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Natal (Province of South Africa)

(1910 - 1994)

Last modified: 2007-07-14 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | natal |
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Natal (meaning "Christmas" in Portuguese, so called because it was first reached by the Vasco da Gama expedition in that time of the year) is in eastern most coastal South Africa, bordering on Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. Almost half of the territory attributed to the bantustan of Kwazulu, with several enclaves, and also two portions of Transkei: the northeastern tip and the eastern enclave. It was reorganized in the new province of KwaZulu/Natal, excluding the two pieces of Transkei territory that are now part of the new Eastern Cape province.
Antonio Martins, 30 May 1999

As with all the former provinces forming South Africa between 1910 and 1994, Natal did not have an official provincial flag.

The Union of South Africa was created on 31 May 1910 comprising the British colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange River Colony and Transvaal. Each colony became a province of South Africa.   None of the provinces of the Union had an official flag and only the South African national flag was used.  The wildebeest in the second quarter of the Arms of the Union (later Republic) of South Africa represented Natal.
Bruce Berry, 31 May 1999

On your page for Natal Province there is a link to Transkei. It's not clear to me why there is such a link, although they were neighbours, since no part of Transkei (the "independent" Bantustan) was incorporated into Natal (or KwaZulu-Natal).

One part of the former Transkeian Territories was incorporated into Natal.

Griqualand East was included in the Transkeian Territories General Council (known as the Bunga) under the name of Emboland, but later reverted to a status distinct from Transkei. Although the high-lying areas of Griqualand East (in the Matatiele district) had a largely black population (speaking Xhosa and some Sotho), the Kokstad district and parts of Matatiele had a population of Griqua origin with many white land-owners.
For this reason Griqualand East was not included in the National Party's plans for an independent Transkei, and when that state took its "independence" in 1976, Griqualand East was an exclave of the Cape Province.

Although the Constitution required the central government to consult with provinces over boundary changes, Pretoria arbitrarily allocated Griqualand East to Natal. Since it had been a Natalian dream since the 19th century to incorporate the territory, that province accepted the change with alacrity. The municipalities of Kokstad and Matatiele became Natal boroughs, while the Griqualand East Divisional Council became a local office of the Natal Provincial Administration.
A consequence of the incorporation of Griqualand East was that the Umzimkulu district of Transkei became an exclave in Natal. However, the inhabitants were loyal to Transkei (or at any rate to a Xhosa-speaking connection as opposed to a Zulu-speaking one), and refused to consider incorporation into KwaZulu.
When boundaries for the provinces were re-examined in 1993-94, the Boundary Commission recommended the return of Griqualand East to the new Eastern Cape Province. However, KwaZulu-Natal resisted this and remains in possession, despite attempts by the Eastern Cape administration to set up regional offices in Kokstad.
Mike Oettle, 16 Dec 2001