Last modified: 2007-04-21 by bruce berry
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An interesting point of trivia is that all four old provinces had borders with
each other and with foreign countries.
Antonio Martins, 30 May 1999
The former South African Homelands/Bantustans ceased to exist on 27
April 1994. They have all (including the former so called independent Homelands)
been reincorporated into South Africa. The flags of the former Homelands
are no longer in use (either officially or unofficially).
Bruce Berry, 25 Apr 1996
These are indeed "homelands' or "bantustans." These are some of the
homelands that were not declared independent by the Nationalist Government
in Pretoria. Ostensibly, they were all being prepared for "independence."
All this meant for the ones that were independent that they could issue
their own stamps and exchange ambassadors with South Africa, since they
were never recognized by anyone else. Everyone whose family came from one
of these areas was declared a "citizen" even if they were not living there.
This left the rest of the country (the good parts, economically speaking)
for the whites.
When I was there in February, I could still see registration tags on cars that indicated they were from KwaZulu. It will take a while for the new government to get new provincial markings together.
Roger Moyer, 14 Nov 1996
Four homelands were regarded by SA and nowhere else as independent,
but the others were still officially self-governing territories within
South Africa. The apartheid regime tried hard to get the other homelands
to accept "independence" but, if I recall correctly, none wanted it - I
think Lebowa came closest - and there were vague plans to hand some ethnically
Swazi lands over to Swaziland which would have given it a corridor to the
There were also "homelands" established in Namibia under South African rule, although none came close to independence.
Roy Stilling, 15 Nov 1996
The Homelands were created under apartheid as being the traditional
"tribal" areas to which ALL members of the Black population were allocated
(whether they had been born there or not!) and in which areas the Black
population would have "rights" (such as voting etc.) which they were denied
in "white" (i.e. the rest of the country) South Africa. There were 10 such
Homelands, 4 of which became "independent". All the Homelands had their
own "legislative" assemblies and had a limited amount of autonomy. Those
that became "independent" were considered by the South African government
as such although this was never recognised by any other government. The
Homelands had their own coat of arms and flags, with the exception of KaNgwane
which although it had its own arms never had a flag of its own and used
only the South African national flag. In the non-independent Homelands,
both the Homeland and South African flags were used.
All the Homelands were reincorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994 and ceased to have separate identities. They have now been included within the new provinces. None of the former symbols of the Homelands are in current use although vehicle number plates etc. can still be seen, these are being phased out with the introduction of the new provincial licencing system.
Bruce Berry, 15 Nov 1996