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Northern Cape History

The History of the Northern Cape brought to you by Conference Venues South Africa including Northern Cape's pre-colonial, Iron Age history.

The Northern Cape originated out of the Cape Province in 1994. Ethnic issues are pertinent such as the Orania settlement controversy where Afrikaner people called for a Volkstaat in the province.

The Northern Cape is home to more than a thousand San who immigrated from Namibia following independence; they served as scouts and trackers for the South African government during the war. They were awarded a settlement in Platfontein in 1999 by the South African government.

The precolonial history of the Northern Cape is reflected in a rich, Stone Age heritage. Wonderwerk Cave near Kuruman, has a uniquely long series from the turn of the twentieth century to more than 1 million years. Many sites across the province in the open air locales or in sediments alongside rivers or pans, document earlier, midlle and later stone age habitation. There is a wealth of rock art sites, most of which are in in the Karoo.

In the north eastern part of the Northern Cape, there are sites attributable to the Iron Age such as Dithakong. Environmental factors have meant that the spread of Iron Age agriculture westwards was constrained mainly to the area east of the Langeberg Mountains. All archaeological traces in the Northern Cape that are greater than 100 years old are automatically protected by the South African Heritage Resources Act.

The copper mines of Namaqualand and the diamond rush to the Kimberley region resulted in industrial archaeological landscapes in those areas which herald the modern era in South African history.

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