Since 1945 world attention has repeatedly focused on the Union of South Africa and the neighbouring British Protectorates. Relationships between European and Non-European have frequently been the subject of bitter controversy. In some quarters the policy of Apartheid has become identified with Bantu oppression. Elsewhere it has been recognized that in South Africa the complexities of all the relationships between peoples of different racial origins and widely differently economic and cultural standards are met in one country. The problems that South Africa is inevitably facing today are the problems of the world tomorrow.
To many people the Union of South Africa is synonymous with gold, a country agriculturally poor and industrially undeveloped. Such indeed was South Africa before the second world war but in the short span of twenty years the country has passed through an agrarian and an industrial revolution and is today emerging as an industrial nation, endowed with considerable natural resources. And it is very largely the large-scale drift of Non-European peoples to the White Man's towns associated with these changes which has brought to a head the many racial problems. These problems, however, can be understood only in full knowledge of the nature of the country, its resources and deficiencies, of its historic settlement by peoples of different races and of the progress made and the difficulties encountered in the major realms of economic activity -- agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and trade.
This book is intended to provide this background and has been written in the earnest hope that in some small way it may quicken a deeper interest in South African affairs and lead to a wider appreciation and greater understanding of South African problems. Its territorial content has caused certain difficulties which have been resolved mainly on economic and political grounds. Thus the decision to include the Union of South Africa, South West Africa, and the British Protectorates has been governed by their close economic links today and by the way in which their histories are intertwined. The exclusion of the Rhodesias, Angola, and Mozambique has been decided by similar considerations. These territories also form part of the great South African Plateau but, since the formation of the Central African Federation, the Rhodesias have turned their face towards central Africa and are developing independently of the Union, while . . .