Brief History of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Back to property in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
In the early 19th century the area now known as Kwazulu-Natal was inhabited primarily by Bantu-speaking
Zulu people. In the 1820s and 30s the British acquired much of the Kwazulu-Natal area
from the Zulu chiefs Shaka and Dingane. Afrikaner farmers ( Boers )
arrived (see Trek, Great ) in 1837 and, after battles with the Zulu
(notably the Boer victory over Dingane at Blood River in 1838), established
(1838-39) a republic. In 1843, Britain annexed Kwazulu-Natal area, then known as Natal, to the Cape Colony,
and a Boer exodus followed.
In 1856, Natal became a separate colony. Sugarcane cultivation began
c.1860, and many Indians (mostly indentured laborers) came to work in
the sugar industry. Many Indians remained in Natal after their indenture
expired; by 1900 they outnumbered whites. In 1893, Natal was given internal
self-government; in 1910 it became a founding province of the Union
(now Republic) of South Africa.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, KwaZulu-Natal was wracked by conflict
between the African National Congress and the Zulu-nationalist Inkatha
Freedom Party, under the leadership of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi ;
fighting has since diminished.