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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.




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