Landless People's Movement
The Landless People's Movement was an independent social movement in South Africa. It consisted of rural people living in shack settlements in cities; the Landless People's Movement boycotted parliamentary elections and had a history of conflict with the African National Congress. The Landless People's Movement was affiliated to Via Campesina internationally and its Johannesburg branches to the Poor People's Alliance in South Africa. On 24 July 2001 provincial representatives of local landless formations met with regional organisations to unite their grievances and collectively seek change to relieve their struggles; the Landless People's Movement was formed out of this meetingIts stated aims were to: The movement was formed and support by an NGO, the National Land Committee, but in 2003 it broke with the NLC after which it operated autonomously. On 13 November 2003 the movement issued a Memorandum to President Thabo Mbeki asking "why is development brought to us through guns and the terror" and demanding an immediate halt to all evictions on farms and from urban squatter camps.
In 2008 the Protea South branch in Johannesburg won a landmark court order against the city of Johannesburg. The Landless People's Movement has been described as being successful in linking the commonalities between both rural and urban land dispossession; the Johannesburg Landless Peoples' Movement had branches in the following shack settlements: Protea South Harry Gwala Freedom Park Thembelihle Precast Lawley Protea Glen In April 2004 57 members of the movement were arrested on election day for marching under the banner of'No Land! No Vote!'. Some of the arrested activists were subject to torture and this was taken up in court action against the police. In September 2007 the Freedom of Expression Institute reported that at a peaceful protest by the Landless People's Movement: "SAPS members fired at random towards the protesters, leaving the pavement covered with the blue casings of rubber bullets. Police deployed a helicopter and water cannon, we saw at least two officers using live ammunition.
One Protea South resident, Mandisa Msewu, was shot in the mouth by a rubber bullet, several other residents were attended to by paramedics due to police violence."In February 2009 the movement reported that eight Landless People's Movement activists from Protea South were arrested following a peaceful protest. The movement claims to have been subject to severe repression in Johannesburg in 2010, including arrest and murder. In 2010 one of the movement's activists, Terrance Mbuleo, was murdered by middle class vigilantes in Soweto. In September 2008 the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, together with Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Johannesburg branches of the Landless People's Movement and the Rural Network in KwaZulu-Natal formed the Poor People's Alliance; the poor people's alliance refuses electoral politics under the banner'No Land! No House! No Vote!'. Homeless Workers' Movement in Brazil Landless Workers' Movement in Brazil Movement for Justice in el Barrio in the United States of America Narmada Bachao Andolan in India Naxalitesin India Take Back the Land in the USA Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico Via Campesina
Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa—after Johannesburg and Cape Town—and the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is famous for being the busiest port in the country, it is seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Durban forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighboring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. It is the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. In 2015, Durban was recognised as one of the New7Wonders Cities. Archaeological evidence from the Drakensberg mountains suggests that the Durban area has been inhabited by communities of hunter-gatherers since 100,000 BC; these people lived throughout the area of present-day KwaZulu-Natal until the expansion of Bantu farmers and pastoralists from the north saw their gradual displacement, incorporation or extermination.
Little is known of the history of the first residents, as there is no written history of the area until it was sighted by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who sailed parallel to the KwaZulu-Natal coast at Christmastide in 1497 while searching for a route from Europe to India. He named Christmas in Portuguese. In 1822 Lieutenant James King, captain of the ship Salisbury, together with Lt. Francis George Farewell, both ex-Royal Navy officers from the Napoleonic Wars, were engaged in trade between the Cape and Delagoa Bay. On a return trip to the Cape in 1823, they were caught in a bad storm and decided to risk the Bar and anchor in the Bay of Natal; the crossing went off well and they found safe anchor from the storm. Lt. King decided to map the Bay and named the "Salisbury and Farewell Islands". In 1824 Lt. Farewell, together with a trading company called J. R. Thompson & Co. decided to open trade relations with Shaka the Zulu King and establish a trading station at the Bay. Henry Francis Fynn, another trader at Delagoa Bay, was involved in this venture.
Fynn left Delagoa Bay and sailed for the Bay of Natal on the brig Julia, while Farewell followed six weeks on the Antelope. Between them they had 26 possible settlers. On a visit to King Shaka, Henry Francis Fynn was able to befriend the King by helping him recover from a stab wound suffered as a result of an assassination attempt by one of his half-brothers; as a token of Shaka's gratitude, he granted Fynn a “25-mile strip of coast a hundred miles in depth.” On 7 August 1824 they concluded negotiations with King Shaka for a cession of land, including the Bay of Natal and land extending ten miles south of the Bay, twenty-five miles north of the Bay and one hundred miles inland. Farewell took possession of this grant and raised the Union Jack with a Royal Salute, which consisted of 4 cannon shots and twenty musket shots. Of the original 18 would-be settlers, only 6 remained, they can be regarded as the founding members of Port Natal as a British colony; these 6 were joined by Lt. James Saunders King and Nathaniel Isaacs in 1825.
The modern city of Durban thus dates from 1824 when the settlement was established on the northern shores of the bay near today's Farewell Square. During a meeting of 35 European residents in Fynn's territory on 23 June 1835, it was decided to build a capital town and name it "D'Urban" after Sir Benjamin D'Urban governor of the Cape Colony; the Voortrekkers established the Republic of Natalia with its capital at Pietermaritzburg. Tension between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus prompted the governor of the Cape Colony to dispatch a force under Captain Charlton Smith to establish British rule in Natal, for fear of losing British control in Port Natal; the force arrived on 4 May 1842 and built a fortification, to be The Old Fort. On the night of 23/24 May 1842 the British attacked the Voortrekker camp at Congella; the attack failed, the British had to withdraw to their camp, put under siege. A local trader Dick King and his servant Ndongeni were able to escape the blockade and rode to Grahamstown, a distance of 600 km in fourteen days to raise reinforcements.
The reinforcements arrived in Durban 20 days later. Fierce conflict with the Zulu population led to the evacuation of Durban, the Afrikaners accepted British annexation in 1844 under military pressure; when the Borough of Durban was proclaimed in 1854, the council had to procure a seal for official documents. The seal was produced in 1855 and was replaced in 1882; the new seal contained a coat of arms without helmet or mantling that combined the coats of arms of Sir Benjamin D’Urban and Sir Benjamin Pine. An application was made to register the coat of arms with the College of Arms in 1906, but this application was rejected on grounds that the design implied that D’Urban and Pine were husband and wife; the coat of arms appeared on the council's stationery from about 1912. The following year, a helmet and mantling was added to the council's stationery and to the new city seal, made in 1936; the motto reads "Debile principium melior fortuna sequitur"—"Better fortune follows a humble beginning". The blazon of the arms registered by the South African Bureau of Heraldry and granted to Durban on 9 February 1979.
The coat of arms fell into disuse with the re-organisation of the South African local government structure in 2000. The seal ceased to be used in 1995. With the end of apartheid, Durban was subject to restruct
The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, meaning Afrikaner Resistance Movement known by its abbreviation AWB, is a South African neo-Nazi separatist political and paramilitary organisation described as a white supremacist group. Since its founding in 1973 by Eugène Terre'Blanche and six other far-right Afrikaners, it has been dedicated to secessionist Afrikaner nationalism and the creation of an independent Boer-Afrikaner republic or "Volkstaat/Boerestaat" in part of South Africa. During bilateral negotiations to end apartheid in the early 1990s, the organization terrorized and killed black South Africans; as of 2016, it is reported that the organization has around 5,000 members, uses social media for recruitment. On 7 July 1973 Eugène Terre'Blanche, a former police officer, called a meeting of several men in Heidelberg, Gauteng, in the then-Transvaal Province of South Africa, he was disillusioned by what he thought were Prime Minister B. J. Vorster's "liberal views" of racial issues in the white-minority country, after a period in which black majorities had ascended to power in many former colonies.
Terre'Blanche worried about what he characterized as communist influences in South African society. He decided to form a group with six other like-minded persons, which they named the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, to promote Afrikaner nationalism, his associates elected him as head of the group, a position he held until he was killed on his farm in April 2010. Their objective was to establish an independent Boerestaat for Boer-Afrikaner people only, it was to be independent of apartheid South Africa. The AWB was formed to try to regain the ground. During the 1970s and 1980s, the AWB attracted several thousand white South Africans as members, they opposed the reform of apartheid laws during the 1980s, harassing liberal politicians and holding large political rallies. Terre'Blanche used forceful personality to win converts, he railed against the lifting of many so-called "petty apartheid" laws, such as the law banning interracial sex and marriage, mixing of the races, as well as the government providing limited political rights to Indians and Coloureds.
During the State of Emergency, AWB violence and murders of unarmed non-whites were reported. The AWB opposed the then-banned African National Congress, which worked to achieve political rights for the indigenous native South Saharan Africans; the ruling National Party considered the AWB to be little more than a fringe group. The group operated unhindered until 1986, when white police officers took the unprecedented step of using tear gas against the AWB when they disrupted a National Party rally. In 1988, the organisation was estimated to have had support amongst 5 to 7 percent of the white South African population. In the Nick Broomfield documentary film, His Big White Self, he claimed the organisation reached a peak of half a million supporters in its heyday. During the negotiations that led to South Africa's first multiracial elections, the AWB engaged in violence and murder. During the Battle of Ventersdorp in August 1991, the AWB confronted police in front of the town hall where President F. W. de Klerk was speaking, "a number of people were killed or injured" in the conflict.
In the negotiations, the AWB stormed the Kempton Park World Trade Centre where the negotiations were taking place, breaking through the glass front of the building with an armoured car. The police guarding the centre failed to prevent the invasion; the invaders took over the main conference hall, threatening delegates and painting slogans on the walls, but left again after a short period. Six AWB members were sentenced to death for the murder of four black people at a fake roadblock they set up to terrorize black travellers. In 1988, the AWB was beset by scandal when claims that Terre'Blanche had had an affair with journalist Jani Allan surfaced. In July 1989, Cornelius Lottering, a member of a breakaway AWB group Orde van die Dood, attempted to assassinate Allan by placing a bomb outside her Sandton apartment. Nick Broomfield's 1991 documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife claimed that Terre'Blanche had sex with Allan, a claim she denied; this led to Allan taking libel proceedings against the documentary broadcaster Channel 4 in 1992 in the London High Court.
During the trial, several transcripts of their alleged unconventional sexual positions appeared in the South African and British press. Terre'Blanche submitted a sworn statement to the London court denying that he had had an affair with Allan. Although the judge found that Channel 4's allegations had not defamed Allan, he did not rule on whether or not there had been an affair. AWB members provided training to members of the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party to help them defend themselves against the ANC and fight for a Zulu homeland. In 1994, before the advent of majority rule, the AWB gained international notoriety in its attempt to defend the dictatorial government of Lucas Mangope in the homeland of Bophuthatswana; the AWB, along with a contingent of about 90 Afrikaner Volksfront militiamen, entered the capital Mmabatho on 10 and 11 March. The black policemen and soldiers of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force who were out in force to support president Mangope
Treatment Action Campaign
The Treatment Action Campaign is a South African HIV/AIDS activist organisation, co-founded by the HIV-positive activist Zackie Achmat in 1998. TAC is rooted in the experiences, direct action tactics and anti-apartheid background of its founder. TAC has been credited with forcing the reluctant government of former South African President Thabo Mbeki to begin making antiretroviral drugs available to South Africans; the Treatment Action Campaign was launched on International Human Rights Day. Zackie Achmat, whom The New Yorker calls "the most important dissident in the country since Nelson Mandela", joined with a group of ten other activists to found the group after anti-apartheid gay rights activist Simon Nkoli died from AIDS as active antiretroviral therapy was available to wealthy South Africans. Shortly thereafter, prompted by the murder of HIV-positive activist Gugu Dlamini, HIV-positive and HIV-negative members of the new group began wearing the group's now-famous T-shirts with the words "HIV Positive" printed boldly in front, a strategy inspired by the apocryphal story of the Danish king wearing the yellow star marking Jews under Nazi occupation.
Achmat became famous for his pledge to not take antiretroviral medicines until all South Africans could obtain them. Outgrowing its start among a small group of Cape Town activists, a number of whom had political roots in the Marxist Workers Tendency of the ANC, TAC became a much more broadly based group, with chapters in many regions of the nation and a black and poor constituency; the group campaigns for greater access to HIV treatment for all South Africans by raising public awareness and understanding about issues surrounding the availability and use of HIV treatments. The Treatment Action Campaign produces Equal Treatment, a magazine dedicated to HIV and health issues; the TAC first confronted the South African government for not ensuring that mother-to-child-transmission prevention was available to pregnant mothers. It won this case on the basis of the South African constitutional guarantee of the right to health care, the government was ordered to provide MTCT programs in public clinics.
TAC assisted the government by defending it in the case brought against the government by the pharmaceutical industry. TAC entered the case as an amicus curiae. Although the withdrawal of the pharmaceutical companies from this case resulted in a government victory, the government showed no interest in providing access to the generic antiretroviral medications that its victory allowed. Indeed, far from embracing their common victory against the patent rights of multinational companies who were not making affordable drugs available, President Thabo Mbeki began promoting the AIDS denialist view that HIV might not cause AIDS, that AIDS medications were more toxic than helpful, inviting foreign AIDS denialists to advise his government. According to TAC's founder, two million South Africans died prematurely of AIDS during the term of former President Mbeki, many of these deaths could have been prevented by timely implementation of access to anti-HIV drugs. Following their legal victories, facing continuing refusal by the government to make antiretrovirals available, TAC began a campaign for universal access to AIDS treatment through the public health system.
In a national congress in 2002, the group decided to confront the government on this issue, first enacting a thousands-strong march on Parliament in February 2003, beginning a civil disobedience campaign in March 2003. After assurances from people within the government that a treatment plan would be forthcoming, TAC suspended its civil disobedience campaign. In the summer of 2003, TAC obtained and leaked an internally circulated government report showing that treatment would be cost-effective by reducing costly hospitalisations within the public-sector health system. In August 2003, at its next annual congress, TAC voted to resume civil disobedience. TAC members voted to recommend that Achmat take his medications, which he agreed he would do. At the same time, TAC began a Treatment Project to distribute medications to its activists and to other community members. Shortly after the Congress, before the civil disobedience campaign resumed, the Cabinet voted to begin roll-out of antiretroviral access through public-sector health clinics.
In the South African system, the Cabinet can overrule the President, it appeared to have done so in this case. Although the Cabinet voted to reaffirm that South African AIDS policy is based on the evidence that HIV causes AIDS, former President Thabo Mbeki continued to support the AIDS denialist position, as did his Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang; the Minister of Health put special emphasis on nutrition as an alternative to antiretroviral treatment. As the top health official of South Africa, she was a particular target of TAC activism. Tshabalala-Msimang was removed as Health Minister in September 2008 after President Mbeki left office, a move hailed by the Treatment Action Campaign. Although antiretroviral access is now official policy, its implementation has been spotty. TAC continues to protest and sue the government in order to continue to influence the speed of and approach to the rollout. At the XVI International AIDS Society Conference in Toronto, 13–18 August 2006, TAC had a significant presence.
Many TAC staff presented in seminars and chaired sessions, most prominently TAC Secretary Sipho Mthathi and Treasurer Mark Heywood. Heywood was a panelist in a plenary session co-chaired by CNN's Sanjay Gupta entitled "Time to Deliver: The Price of Inacti
Abahlali baseMjondolo known as AbM, is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa well known for its campaigning against evictions and for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organised from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now operates in the cities of Pietermaritzburg and in Cape Town, it is the largest shack dweller's organisation in South Africa and campaigns to improve the living conditions of poor people and to democratise society from below. The movement refused party politics, has boycotted elections and has a history of conflict with both the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance, its key demand is that the social value of urban land should take priority over its commercial value and it campaigns for the public expropriation of large owned landholdings. The key organising strategy is to try "to recreate Commons" from below by trying to create a series of linked communes. According to The Times, the movement "has shaken the political landscape of South Africa."
According to Professor Peter Vale, Abahlali baseMjondolo is "along with the Treatment Action Campaign the most effective grouping in South African civil society." Khadija Patel has written that the movement "is at the forefront of a new wave of mass political mobilisation". However the movement has faced sustained, at times violent, repression. In 2001, the eThekwini Municipality, which governs Durban and Pinetown, embarked on a'slum clearance programme' that meant the steady demolition of shack settlements and a refusal to provide basic services to existing settlements on the grounds that all shack settlements were now'temporary'. In these demolitions some shack dwellers were being left homeless and others subjected to unlawful forced evictions to the rural periphery of the city. In early 2008, the United Nations expressed serious concern about the treatment of shack dwellers in Durban. In the run up to 2010 there was concern about the possibility of evictions linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup across South Africa and abroad.
Abahlali's original work was committed to opposing demolitions and forced removals and to struggling for good land and quality housing in the cities. In most instances this takes the form of a demand for shack settlements to be upgraded with formal housing and services where they are or for new houses to be built close to where the existing settlements are; however the movement has argued that basic services such as water and toilets should be provided to shack settlements while land and housing in the city are negotiated. The movement has engaged in the mass popular appropriation of access to water and electricity; the movement had a considerable degree of success in stopping evictions and forced removals, winning the right for new shacks to be built as settlements expand and in winning access to basic services, but for three years was not able to win secure access to good urban land for quality housing. In late 2008 the AbM President S'bu Zikode announced a deal with the eThekwini Municipality which would see services being provided to 14 settlements and tenure security and formal housing to three.
The municipality confirmed this deal in February 2009. The movement has been involved in considerable conflict with the eThekwini Municipality and has undertaken numerous protests and legal actions against the city authorities, its members have been beaten and many of its leaders arrested by the South African Police Service in Sydenham, Durban. Abahlali has made claims of severe police harassment, including torture. On a number of occasions, these claims have been supported by church leaders and human rights organisations; the movement has sued the police for unlawful assaults on its members. In October 2009, the movement won a constitutional court case which declared the KZN Slums Act unconstitutional. In the same year there was acute conflict between the movement and the Cape Town City Council which centred on the Macassar Village Land Occupation. There was similar conflict in 2013. Academic work on the movement stresses that it is non-professionalised, independent of NGO control, autonomous from political organisations and party politics and democratic.
Sarah Cooper-Knock describes the movement as "neurotically democratic, impressively diverse and steadfastly self-critical". Ercument Celik writes that "I experienced how democratically the movement ran its meetings."The movement has, along with the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, refused to work with the NGO-run'Social Movements Indaba', some of the NGOs involved with the SMI. The movement has been critical of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and refuses to work with the Centre. In 2010 the movement claimed to have around 25,000 active supporters in 64 different shack settlements of which just over 10 000 were paid up card carrying members; the movement has affiliated settlements and branches in non-affiliated settlements and a has a youth league and a women's league. Since 2005, the movement has carried out a series of large scale marches, created numerous dual power institutions and engaged in direct action such as land occupations and self organised water and electricity connections and made tactical use of the courts.
The movement has made anti-capitalist statements, has called for "a living communism", has demanded the expropriation of private land for public housing. Abahlali refused to pa
Earthlife Africa is a South African environmental and anti-nuclear organisation founded in August 1988, in Johannesburg. Conceived of as a South African version of Greenpeace, the group began by playing a radical, anti-apartheid, activist role. ELA is arguably now more of a reformist pressure group. Considered by some to be a key voice in the emerging environmental justice movement, Earthlife Africa has been criticised for being too radical, by others for "working with traditional conservation movements" in furthering the environmental struggle; the Earthlife Africa constitution was formally adopted at the first national conference at Dal Josophat, near Paarl during 1989. Earthlife Africa was chosen as a conscious attempt to avoid the split affecting two factions in GreenPeace who were vying for control of the organisation. ELA therefore took a different approach to the environmental struggle; the ELA constitution was loosely based upon the Four Pillars of the Green Party and other movement documents.
In attendance at this historical inauguration of South Africa's green movement were various members of related environmental organisations and ecology groups including: Peter Lukey Chris Albertyn Mike Kantey Elfrieda Strauss David Robert Lewis Rachel BrownAccording to Jacklyn Cock, "the concept of environmental justice was first introduced in South Africa at the Earthlife 1992 conference." Environmental Justice "was articulated as a black concept and a poor concept and it took root well’ More it was the Environmental Justice Network Forum, initiated at the 1992 conference hosted by Earthlife Africa on the theme "What does it mean to be green in South Africa.’ At this conference 325 civil society delegates resolved to redefine the environmental agenda in South Africa in broad terms and to move beyond the loose anarchist constitution which had bound members with'values' as opposed to'rights'. The South African National Conference on Environment and Development had set the agenda of the green movement in 1991 and thus the 1992 ELA conference was a sequel and precursor of development within the broader movement.
The exposure of pollution by Thor Chemicals, a corporation which imported toxic waste into South Africa, by Earthlife and EJNF working with the Legal Resources Centre, the Chemical Workers Industrial Union, affected workers and local communities was the crucial turning point in the re-framing and ‘browning’ of environmentalism in South Africa. Earthlife launched the People’s Environmental Centre, the Greenhouse in 2002. 2007 ELA participates in a parliamentary portfolio committee hearing into the nuclear industry, delivering submissions and hearing from widows and workers affected by the Pelindaba accident September 2010, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan announces the ANC government decision to mothball the PBMR project. The cost to the taxpayer is in the region of between R7bn and R9.5Bn wasted on an unproven technology which could not produce a working reactor after more than 11 years of research. Maya Aberman 2006 Nosiphiwo Msithweni 2007 Apartheid is an Ecology issue Nuclear Energy Costs the Earth Campaign Toxics Campaign focuses on the prevention of proposed incinerators, through input into EIAs Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Partnership 1998: picket at Durban harbour against a nuclear waste ship 2008: picket against the arrival of the USS Theodore Roosevelt 2012 The records and medical files of hundreds of the workers handed over to the Public Protector.
2017 Memorandum handed to Necsa relating to allegations of ill health caused to Necsa employees, accepted by Group CEO, Phumzile Tshelane. 1998: campaign against air pollution in Johannesburg, three prominent sculptures were decorated with gas masks. They disseminate information on issues such as climate change, genetic engineering and nuclear energy 1991 South African National Conference on Environment and Development 1992 What does it mean to be green in South Africa. 1992 Thor Chemicals is exposed resulting in various court applications that end up testing culpability of global corporates. 15 September 2003 Earthlife Africa - Cape Town launched a High Court application in Cape Town, seeking to review and set aside the environmental impact assessment authorisation granted to Eskom to build a demonstration module Pebble Bed Modular Reactor at Koeberg, Cape Town. 2004 The clean-up operation for thousands of tons of Thor Chemicals mercury waste begins after an agreement with the British-owned chemical company to pay R24-million towards disposal costs.
*2005 Earthlife Africa v Eskom Holdings Ltd, Access to Information Necsa provided information upon request, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act ), promulgated in 2000, regarding former employees. The request was received from the South African Historical Archives who acted on behalf of Earthlife Africa who in turn acted on behalf of the former employees. Earthlife Africa v Director General Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Another ZAWCHC 7; the matter was remitted to the director-general with directions to afford the applicant and other interested parties an opportunity of addressing further written submissions to him along the lines as set out in this judgement and within such period as he may determine
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is primate city of the Western Cape province, it forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The Parliament of South Africa sits in Cape Town; the other two capitals are located in Bloemfontein. The city is known for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, for landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is home to 64% of the Western Cape's population, it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. In 2014, Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, as the oldest urban area in South Africa, was developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa and the Far East.
Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on 6 April 1652 established Dutch Cape Colony, the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony; until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. Cape Town is not just the city centre area, its suburbs and non-urban areas extend from the South Peninsula to beyond Mamre in the north and as far east as Gordon's Bay; the earliest known remnants in the region were found at Peers Cave in Fish Hoek and date to between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago. Little is known of the history of the region's first residents, since there is no written history from the area before it was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, the first European to reach the area and named it "Cape of Storms", it was renamed by John II of Portugal as "Cape of Good Hope" because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of a sea route to India and the East.
Vasco da Gama recorded a sighting of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497. In the late 16th century, French, Danish and English but Portuguese ships stopped over in Table Bay en route to the Indies, they traded tobacco and iron with the Khoikhoi in exchange for fresh meat. In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India Company were sent to the Cape to establish a way-station for ships travelling to the Dutch East Indies, the Fort de Goede Hoop; the settlement grew during this period, as it was hard to find adequate labour. This labour shortage prompted the authorities to import slaves from Madagascar. Many of these became ancestors of the first Cape Coloured communities. Under Van Riebeeck and his successors as VOC commanders and governors at the Cape, an impressive range of useful plants were introduced to the Cape – in the process changing the natural environment forever; some of these, including grapes, ground nuts, potatoes and citrus, had an important and lasting influence on the societies and economies of the region.
The Dutch Republic being transformed in Revolutionary France's vassal Batavian Republic, Great Britain moved to take control of its colonies. Britain captured Cape Town in 1795, but the Cape was returned to the Dutch by treaty in 1803. British forces occupied the Cape again in 1806 following the Battle of Blaauwberg. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, Cape Town was permanently ceded to Britain, it became the capital of the newly formed Cape Colony, whose territory expanded substantially through the 1800s. With expansion came calls for greater independence from Britain, with the Cape attaining its own parliament and a locally accountable Prime Minister. Suffrage was established according to sexist Cape Qualified Franchise; the discovery of diamonds in Griqualand West in 1867, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush in 1886, prompted a flood of immigrants to South Africa. Conflicts between the Boer republics in the interior and the British colonial government resulted in the Second Boer War of 1899–1902, which Britain won.
In 1910, Britain established the Union of South Africa, which unified the Cape Colony with the two defeated Boer Republics and the British colony of Natal. Cape Town became the legislative capital of the Union, of the Republic of South Africa. In the 1948 national elections, the National Party won on a platform of apartheid under the slogan of "swart gevaar"; this led to the erosion and eventual abolition of the Cape's multiracial franchise, as well as to the Group Areas Act, which classified all areas according to race. Multi-racial suburbs of Cape Town were either purged of unlawful residents or demolished; the most infamous example of this in Cape Town was District Six. After it was declared a whites-only region in 1965, all housing there was demolished and over 60,000 residents were forcibly removed. Many of these residents were relocated to the Cape Lavender Hill. Under apartheid, the Cape was considered a "Coloured labour preference area", to the exclusion of "Bantus", i.e. Africans. School students from Langa and Nyanga in Cape Town reacted to the news of