Cape Province

The Province of the Cape of Good Hope[2] (Afrikaans: Provinsie Kaap die Goeie Hoop), commonly referred to as the Cape Province (Afrikaans: Kaapprovinsie) and colloquially as The Cape (Afrikaans: Die Kaap), was a province in the Union of South Africa and subsequently the Republic of South Africa. It encompassed the old Cape Colony, as well as Walvis Bay, and had Cape Town as its capital. Following the end of the Apartheid era, the Cape Province was split up to form the new Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces, along with part of the North West.

Province of the Cape of Good Hope
Provinsie Kaap die Goeie Hoop

  OriginCape Colony
  Created31 May 1910
  Abolished27 April 1994
  Succeeded byWestern Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West
Status Province of South Africa
GovernmentCape Provincial Council
  HQCape Town


When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, the original Cape Colony was renamed the Cape Province.

It was by far the largest of South Africa's four provinces, as it contained regions it had previously annexed, such as British Bechuanaland (not to be confused with the Bechuanaland Protectorate, now Botswana), Griqualand East (the area around Kokstad) and Griqualand West (area around Kimberley). As a result, it encompassed two-thirds of South Africa's territory, and covered an area similar in size to the US state of Texas.

At the time of the formation of the Union of South Africa, South Africa consisted of four provinces: Transvaal (previously the South African Republic), Natal, Orange Free State and the Cape Province.

Cape Franchise

Before union, the Cape Colony had traditionally implemented a system of non-racial franchise, whereby qualifications for suffrage were applied equally to all males, regardless of race. During the union negotiations, the Cape Prime Minister, John X. Merriman fought unsuccessfully to extend this multi-racial franchise system to the rest of South Africa. This failed, as it was strongly opposed by the other constituent states which were determined to entrench white rule. After union, the Cape Province was permitted to keep a restricted version of its multi-racial qualified franchise, and thus became the only province where Coloureds (mixed-race people) and Black Africans could vote.[3][4]

Over the following years, successive acts were passed to erode this colour-blind voters roll. In 1931, the restricting franchise qualifications were removed for white voters, but kept for Black and Coloured voters.[5] In 1956, the Apartheid government removed all remaining suffrage rights for "non-whites". The government had to appoint many extra senators in parliament to force through this change. [6]

Partitioning under Apartheid

During the apartheid era the country was divided into a number of additional pieces which were known as the four TBVC States and the six Non-Independent Homelands. These were created by the apartheid government to enforce its policy of racial segregation.

Griqualand East was transferred to Natal Province after the Transkei was declared independent, since it was cut off from the rest of the province. The Transkei (1976) and Ciskei (1981) regions were declared independent of South Africa, after they were formerly part of the Cape Province. (They were re-incorporated into South Africa in 1994, both part of the new Eastern Cape province).[7]

Post Apartheid history

After the first fully democratic elections in 1994, these "bantustans" were reunited with the rest of the country, which was then divided into what are now the current nine provinces of South Africa.

The Cape Province was broken up into three smaller provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. Parts of it were also absorbed into the North West. Walvis Bay, a territory of the original Cape Colony, was ceded to Namibia.

Districts in 1991

Districts of the province and population at the 1991 census.[1]


See also


  1. "Census > 1991 > RSA > Variable Description > Person file > District code". Statistics South Africa – Nesstar WebView. Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  2. South Africa Act, 1909 §6 (Wikisource)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2006. Retrieved 6 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. Christoph Marx: Oxwagon Sentinel: Radical Afrikaner Nationalism and the History of the Ossewabrandwag. LIT Verlag Münster, 2009. p.61.
  7. "The Homelands". South African History Online. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  8. "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 182.
  9. "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 200.
  10. "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 205.
  11. "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 478.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.