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A Brief History of KwaZulu Natal

kwazulu natal history

In the early 19th century the area was inhabited largely by Bantu speaking Zulu people. In the 1820s and 1830s the British acquired much of Natal from the Zulu chiefs Dingane and Shaka. Afrikaner farmers arrived in 1837 and after battles with the Zulu, most notably the Boer victory over Dingane at Blood River in 1838, established a republic. In 1843, Britain annexed Natal to Cape Colony, and a Boer exodus followed.

In 1856, Natal became a separate colony. Sugarcane cultivation began, and many Indians, mostly indentured laborers, came to work in the sugar industry. Many Indians remained in Natal after their indenture expired, and by 1900, they outnumbered whites. In 1893, Natal was given internal self-government. In 1910, it became a founding province of the Union of South Africa.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, KwaZulu-Natal was wracked by conflict between the Zulu-nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress, under the leadership of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

When the homeland of KwaZulu, which means Place of the Zulu was reincorporated into the Natal province after the end of Apartheid in 1994, the province of Natal which had existed between 1910 and 1994 was renamed KwaZulu-Natal. The province is home to the Zulu monarchy, and the majority population and language of the province is Zulu. It is also the only province in South Africa which includes the name of its dominant ethnic group in its name

 


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