The settlers of South Africa and the expanding frontier

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP14/2020
 
Publication date: August 2020
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (LEAP, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
 
Abstract:

The arrival of European settlers in the mid-seventeenth century at the southern tip of Africa profoundly affected the region’s development. They quickly displaced the local Khoesan and began a process of colonisation that would, some might argue, continue until 1994 with the first democratic elections, 342 years after their arrival. This is the story of their migration into the southern African interior. Combining a rich historiography with new quantitative source material – and the story of one family – I show that, despite the political, cultural and religious rhetoric that inspired their migrations, their reason for trekking was at heart economic. Their story is closely tied to the fortunes of those around them: their actions were often both a response to and a cause of events beyond their borders, a dynamic process that continues today.

 
JEL Classification:

N37

Keywords:

migration, colonialism, settler, Voortrekker, South Africa

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BER Weekly

1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

Read the full issue