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date: 27 July 2017

History of South Africa’s Bantustans

Abstract and Keywords

With the passing of the Bantu Authorities Act in 1951, the apartheid set in motion the creation of ten bantustans, one of South Africa’s most infamous projects of racial ordering. Also known as “homelands” in official parlance, the bantustans were set up in an attempt to legitimize the apartheid project and to deprive black South Africans of their citizenship by creating ten parallel “countries”, corresponding to state designated ethnic group. The bantustan project was controversial and developed slowly, first by consolidating “native” reserve land and later by giving these territories increasing power for self-governance. By the 1980s there were four “independent” bantustans (Transkei, Ciskei, Venda, and Bophuthatswana) and six “self-governing” ones (Lebowa, Gazankulu, KwaNdebele, Qwaqwa, KaNgwane, and KwaZulu).

While a few bantustan leaders worked with the anti-apartheid liberation movements, the bantustans were largely rejected as political frauds governed by illegitimately installed chiefs. They acted as dumping grounds for surplus cheap African labor and allowed the apartheid government to justify large-scale forced removals from “white” farmlands and cities. But the bantustans were also incubators of a black middle class and bureaucratic elite. Despite the formal dissolution of the bantustans in 1994 and their reincorporation into a unitary democratic state, the rule of chiefs and the growth of this black middle class have a deep-rooted legacy in the post-1994 era. As several contemporary commentators have noted, South Africa has witnessed the “bantustan-ificaton” of the post-apartheid landscape.

Keywords: bantustan, homeland, apartheid, chieftaincy, forced removals, industrial decentralization, ethnicity, rural resistance, black middle class, public service

The Historical Roots of the Bantustans

The establishment of apartheid South Africa’s ten bantustans was perhaps one of the most infamous cases of racial segregation in the 20th century. Officially termed “homelands”1 by the white state, the bantustans were set up as ethnically defined territories to house South Africa’s black population, divided by apartheid ethnologists into Gcaleka Xhosa, Rharhabe Xhosa, Zulu, Swazi, Ndebele, Northern Sotho/Pedi, Southern Sotho, Venda, Shangaan, and Tswana. Between 1951 and 1981, ten bantustans were set up, with six being given the status of a “self-governing” territory (Lebowa, Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, and Qwaqwa) and four eventually holding full “independence” (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, and Ciskei), and thus presenting themselves as autonomous countries.

History of South Africa’s BantustansClick to view larger

Figure 1. A map of South Africa’s bantustans.

Source: 1984 MATRIX, Michigan State University.

Many of the bantustans were not contiguous territories and were treated as an apartheid-sponsored farce by the anti-apartheid movement and much of the international community. In fact, the word “bantustan”—a conjuring up of the fractured states of central Asia—was adopted by the anti-apartheid movement as an alternative to “homeland,” which was seen to legitimize apartheid policies that tried to fuel ethno-nationalism among African populations. In reality, the bantustans entrenched colonial-era dispossession, allocating Africans only a fraction of the land that they had owned and accessed in an earlier period. In addition, the land was often of very poor quality and required extensive environmental support. Come 1994, the ANC (African National Congress)-led government incorporated the ten bantustans into nine provinces, and many hoped and assumed that these pillars of apartheid would become relics of the past. Unfortunately, their legacies have been far more pervasive and complex.

While the bantustans were very much an apartheid creation, their establishment was rooted in the history of 19th-century colonial dispossession and 20th-century segregationist South Africa. Three years after the creation of the Union of South Africa, the Natives Land Act of 1913 was passed. The act sought to racially divide the land that black and white South Africans could live on and own, thereby entrenching and expanding the system of native reserves. The act seriously disadvantaged Africans, who made up the majority of the country but were designated the use of a tiny percentage of the total land. As Sol Plaatjie famously wrote, the act made an African a “pariah in the land of his birth.”2 In the coming decades racial segregation developed increasingly powerful institutions, first with the passing of the 1927 Native Administration Act and later the 1936 Native Trust and Land Act. The 1927 act codified customary law, giving chiefs greater power over their subjects, and the 1936 act sought to make the reserves economically and agriculturally viable by expanding some reserve land but also by minimizing African political rights outside of reserve territory. It also led to the introduction of “betterment” in the reserves, an interventionist policy which drove villagization and environmental control policies. This was a highly controversial development, and initiated a long period of unrest and protest across the country that lasted until the early 1960s. Despite continued attempts at strengthening mechanisms of segregation, policymakers were ambivalent about implementing racial separation across the full breadth if South Africa, at times flirting with the possibility of developing a small urban-based black middle class.3

Setting up the Bantustans, 1948–1969

In 1948 the National Party (NP) came to power, on the back of fearmongering about the swart gevaar—“black danger,” as represented by African urbanization and anxiety about white economic collapse. The NP trumpeted the idea of “apartheid”—apart-ness—but in the early years of NP rule it was unclear precisely what this would mean. While heightened racial segregation seemed to be in the cards under the new regime, a blueprint for the bantustans was far from being formulated.4 Three years after assuming power, the Nationalists passed the Bantu Authorities Act, giving African chiefs more power and strengthening the institutions of indirect rule across the reserves. In retrospect, this piece of legislation opened the way for a series of policy changes that ultimately led to the formation of the bantustans, but in 1951 the act had a far more ambivalent meaning. While the thrust of the Bantu Authorities Act was in line with the NP’s commitment to entrenchingracial and cultural differences, the Act was also the product of a long-standing tension with the Native Affairs Department (NAD)dating back to 1920s. On the one hand, there had long been a belief among some that the chieftainship was the cornerstone of African society and all native governance structures needed to take this into account. Others, however, felt that native administration should privilege “development.” Taken together, these two strands of thought produced the Bantu Authorities Act which sought to co-opt the chiefs into supporting the development of the reserves.5 The act was coupled with the launching of the Tomlinson Commission, which was assembled in 1949 and whose findings were published in 1956.6 The Commission was set up to examine the economic and political viability of the reserves and controversially concluded that they could only continue to function with a significant injection of resources and territorial expansion. Under the ministerial leadership of Hendrik Verwoerd, the NAD rejected many of the commission’s recommendations, indicating the fraught and divided nature of white political opinion on the future of the reserves.

On the question of the reserves, Africans also spoke with more than one voice. The Bantu Authorities Act had strengthened the powers of chiefs, and this was often used to assert control over African rural communities in general, but in particular over women and young men. As Anne Mager has argued in the case of the Ciskei, the coupling of the creation of the Ciskeian territory and the passing of the Bantu Authorities Act gave chiefs the room to reassert their patriarchal authority, for example, by trying to push women into nuclear households through the distribution of housing in townships like Zwelitsha. This contributed to gendered and generational tensions and the reordering of local hierarchies.7

But while a range of chiefs and headmen who sided with the authorities benefited from the passing of the Bantu Authorities Act, rural communities across South Africa—from Witzieshoek to Mpondoland to Lehurutse to Sekhukhuneland and elsewhere—mounted serious challenges to the unfolding political order. In Sekhukhuneland, which later formed part of Lebowa, there had been a long history of ANC-infused politics, often actively supported by chiefs. With the introduction of Bantu Authorities and increased betterment development in the 1950s, frustrated local chiefs and migrant workers linked to the urban-based and national ANC and Communist Party to form Sebatakgomo (translated as “predator among the cattle”) to resist the imposition and policies of pro-apartheid local leaders in the region. As historian Peter Delius has outlined, in 1958, members of Sebatakgomo mounted violent resistance to the apartheid regime and, although quickly thwarted, pressured the national structure of the ANC to adopt the strategies of armed struggle.8

Despite the bravery of many rural communities and the widespread assault on the apartheid system, each one of the uprisings was brutally suppressed by the state, and in 1959, the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act was passed, opening another door in the move toward the creation of the bantustans. The passing of the act and the pursuit of a self-governing policy for the reserves in the early 1960s was tied up with the changing needs of South Africa’s migrant labor economy9 and the NP’s growing confidence in its power. By the late 1950s, the Nationalists had been successful both in squashing African resistance and in asserting their dominance among the white electorate, having won three elections since first coming to power in 1948.10 At the same time, white control over Africans was under scrutiny across the continent—and South Africa was not immune to the international community’s increasing displeasure with apartheid policies. In light of this, Herman Giliomee has argued that Verwoerd tried to spin the growing segregation and autonomy of the reserves as part of a decolonization project, particularly after meetings with the United Nations Secretary General, Dag Hammerskjold.11 Keith Breckenridge has also argued that the move to more extensive bantustan policy was the product of Verwoerd’s personal desire to effect control over the African population. Earlier in the 1950s, Verwoerd had attempted—and failed—to control and monitor the movements of the African population through the creation of a centralized administration of passbooks for Africans. Desperate to rationalize the bureaucracy after taking the office of the prime minister in 1958, Verwoerd changed strategy by decentralizing administration to the reserves in the hope that this would facilitate greater management of African movement to the cities.12 While there has been much debate about which one of these factors was the greatest driver of the move to a more stringent segregationist policy, by the early 1960s it was clear that some form of self-rule for the African reserves was in the cards.

Consolidating the Bantustans

In 1963, the Transkei was granted self-governing status. Full independence for the African territories was barely mentioned in the 1960s, but there was discussion about the creation and consolidation of another eight self-governing territories (later nine, when Ndebele speakers lobbied for their own homeland). Transkei led the way as the “model homeland,” often functioning as “the blueprint bantustan.” With self-governing status came elections and the creation of the Transkei legislature. There were two main contenders in the 1963 election: Victor Poto of the Democratic Party and Kaiser Matanzima of the Transkei National Independence Party. Poto was considered widely popular for his anti-apartheid stances, and he had been instrumental in the Mpondoland revolts against the interventionist legislation of the 1950s. Kaiser Matanzima, however, was the apartheid candidate, and with the white state’s support he was able to clinch victory in the election.13

Transkei cleared the way for the development of further territorial authorities, but this was far more than just a process of party politics—albeit one heavily rigged by the apartheid state. For many, the most devastating and enduring aspects of the move toward greater segregation were the large-scale forced removals across the country, as part of the development of ethnic and racialized territorial consolidation. Cosmos Desmond, a Catholic priest, published the most widely read documentation of this process in a book titled The Discarded People—later turned into a film documentary, Last Grave at Dimbaza (1974). Desmond documented a range of forced removals in the name of segregation, driven by anti-squatting laws, Groups Areas, and influx control. Forced removals took various forms and were often violent and coercive. There were large-scale removals of black tenants from white-owned farms across the country, in the name of protecting white workers. The removals on the farms moved in fits and starts because of farmers’ concerns about the loss of low-wage workers. This was profoundly contradictory because, for the most part, white farmers were part of the NP’s most supportive constituency.14 Despite this, large numbers of African tenants were moved from farms and dumped into the territories that would become the bantustans. African communities were also forcibly removed from what were officially termed “black spots,” freehold land owned by Africans in white-designated areas. Many of these black spots were owned by a more wealthy subsection of the black population who had purchased freehold property prior to the 1913 Land Act.15 In these cases, there was particular pressure from white farmers whose land bordered these so-called black spots, for their quick and complete removal.16 The Surplus People Project (SPP)—a successor to Desmond’s Discarded People—estimated that by the early 1980s, about six hundred thousand people were forced from black spots into the bantustans.17 Charles Simkins calculates that the African population on farmlands—both white and African owned—dropped from thirty-four—9 percent in 1951—to 31.3 percent in 1960 and 20.6 percent in 1980.18

As Africans were moved into increasingly segregated and isolated territories, what became the homeland population grew from 4.2 million in 1960 to 11 million in 1980.19 The removals made rural locations and densely populated towns the norm in the bantustans, with communities that had never lived side by side suddenly forced together on the basis of ethnicity, often resulting in significant and violent tensions.20 The services provided in the relocation zones were usually abysmal. Cosmos Desmond recorded that the relocated population in Limehill—to become part of KwaZulu—named their new home “Mshayasafe”—the Zulu word for “beat him until he dies.” 21The resources available were usually insufficient and unevenly distributed, often favoring those with political connections and the “correct” ethnic heritage and thus contributing to a process of social differentiation within the newly settled bantustans. In the resettlement townships of the Ciskei, particularly in places where there was a very thin or nonexistent history of chiefly rule, resettled communities found themselves existing in a power vacuum. Local leaders vied for power in the township administration and in late 1960s and early 1970s, communities became deeply dependent on the distribution of resources, particularly housing, which was regulated in an attempt to entrench patriarchal hierarchies.

Forced removals continued well into the 1980s and have been the subject of large-scale land reform claims in the post-1994 period. But it was this earlier period of the 1960s and early 1970s that drove the momentum of bantustan development. In 1970, the Black Homeland Citizenship Act was passed, paving the way for denaturalization of all Africans, in the hope of assigning them citizenship of their designated ethnic homeland.

Social Dynamics in the Bantustans

By the 1970s, it was clear that some form of grand-scale territorial segregation was likely. Over the next decade, ten bantustan administrations were set up with four expanding to gain “full” independent status. This had significant implications for the apartheid political project at large, but also impacted the lives of bantustan residents, engendering heightened processes of social, economic and political differentiation within and across the bantustans. While reserve economies had almost solely relied on agriculture and small-holdings in the pre-1948 period, these were seriously collapsing by the 1970s—albeit somewhat unevenly.22 Large sections of bantustan populations were deeply impoverished, and those who could rely on migrant remittances counted themselves lucky. For large sections of the bantustan populations, their economic lifeline was directly tied to the needs of capital in white South Africa: unemployment was the norm unless the mines and industry demanded cheap labor.23 While new research suggests that there were some significant attempts made by several bantustan governments to initiate large-scale agricultural and infrastructural programs from the late 1970s onward, for the most part these were unsuccessful in underpinning a productive local economy that could support rural livelihoods.24

But there was also money to be made in the bantustans, primarily in government employment or through the parastatal development corporations. State-sponsored processes of accumulation began prior to the 1970s with the growth of a chiefly class employed—with some exceptions—to do the bidding of the apartheid state. But, from the 1970s onward, the chiefs were joined as government employees by nurses, doctors, teachers, police, clerks, bureaucrats, politicians, and administrators. The South African government pumped money into the bantustans in a desperate attempt to stave off criticisms of their unviability, allocating resources to key departments such as Education and Health. During the first years of the 1970s, bantustan revenues increased about fourfold with support from the South African state, growing from around 120 million rand to 520 million rand.25 But, as Jon Hyslop has pointed out, “homeland government became a by-word for corruption,”26 and many—especially in the higher echelons of the political structure—benefited from patronage, rent seeking and state-sponsored favors. Thus, while bantustan revenue increased, corruption meant that the majority of bantustan residents rarely reaped the fruits of this investment.27 Sections of the white population however did benefit from the dubious dealings in the bantustans. One of the most infamous examples was case of Sol Kertzner’s hotel and casino chains across the bantustans, including Sun City, which gained gambling rights in the bantustans through bribery.28

The Development Corporations were also key sites of elite formation. These parastatals were mandated with creating a capitalist class within the bantustans by supporting entrepreneurs and the development of businesses. In the pre-bantustan period, the Bantu Investment Corporation had been tasked with this role, but as the bantustans developed and their institutions grew, efforts to support entrepreneurs were doubled through the activities of the Development Corporations, often in the interests of an already emerging elite. In KwaZulu, for example, Chief Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi invited white companies into the bantustan on the understanding that they would partner with the KwaZulu Financial Corporation (KwaZulu’s Development Corporation) and open 49 percent of the shares to KwaZulu “citizens.” This seriously threatened smaller traders in the bantustan, who put up significant opposition to Buthelezi’s initiative. By the second half of the 1970s, the smaller businesses had lost out and Buthelezi and the elites from his party, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), managed to benefit from the profits of white big business, with the support of the KwaZulu Financial Corporation.29

The complexities of class formation were heavily intertwined with gendered and generational structures too: those who benefited from the limited resources the bantustans dished out often relied on social hierarchies to make material claims. The bantustans also added a particularly ethno-nationalist dimension to this, with the development and entrenchment of politicized ethnic identities also functioning as leverage for claims-making—a trend that has continued long into the post-apartheid period.30 Premised on ethnicity, the bantustans necessarily required the development of “ethnic” citizenships across South Africa. There were cases of violence breaking out in “multi-ethnic” bantustans as their leaders tried to create a “national identity.” Bophuthatswana, split into seven noncontiguous pieces of land in an attempt to absorb the full Tswana population across the country, found itself in multiple ethnic battles. Tswana speakers in Thaba Nchu, a small fragment Bophuthatswana near Bloemfontein, began demanding the removal of the large percentage of Southern Sothos from the Tswana area. In a well-publicized removal, the Sotho residents were moved off the Qwaqwa land and, with the support of Qwaqwa’s chief minister, were settled on a former white farm, Botshabelo.31 In Bushbuckridge, on the border of Lebowa and Gazankulu, ethnic violence sparked in the mid-1980s, as homeland leaders fought over borders. Historically, the region had been very mixed, with Shangaan and Pulana (a dialect of Northern Sotho) speakers living side by side, often in the same household and intermarried. However, with the establishment of the two bantustan borders in the region, communities had been split apart, with Shangaan students being chased from Lebowa schools and vice versa.32 The ethnic politics of the bantustans became fundamental to the restructuring of communities.

The case of KwaNdebele is particularly revealing of the way in which the bantustans drove ethnicized political identities and new hierarchies. In the early years of apartheid there was no talk of an Ndebele territory or homeland. Rather, Ndebeles were classified as a sub-ethnic group, and many Ndebele migrants in urban South Africa formed “home-groups” based on a common identification with a region rather than an ethnicity. However, these same migrants were soon sucked into the ethnic politics of the time, and by the late 1970s they formed an active lobby group for an Ndebele homeland—and the ethnically distributed resources that this would bring.33 The formation of political identities and new structures of social, political, and economic differentiation was a fundamental feature of bantustan life, increasingly entrenched as the bantustans grew as arms of the apartheid state.

Industrial Decentralization and Household Dynamics

The apartheid government had long been engaged in half-hearted and often ambivalent attempts to develop the homelands economically. While industrial policies did exist in the 1960s and 1970s, they often failed or had minimal effect in stimulating bantustan economies. In 1982, a new Regional Industrial Development Program was launched. While forced removals continued, the logic of the reinvigorated industrial policy was to set up industries either on the border of the bantustans or within them, such that employers had access to a cheap workforce without having to rely on migrant labor and black urbanization. The state provided substantial subsidies to industries positioned at the “growth points,” and offered cash incentives rather than only tax breaks to those who were willing to set up outside of the key—white—metropolitan areas. 34 The new policy attracted a range of white factory owners—looking to benefit from the subsidies and the absence of black trade unions, prevented from setting up in the bantustans even when they were legal in South Africa—and also foreign businesses, particularly from Israel and Taiwan, who hoped to cash in on the subsidized business opportunities at a time when these national economies were under pressure and industries were struggling.35

Along with the large-scale subsidies to industries in and near the bantustans came a new regionally administered development structure that split South Africa into nine “development” regions that overrode many of the bantustan boundaries. And, in 1986, the apartheid state repealed the influx control laws allowing black men and women access to urban—formerly “white” South Africa—without specific legal permission. As many researchers have pointed out, the language of the era shifted from anti-urbanization rhetoric to emphasis on the benefits of “deconcentration.”36 For these reasons, there has been some discussion as to whether the setting up of the reinvigorated industrial decentralization zones indicated the end of territorial racial segregation. However, the policy shifts that occurred did very little to dissolve the bantustan structures and patterns of settlement.

History of South Africa’s BantustansClick to view larger

Figure 2. A map of the Nine Development Regions of South Africa, 1992.

Source: Pieterse De Villiers and Du Toit, “An Analysis of the Development Situation in Region G and a Prognosis of Future Developments (Coherent Development Strategy for Region G; Phase II—Step 4)” (Pietersburg [Polokwane], South Africa, 1990).

The creation of decentralized industrial zones on the border of the bantustans changed many residents from long-distance migrants into daily commuters. For many, however, this was not a vast improvement. In so-called border townships the commute could be more than sixty or seventy kilometers each way, which could take hours on a bus or train, resulting in many workers spending much of their “free” time commuting.37 In 1989, photographer David Goldblatt documented the lives of commuters living in border towns in KwaNdebele. His images attempt to capture the difficult lives of KwaNdebele residents as they left for work in Pretoria before three o’clock in the morning in order to arrive by seven in the morning and returned home between eight and ten o’clock in the evening. As the journalist Joseph Lelyveld evocatively described, the residents of KwaNdebele had become “a nation of sleepwalkers.”38

This new economic structure also made a significant impact on social relations within the bantustans. Due mostly to employers’ perceptions of the appropriate gendered division of labor, it was women who were the primary employees in the decentralized factories. In one survey, women made up of 92 percent of employees of border factories, with men primarily being employed as security guards, manual laborers, and gardeners.39 Despite the poor working conditions and the grueling nature of the commuter lifestyle, significant numbers of women found the industrial zones gave them more independence than their mothers had enjoyed a generation before them. Being positioned relatively close to work allowed women control of a bantustan home and offered access to wages without relying on domestic work or farm labor, notoriously exploitative and alienating work.40

In the 1950s, patriarchs had attempted to assert authority over independent women in the developing bantustans. Women’s financial independence once again threatened male power and patriarchal structures three decades later. In 1984 in Phuthaditjaba, the capital of Qwaqwa, unemployed men marched on local industrial factories, chasing women away from their workplaces.41 These men had been waiting to receive contracted labor from an outside employer. When the contract fell through they marched to the local magistrate’s office to ask why so few men were being given jobs in Qwaqwa. As reported by anthropologist Leslie Bank, the driving concern among the group was that men were responsible for supporting their families, and by giving jobs to women, industrialists and bantustan leaders were undermining the men’s ability to fulfill their role.42In many ways, these dynamics made the 1980s a very violent and tense time in the bantustans.

The Ending of Apartheid’s Bantustans

While apartheid collapsed under pressure coming from several different fronts, political resistance mounted against the state was a key factor. From the early rural revolts of the 1950s and 1960s, Africans had long been engaged with various forms of resistance against the homeland system and the apartheid state in general. In the 1980s this reached a new climax, in concert with anti-apartheid struggles across the whole of South Africa. By the 1980s, the independent union movement had gathered momentum and once again migrant workers played a central role in shaping resistance politics in the bantustans. At the same time, in the aftermath of the Soweto Uprising of 1976, many urban African parents sent their children to live in the rural bantustans in the hope of removing them from the heightened conflict areas. These two moves contributed to the politicizing of bantustan residents and strengthening ties between urban and rural struggles. At the same time, the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), had extended its activities—at times at the encouragement of bantustan-based political activists—and greater numbers of bantustan residents were caught up in the anti-apartheid politics of the time.

But there were also competing forces within anti-apartheid movements in the bantustans, and acts of political resistance often did not lead to a clear strategy for the dismantling of apartheid or its bantustans. As South Africa—and the bantustans—became increasingly ungovernable, anti-apartheid activities were often beyond the control of the ANC, the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Pan Africanist Congress, or the Azanian People’s Organization (Azapo). This is best evidenced in the spate of witch-killings across the country, and the increasingly fraught nature of generational relations. For example, in Sekhukuneland, in 1986, a youth-led political uprising shattered the status quo. By the mid-1980s, secondary schooling had mushroomed across many of the bantustans, producing a generation of teenagers and young adults who came into direct and daily contact with the structures of the bantustan system. With the expansion of ANC-aligned movements and the UDF in the bantustans, loosely affiliated “Youth Congresses” and “Comrade Movements” sprung up and resolved to address their political subordination. In Sekhukhuneland this meant repeated assaults on the schooling system and representatives or symbols of bantustan rule. Teenage boys and young men often led the process, and while many girls and young women were supportive, they sometimes bore the brunt of the spiraling violence in the region.43 The upsurge in direct political action was accompanied by a growing concern about witchcraft and the erosion of community cohesion. Groups of youths resolved to address the scourge, occasionally burning to death old men and women who were charged with helping the apartheid state.44 In Venda, the independent homeland in the very north of South Africa, Comrade-linked witchcraft attacks also spiked in the late 1980s and early 1990s and continued in the post-1994 period.45

With the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in February 1990, the bantustans—like much of South Africa—were very tense places. Decades of resistance had worn away at the edifice of apartheid, but there remained significant lines of division within the bantustans and even within anti-apartheid movements. Some bantustan leaders welcomed the changing political winds. In the case of Transkei, a coup had put ANC sympathizer, Bantu Holomisa, in power, and for years, Enos Mabusa, the chief minister of Kwangwane had quietly aligned himself with the ANC. To others, however, the ANC’s emerging dominance and the weakening of the old order signaled the need to dig their heels deeper into the apartheid state in a desperate attempt to hold on to diminishing power. The immediate aftermath of Mandela’s release was a very politically precarious time, as “talks about talks” unfolded, but by late 1991, political representatives from the full spectrum of the South African political landscape sat down at a table, officially beginning the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (what became known as Codesa I).

Representatives from all bantustans, bar Mangosutho Buthelezi of KwaZulu, attended the negotiations, and contributed to the heated discussions about the future of the ten ethnic administrations. Chiefs were also represented at the negotiating table through the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), an ANC-aligned body formed in 1987 in an attempt to win rural support for the ANC and prevent further ethnicization of South Africa’s African population.46 Most bantustan leaders and many chiefs argued that a new South Africa should have a strong federal structure—a position that both reflected a desire to hold on to some form of political power in a new dispensation and the difficulty of merging the old ethnic administrations into a unified country.

While the negotiations were tense and talks nearly broke down multiple times, it was activity outside the meeting room that stalled proceedings most definitively. In June 1992, in Boipatong, a township in central Transvaal, forty-five ANC members were killed in their homes late at night.47 The perpetrators were hostel dwellers from KwaZulu where were affiliated with the IFP, but there was a strong suspicion that the violence had been stoked by a “third force”—a thinly veiled euphemism used to refer to the NP and white conservative desire to derail the negotiations. The ANC formally withdrew from negotiations and embarked on “rolling mass action,” intended as a show of force and a demand that the NP negotiate in good faith. But in September of that year, the Bisho massacre horrified South Africans, adding an urgency to attempts at resolving the political standoff. Led by Ronnie Kasrils and other senior ANC members, the ANC planned to enter Bisho, the capital of Ciskei, to peacefully demonstrate their opposition to the rule of Oupa Gqoza. The ANC had identified the leaders of KwaZulu, Bophuthatswana, and Ciskei as particularly egregious symbols of apartheid, but settled on Gqoza of the Ciskei as their first target because he had almost no local support and had been brutally squashing dissent. Moreover, Ciskei lay near a stronghold of ANC support.48 As the protestors tried to leave the Bisho sports stadium to enter the heart of the capital, the Ciskei Defence Force opened fire, killing twenty-eight people and injuring hundreds more.49 The country reeled at the growing political violence and within three weeks, Mandela and F. W. de Klerk signed ‘The Record of Understanding,’ opening a path for renewed negotiations.

By March 1993, negotiations had relaunched but KwaZulu—and now Bophuthatswana and Ciskei too—remained unwilling to negotiate. Buthelezi and Gqoza were worried that a new dispensation would make their long built power redundant, while Lucas Mangope of Bophuthatswana oscillated between accepting a federal solution and demanding an independent Bophuthatswana linked to Botswana.50 As the new election date drew closer, members of the Afrikaans Weerstandsbeweing or Afrikaans Resistance Movement (AWB) cut a deal with Mangope to turn Bophuthatswana into a stronghold of anti-democratic resistance. But, by this stage, after years of repression and as the political winds were turning, Bophuthatswana public servants—including the army—had had enough of Mangope. A month before the scheduled first democratic elections, Bophuthatswana soldiers shot and killed three AWB members as they tried to enter the capital, Mmabatho, decisively shutting down one of the last strongholds of extreme Afrikaner power and Bophuthatswana’s independent status.

By the time April 27, 1994, dawned, the bantustans were scheduled to be incorporated into a set of nine new provinces. KwaZulu remained a thorn in the ANC’s side, almost pulling out of the elections, but the first democratic elections in South Africa went smoothly, with all former bantustan residents for the first time having a say in the running of their country.

The Legacy of the Bantustans

The Public Service

The bantustans have left a deeply rooted legacy in the post-apartheid period—from ethnicized political identities51 to the difficulties in reforming land tenure and agricultural development.52 There is little research on the amalgamation of the bantustan bureaucracies into the provinces of democratic South Africa, but the available research suggests that it is at this level at which one of the most significant legacies of the bantustans played out. As the ANC tried to construct a democratic country, they were faced with the task of building a new state that reflected the principles of the new era. They did not trust the predominantly Afrikaans civil service that had run “white South Africa” to commit themselves to inclusive democracy, and so looked—albeit ambivalently—to the 650, 000-strong civil service of the ten bantustans.53 Thus, while the most senior and politically well-positioned civil servants were deployed to the central state, six of the nine newly constructed provinces were partially created out of the public service of the former bantustans.

History of South Africa’s BantustansClick to view larger

Figure 3. A map of democratic South Africa’s provinces.

Source: 2007 MATRIX, Michigan State University.

But many bantustan civil servants brought significant baggage with them into the new regime. From their genesis, but most widely acknowledged from the 1980s onward, the bantustans—like the entire apartheid state—were sites of serious patronage and corruption. Largely unaccountable to their constituencies, and with minimal resources dedicated to their development and training, bantustan bureaucrats did not have a good reputation in rural South Africa; and because large sections of the white bureaucracy retired, went into the private sector, or were removed from their positions, they have not come under scrutiny in the post-1994 period. As Tom Lodge has pointed out, at the provincial level the administration “is still run by the same people [as the Bantustans, and thus] it would be reasonable to expect the continuation of a certain amount of corruption.”54 Mpumalanga, for example, is made up of the administrations of the former KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, Lebowa, and parts of the “white” Eastern Transvaal. Steve Mabona, Minister of Police in KwaNdebele, was made Member of the Executive Council (MEC)for safety and security in Mpumalanga, despite having been found guilty of receiving an illegal government loan pre-1994. In his new position in Mpumalanga, he was also fingered for corruption, this time for issuing driver’s licenses illegally.55

The Chieftaincy

There were also important continuities in the role of the chieftaincy in the post-apartheid period. Despite its link to Contralesa, the ANC had an ambivalent relationship with chiefs and was uncertain about its rural support. The KwaZulu crisis scared the ANC even further, as the IFP threatened to woo disillusioned chiefs. In the lead-up to 1994, the ANC scrambled to make concessions to the chiefs in the hope that they would deliver the rural vote to the ANC in the election. But, as Barbara Oomen has pointed out, the political transition in South Africa did not occur in a vacuum. The early 1990s was a time in which global processes of “the fragmentation of the nation-state, the embracing of culture [and] the applauding of group rights” was heavily influential.56 In this context, Contralesa was fairly successful in pushing for power in a new democratic South Africa and insisting on the maintenance of customary law and chiefly control over land.

These early democratic concessions made to the chieftaincy were only strengthened in the period to come, especially from the 2000s onward. Scholars and analysts have suggested a range of reasons for this, including the perceived power of chiefs in securing rural support, the ANC’s attempt at eroding the IFP’s power base, and chiefs’ ability to make claims on resources desirable to the ANC.57 The result has been the passing and adoption (and then striking down in 2010) of the Communal Land Rights Act of 2004, the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, and the Communal Land Tenure Policy. In various ways these laws and policies undermine the security of land tenure, give chiefs wide-ranging powers over residents, entrench the “tribal boundaries” as set up by the 1951 Tribal Authorities Act, and phase out alternative forms of property ownership such as the Communal Property Associations.58 The Traditional Courts Bill is still on the table in 2017, threatening to give chiefs sole jurisdiction in presiding over “custom,” which holds significant consequences for women’s land rights in the former bantustan regions in which the chiefs are the most powerful.

The divvying up of mineral resources in post-apartheid South Africa has also been closely linked to the legacy of the bantustans and the growing power of the chieftaincy. Under bantustan administration, land was held communally by chiefs, with the bantustan state acting as trustee. In the mineral-rich bantustans of Bophuthatswana and Lebowa, chiefs often leased land to (white-owned) mining companies in exchange for royalties, often not fairly distributed to their subjects. While the ANC had committed to redistributing mineral wealth and restructuring the property regime in the lead up to the 1994 elections, their efforts were thwarted both by institutional weaknesses and intense pressure from mining lobby groups. Instead, interim policies were implemented until the ANC passed the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) in 2002, with the aim of turning platinum and other mineral resources into a leverage for black economic empowerment. Under MPRDA, tribal authorities were encouraged to convert mining royalties into equity and, with the development of laws bolstering chiefs’ control over land, greater numbers of chiefs have had their power undergirded by financial markets. Furthermore, chiefly authorities and representatives have been welcomed into management and administration by mining companies, who in the post-1994 period have been trying to fulfill racial quotas and the goals of black economic empowerment. The ethnic base to economic success has heightened factionalism in royal families and sub-ethnic groups,59 and, as Gavin Capps and Sonwabisi Mnwana argue, has cleared the way for “unfettered mine expansion through the aegis of these new configurations of tribal authority and extractive capital.”60

History of South Africa’s BantustansClick to view larger

Figure 4. Ethnic division of the platinum rich land in North West Province.

Source: Andy Manson and Bernard Mbenga, Land, Chiefs, Mining: South Africa’s North West Province since 1840 (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014), 13.

Discussion of the Literature

Much scholarly literature on the bantustans took off from a famous article by Harold Wolpe, published in 1972. In it, he argued that the reserves of the segregation era functioned to reproduce cheap black labor in the mines (often referred to as the “cheap labor thesis”). Mine owners could underpay their workers with the understanding that the pre-capitalist societies of the reserves would function to socially reproduce them. However, by the 1940s, this system was collapsing and the levels of black urbanization and the poverty in the reserves were making this system untenable. With the advent of the apartheid state, the new white Afrikaans government initiated mechanisms to lock black male workers into migratory patterns and keep them from settling in “white” South Africa. The legislation of influx control and the bantustans facilitated this.

Wolpe’s Marxist interpretation was very provocative and offered a new way to conceptualize the link between the South African state and capitalism, in an otherwise race-focused analysis of apartheid. However, its primary success was in the ensuing debates it engendered. In the 1970s and early 1980s, a series of radical, liberal, and revisionist scholars disagreed with everything from Wolpe’s characterization of the mode of production in the bantustans61 to his conception of the changing nature of capital in “white” South Africa.62 But in some ways, Wolpe’s argument allowed a generation of scholars to present the bantustans exclusively through their relationship to the South African state, a trend that overlapped with a more general historical paradigm to write about South Africa either in terms of resistance or collaboration. Some of this work was somewhat reductive, but books like Roger Southall’s South Africa’s Transkei compiled complex sets of data to demonstrate the bantustan’s reliance on South Africa and its unviability as an independent country.

Another set of radical scholars responded quite differently to the absolute terms presented by Wolpe’s characterization of the bantustans. Capturing a historiographical trend among a group of historians, anthropologists, and sociologists, Peter Delius and Belinda Bozzoli criticized Wolpe’s followers for their failure to engage with the rich histories of those living in the bantustans.63 Bozzoli and Delius emphasized scholarship that demonstrated African agency in the bantustans—in spite of the oppression of apartheid64—from the histories of migrant women,65 to the development of ethnic identity,66 to detailed explorations of anti-apartheid resistance.67

In the post-1994 period, the changed political context and the availability of bantustan archives has opened the space for new ways to examine the bantustans. While careful not to grant any legitimacy to the ethnic homelands, more scholars have tried to understand the internal dynamics of bantustan politics and administration, partially driven by the acknowledgment of the legacies of the bantustans in post-1994 South Africa.68 This has included analyses of the bantustan bureaucracies,69 explorations of the relationship between the ANC and bantustan elites,70 and examinations of the chieftainship and its complex role in the political transition in 1994.71 Despite all the valuable work that scholars have done to unearth the varied and rich histories of the bantustans, there is much more research still to be conducted. As researchers are exploring the remnants of the bantustans and their archives, new histories are just beginning to open up.

Primary Sources

Bantustan Archives

Many of the bantustan archives are under-resourced, poorly catalogued and scattered around the country. The Transkei archives can be found in Mthatha, the KwaZulu archives in Ulundi, the Lebowa , Gazankulu and Venda archives in Polokwane, the Bophuthatswana archives in the North West Provincial archives in Mafikeng, the Qwaqwa archives in the Free State Provincial depository, and the KaNgwane archives in Louieville. Researchers should contact the archives before visiting them. It is unclear where KwaNdebele’s archives are, though it is likely that parts of the old administrations’ documents have been deposited in local repositories in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The Ciskei archives are in private hands and very difficult to access.72

State Archives

The National Archives and Records Services of South Africa (NARS) is based in Pretoria. There are provincial archives in the Eastern Cape (Mthatha and Port Elizabeth), Free State (Bloemfontein), Gauteng (Johannesburg), KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, Durban, and Ulundi), Limpopo (Polokwane), Mpumalanga (Nelspruit), Northern Cape (Kimberley), North West (Mmabatho), and the Western Cape (Cape Town). The archives based in Pretoria, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Free State have online catalogues. NARS is likely to be the most helpful source for bantustan researchers, as it holds documents from the central South African government from 1910, as well as correspondence and state interaction with the bantustans.

Other Public Archives

The University of Witwatersrand holds the Wits Historical Papers Research Archive at William Cullen Library, which includes private collections, trade union documents, oral interviews, and organizational records relating to different aspects of bantustan history. The South African Historical Archive also has a useful set of resources.

Government Publications

The National Library of South Africa and many university libraries in the country hold all the official publications that came out of the bantustan administrations. These publications include departmental annual reports, bantustan parastatal reports, compilations of bantustan expenditure and revenue, and Hansards, among many other useful official documents and publications.

Further Reading

Ally, Shireen, and Arianna Lissoni, “Let’s Talk about Bantustans.” Special issue, South African Historical Journal 64.2 (2012): 1–157.Find this resource:

Bank, Leslie. “Between Traders and Tribalists: Implosion and the Politics of Disjuncture in a South African Homeland.” African Affairs 93.370 (1994): 75–98.Find this resource:

Claasens, Aninka, and Ben Cousins, eds. Land Power and Custom: Controversies Generated by South Africa’s Communal Land Rights Act. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Delius, Peter. A Lion amongst the Cattle: Reconstruction and Resistance in the Northern Transvaal. Johannesburg: Heinemann, 1996.Find this resource:

Evans, Ivan. Bureaucracy and Race: Native Administration in South Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.Find this resource:

Gibbs, Timothy. Mandela’s Kinsmen: Nationalist Elites and Apartheid’s First Bantustan. Oxford: James Currey, 2014.Find this resource:

Hart, Gillian. Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.Find this resource:

Kepe, Thembela, and Lungisile Ntsebeza, eds. Rural Resistance in South Africa: The Mpondo Revolts after Fifty Years. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2011.Find this resource:

Lekgoathi, Sekibakiba. “Teacher Militancy in the Rural Northern Transvaal Community of Zebediela, 1986–1994.” South African Historical Journal 58 (2007): 226–252.Find this resource:

Mager, Anne Kelk. Gender and the Making of a South African Bantustan: A Social History of the Ciskei, 1945–1959. Oxford: James Currey, 1999.Find this resource:

Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.Find this resource:

Mare, Gerard, and Georgina Hamilton. An Appetite for Power: Buthelezi’s Inkatha and South Africa. Johannesburg: Ravan, 1987.Find this resource:

Murray, Colin. Black Mountain: Land, Class and Power in the Eastern Orange Free State, 1800s to 1980s. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Oomen, Barbara. Chiefs in South Africa: Law, Power and Culture in the Post-Apartheid Era. KwaZulu-Natal: University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Peires, Jeff. “The Implosion of Transkei and Ciskei.” African Affairs 91.364 (1992): 365–387.Find this resource:

Platzky, Laurine, and Cherryl Walker. The Surplus People: Forced Removals in South Africa. Johannesburg: Ravan, 1985.Find this resource:

Southall, Roger. South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an “Independent” Bantustan. London: Heinemann, 1982.Find this resource:

Wolpe, Harold. “Capitalism and Cheap Labour-Power in South Africa: From Segregation to Apartheid 1.” Economy and Society 1.4 (1972): 425–456.Find this resource:


(1.) I use quotation marks the first time I refer to “homelands,” “native” administration policies, bantustan “independence,” and their “self-governing” status. This is to indicate the racist and offensive logic underpinning these terms and their farcical nature as realities in South Africa. To avoid awkward and clumsy writing, however, I drop the quotation marks after first usage and rely on the reader’s common sense in understanding the complications in using these terms.

(2.) Solomon Plaatjie, Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since the European War and the Boer Rebellion (Johannesburg: Ravan, 1982), 21.

(3.) Saul Dubow, Racial Segregation and the Origins of Apartheid in Twentieth Century South Africa, 1919–1936 (London: Macmillan, 1989).

(4.) Deborah Posel, The Making of Apartheid, 1948–1961: Conflict and Compromise (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991).

(5.) Peter Delius, A Lion amongst the Cattle: Reconstruction and Resistance in the Northern Transvaal (Johannesburg: Heinemann, 1996), 78.

(6.) Ivan Evans, Bureaucracy and Race: Native Administration in South Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 239.

(7.) Anne Kelk Mager, Gender and the Making of a South African Bantustan: A Social History of the Ciskei, 1945–1959 (Oxford: James Currey, 1999). For an example of the shifting of gendered and generational hierarchies in Bophuthatswana, see Belinda Bozzoli, Women of Phokeng: Consciousness, Life Strategy, and Migrancy in South Africa, 1900–1983 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1991).

(8.) Delius, A Lion amongst the Cattle, 132.

(9.) Harold Wolpe, “Capitalism and Cheap Labour-Power in South Africa: From Segregation to Apartheid 1,” Economy and Society 1.4 (1972): 425–56.

(10.) William Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 162.

(11.) Hermann Giliomee, The Afrikaners: Biography of a People (London: C Hurst, 2003), 531.

(12.) Keith Breckenridge, The Biometric State: The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 160.

(13.) Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa, 223.

(14.) Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa, 208.

(15.) Bill Freund, “Forced Resettlement and Political Economy of South Africa,” Review of African Political Economy 11.29 (1984): 51.

(16.) Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa, 212.

(17.) Laurine Platzky and Cherryl Walker, The Surplus People: Forced Removals in South Africa (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1985).

(18.) Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa, 211.

(19.) Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa.

(20.) Isak Niehaus, “Ethnicity and the Boundaries of Belonging: Reconfiguring Shangaan Identity in the South African Lowveld,” African Affairs 3 (2002): 557–83.

(21.) Desmond Cosmas, The Discarded People (Johannesburg: The Christian Institute of South Africa, 1969).

(22.) F. Hendricks, Lungisile Ntsebeza, and K. Helliker, The Promise of Land: Undoing a Century of Dispossession in South Africa (Johannesburg: Jacana, 2013).

(23.) Roger Southall, South Africa’s Transkei: The Political Economy of an “Independent” Bantustan (London: Heinemann, 1982), 213.

(24.) Michelle Hay, “Policy Dreams to Improve Homeland Agriculture and Their Uneven Outcomes,” conference presentation, African Studies Association, San Diego, 2015.

(25.) William Beinart, “Beyond Homelands: Some Ideas about the History of African Rural Areas in South Africa,” South African Historical Journal 64.1 (2012): 13.

(26.) Jonathan Hyslop, “Political Corruption in South Africa: Before and After Apartheid,” Journal of Southern African Studies 31.4 (2005): 783.

(27.) Laura Phillips, “Principals, Chiefs and School Committees: The Localisation of Rural School Administration in Lebowa, 1972–1990,” Journal of Southern African Studies 41.2 (2014): 299–314.

(28.) Hyslop, “Political Corruption in South Africa: Before and After Apartheid,” 783.

(29.) Gerard Mare, “Class Conflict and Ideology among the Petty Bourgeoisie in the ‘Homelands’: Inkatha—A Study,” African Studies Institute Seminar, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 1978; and Robert Morrell, ed., Political Economy and Identities in KwaZulu-Natal. Historical and Social Perspectives (Durban: Indicator Press, 1996).

(30.) Andy Manson and Bernard Mbenga, “Bophuthatswana and the North-West Province: From Pan-Tswanaism to Mineral-Based Ethnic Assertiveness,” South African Historical Journal 64.2 (2012).

(31.) Colin Murray, “Displaced Urbanization: South Africa’s Rural Slums,” African Affairs 86.344 (1987): 311–29.

(32.) Edwin Ritchken, “Leadership and Conflict in Bushbuckridge: Struggles to Define Moral Economies in Context of Rapidly Transforming Political Economies, 1978–1990,” PhD diss., University of the Witwatersrand, 1995.

(33.) Sekibakiba Lekgoathi, “Chiefs, Migrants and North Ndebele Ethnicity in the Context of Surrounding Homeland Politics, 1965–1978,” African Studies 62.1 (2003): 53–77.

(34.) Gillian Hart, Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 144.

(35.) Hart, Disabling Globalization.

(36.) W. D. Cobbet et al., “South Africa’s Regional Political Economy: A Critical Analysis of Reform Strategy in the 1980s,” in Regional Restructuring under Apartheid: Urban and Regional Policies in Contemporary South Africa, eds. R. Tomlinson and M. Addleson (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1987), 10.

(37.) Platzky and Walker, The Surplus People, 355.

(38.) Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa, 216.

(39.) Cobbet et al., “South Africa’s Regional Political Economy.”

(40.) Gillian Hart and Alison Todes, “Industrial Decentralisation Revisited,” Transformation 32 (1997): 44.

(41.) Leslie Bank, “Angry Men and Working Women,” African Studies 53.1 (1994): 90.

(42.) Leslie Bank, “Angry Men and Working Women”.

(43.) Isak Niehaus, “Towards a Dubious Liberation: Masculinity, Sexuality and Power in South African Lowveld Schools, 1953–1999,” Journal of Southern African Studies 3 (2000): 387–407.

(44.) Delius, A Lion amongst the Cattle.

(45.) Khaukanani Mavhungu, “Heroes, Villains and the State in South Africa’s Witchcraft Zone,” African Anthropologist 7.1 (2000): 128.

(46.) Ineke van Kessels, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams: The United Democratic Front and the Transformation of South Africa (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000), 83.

(47.) Hein Marais, South Africa: Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transition (Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press, 2001), 89.

(48.) Allister Sparks, Tomorrow Is Another Country (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2003), 140.

(49.) Ronnie Kasrils, “Armed and Dangerous”: My Undercover Struggle against Apartheid (Oxford: Heinemann, 1993).

(50.) Peris Sean Jones, “From ‘Nationhood’ to Regionalism to the North West Province: ‘Bophuthatswananess’ and the Birth of the ‘New’ South Africa,” African Affairs 98.393 (1999): 509–34.

(51.) Peris Sean Jones, “From ‘Nationhood’ to Regionalism to the North West Province”; and Fraser McNeill, “‘Original Venda Hustler’: Symbols, Generational Difference and the Construction of Ethnicity in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Anthropology Southern Africa 39.3 (2016): 187–203.

(52.) Luvuyo Wotshela, “Quitrent Tenure and the Village System in the Former Ciskei Region of the Eastern Cape: Implications for Contemporary Land Reform of a Century of Social Change,” Journal of Southern African Studies 40.4 (2014): 727–744; and Michelle Hay, “A Tangled Past: Land Settlement, Removals and Restitution in Letaba District, 1900–2013,” Journal of Southern African Studies 40.4 (2014): 745–760.

(53.) Ivor Chipkin and Sarah Meny-Gibert, “Why the Past Matters: Studying Public Administration in South Africa,” Journal of Public Administration 47.1 (2012): 107.

(54.) Tom Lodge, “Political Corruption in South Africa,” African Affairs 97.387 (1998): 171.

(55.) Tom Lodge, “Political Corruption in South Africa,” 173.

(56.) Barbara Oomen, Chiefs in South Africa. Law, Power and Culture in the Post-Apartheid Era (KwaZulu-Natal: University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2005), 3.

(57.) Tara Weinberg, “The Contested Status of ‘Communal Land Tenure’ in South Africa,” Rural Status Report 3 (Cape Town: PLAAS, 2015), 20.

(58.) Tara Weinberg, “The Contested Status of ‘Communal Land Tenure’ in South Africa,” 13–15.

(59.) Andy Manson and Bernard Mbenga, Land, Chiefs, Mining: South Africa’s North West Province since 1840 (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014), 260.

(60.) Gavin Capps and Sonwabile Mnwana, “Claims from Below: Platinum and the Politics of Land in the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Traditional Authority Area,” Review of African Political Economy 42.146 (2015): 610.

(61.) Archie Mafeje, “On the Articulation of Modes of Production: Review Article,” Journal of Southern African Studies 8.1 (1981): 123–138.

(62.) Merle Lipton, Capitalism and Apartheid (London: Wildwood Press, 1986).

(63.) Belinda Bozzoli and Peter Delius, “Radical History and South African Society,” Radical History Review 1990.46–47 (1990): 13–45.

(64.) Deborah James, Songs of the Women Migrants: Performance and Identity in South Africa (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 2000); and Bozzoli, Women of Phokeng.

(65.) Bozzoli and Delius, “Radical History and South African Society.”

(66.) Ritchken, “Leadership and Conflict in Bushbuckridge.”

(67.) Peter Delius, “Sebatkgomo; and Migrant Organisation, the ANC and the Sekhunkhuneland Revolt,” Journal of Southern African Studies 15.4 (1989): 581–615.

(68.) Shireen A. Ally and Arianna Lissoni, eds., “Let’s Talk About the Bantustans,” special issue, South African Historical Journal 64.2 (2012): 1–157.

(69.) Phillips, “Principals, Chiefs and School Committees.”

(70.) Timothy Gibbs, Mandela’s Kinsmen: Nationalist Elites and Apartheid’s First Bantustan (Oxford: James Currey, 2014).

(71.) Oomen, Chiefs in South Africa.

(72.) The Archival Platform, “State of the Archives: An Analysis of South Africa’s National Archival System, 2014,” University of Cape Town, Cape Town, 2015, 59.