viticulture is southwestern Cape Province. Pineapple plantations are found along the lower course of the Great Fish River and near East London and Grahams-town. Most land is used as natural pasture, however.

Table 3. Area and harvest of grain crops
 Area (thousand ha)Harvest (thousand tons)
1 Annual average
Maize ...............4,1865,6505,7005,2489,6307,312
Wheat ...............1,1971,4501,4608341,7462,239
Sorghum ...............296380281292556260
Oats ...............23422022510710585

In 1972–73, white farms had a total of 10.5 million cattle, 30.8 million sheep, 4.1 million goats, and 1.0 million swine. Intensive sheep raising is important for the export market. South Africa ranks high in the capitalist world in the production of sheep wool, which totaled 105,000 tons in 1974–75. Sheep are raised for wool primarily in the tablelands of the Karroo in Cape Province. In the northwestern part of the region, the raising of Karakul sheep has undergone considerable development.

Agriculture in the Bantustans, which occupy only 13 percent of South Africa’s territory, has suffered from a shortage of land (which has led to a depletion of the soil), from a reliance on primitive farming methods, and from the lack of opportunity to introduce agricultural machinery or fertilizers. According to the 1970 census, the Bantustans had 3.5 million cattle, 3.4 million sheep, and 2.9 million goats. Blacks must turn to the white farms to buy food.

The total forested area is 4.1 million ha, of which 0.25 million ha are natural forests. The most important of the aforested areas are the pine plantations in the eastern Transvaal and plantations of Australian acacia in the Transvaal and Natal.

After World War II, maritime fishing underwent considerable development; in 1976 the catch was 1.5 million tons. The fishing industry is concentrated along the west coast.

Transportation. In 1976, South Africa’s railroads had a route length of 22,400 km, including 706 km of narrow-gauge lines; 4,800 km of track were electrified. The major ports, which handle more than 5 million tons of cargo annually, are Durban, Richards Bay, Saldanha, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth. As of July 1, 1977, the merchant fleet totaled 476,300 gross registered tons. In 1975, South Africa had about 40,000 km of surfaced roads and about 3.1 million motor vehicles. Airlines link all the country’s major cities. Many international airlines fly to South Africa.

Foreign trade. South Africa has a chronic deficit in its balance of trade. In 1976 foreign trade amounted to R10 billion, of which exports accounted for R4.1 billion and imports for R5.9 billion. Quite often, profits from the sale of gold do not make up the difference, and South Africa must borrow, thereby running up its foreign debt. A considerable portion of exports—more than 30 percent—is made up of mineral and agricultural raw materials that have not undergone substantial processing, such as metal ores, rough diamonds, coal, grain, livestock (live or dressed), wool, hides, and fresh fruits. A somewhat higher percentage (35–40 percent) is accounted for by semifinished products of the mining industry and by agricultural output that has undergone processing: concentrates of various minerals, ferroalloys, vegetable and animal fats, woolen yarn, sugar, and paper pulp. There has been growth in the export of finished products: smelted metals, cut diamonds, sugar, wine, mining equipment, and canned fruit, vegetables, and fish. Motor vehicles make up 40–50 percent of imports, rolled ferrous and nonferrous metals about 10 percent, textiles 10–12 percent, chemical products 7–10 percent, and foodstuffs 5–8 percent.

In 1976, South Africa’s main trading partners were Great Britain, which accounted for 22.2 percent of exports and 17.6 percent of imports, Japan (11.5 percent and 10.2 percent), the FRG (10.5 percent and 18 percent), and the USA (10.2 percent and 21.6 percent).

The unit of currency is the rand (R); in March 1978, Rl equaled $1.15.

Internal differences. Western South Africa, which makes up 40 percent of the country’s total area and contains 20 percent of its population, encompasses the western part of Cape Province; it is an agricultural region. In the southwestern and southern parts of the region, irrigation farming is practiced, particularly in the Olifants and Bree river valleys; wheat is grown, and there are orchards, vineyards, and citrus plantations. The remainder of the region is devoted to the raising of sheep for wool, which includes the raising of Karakul sheep in the northern part of the region. Industry includes food processing, primarily viticulture, and the manufacture of textiles and chemical products. There are automotive assembly and shipbuilding enterprises. The main economic center is Cape Town.

The southeast, which accounts for 10 percent of the country’s area and 20 percent of the population, encompasses the eastern part of Cape Province; it is an agricultural region. In the Great Fish and Sundays river valleys, which are devoted to irrigation farming, there are pineapple and citrus plantations. In most of the remaining territory, sheep are raised for wool; in the southeastern part of the region, cattle are grazed, and hoe farming is practiced. Industry is represented by food processing (primarily canning), the production of textiles, and automotive assembly. The principal economic center is Port Elizabeth.

The east, which constitutes about 10 percent of the country’s area and contains about 20 percent of the population, encompasses Natal; it is an agricultural and industrial region. Along the coast are sugarcane, pineapple, and banana plantations. Livestock are raised. Coal, titanium, and zirconium are mined in the region. The food-processing industry is dominated by the manufacture of sugar. There are enterprises of the textile, petroleum-refining, chemical, and wood-products industries. Newcastle produces iron and steel. The principal economic center is Durban.

The northeast, which accounts for 40 percent of the country’s area and 40 percent of the population, encompasses the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, and the northeastern part of Cape Province; it is an industrial and agricultural region. The industrial nucleus of the region is the Witwatersrand: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Vanderbijlpark, Kuksfontein, and Springs. The northeast is South Africa’s principal mining and manufacturing region. Gold, uranium, diamonds, platinum, coal, iron ore, manganese ore, and chromium are extracted. Manufacturing is represented by the ferrous-metallurgy, machine-building, chemical, textile, and leather and footwear industries. In the agricultural areas, wheat and maize are cultivated, livestock are raised, and fruits of the subtropical and temperate zones are grown. Near the cities, vegetables and fruits are cultivated, and livestock are raised for dairy products.


Dmitrievskii, Iu. D. Afrika: Ocherki ekonomicheskoi geografii. Moscow, 1975.
Moiseeva, G. M. Iuzhno-Afrikanskaia Respublika. Moscow, 1966.
Pokrovskii, A. S. Gornodobyvaiushchaia promyshlennost’ Iuzhno-Afrikanskoi Respubliki. Moscow, 1967.
Rozin, M.S. Mineral’nye bogatstva Afriki. Moscow, 1972.
Houghton, D. H., and J. Dagut. Source Material on the South African Economy: 1860–1970, vol. 3. Cape Town-Oxford, 1973.
South Africa: Economic Growth and Political Change. London, 1974.


The armed forces of South Africa comprise an army, an air force, and a navy. The commander in chief is the president; the armed forces are under the direct control of the minister of defense. Personnel are provided by volunteers and the draft; the term of active service is 24 months. In 1977 the armed forces had a total of about 55,000 men.

The army has one armored brigade, one mechanized brigade, four motorized brigades, two parachute battalions, eight field-artillery regiments, and nine antiaircraft regiments. In addition, there are several engineer battalions, communications regiments, and other subdivisions and units that provide combat and logistical support. Most weapons are foreign-made.

The air force, with 8,500 men, comprises 362 combat aircraft, organized in 12 squadrons, including two bomber squadrons, two fighter-bomber squadrons, three reconaissance squadrons, and four transport squadrons.

The navy, with 5,500 men, has three submarines, two destroyers, six escort vessels, 11 minesweepers, and four patrol boats.

Medicine and public health. In 1971, according to data of the World Health Organization, the colored population had a birthrate of 35.6 per 1,000 persons, a mortality rate of 13.4 per 1,000 persons, and an infant mortality rate of 122.1 per 1,000 live births; the corresponding figures were 33.8, 6.8, and 35.6 for Indians and 23.6, 8.8, and 20.9 for whites. As of 1959–60, the average life expectancy was 64.7 years for white males and 71.7 years for white females; for coloreds, the figures were 49.6 and 54.3, respectively. No accurate data are available for blacks. Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and typhoid fever, are widespread.

In 1973, South Africa had 788 treatment facilities, with a total of 156,200 beds, or 6.4 beds per 1,000 persons. There were about 12,000 physicians (one per 2,000 inhabitants), 1,700 dentists, 4,800 pharmacists, 451 trainee pharmacists, and more than 90,000 secondary and other medical personnel. In 1973, expenditures on health care comprised 1.8 percent of the state budget.

Veterinary services. In 1976, South Africa registered three cases of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, 150 cases of nodular dermatitis, four cases of anthrax, 93 cases of bluetongue, ten cases of African horse sickness, 182 cases of rabies, 239 cases of brucellosis, 218 cases of tuberculosis, 29 cases of Newcastle’s disease, and 322 cases of sheep mange. Cases are also encountered of African swine fever, malignant catarrhal fever of cattle, foot and mouth disease, vibriosis, blackleg, infectious hydropericarditis, rickettsial keratoconjunctivitis, hemorrhagic septicemia, contagious ecthyma, enterotoxemia, enzootic ovine abortion, ulcerous lymphangitis, scrapie, infectious atrophic rhinitis, leukemia of poultry, leptospirosis, theileriasis, trichomoniasis, anaplasmosis, babesiasis, echinococcosis, toxoplasmosis, fascioliasis, cysticercosis, and other helminthiases.

Veterinary services are under the jurisdiction of the secretary for agricultural technical services. Meat inspection is handled by the Department of Health. The state network of veterinary services, run by the provinces and municipalities, is not extensive. Large livestock ranches make use of veterinarians in private practice. The provinces operate diagnostic veterinary laboratories. South Africa had 915 veterinarians in 1976. The usual method of fighting livestock diseases is to set up cordons at the border or within the country. Veterinary specialists are trained at the faculty of veterinary science at the University of Pretoria. Scientific work in the veterinary field is conducted at the National Veterinary Research Institute in Onderstepoort and at regional veterinary laboratories.


Education in South Africa is organized in accordance with strict racial criteria: the children of whites, colored, blacks, and Indians study at different educational institutions, at which they follow different programs and use different textbooks. White children must attend school for nine years, between the ages of seven and 16. In 1976 compulsory schooling was introduced for all blacks between the ages of seven and 11. In that year, education was made compulsory for colored children, but the course of instruction is not uniform throughout the country; school is mandatory for all colored children between the ages of seven and 16 in Natal, and between the ages of seven and 14 in Cape Province.

Preschool institutions are in practice attended only by white children. Primary instruction, lasting seven or eight years, is given in two-year or three-year junior primary schools and at five-year senior primary schools. Black and Indian children are taught in their native languages. The primary education given to white children is superior to that received by other racial groups. Most black children go no further than primary school, and not all reach the final grades. After completing the seven-year primary school, a student may enroll in a secondary general-education school or a secondary technical school; after completing the eight-year school a student may enter a teacher-training school or a trade school.

The secondary school, which offers a five-year course of instruction, comprises a three-year junior secondary school and a two-year secondary school. From the junior secondary school a student may proceed to the senior secondary school, a commercial or home-economics secondary school, or the junior division of a technical college. Upon completing the senior secondary school, a student may enter a university, a teacher-training college, or the senior division of a technical college.

In 1974, South Africa had 2,565 primary and secondary schools for whites, with a total enrollment of 903,500. The more than 14,200 schools for nonwhites were attended by 4.3 million students. In 1972 vocational and technical education for white students was offered at 13 technical colleges, with a total enrollment of 45,500; vocational and technical education for nonwhites was offered at two technical colleges, with a total enrollment of 8,400, and at six technical and 21 trade schools, with a total enrollment of 4,000.

In 1974 the system of higher education included 11 white universities, with 95,880 students; five nonwhite universities, with about 9,000 students; and six colleges for advanced technical education, with 64,200 students. The largest universities are the University of South Africa, the University of Pretoria (founded 1908; 14,800 students in 1976–77), the University of Stellenbosch (1918; more than 10,000 students), the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg (1922; more than 10,800 students), and the University of Cape Town (1829; 7,800 students).

South Africa’s most important libraries are found in Bloemfontein and Cape Town. Bloemfontein’s largest library is the Public Library (255,800 volumes in 1977). Cape Town’s libraries include the Cape Town City Libraries (1 million volumes), the Library of Parliament (200,000 volumes), the South African Library (520,000 volumes), and the University of Cape Town Library (675,000 volumes). Museums include the National Museum in Bloemfontein and the South African Cultural History Museum and the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.


The organization of science is strongly affected by the policy of apartheid and discrimination against nonwhites, who have been, for all practical purposes, completely excluded from scientific activity. The state center for organizing and coordinating scientific work is the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, founded in 1945 in Pretoria. Under the council are scientific research institutes in such fields as electrical engineering, mathematics, forestry, and hydrology, as well as the Cosmic Ray Research Unit, the National Physical Research Laboratory, the Solid-State Physics Group, and several observatories and scientific stations, including in Antarctica.

Of considerable importance is the Atomic Energy Board, founded in 1948, which oversees the National Nuclear Research Centre in Pelindaba and includes other scientific and design subdivisions. There are also scientific research centers operating within such government departments as health, agricultural technical services, transport, and mines. There are large scientific research laboratories at about 50 private industrial firms, such as African Explosives and Chemical Industries, which develops explosives; De Beers Consolidated Mines, whose research deals with, for example, diamonds and high-pressure technology; and the Pretoria Portland Cement Company.

Also within the private sector are scientific societies and associations, most of which belong to the Associated Scientific and Technical Societies of South Africa, founded in 1920. Nonprofit organizations include the South African Academy of Science and Art, founded in 1909. Some research in the natural sciences is conducted at the universities; work in such fields as history and cultural anthropology, which are generally approached from a racist standpoint, goes on primarily at the universities. The state controls scholarly activity in this area through the Human Sciences Research Council, founded in 1969. A considerable amount of scientific research and experimental design work has been subordinated to military ends; for example, new types of toxic substances are being developed, and work is being done on new rocket weapons. With help from some member countries of NATO, South Africa is preparing to develop nuclear weapons.

In the first half of the 20th century, South Africa produced several important medical researchers, notably M. Theiler, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1951 for his work on yellow fever. In the 1960’s, C. Barnard gained recognition for his development of new surgical techniques.


Aparteid: Ego posledstviia dlia obrazovaniia, nauki, kul’tury i informatsii. Moscow, 1969.


In 1977, according to official data, South Africa published more than 20 major daily newspapers and more than 80 weekly, monthly, and quarterly newspapers and journals. Among the most influential Afrikaans-language publications are the daily newspapers Die Transvaler (since 1937; circulation 50,000 in 1977) and Die vaderland (since 1914; circulation 66,000), both published in Johannesburg; the daily newspaper Die burger (since 1915; circulation about 65,000), published in Cape Town; and the weekly newspaper Die brandwag (since 1971; circulation more than 50,000), published in Johannesburg. All the publications listed above reflect, as a rule, the National Party’s point of view.

English-language daily newspapers include the Rand Daily Mail (since 1902; circulation more than 130,000) and the Star (since 1887; circulation more than 180,000), published in Johannesburg; the Argus (since 1857; circulation more than 110,000), published in Cape Town; and the Natal Mercury (since 1852; circulation 70,000) and the Daily News (since 1878; circulation 95,000), published in Durban. The principal English-language weekly newspapers are the Sunday Times (since 1906; circulation about 500,000) and the Sunday Express (since 1934; circulation more than 175,000), both published in Johannesburg.

The press organs of the South African Communist Party, the African National Congress, and other progressive and democratic organizations have been banned and are published either underground or abroad. The South African Communist Party publishes the newspaper Inkululeko-Freedom (since 1971) and the theoretical journal African Communist (since 1959), which is printed in London. The African National Congress publishes the journal Mayibuye (since 1966) in Lusaka, Zambia, and the journal Sechaba (since 1967) in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

The South African Press Association, a joint-stock news agency, was founded in 1938. Radio service is handled by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, founded in 1936. Television programs have been broadcast since January 1976.


Although the literature of the peoples of South Africa has developed to an extent in Bantu languages—Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, and Tswana—and in Hottentot and Bushman languages, the bulk of South African literature has been written in English and Afrikaans. Folk literature includes heroic epics, which originated when South Africa was being colonized, historical legends, ancient Bushman and Hottentot folktales about animals, the magical folktales of the Zulu, and sayings and proverbs. Written literary works appeared in the mid-19th century after the introduction of a Latin writing system for the African languages. The founder of Sotho-language literature was T. Mofölo (1877–1948), the author of Chaka (1925), a historical novel about the Zulu chief of the same name.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there appeared the anticolonialist prose of Olive Schreiner (1855–1920). The Afrikaner poet F. E. Celliers (1865–1940) published revolutionary and romantic verse. Socioeconomic changes, the rise of the working-class and antiracist movements after World War I, and the founding of the Communist Party of South Africa in 1921 found expression in literature, particularly in the works of black writers. The need for the Bantu peoples to unite was put forward in the novels of J. Dube (died 1946), M. Fuze, R. Dhlomo (born 1901), and K. Mqhayi.

Love of liberty and hatred of injustice and racism inspired the patriotic narrative poem Valley of a Thousand Hills (1941) by H. Dhlomo (1905–45) and the poetry collections Zulu Songs (1935) and Zulu Horizons (1945) by B. W. Vilakazi (1906–47), as well as the works of white writers, such as Sarah Gertrude Millin (born 1889), L. van der Post (born 1906), and W. Plomer. In the 1930’s traditional themes gave way to those of universal human interest. The trilogy Ampie (1924–42) by J. van Brüggen (1881–1957), which depicts the life of a poor white, was the first achievement of critical realism in Afrikaans literature. N. van Wyk Louw (born 1906), one of the most brilliant representatives of the group of poets known as the men of the thirties, wrote the monumental lyric epic Raka (1941). U. Krige (born 1910) was inspired by the Spanish Civil War in his “Song of the Fascist Bombers” (1937) and “Ballad of the Prisoner of War” (1941).

As the racist policy of apartheid became more entrenched after World War II, there emerged a large body of protest literature, which developed in the mainstream of critical realism and was opposed to colonialist and escapist literature. The novels of A. Paton (born 1903) and Nadine Gordimer (born 1923) are dedicated to unmasking racism. The novel Mine Boy (1946) by P. Abrahams (born 1919) stresses the solidarity of workers of different races. Abrahams’ The Path of Thunder (1948) describes the tragic love of a colored youth for a white girl. The struggle between the Zulu and the colonialists is depicted in the novels Conquest (1950) by Abrahams and Beautiful House (1955) by J. Cope (born 1913).

The oppression suffered by the coloreds in South African society is the subject of G. Gordon’s psychological novel Let the Day Perish (1952). An antiracist viewpoint informs the novels The Law of the Vultures (1952) by Phyllis Altman (born 1918) and Episode in the Transvaal (1956) by H. Bloom and the autobiographical works Down Second Avenue (1959) by E. Mphahlele (born 1919) and Road to Ghana (1960) by A. Hutchinson. The problems encountered by the emerging African states after the achievement of independence provide the subject matter for Abrahams’ A Wreath of Udomo (1956), Gordimer’s A Guest of Honor (1970), and Mphahlele’s The Wanderers (1972).

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, opposition to racism remained the hallmark of progressive South African writers, many of whom continued to struggle in exile against reactionary forces. Sharply critical in their treatment of social problems are the novellas A Walk in the Night (1962), The Stone Country (1967), and In the Fog of the Seasons’ End (1973) by A. La Guma (born 1925), the novel In the Power of the Night (1965) by Abrahams, and the novel The Unwanted (1977) by C. Barnard and S. Stander.

Poets who have taken a critical approach to social problems are A. K. Nortje (born 1942), C. Peters (born 1930), O. Mtshali (born 1940), A. N. Kumalo, D. Brutus (born 1924), B. Feinberg (born 1938), and W. K. Kqositsile (born 1938). The plays of A. Fugard (born 1932) are popular, notably The Blood Knot (1963), The Island (1974), and Sizwe Bansi Is Dead (1974). The literature of protest constitutes an important part of South African culture and has developed despite the policy of cultural isolation carried out by the National Party.


Kartuzov, S. P. “‘Literatura protesta’ v Iuzhno-Afrikanskoi respublike: Roman poslevoennykh let.” In Literatura stran Afriki, collection 1. Moscow, 1964.
Kartuzov, S. P. “Evoliutsiia geroia v sovremennoi proze Iuar.” In Fol’klor i literatura narodov Afriki. Moscow, 1970.
Kartuzov, S. P. “Proletarskaia tema v poslevoennoi proze Iuzhno-Afrikanskoi Respubliki.” In Vzaimosviazi afrikanskikh literatur i literatur mira. Moscow, 1975.
Kartuzov, S. P. “Pisateli Iuzhno-Afrikanskoi Respubliki o sudbakh Afriki.” In Sovremennyi revoliutsionnyi protsess iprogressivnaia literatura (1960–1970-egody). Moscow, 1976.
Saratovskaia, L. B. “Periodizatsiia literatury bantu v Iuzhno-Afrikanskom Soiuze (nachal’nyi period).” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1963, no. 1.
Saratovskaia, L. B. “Etapy razvitiia literatury luzhno-Afrikanskoi respubliki.” In the collection Aktual’nye problemy izucheniia literatur Afriki. Moscow, 1969.
Sovremennye literatury Afriki: Vost. iluzh. Afrika. Moscow, 1974.
Mphahlele, E. African Image. London, 1962.
Dekker, G. Afrikaanse literatuurgeskiedenis. Johannesburg, 1961.
Klima, V. South African Prose Writing in English. Prague, 1971.


Numerous rock drawings have been preserved on the territory of South Africa, the oldest of which date from several millennia to a few centuries B.C. Also extant are petroglyphs of various animals and paintings executed in natural mineral paints. The earlier paintings are monochrome figures of animals; the later paintings are polychrome hunting, livestock-herding, and battle scenes.

Architecture. The development of South African architecture began in the mid-17th century, when a fort was built in 1652 on the Cape of Good Hope, in the area of the future Cape Town. After the formation of the Cape Colony, construction began in earnest. Between 1666 and 1672 a pentagonal stone castle (architect P. Dombaer) was erected. Along the streets of Cape Town and in numerous settlements that appeared in the colony, buildings were constructed in the Dutch architectural style of the 17th and 18th centuries, modified to suit local conditions. In the late 18th century the architect L. M. Thibault and the sculptor A. Anreith introduced to South Africa the influence of French Renaissance architectural elements, evident in their use of orders in facades and in the splendor and diversity of their pediments, which were richly decorated with sculpture.

In the early 19th century, as rich deposits of precious metals were discovered and South Africa experienced a wave of immigration, cities grew rapidly, notably Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. The use of a variety of architectural styles prevailed until the early 20th century. In Cape Town the neo-Gothic was dominant, and Pretoria adhered to the traditions of the Cape Dutch style. In Johannesburg, numerous neoclassical structures were built, notably those of the architect H. Baker.

In the late 1920’s, functionalist buildings were designed by such architects as R. Martienssen and W. G. McIntosh. In the 1930’s, South African architecture came under the influence of the great masters of Europe and the USA; subsequently, the influence of Latin American architects was also felt. In those areas of the city provided with conveniences and services, government buildings have been erected, along with commercial buildings, office buildings, banks, and private homes; on the outskirts of the cities are slum districts.

The main type of settlement inhabited by the indigenous population is the kraal. At its center is a cattle pen, which is surrounded by huts and graineries of various shapes.

Visual art. Since the late 18th century South African art has been influenced by resident European artists, including such sculptors as Anreith and such painters as T. W. Bowler, G. F. Angas, P. Wenning, C. Peers, and J. H. Pierneef. Among the most famous contemporary artists are the painter G. Sekoto, who has created an entire gallerty of portraits of his fellow countrymen, and the wood-carver Kekana. Young artists are educated at the Ndaleni Art School. They include the painters J. Masike, E. Ngcobo, and A. Nibe, who seek to depict truthfully life in South Africa today. Such sculptors as G. Kubheka, S. Kumalo, and S. K. Sedibane produce carved compositions for public and government buildings. Considerable advances have been made in graphics (A. Dlamini and J. Mitchell) and book illustration (P. Clarke). Widely practiced handicrafts include metalworking, pottery, the carving of household utensils, leatherworking, and basketry.


Voronina, V. L. [“Arkhitektura Iuzhnoi Afriki.”] In Vseobshchaia istoriia arkhitektury, vols. 8 and 10–11. Moscow, 1969–73.
Iskusstvo narodov Afriki. Moscow, 1975.

The musical culture of South Africa includes the music of the indigenous inhabitants, the white population, and the Indians. It encompasses archaic forms of music among the Bushmen and Hottentots and the highly developed musical art exemplified by the songs of the Zulu and Xhosa and the music of the Chopi xylophone ensembles. The progress of South Africa’s national culture has been hindered by the policy of apartheid carried out by the reactionary ruling circles.

At the turn of the 20th century the music of the indigenous population underwent intensive development. Such figures as E. Songonga and R. Caluza sought to modernize the traditional songs, which dealt with social themes. In the first quarter of the 20th century a school of composition emerged, represented by such figures as P. Rainier, G. Fagan, B. Gerstman, A. van Wyk, and H. du Plessis; a major role in the development of the school was played by the British musician W. H. Bell, who became director of the South African College of Music at Cape Town in 1912. Such British musical figures as the conductor A. Coates and the composer E. Chisholm were also active in Cape Town.

A national operatic genre was created, the most notable example of which is King Kong (1959) by T. Matshikiza; the opera was performed in Europe and the USA. The highly topical operas of G. Skosana and B. Leshoai creatively rework the traditions of national ensemble singing. The singer M. Makeba and the trumpeter H. Masekela have achieved renown.

The musical culture of South African peoples has been studied by H. Tracy, the founder of the African Music Society in Johannesburg and the International Library of African Music, and by P. Kirby. South Africa has symphony orchestras in Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town and societies for the dissemination of music. The principal music education institution is the University of Cape Town’s music faculty, which includes an opera school; the university is open only to whites.


Long before such peoples as the Bantus and the Hottentots came into contact with Europeans, they performed dramatic versions of stories to a musical accompaniment, in a theatrical genre called the intsomi. The first amateur productions by European settlers date from the second half of the 18th century. A building for the African Theatre was erected in 1800. Socioeconomic changes that took place after the formation of the Union of South Africa and after World War I fostered an increased interest in the theater. Touring companies from Europe traveled to South Africa.

In the 1920’s the first black playwrights emerged; their works reflected the contradictions of South African social reality. Notable plays from this period were Modgokega’s A Jug of Beer, written in Sotho, and H. Dhlomo’s The Girl Who Killed to Save, written in Zulu. The writer, poet, and historian K. Mqhayi translated many classic European plays into Xhosa. Increased racism and the establishment of apartheid in South Africa after World War II, together with the introduction of strict censorship, made it extremely difficult for the theater to develop.

The country’s only professional company of colored actors is the Eoan Group, founded in Cape Town in 1934 by H. Southern-Holt. The company’s activities helped popularize music, ballet, and drama among the colored population. In 1948 the National Theatre Organisation was founded; the company performed in cities and settlements, staging productions in English and Afrikaans. The best theatrical facilities in South Africa were made available to foreign variety shows and other programs of entertainment. Black performers were permitted to stage only myths, religious stories or ersatz folktales, and stylized, melodramatic musicals. Theatrical companies and institutions include the University of Cape Town’s Little Theatre and the Labia and Hofmeyr theatrical groups.

Despite persecution by the censor, several amateur groups were active in South Africa in the 1970’s: the Theatre Council of Natal (founded 1969 at the University College for Indians, at Durban; directed by S. Cooper and S. Moodly), Workshop ‘71, and the People’s Experimental Theatre (founded 1973). Also active were the Cape Flats Players, directed by A. Small, and the Serpent Players in Johannesburg, under the direction of A. Fugard. The productions staged by these groups often dealt with social subject matter.

By the mid-1970’s most of the progressive black groups had disbanded owing to the arrest of their directors and performers.


“Black Theatre in South Africa.” Fact Paper on Southern Africa, 1976, vol. 2.


The history of motion pictures in South Africa began in 1915, when the Killarney film studios and laboratory were built in Johannesburg. The first silent feature films were The Voortrekkers (1916) and Symbol of Sacrifice (1918), which depicted the conquest of South Africa by the Boers and the British. These films, like subsequent South African films, tendentiously exaggerated the heroism of the white conquerors. The historical films Dingaka (1967) and Majuba (1968) are examples of imperialist propaganda. Racist theories were propagated in films of other genres—the inconsequential comedies, musicals, and adventure films of D. Uys, E. Nofal, and J. Rautenbach.

Most South African films suffer from an impoverished content and a lack of originality; starring roles are usually taken by white actors. Because of strict censorship, motion pictures that indict apartheid can be made only underground; examples are Come Back, Africa (1959), by L. Rogosin, and The End of the Dialogue (1970), made by a group opposed to racism in South Africa. The most important cinematic works are R. Devenish’s antiracist motion pictures Boesman and Lena (1974) and The Guest (1977).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The survey, now in its fifth year, is the world's largest and most comprehensive survey of internet security and trust, and was conducted between Dec 21, 2018, and Feb 10, 2019, and involved 25,229 internet users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, GerAmany, Great Britain, Hong Kong (China), India, IndoAnesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.
The Deputy Amir received the credentials of the ambassador of South Africa, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Mongolia and Uzbekistan to Qatar - Faizal Moosa, Kim Chang-Mo, Carlos Hernandez, Zorigt Chintushig and Bakhromjon Aloev, respectively.
The G20 includes the E.U., the U.S., the U.K., Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, and Turkey.
Ahmed bin Abdullah al- Busaidi, Director of OPS said that the exhibition includes 36 photographs for 23 women photographers from 13 countries, including the Sultanate, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Republic of South Africa, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Italy, Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Republic of Peru, Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Sri Lanka.
The offer is open to individual investors, juristic persons and institutions within Oman, and to non-Omani investors outside of US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Republic of Ireland and Japan, said a company statement.
* Offer open to individual investors, juristic persons and institutions within Oman, and to non-Omani investors outside of US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Republic of Ireland and Japan
The most significant growths were reported on the imports from Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, South Africa, Republic of Korea and Egypt.
The G20 is made up of the Finance Ministers and Governors of respective central banks of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union.
Forms 3520 With Nongrantor Trust Distributions: Number and Value of Distributions, by Selected Country of Foreign Trust, Tax Year 2006 [Money amounts are in thousands of dollars] umber of returns Country or area with distributions Distributions All countries 1,200 2,877,742 Australia 8 395 Bahamas 101 65,019 Bermuda 157 103,514 British Virgin Islands 28 14,735 Canada 148 28,972 Cayman Islands 107 46,619 Channel Islands 39 59,864 Guernsey 39 49,312 Isle of Man 5 5,711 Jersey 38 36,596 Liechtenstein 90 314,622 Netherlands Antilles 11 3,323 Panama 4 1,913 South Africa, Republic of 29 3,120 Switzerland 130 1,955,575 United Kingdom and Northern 161 106,000 Ireland Not specified or other 105 82,453 NOTES: Detail may not add to total because of rounding.
Reyna is set for an extended season after the Cup final when he returns to America for the US Nike Cup which takes place at the start of next month against South Africa, Republic of Ireland and Mexico.

Full browser ?