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A Bantustan (also known as
Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Bantu knots, a type of African hairstyle *Black Association for Nationalis ...
homeland,
black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness. Black and white have ofte ...
homeland,
black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness. Black and white have ofte ...
state or simply homeland; ) was a territory that the National Party administration of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and
South West Africa South West Africa ( af, Suidwes-Afrika; german: Südwestafrika; nl, Zuidwest-Afrika) was the name for modern-day Namibia when it was under South African administration, from 1915 to 1990. Previously the colony of German South West Africa from 188 ...
(now
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and eas ...
), as part of its policy of
apartheid Apartheid (South African English: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid wa ...
. In a generic sense, Bantustans are regions that lack any real legitimacy, consisting of several unconnected enclaves, or which have emerged from national or international
gerrymandering Gerrymandering ( or ) is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts, which is most commonly used in first-past-the-post electoral system ...
.Macmillan Dictionary
Bantustan
"1. one of the areas in South Africa where black people lived during the apartheid system; 2. SHOWING DISAPPROVAL any area where people are forced to live without full civil and political rights."
The term was first used in the late 1940s and was coined from Bantu (meaning ''people'' in some of the
Bantu languages The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The total number of Bantu languages ranges in the hundreds, depending on the definition of "languag ...
) and ''
-stan The suffix -stan ( fa, ـستان, translit=stân after a vowel; estân or istân after a consonant) has the meaning of ''"a place abounding in"'' or ''"a place where anything abounds"'' in Persian language. It appears in the names of many regions ...
'' (a suffix meaning ''
land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture, habitat, and various natural resources. Some life form ...
'' in the
Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. Persian is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used ...
and some Persian-influenced languages of
western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
,
central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa continent, also known as ...

central
, and
southern Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.;;;;;;;; Top ...

southern Asia
). It subsequently came to be regarded as a disparaging term by some critics of the apartheid-era government's ''homelands''. The Government established ten Bantustans in South Africa, and ten in neighbouring South West Africa (then under South African administration), for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating autonomous nation states for South Africa's different black ethnic groups. Under the
Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act The Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act, 1970 (Act No. 26 of 1970; subsequently renamed the Black States Citizenship Act, 1970 and the National States Citizenship Act, 1970) was a Self Determination or denaturalization law passed during the apartheid e ...
of 1970, the Government stripped black South Africans of their citizenship, which deprived them of their few remaining political and civil rights in South Africa, and declared them to be citizens of these homelands.
/ref> The Government of South Africa declared as independent four of the South African Bantustans—
Transkei Transkei (, meaning ''the area beyond he riverKei''), officially the Republic of Transkei ( xh, iRiphabliki yeTranskei), was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan—an area set asid ...
,
Bophuthatswana Bophuthatswana (, meaning "gathering of the Tswana people"), officially the Republic of Bophuthatswana ( tn, Riphaboliki ya Bophuthatswana; af, Republiek van Bophuthatswana), was a Bantustan (also known as "Homeland"; an area set aside for member ...
,
Venda Venda () was a Bantustan in northern South Africa, which is fairly close to the South African border with Zimbabwe to the north, while to the south and east, it shared a long border with another black homeland, Gazankulu. It is now part of the ...
, and
Ciskei Ciskei (, or ) was a nominally independent state – a Bantustan – in the south east of South Africa. It covered an area of , almost entirely surrounded by what was then the Cape Province, and possessed a small coastline along the shor ...
(the so-called "TBVC States"), but this declaration was never recognised by anti-apartheid forces in South Africa or by any international government. Other Bantustans (like
KwaZulu KwaZulu was a semi-independent bantustan in South Africa, intended by the apartheid government as a homeland for the Zulu people. The capital was moved from Nongoma to Ulundi in 1980. It was led until its abolition in 1994 by Chief Mangosuthu ...
,
Lebowa Lebowa was a bantustan ("homeland") located in the Transvaal in northeastern South Africa. Seshego initially acted as Lebowa's capital while the purpose-built Lebowakgomo was being constructed. Granted internal self-government on 2 October 197 ...
, and
QwaQwa QwaQwa was a bantustan ("homeland") in the central eastern part of South Africa. It encompassed a very small region of in the east of the former South African province of Orange Free State, bordering Lesotho. Its capital was Phuthaditjhaba. It w ...
) were assigned 'autonomy' but never granted 'independence'. In South West Africa,
Ovamboland Ovamboland (also: ''Owamboland'') was a Bantustan in South West Africa (present-day Namibia), intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Ovambo people. The term originally referred to the parts of northern ...
,
Kavangoland Kavangoland was a bantustan in South West Africa (present-day Namibia), intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Kavango people. It was set up in 1970 and self-government was granted in 1973. Kavangoland, l ...
, and
East Caprivi East Caprivi or Lozi was a bantustan in South West Africa (present-day Namibia), intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Lozi people. It was set up in 1972, in the very corner of the Namibian panhandle calle ...
were declared to be self-governing with a handful of other ostensible homelands never being given autonomy. The Bantustans were abolished with the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994.


Creation

British colonial administrations in the 19th century, and subsequent South African governments, had established "reserves" in 1913 and 1936, with the intention of segregating black South Africans from whites. When the National Party came to power in 1948, Minister for Native Affairs (and later
Prime Minister of South Africa The prime minister of South Africa ( af, Eerste Minister van Suid-Afrika) was the head of government in South Africa between 1910 and 1984. History of the office The position of Prime Minister was established in 1910, when the Union of South A ...
)
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd (; 8 September 1901 – 6 September 1966), also commonly referred to as Dr. H. F. Verwoerd, was a South African politician, a scholar of applied psychology and sociology, and chief editor of "Die Transvaler" news ...
built on this, introducing a series of measures that reshaped South African society such that whites would be the demographic majority. The creation of the homelands or Bantustans was a central element of this strategy, as the long-term goal was to make the Bantustans independent. As a result, blacks would lose their South African citizenship and voting rights, allowing whites to remain in control of South Africa. The term "Bantustan" for these
Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Bantu knots, a type of African hairstyle *Black Association for Nationalis ...
homelands was intended to draw a parallel with the creation of
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212.2 million, and has the wor ...
and
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Oce ...

India
("
Hindustan Hindustan (), along with its shortened form Hind, are the Persian names for India, broadly the Indian subcontinent, which later became used by its inhabitants in Hindi–Urdu. Other toponyms of the subcontinent include Jambudvipa, Bharata, and I ...
"), which had taken place just a few months prior at the end of 1947, and was coined by supporters of the policy. However, it quickly became a pejorative term, with the National Party preferring the term "homelands". As
Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (; ; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's firs ...

Nelson Mandela
explained in a 1959 article:
The newspapers have christened the Nationalists' plan as one for "Bantustans". The hybrid word is, in many ways, extremely misleading. It relates to the partitioning of India, after the reluctant' departure of the British, and as a condition thereof, into two separate States, Hindustan and Pakistan. There is no real parallel with the Nationalists' proposals, for (a) India and Pakistan constitute two completely separate and politically independent States, (b) Muslims enjoy equal rights in India; Hindus enjoy equal rights in Pakistan, (c) Partition was submitted to and approved by both parties, or at any rate fairly widespread and Influential sections of each. The Government's plans do not envisage the partitioning of this country into separate, self-governing States. They do not envisage equal rights, or any rights at all, for Africans outside the reserves. Partition has never been approved of by Africans and never will be. For that matter it has never been really submitted to or approved of by the Whites. The term "Bantustan" is therefore a complete misnomer, and merely tends to help the Nationalists perpetrate a fraud.
"While apartheid was an ideology born of the will to survive or, put differently, the fear of extinction, Afrikaner leaders differed on how best to implement it. While some were satisfied with segregationist policies placing them at the top of a social and economic hierarchy, others truly believed in the concept of 'separate but equal'. For the latter, the ideological justification for the classification, segregation, and denial of political rights was the plan to set aside special land reserves for black South Africans, later called 'bantustans' or 'homelands'. Each ethnic group would have its own state with its own political system and economy, and each would rely on its own labour force. These independent states would then coexist alongside white South Africa in a spirit of friendship and collaboration. In their own areas, black citizens would enjoy full rights." Verwoerd argued that the Bantustans were the "original homes" of the black peoples of South Africa. In 1951, the government of
Daniel François Malan Daniël François Malan, PC (; 22 May 1874 – 7 February 1959) was a South African politician who served as Prime Minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. The National Party implemented the system of apartheid, which enforced racial segre ...
introduced the Bantu Authorities Act to establish "homelands" allocated to the country's black ethnic groups. These amounted to 13% of the country's land, the remainder being reserved for the white population. The homelands were run by cooperative tribal leaders, while uncooperative chiefs were forcibly deposed. Over time, a ruling black elite emerged with a personal and financial interest in the preservation of the homelands. While this aided the homelands' political stability to an extent, their position was still entirely dependent on South African support. The role of the homelands was expanded in 1959 with the passage of the
Bantu Self-Government Act The Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act, 1959 (Act No. 46 of 1959, commenced 19 June; subsequently renamed the Promotion of Black Self-government Act, 1959 and later the Representation between the Republic of South Africa and Self-governing Terr ...
, which set out a plan called "
Separate Development A Bantustan (also known as Bantu homeland, black homeland, black state or simply homeland; ) was a territory that the National Party administration of South Africa set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (now Nami ...
". This enabled the homelands to establish themselves in the long term as self-governing territories and ultimately as nominally fully "independent" states. This process was to be achieved in a series of four major steps for each homeland: * The unification of the reserves set aside for the various "tribes" (officially called "nations" since 1959) under a single "Territorial Authority" * The establishment of a legislative assembly for each homeland with limited powers of self-rule * The establishment of the homeland as a "self-governing territory" * The granting of full nominal independence to the homeland This general framework was not in each case followed in a clear-cut way, but often with a number of intermediate and overlapping steps. The homeland of
Transkei Transkei (, meaning ''the area beyond he riverKei''), officially the Republic of Transkei ( xh, iRiphabliki yeTranskei), was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan—an area set asid ...
served in many regards as a "testing ground" for apartheid policies; its institutional development started already before the 1959 act, and its attainment of self-government and independence were therefore implemented earlier than for the other homelands. This plan was stepped up under Verwoerd's successor as prime minister,
John Vorster Balthazar Johannes "B. J." Vorster (; (also known as John Vorster) 13 December 1915 – 10 September 1983) was a South African politician who served as the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1966 to 1978 and as the fourth State President of Sou ...

John Vorster
, as part of his "enlightened" approach to apartheid. However, the true intention of this policy was to fulfill Verwoerd's original plan to make South Africa's blacks nationals of the homelands rather than of South Africa—thus removing the few rights they still had as citizens. The homelands were encouraged to opt for independence, as this would greatly reduce the number of black citizens of South Africa. The process of creating the legal framework for this plan was completed by the Black Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970, which formally designated all black South Africans as citizens of the homelands, even if they lived in "white South Africa", and cancelled their South African citizenship, and the Bantu Homelands Constitution Act of 1971, which provided a general blueprint for the stages of constitutional development of all homelands (except Transkei) from the establishment of Territorial Authorities up to full independence. By 1984, all ten homelands in South Africa had attained self-government and four of them (
Transkei Transkei (, meaning ''the area beyond he riverKei''), officially the Republic of Transkei ( xh, iRiphabliki yeTranskei), was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan—an area set asid ...
, Boputhatswana,
Venda Venda () was a Bantustan in northern South Africa, which is fairly close to the South African border with Zimbabwe to the north, while to the south and east, it shared a long border with another black homeland, Gazankulu. It is now part of the ...
and
Ciskei Ciskei (, or ) was a nominally independent state – a Bantustan – in the south east of South Africa. It covered an area of , almost entirely surrounded by what was then the Cape Province, and possessed a small coastline along the shor ...
) had been declared fully independent between 1976 and 1981. The following table shows the time-frame of the institutional and legal development of the ten South African Bantustans in light of the above-mentioned four major steps: In parallel with the creation of the homelands, South Africa's black population was subjected to a massive programme of forced relocation. It has been estimated that 3.5 million people were forced from their homes from the 1960s through the 1980s, many being resettled in the Bantustans. The government made clear that its ultimate aim was the total removal of the black population from South Africa.
Connie Mulder Connie Mulder, born Petrus Cornelius Mulder (5 June 1925– 12 January 1988), was a South African politician, cabinet minister and father of Pieter Mulder, former leader of the Freedom Front Plus. He started his career as a teacher of Afrikaan ...

Connie Mulder
, the Minister of Plural Relations and Development, told the
House of Assembly House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature or lower house of a bicameral parliament. In some countries this may be at a subnational level. Historically, in British Crown colonies as the colony gained more internal responsible government ...
on 7 February 1978: But this goal was not achieved. Only a minority (about 39% in 1986) of South Africa's black population lived in the Bantustans; the remainder lived in South Africa proper, many in
township ''Township'' refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries. While a ''township'' may be associated with an urban area, this tends to be an exception to the rule. In Australia, Canada, Scotland and pa ...
s,
shanty-town A shanty town or squatter area is a settlement of improvised buildings known as shanties or shacks, typically made of materials such as mud and wood. A typical shanty town is squatted and in the beginning lacks adequate infrastructure, including p ...
s and slums on the outskirts of South African cities.


International recognition

Bantustans within the borders of South Africa were classified as "self-governing" or "independent". In theory, self-governing Bantustans had control over many aspects of their internal functioning but were not yet sovereign nations. Independent Bantustans (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei; also known as the TBVC states) were intended to be fully sovereign. These areas received little attention from the colonial and later South African governments however, and were still very undeveloped. This greatly decreased these states ability to govern and made them very reliant on the South African government. Throughout the existence of the independent Bantustans, South Africa remained the only country to recognise their independence. The South African government, lobbied for their recognition. In 1976, leading up to a
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national bicameral legislature of the United States. The House's composition is es ...
resolution urging the President not to recognise Transkei, the South African government intensely lobbied lawmakers to oppose the bill. Arbitrary and unrecognized
amateur radio call signs Amateur radio call signs are allocated to amateur radio operators around the world. The call signs are used to legally identify the station or operator, with some countries requiring the station call sign to always be used and others allowing the op ...
were created for the independent states and QSL cards were sent by operators using them, but the
International Telecommunications Union 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. Established in 1865 as the International Tele ...
never accepted these stations as legitimate. Each TBVC state extended recognition to the other independent Bantustans while South Africa showed its commitment to the notion of TBVC sovereignty by building embassies in the TBVC capitals.


Life in the Bantustans

The Bantustans were generally poor, with few local employment opportunities. However, some opportunities did exist for advancement for blacks and some advances in education and infrastructure were made. which the National Party government had prohibited in South Africa proper as being immoral. This provided a lucrative source of income for the South African elite, who constructed
megaresort A resort hotel is a hotel which often contains full-sized luxury facilities with full-service accommodations and amenities. These hotels may attract both business conferences and vacationing tourists and offer more than a convenient place to stay. ...
s such as
Sun CitySun City may refer to: Places United States * Sun City, Arizona, Del Webb's original "Sun City" development, and model for subsequent communities * Sun City Festival (Buckeye, Arizona) * Sun City, California * Sun City Center, Florida * Sun City, F ...
in the homeland of
Bophuthatswana Bophuthatswana (, meaning "gathering of the Tswana people"), officially the Republic of Bophuthatswana ( tn, Riphaboliki ya Bophuthatswana; af, Republiek van Bophuthatswana), was a Bantustan (also known as "Homeland"; an area set aside for member ...
. Bophuthatswana also possessed deposits of platinum, and other natural resources, which made it the wealthiest of the Bantustans. However, the homelands were only kept afloat by massive subsidies from the South African government; for instance, by 1985 in
Transkei Transkei (, meaning ''the area beyond he riverKei''), officially the Republic of Transkei ( xh, iRiphabliki yeTranskei), was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan—an area set asid ...
, 85% of the homeland's income came from direct transfer payments from
Pretoria Pretoria (; zu, ePitoli) is one of South Africa’s three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, and as the host to all foreign embassies to South Africa. (Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontei ...
. The Bantustans' governments were invariably corrupt and little wealth trickled down to the local populations, who were forced to seek employment as "guest workers" in South Africa proper. Millions of people had to work in often appalling conditions, away from their homes for months at a time. On the other hand, only 40% of Bophuthatswana's population worked outside the 'homeland' because the homeland was able to create industrial sites like Zone 15 and Babelegi. The homelands were extremely unpopular among the urban black population, many of whom lived in squalor in slum housing. Their working conditions were often equally poor, as they were denied any significant rights or protections in South Africa proper. The allocation of individuals to specific homelands was often quite arbitrary. Many individuals assigned to homelands did not live in or originate from the homelands to which they were assigned, and the division into designated ethnic groups often took place on an arbitrary basis, particularly in the case of people of mixed ethnic ancestry. Bantustan leaders were widely perceived as collaborators with the Apartheid system, although some were successful in acquiring a following. Most homeland leaders had an ambivalent stance regarding the independence of their homelands: a majority was sceptical, remained cautious and avoided a definite decision, some outright rejected it due to their rejection of "separate development" and a professed commitment to "opposing apartheid from within the system", whilst others believed that nominal independence could serve to consolidate their power bases (to an even higher degree than the, in fact, already quite powerful status they enjoyed as rulers of self-governing homelands) and presented an opportunity to build a society relatively free from racial discrimination. In general, the leaders of the Bantustans, despite their overall collaboration and often collusion with the apartheid regime, did not shy away from occasionally attacking the South African government's racial policies and calling for the repeal or softening of apartheid laws (most of which were repealed in nominally independent states). Various plans for a federal solution were at times mooted, both by the Bantustan governments and by opposition parties in South Africa as well as circles inside the white ruling National Party.


Later developments

In January 1985, State President P. W. Botha declared that blacks in South Africa proper would no longer be deprived of South African citizenship in favour of Bantustan citizenship and that black citizens within the independent Bantustans could reapply for South African citizenship;
F. W. de Klerk Frederik Willem de Klerk (, ; born 18 March 1936) is a South African retired politician, who served as State President of South Africa from 1989 to 1994 and as Deputy President from 1994 to 1996. As South Africa's last head of state from the er ...
stated on behalf of the National Party during the 1987 general election that "every effort to turn the tide
f black workers F, or f, is the sixth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is ''ef'' (pronounced ), plural ''efs''. History The origin of 'F' is the Semitic letter ''waw'' that represented a sound like ...
streaming into the urban areas failed. It does not help to bluff ourselves about this. The economy demands the permanent presence of the majority of blacks in urban areas ... They cannot stay in South Africa year after year without political representation." In March 1990 de Klerk, who succeeded Botha in 1989, announced that his government would not grant independence to any more Bantustans. These remarks were however by no means meant as a rejection of the Bantustan system in general: the goal of the apartheid regime during the second half of the 1980s was to "modernize" the organisational framework of apartheid while leaving its fundamental principles (including the homelands) unchanged. The government was forced to accept the permanent presence of blacks in urban areas as well as the practical unfeasibility of the hitherto very strict forms of "influx control" (replacing it by "softer" means of control), not to mention the impossibility of a total removal of all blacks to the homelands even in the long run. It was hoping to "pacify" the black urban population by developing various plans to confer upon them limited rights at the local level (but not the upper levels of government). Furthermore, the urban (and rural) residential areas remained segregated based on race in accordance with the
Group Areas Act Group Areas Act was the title of three acts of the Parliament of South Africa enacted under the apartheid government of South Africa. The acts assigned racial groups to different residential and business sections in urban areas in a system of urb ...
. "Separate development" as a principle remained in force, and the apartheid regime went on to rely on the Bantustans as one of the main pillars of its policy in dealing with the black population. Until 1990, attempts continued to urge self-governing homelands to opt for independence (e.g. Lebowa, Gazankulu and KwaZulu) and on occasion the governments of self-governing homelands (e.g. KwaNdebele) themselves expressed interest in obtaining eventual independence. It was also contemplated in circles of the ruling National Party to create additional nominally independent entities in the urban areas in the form of "independent" black "city states". The long-term vision during this time was the creation of some form of a multi-racial "confederation of South African states" with a common citizenship, but separated into racially defined areas. Plans were made (of which only very few were realised) for the development of different "joint" institutions charged with mutual consultation, deliberation and a number of executive functions in relation to "general affairs" common to all population groups, insofar as these institutions would pose no threat to apartheid and the preservation of overall white rule. This "confederation" would include the so-called "common area"—meaning the bulk of South African territory outside of the homelands—under continued white-minority rule and limited power-sharing arrangements with the segregated
Coloured Coloureds ( af, Kleurlinge or ''Bruinmense'', lit. "Brown people") are a multiracial ethnic group native to Southern Africa who have ancestry from more than one of the various populations inhabiting the region, including Khoisan, Bantu, Whites, ...
and Indian/ Asian population groups, the independent and self-governing homelands as well as possible additional black entities in urban areas. From 1990 to 1994 these "confederational" ideas were in principle still entertained by large parts of the National Party (and in various forms also by certain parties and groups of the white liberal opposition), but their overtly race-based foundations gradually became less pronounced in the course of the negotiations to end apartheid, and the focus shifted to securing "minority rights" (having in mind primarily the white population in particular) after an expected handover of power to the black majority. Federalist plans also met with support from some homeland governments and parties, most importantly the
Inkatha Freedom Party The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a political party in South Africa. The party has been led by Velenkosini Hlabisa since the party's 2019 National General Conference. Mangosuthu Buthelezi founded the party in 1975 and led it until 2019. The IFP ...
, which was the ruling party of KwaZulu. But since especially the
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is the Republic of South Africa's governing political party. It has been the ruling party of post-apartheid South Africa since the election of Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election, winning every election si ...
made it clear that the principles of "one man - one vote" and a unitary state were non-negotiable, (con-)federal schemes were eventually dropped. Because of this, the Inkatha Freedom Party threatened to boycott the April 1994 elections that ended apartheid and decided only in the last minute to participate in them after concessions had been made to them and as well as to the still ruling National Party and several white opposition groups. In the period leading up to the elections in 1994, several leaders in the independent and self-governing homelands (e.g. in Boputhatswana), who did not wish to relinquish their power, vehemently opposed the dismantling of the Bantustans and, in doing so, received support from white far-right parties, sections of the apartheid state apparatus and radical pro-apartheid groups like the
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (), meaning ''Afrikaner Resistance Movement'', commonly known by its abbreviation AWB, is an Afrikaner nationalist, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist political party and paramilitary organisation active in South Afr ...
.


Dissolution

With the demise of the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1994, all Bantustans (both nominally independent and self-governing) were dismantled and their territories reincorporated into the Republic of South Africa with effect from 27 April 1994 (the day on which the Interim Constitution, which formally ended apartheid, came into force and the first democratic elections began) in terms of section 1(2) and
Schedule 1Schedule 1 may refer to: * Schedule I Controlled Substances within the US Controlled Substances Act * Schedule I Controlled Drugs and Substances within the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act * Schedule I Psychotropic Substances within the T ...
of the
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993 The Interim Constitution was the fundamental law of South Africa from the first non-racial general election on 27 April 1994 until it was superseded by the final constitution on 4 February 1997. As a transitional constitution it required the newly ...
("Interim Constitution"). The drive to achieve this was spearheaded by the
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is the Republic of South Africa's governing political party. It has been the ruling party of post-apartheid South Africa since the election of Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election, winning every election si ...
(ANC) as a central element of its programme of reform. Reincorporation was mostly achieved peacefully, although there was some resistance from the local elites, who stood to lose out on the opportunities for wealth and political power provided by the homelands. The dismantling of the homelands of Bophuthatswana and Ciskei was particularly difficult. In Ciskei, South African security forces had to intervene in March 1994 to defuse a political crisis. From 1994, most parts of the country were constitutionally redivided into new
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside ...
. Nevertheless, many leaders of former Bantustans or Homelands have had a role in South African politics since their abolition. Some had entered their own parties into the first non-racial election while others joined the ANC.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi (born 27 August 1928) is a South African politician and Zulu tribal leader who founded what became the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975, and was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu bantustan until 1994. He was Minister ...
was chief minister of his
KwaZulu KwaZulu was a semi-independent bantustan in South Africa, intended by the apartheid government as a homeland for the Zulu people. The capital was moved from Nongoma to Ulundi in 1980. It was led until its abolition in 1994 by Chief Mangosuthu ...
homeland from 1976 until 1994. In post-apartheid South Africa he has served as president of the
Inkatha Freedom Party The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a political party in South Africa. The party has been led by Velenkosini Hlabisa since the party's 2019 National General Conference. Mangosuthu Buthelezi founded the party in 1975 and led it until 2019. The IFP ...
and Minister of Home Affairs. Bantubonke Holomisa, who was a general in the homeland of Transkei from 1987, has served as the president of the
United Democratic Movement The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is a centre-left, social-democratic, South African political party, formed by a prominent former National Party leader, Roelf Meyer (who has since resigned from the UDM), a former African National Congress and ...
since 1997. General
Constand Viljoen General Constand Laubscher Viljoen, (28 October 1933 – 3 April 2020) was a South African military commander and politician. He co-founded the Afrikaner Volksfront (Afrikaner People's Front) and later founded the Freedom Front (now Freedo ...
, an Afrikaner who served as chief of the
South African Defence Force The South African Defence Force (SADF) comprised the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. Shortly before the state reconstituted itself as a republic in 1961, the former Union Defence Force was officially succeeded by the SADF, whi ...
, sent 1,500 of his militiamen to protect
Lucas Mangope Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope (27 December 1923 – 18 January 2018) was the leader of the Bantustan (homeland) of Bophuthatswana. The territory he ruled over was distributed between the Orange Free State - what is now Free State (province) - and Nor ...
and to contest the termination of
Bophuthatswana Bophuthatswana (, meaning "gathering of the Tswana people"), officially the Republic of Bophuthatswana ( tn, Riphaboliki ya Bophuthatswana; af, Republiek van Bophuthatswana), was a Bantustan (also known as "Homeland"; an area set aside for member ...
as a homeland in 1994. He founded the
Freedom Front The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus; af, Vryheidsfront Plus, ''VF Plus'') is a national South African political party that was formed (as the Freedom Front) in 1994. It is led by . Its current stated policy positions include amending affirmative acti ...
in 1994. Lucas Mangope, former chief of the Motsweda Ba hurutshe-Boo-Manyane tribe of the Tswana and head of Bophuthatswana is president of the
United Christian Democratic Party The United Christian Democratic Party is a minor political party in South Africa. It was founded by Lucas Mangope, leader of the Bophuthatswana bantustan in 1997, as a successor to the Tswana National Party, and led by him for the first fifteen ye ...
, effectively a continuation of the ruling party of the homeland.
Oupa Gqozo Joshua Oupa Gqozo (; born 10 March 1952) was the military ruler of the former homeland of Ciskei in South Africa. Early life Gqozo was born in Kroonstad, Orange Free State on 10 March 1952, the son of a Christian minister. In Afrikaans, Oupa me ...
, the last ruler of
Ciskei Ciskei (, or ) was a nominally independent state – a Bantustan – in the south east of South Africa. It covered an area of , almost entirely surrounded by what was then the Cape Province, and possessed a small coastline along the shor ...
, entered his African Democratic Movement in the 1994 elections but was unsuccessful. The Dikwankwetla Party, which ruled Qwaqwa, remains a force in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, Maluti a Phofung council where it is the largest opposition party. The Ximoko Party, which ruled Gazankulu, has a presence in local government in Giyani. Similarly, the former KwaNdebele chief minister George Mahlangu and others formed the Sindawonye Progressive Party which is one of the major opposition parties in Thembisile Hani Local Municipality and Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality (encompassing the territory of the former homeland).


List of Bantustans


Bantustans in South Africa

The homelands are listed below with the ethnic group for which each homeland was designated. Four were nominally independent (the so-called TBVC states of the
Transkei Transkei (, meaning ''the area beyond he riverKei''), officially the Republic of Transkei ( xh, iRiphabliki yeTranskei), was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan—an area set asid ...
,
Bophuthatswana Bophuthatswana (, meaning "gathering of the Tswana people"), officially the Republic of Bophuthatswana ( tn, Riphaboliki ya Bophuthatswana; af, Republiek van Bophuthatswana), was a Bantustan (also known as "Homeland"; an area set aside for member ...
,
Venda Venda () was a Bantustan in northern South Africa, which is fairly close to the South African border with Zimbabwe to the north, while to the south and east, it shared a long border with another black homeland, Gazankulu. It is now part of the ...
and the
Ciskei Ciskei (, or ) was a nominally independent state – a Bantustan – in the south east of South Africa. It covered an area of , almost entirely surrounded by what was then the Cape Province, and possessed a small coastline along the shor ...
). The other six had limited self-government:


Nominally independent states


Self-governing entities

The first Bantustan was the Transkei, under the leadership of Chief Kaizer Daliwonga Matanzima in the Cape Province for the Xhosa nation. KwaZulu, for the Zulu nation in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Natal Province, was headed by a member of the Zulu royal family chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Mangosuthu ("Gatsha") Buthelezi in the name of the Zulu king. Lesotho and Swaziland were not Bantustans; they have been independent countries and former British protectorates. These countries are mostly or entirely surrounded by South African territory and are almost totally dependent on South Africa. They have never had any formal political dependence on South Africa and were recognised as sovereign states by the international community from the time they were granted their independence by the UK in the 1960s.


Bantustans in South West Africa

In the 1960s
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
, which was administering South West Africa under a League of Nations mandate, came under increased international pressure regarding its minority White rule over the majority of Blacks. The solution envisaged by South Africa—the Odendaal Plan—was to separate the white and the non-white population, grant self-government to the isolated black territories, and thus make Whites the majority population in the vast remainder of the country. Moreover, it was envisaged that by separating each ethnic group and confining people by law to their restricted areas, discrimination by race would automatically disappear. The demarcated territories were called the ''bantustans'', and the remainder of the land was called the ''Police Zone''. Forthwith, all non-white people employed in the Police Zone became ''migrant workers'', and pass laws were established to police movement in and out of the bantustans. The combined territory of all bantustans was roughly equal in size to the Police Zone. However, all bantustans were predominantly rural and excluded major towns. All harbours, most of the railway network and the tarred road infrastructure, all larger airports, the profitable diamond areas and the national parks were situated in the Police Zone. Beginning in 1968, following the 1964 recommendations of the commission headed by Fox Odendaal, ten homelands similar to those in South Africa were established in
South West Africa South West Africa ( af, Suidwes-Afrika; german: Südwestafrika; nl, Zuidwest-Afrika) was the name for modern-day Namibia when it was under South African administration, from 1915 to 1990. Previously the colony of German South West Africa from 188 ...
(present-day
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and eas ...
). The term "Bantustan" is somewhat inappropriate in this context, since some of the peoples involved were Khoisan not Bantu, and the Rehoboth Basters are a complex case. Of these ten South West African homelands, only three were granted self-government (comparable to the Bantustans in South Africa) between 1973 and 1976. In July 1980 the system was changed to one of separate governments ("representative authorities") as second-tier administrative units (responsible for a number of affairs like land tenure, agriculture, education up to the level of primary school teachers' training, health services, and social welfare and pensions) on the basis of ethnicity only and no longer based on geographically defined areas. Building upon institutions that had already been in existence since 1925 and 1962 respectively, representative authorities were also instituted for the White and Coloured population groups. No such representative authorities were established for the Himba people, Himba and San people, San peoples (mainly occupying their former homelands of Kaokoland and Bushmanland). These ethnic second-tier governments were ''de facto'' suspended in May 1989, at the start of the transition to independence, and ''de iure'' abolished on 21 March 1990 (the day Namibia became independent) in accordance with Schedule 8 of the Constitution of Namibia. The Basters lobbied unsuccessfully to maintain the autonomous status of Rehoboth (homeland), Rehoboth, which had previously been autonomous under German rule. In the former Bantustan of
East Caprivi East Caprivi or Lozi was a bantustan in South West Africa (present-day Namibia), intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Lozi people. It was set up in 1972, in the very corner of the Namibian panhandle calle ...
, Lozi nationalists Caprivi conflict, launched an unsuccessful insurgency in an attempt to gain independence from Namibia which lasted until 1999.


Homelands (until 1980) / Representative Authorities (1980–1989/1990)


Usage in non-South African contexts

The term "bantustan" has become a Proper and common nouns, generic term to refer in a disapproving sense to any area in which people are forced to live without full civil and political rights.


Palestinian enclaves

In the Middle East, the Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank, as well as the Gaza Strip, are often described as bantustans. The term is used to refer to either the proposed areas in the West Bank designated for Palestinians under a variety of Israeli–Palestinian peace process, US and Israeli-led proposals to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the existing 165 "islands" which first took official form as Areas A and B under the 1995 Oslo II Accord. The Israeli-US peace plans, including the Allon Plan, the Matityahu Drobles, Drobles World Zionist Organization plan, Menachem Begin's plan, Benjamin Netanyahu's "Allon Plus" plan, the 2000 Camp David Summit, and Sharon's vision of a Palestinian state have proposed a bantustan/enclave-type territory – i.e. a group of non-contiguous areas surrounded, divided, and, ultimately, controlled by Israel; as has the more recent Trump peace plan. This has been referred to as the "Bantustan option". The Oslo enclave/bantustan arrangement was explicitly intended to be temporary with Area C (West Bank), Area C (the rest of the West Bank) to "be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction" by 1997; no such transfers were made. The creation of this arrangement has been called "the most outstanding geopolitical occurrence of the past quarter century."


Other examples

In South Asia, the Sinhalese people, Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka has been accused of turning Tamil Eelam, Tamil areas into "bantustans". The term has also been used to refer to the living conditions of Dalits in
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Oce ...

India
. In Southeastern Europe, the increasing numbers of small states in the Balkans, following the breakup of Yugoslavia, have been referred to as "bantustans". In Nigeria, Catholic bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has referred to southern Kaduna State as "one huge Bantustan of government neglect."


See also

*Apartheid *Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act, 1970 *Racial segregation *Volkstaat *Internal passport *Hukou system *Propiska in the Soviet Union, Propiska *Ethnic cleansing


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Bantustan policyEncyclopædia Britannica, Bantustan
{{Indigenous rights footer Lands reserved for indigenous peoples South African English Bantustans in South Africa, Bantustans in South West Africa, Political terminology in South Africa Former polities of the Cold War