British colonisers first introduced English to the South African region in 1795, when they established a military holding operation at the Cape Colony. The goal of this first endeavour was to gain control of a key Cape sea route, not to establish a permanent settler colony. The first major influx of English speakers arrived in 1820. About 5000 British settlers, mostly rural or working class, settled in the eastern Cape. Though the British were a minority colonist group (the Dutch had been in the region since 1652, when traders from the Dutch East India Company developed an outpost), the Cape Colony governor, Lord Charles Somerset, declared English an official language in 1822. To spread the influence of English in the colony, officials began to recruit British schoolmasters and Scottish clergy to occupy positions in the education and church systems. Another group of English speakers arrived from Britain in the 1840s and 1850s, along with the Natal settlers. These individuals were largely "standard speakers" like retired military personnel and aristocrats. A third wave of English settlers arrived between 1875 and 1904, and brought with them a diverse variety of English dialects. These last two waves did not have as large of an influence on South African English (SAE), for "the seeds of development were already sown in 1820". However, the Natal wave brought nostalgia for British customs and helped to define the idea of a "standard" variety that resembled Southern British English.
When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, English and Dutch were the official state languages, although Afrikaans effectively replaced Dutch in 1925. After 1994, these two languages along with nine other Southern Bantu languages achieved equal official status.
SAE is an extraterritorial (ET) variety of English, or a language variety that has been transported outside its mainland home. More specifically, SAE is a Southern hemisphere ET originating from later English colonisation in the 18th and 19th centuries (Zimbabwean, Australian, and New Zealand English are also Southern hemisphere ET varieties). SAE resembles British English more closely than it does American English due to the close ties that South African colonies maintained with the mainland in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, with the increasing influence of American pop-culture around the world via modes of contact like television, American English has become more familiar in South Africa. Indeed, some American lexical items are becoming alternatives to comparable British terms.
Several South African English varieties have emerged, accompanied by varying levels of perceived social prestige. Roger Lass describes White South African English as a system of three sub-varieties spoken primarily by White South Africans, called "The Great Trichotomy" (a term first used to categorise Australian English varieties and subsequently applied to South African English). In this classification, the "Cultivated" variety closely approximates England's standard Received Pronunciation and is associated with the upper class; the "General" variety is a social indicator of the middle class and is the common tongue; and the "Broad" variety is most associated with the working class, low socioeconomic status, and little education. These three sub-varieties have also been called "Conservative SAE", "Respectable SAE", and "Extreme SAE", respectively. Broad White SAE closely approximates the second-language variety of (Afrikaans-speaking) Afrikaners called Afrikaans English. This variety has been stigmatised by middle and upper class SAE speakers and is considered a vernacular form of SAE.
Black South African English, or BSAE, is spoken by individuals whose first language is an indigenous African tongue. BSAE is considered a "new" English because it has emerged through the education system among second-language speakers in places where English is not the majority language. At least two sociolinguistic variants have been definitively studied on a post-creole continuum for the second-language Black South African English spoken by most Black South Africans: a high-end, prestigious "acrolect" and a more middle-ranging, mainstream "mesolect". The "basilect" variety is less similar to the colonial language (natively-spoken English), while the "mesolect" is somewhat more so. Historically, BSAE has been considered a "non-standard" variety of English, inappropriate for formal contexts and influenced by indigenous African languages.
According to the Central Statistical Services, as of 1994 about 7 million black people spoke English in South Africa. BSAE originated in the South African school system, when the 1953 Bantu Education Act mandated the use of native African languages in the classroom. When this law was established, most of the native English-speaking teachers were removed from schools. This limited the exposure that black students received to standard varieties of English. As a result, the English spoken in black schools developed distinctive patterns of pronunciation and syntax, leading to the formation of BSAE. Some of these characteristic features can be linked to the mother tongues of the early BSAE speakers. The policy of mother tongue promotion in schools ultimately failed, and in 1979, the Department of Bantu Education allowed schools to choose their own language of instruction. English was largely the language of choice, because it was viewed as a key tool of social and economic advancement.
Indian South African English (ISAE) is a sub-variety that developed among the descendants of Indian immigrants to South Africa. The Apartheid policy, in effect from 1948 to 1991, prevented Indian children from publicly interacting with people of English heritage. This separation caused an Indian variety to develop independently from White South African English, though with phonological and lexical features still fitting under the South African English umbrella. Indian South African English includes a "basilect", "mesolect", and "acrolect". These terms describe varieties of a given language on a spectrum of similarity to the colonial version of that language: the "acrolect" being the most similar. Today, basilect speakers are generally older non-native speakers with little education; acrolect speakers closely resemble colonial native English speakers, with a few phonetic/syntactic exceptions; and mesolect speakers fall somewhere in-between.
ISAE resembles Indian English in some respects, possibly because the varieties contain speakers with shared mother tongues or because early English teachers were brought to South Africa from India, or both. Four prominent education-related lexical features shared by ISAE and Indian English are: tuition(s), which means "extra lessons outside school that one pays for"; further studies, which means "higher education"; alphabets, which means "the alphabet, letters of the alphabet"; and by-heart, which means "to learn off by heart"; these items show the influence of Indian English teachers in South Africa. Phonologically, ISAE also shares several similarities with Indian English, though certain common features are decreasing in the South African variety. For instance, consonant retroflexion in phonemes like /ḍ/ and strong aspiration in consonant production (common in North Indian English) are present in both varieties, but declining in ISAE. Syllable-timed rhythm, instead of stress-timed rhythm, is still a prominent feature in both varieties, especially in more colloquial sub-varieties.
In 1913, Charles Pettman created the first South African English dictionary, entitled Africanderisms. This work sought to identify Afrikaans terms that were emerging in the English language in South Africa. In 1924, the Oxford University Press published its first version of a South African English dictionary, The South African Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Subsequent editions of this dictionary have tried to take a "broad editorial approach" in including vocabulary terms native to South Africa, though the extent of this inclusion has been contested. Rhodes University (South Africa) and Oxford University (Great Britain) worked together to produced the 1978 Dictionary of South African English, which adopted a more conservative approach in its inclusion of terms. This dictionary did include, for the first time, what the dictionary writers deemed "the jargon of townships", or vocabulary terms found in Black journalism and literary circles. Dictionaries specialising in scientific jargon, such as the common names of South African plants, also emerged in the twentieth century. However, these works still often relied on Latin terminology and European pronunciation systems. As of 1992, Rajend Mesthrie had produced the only available dictionary of South African Indian English.
SAE includes lexical items borrowed from other South African Languages. The following list provides a sample of some of these terms:
SAE also contains several lexical items that demonstrate the British influence on this variety:
A range of SAE expressions have been borrowed from other South African languages, or are uniquely used in this variety of English. Some common expressions include:
The South African National Census of 2011 found a total of 4,892,623 speakers of English as a first language,:23 making up 9.6% of the national population.:25 The provinces with significant English-speaking populations were the Western Cape (20.2% of the provincial population), Gauteng (13.3%) and KwaZulu-Natal (13.2%).:25
English was spoken across all ethnic groups in South Africa. The breakdown of English-speakers according to the conventional racial classifications used by Statistics South Africa is described in the following table.
|Population group||English-speakers:26||% of population group:27||% of total English-speakers|
|Indian or Asian||1,094,317||86.1||22.4|
The following examples of South African accents were obtained from George Mason University:
en-ZAis the language code for South African English, as defined by ISO standards (see ISO 639-1 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-2) and Internet standards (see IETF language tag).
Black people from South Africa were at times officially called Bantu (Afrikaans: Bantoe) by the apartheid regime. The term Bantu is derived from the word for "people" common to many of the Bantu languages. The Oxford Dictionary of South African English describes its contemporary usage in a racial context as "obsolescent and offensive" because of its strong association with white minority rule and the apartheid system. However, Bantu is used without pejorative connotations in other parts of Africa.Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron ( shar-LEEZ THERR-ən; Afrikaans: [ʃarˈlis trɔn]; born 7 August 1975) is a South African and American actress and film producer. She is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and the Silver Bear for Best Actress.
Theron came to international prominence in the 1990s by playing the leading lady in the Hollywood films The Devil's Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999). In 2003, she received critical acclaim for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the first South African to win an Oscar in a major acting category. She received another Academy Award nomination for playing a sexually abused woman seeking justice in the drama North Country (2005). Theron has since starred in several top-grossing action films, including Hancock (2008), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Prometheus (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and Atomic Blonde (2017). She also received praise for playing troubled women in Jason Reitman's comedy-dramas Young Adult (2011) and Tully (2018), receiving Golden Globe Award nominations for both films.
Since the early 2000s, Theron has ventured into film production with her company Denver and Delilah Productions. She has produced numerous films, in many of which she had a starring role, including The Burning Plain (2008) and Dark Places (2015). Theron became an American citizen in 2007, while retaining her South African citizenship. In 2016, Time named her in their annual Time 100 listing of the most influential people in the world.DStv
DStv (Digital Satellite Television) is a Sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service owned by MultiChoice. The service launched in 1995 and provides multiple channels and services to their subscribers, which currently number around 11.9 million. The majority of subscribers are in South Africa and Nigeria, with Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Lesotho, Ethiopia, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Swaziland and Botswana additionally served by the company.Falcons (rugby team)
The Falcons – better known by their Afrikaans name the Valke and now known as the Hino Valke for sponsorship reasons – are a South African rugby union team in Gauteng province that participates in the annual Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup tournaments.
Their home ground is Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park, to which they have returned in 2009. The Falcons have operated from Bosman Stadium in Brakpan and Pam Brink Stadium in Springs. They occasionally still host matches at Bosman Stadium. The Falcons draw players from Ekurhuleni and other municipalities to the east and south of Johannesburg.False Bay
False Bay (Afrikaans Valsbaai) is a body of water defined by Cape Hangklip (Dutch/Afrikaans for "Hang(ing)-rock") and the Cape Peninsula in the extreme south-west of South Africa.Griffons (rugby team)
The Northern Free State Griffons (known as the Down Touch Griffons for sponsorship reasons) are a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup and Rugby Challenge tournaments. They play out of Welkom at North West Stadium, and draw players from roughly the eastern third of Free State Province (the remainder of the province comprises the territory of the Free State Cheetahs).
Players from the Griffons are eligible for selection to the Cheetahs Super Rugby team, along with players from the Free State Cheetahs and Griquas.
The team currently plays in the First Division of the Currie Cup, attracting crowds of around 4,000 to home games in at North West Stadium in Welkom. Their traditional rivals are the Free State Cheetahs and North West Province Leopards.Griquas (rugby)
Griquas (known as the Tafel Lager Griquas for sponsorship reasons since February 2017) are a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup tournament. Their home ground is Griqua Park in Kimberley and they draw their players mostly from Northern Cape Province. They have won the Currie Cup three times – in 1899, 1911 and 1970 – and the Vodacom Cup a joint-record five times.Independent Online (South Africa)
Independent Online, or IOL is a news and information website based in South Africa. It was owned by the Independent News & Media organisation, which is the largest publisher of print material in South Africa but was bought out by Sekunjalo Investments in 2013 who now own the company.
Sekunjalo Independent Media owns 55% of the company, the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa owns 25%, and two Chinese State Owned Enterprises (China International Television Corporation and the China Africa Development Fund) own the remaining 20% of the newspaper.The site serves the online versions of a number of South African newspapers, including The Star, Pretoria News, The Daily Voice, Cape Times, Cape Argus, Weekend Argus, The Mercury, Post, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Isolezwe, Daily Tribune, Sunday Tribune, The Independent on Saturday and the Sunday Independent.Indian South Africans
Indian South Africans are citizens and residents of South Africa of mainly and majority being of South Indian descent. However other South African Indian ethnic groups include Muslims and North Indians. The majority live in and around the city of Durban, making it "the largest 'Indian' city outside India". Many Indians in South Africa are descendents of migrants from colonial India (South Asia) during late 19th-century through early 20th-century. At times Indians were subsumed in the broader geographical category "Asians".There remains a cultural, religious and racial overlap for "Asians" and "Indian South Africans". During the most intense period of segregation and apartheid, "Indian", "Asian", "Coloured" and "Malay" group identities controlled numerous aspects of daily life, including where a classified person was permitted to live.During ideological apartheid from 1948 to 1994, Indians were called and often voluntarily accepted, terms that ranged from "Asians" to "Indians". Some citizens believed that these terms were improvements on the negatively defined identity of "Non-White", which was their previous status. Politically conscious and nationalistic Indian South Africans wanted to show both their heritage and their local roots. Increasingly they self-identified as "African", "South African" and, when necessary, "Indian South Africans".Nonetheless, the spread of democratic elections has sometimes heightened ethnic loyalties. Politicians and groups have looked for means to mobilise power in the competitive parliamentary democracy which South Africa has become since 1994.John Kani
Bonisile John Kani (born 30 August 1942) is a South African actor, director and playwright.Louis Oosthuizen
Lodewicus Theodorus "Louis" Oosthuizen (Afrikaans: [ˈlu.i ˈʊəstɦœizən]; born 19 October 1982) is a South African professional golfer who won the 2010 Open Championship. He also holds the distinction of finishing runner-up in all four major championships: the 2012 Masters Tournament losing in a sudden death playoff, the 2015 U.S. Open, the 2015 Open Championship where he was defeated in a four-hole aggregate playoff, and the 2017 PGA Championship. He is the seventh golfer to accomplish this feat, joining Craig Wood, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson. His highest placing on the Official World Golf Ranking is fourth which he reached in January 2013.Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga ( (listen); Swazi, Zulu: iMpumalanga; Tsonga: Mpumalanga; Southern Ndebele: IMpumalanga; Northern Sotho, Afrikaans, Southern Sotho: Mpumalanga) is a province of South Africa. The name means "east", or literally "the place where the sun rises" in the Swazi, Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu languages. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. It constitutes 6.5% of South Africa's land area. It shares borders with the South African provinces of Limpopo to the north, Gauteng to the west, the Free State to the southwest, and KwaZulu-Natal to the south. The capital is Mbombela (Nelspruit).Nando's
Nando's is an international food chain that originated in South Africa in 1987. Nando's operates over 1,000 outlets in 35 countries. The logo is based on the Rooster of Barcelos.
Nando's specialises in Portuguese-style chicken dishes with various peri-peri marinades.President of South Africa
The President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under the Constitution of South Africa. From 1961 to 1994, the head of state was called the State President.
The President is elected by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, and is usually the leader of the largest party, which has been the African National Congress since the first non-racial elections were held on 27 April 1994. The Constitution limits the president's time in office to two five-year terms. The first president to be elected under the new constitution was Nelson Mandela. The incumbent is Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected by the National Assembly on 15 February 2018 following the resignation of Jacob Zuma.
Under the interim constitution (valid from 1994 to 1996), there was a Government of National Unity, in which a Member of Parliament (MP) from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as Deputy President. Along with Thabo Mbeki, the last State President, F. W. de Klerk also served as Deputy President, in his capacity as the leader of the National Party which was the second-largest party in the new Parliament. But De Klerk later resigned and went into opposition with his party. A voluntary coalition government continues to exist under the new constitution (adopted in 1996), although there have been no appointments of opposition politicians to the post of Deputy President.
The President is required to be a member of the National Assembly at the time of his election. Upon his election, he immediately resigns his seat for the duration of his term. The President may be removed either by a motion of no-confidence or an impeachment trial.Pumas (rugby team)
The Pumas (currently known as the ISG Pumas for sponsorship reasons) are a South African rugby union team that competes in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup and the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup. The team draws their players from Mpumalanga Province (formerly known as the South Eastern Transvaal) and plays at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, having previously also played at the Puma Stadium in Witbank.
The Pumas are a well supported team throughout Mpumalanga Province, with large fan bases located in Witbank, Middelburg, Ermelo and Nelspruit. The Pumas average crowds of 13,000 at home Currie Cup matches.Sharpeville massacre
The Sharpeville massacre was an event which occurred on 21 March 1960, at the police station in the South African township of Sharpeville in Transvaal (today part of Gauteng).
After a day of demonstrations against pass laws, a crowd of about 5,000 to 7,000 protesters went to the police station. The South African Police opened fire on the crowd, killing 69 people and injuring 180 others. Sources disagree as to the behaviour of the crowd; some state that the crowd was peaceful, while others state that the crowd had been hurling stones at the police, and that the shooting started when the crowd started advancing toward the fence around the police station. There were 249 casualties in total, including 29 children. Many sustained back injuries from being shot as they fled.The massacre was photographed by photographer Ian Berry, who initially believed the police were firing blanks. In present-day South Africa, 21 March is celebrated as a public holiday in honour of human rights and to commemorate the Sharpeville massacre.South African Indian Congress
The South African Indian Congress (SAIC) was an organisation founded in 1921 in Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), South Africa. The congress is famous for its strong participation by Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent South African Indian figures during the time. Umar Hajee Ahmed Jhaveri was elected the first president of the South African Indian Congress. The SAIC was a member of the Congress Alliance.Sydney Brenner
Sydney Brenner (13 January 1927 – 5 April 2019) was a South African biologist. In 2002, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with H. Robert Horvitz and Sir John E. Sulston. Brenner made significant contributions to work on the genetic code, and other areas of molecular biology while working in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. He established the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for the investigation of developmental biology, and founded the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California, United States.Trevor Immelman
Trevor John Immelman (born 16 December 1979) is a South African professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour, European Tour and Sunshine Tour. He won his sole major championship at the 2008 Masters Tournament.