• Cape Colony is found by Jan van Riebeeck, representing the Dutch East India Company.
  • British forces seize Cape Colony from the Netherlands.

  • Diamonds are discovered in Kimberley. In the 1870's and 1880's, Kimberley mines will produce 95% of the world's diamonds.
  • The world's largest goldfields were discovered on the Witwatersrand and mining becomes a driving force behind South Africa's economic development. Gold is used globally to back national currencies, which is instrumental in the expansion of international trade.

  • The Union of South Africa is formed by former British colonies of the Cape and Natal and the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
  • The parliament enacts the Status of the Union Act, which declares the country to be a sovereign, independent state.
  • South Africa falls under economic sanctions, expulsions from international organizations, and divestments from foreign companies due to its Apartheid policies of segregation. The sanctions are lifted once Apartheid ends in 1991.
  • A group of multi-national pharmaceutical companies halt a legal battle to stop South Africa from importing generic AIDS drugs.
  • Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits South Africa and promises to limit clothing exports to help South Africa’s struggling textile industry.

  •  Jacob ZUMA became president in 2009 and was reelected in 2014.

  • Jacob ZUMA resigns as President.

  • In May 2019 national elections, the country’s sixth since the end of apartheid, the ANC won a majority of parliamentary seats, delivering RAMAPHOSA a five-year term.


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