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Related to Transkei: Bophuthatswana, Ciskei


(trănskī`), former black "homeland" and nominal republic, E South Africa, in what is now Eastern Cape prov. Transkei was bounded by the Great Kei River on the south, by the Indian Ocean on the east, by Natal (now Kwazulu-Natal) on the north, and by Lesotho on the northwest. Two exclaves were separated from the main territory, in the northwest by Cape Province and in the northeast by Natal. The capital and main city was Umtata (now Mthatha).

Part of the Drakensberg Range was in W Transkei. Much of the former territory of the homeland is hilly or mountainous, and there is little good farmland. Most of the area's inhabitants speak a Xhosa language. Roughly two thirds of the Transkei's income was provided by the South African government, and all trade was conducted through South Africa.


In the 1830s and 40s the Transkei was the scene of fighting between European settlers and Africans over the possession of cattle and grazing land. The territory was gradually annexed by Britain in the late 19th cent. and incorporated into Cape Colony (later Cape Province). Transkei was separated from Cape Province in 1963 to become the first of ten black areas within South Africa that were ostensibly internally self-governing. In 1976 Transkei became the first of the homelands to be granted "independence." The South African government then revoked the citizenship of its residents. Transkei's assembly controlled many internal matters, but its decisions were subject to the control of the South African government. From 1978 to 1980 territorial disputes prompted Transkei to sever diplomatic relations with South Africa. Like the other homelands, it was not recognized internationally as an independent state. In 1994, after a multiracial election, the establishment of a new South African government, and the end of apartheidapartheid
[Afrik.,=apartness], system of racial segregation peculiar to the Republic of South Africa, the legal basis of which was largely repealed in 1991–92. History
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, Transkei and the other nine homelands were reabsorbed into South Africa.

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a territory in Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Area, about 42,000 sq km. Population, 1.75 million (1970), mostly Bantu. The capital is the city of Umtata. Since 1963 the Transkei has enjoyed self-government as a tribal homeland; actual control is in the hands of the South African government.

Cereals, cotton, and fruit are cultivated in the Transkei, and cattle and sheep are raised. The territory is a region of semicompulsory recruitment of workers for South African mines.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the largest of South Africa's former Bantu homelands and the first Bantu self-governing territory (1963); declared an independent state in 1976 but this status was not recognized outside South Africa; abolished in 1993 when South African citizenship was restored to its inhabitants. Capital: Umtata
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Following an elaboration of artificial constraints relating to the comparison of Lesotho and Transkei, this paper will address four main issues.
Nomachule Mlingwa was in her forties when her husband abandoned her and she fled to the then Transkei seeking work in the Western Cape.
The first part is set in the days of his youth when he lived in the Transkei. The cast will sing some of the traditional South African songs that formed the soundtrack of his life as we meet the young Mandela and the challenges he faced leaving his traditional home.
Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918.
Firstly, a soundtrack of Mandela's life growing up in the Transkei (a remote region in the Eastern Cape) with its own musical language; secondly, the jazz of the 1950s that produced stars like Miriam Makeba, Dolly Ratheba, and others, which Nelson listened to as a young lawyer; and lastly, a contemporary opera score which delves into his prison years, opera being a very popular musical career for many South African singers."
I have summarised here what I published in 2003, based on 18 years of practising surgery at a former mission hospital in Transkei. [2]
Multiple mycotoxin exposure determined by urinary biomarkers in rural subsistence farmers in the former Transkei, South Africa.
Transkei, part of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, is one of the three areas of the world with a very high reported incidence of squamous cancer of the oesophagus [1,2].
The Transkei, originally referred to as Pondoland, was between the Kei River and the then Colony of Natal.
For some reason, Bophuthatswana seemed to have more leeway than other homelands such as Transkei and Ciskei in hiring expatriate staff.
Jeremy Brooke, who was affectionately known as Gumby, was shot to both the chest and neck after the property in which he and friends were staying in the Transkei area was burgled by a gang at around midnight on February 21.