White South African

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White South Africans
F. W. de Klerk 2012.jpg
Jan Christiaan Smuts.jpg
Zille and Selfe in 2010 (cropped).jpg
Charlize Theron WonderCon 2012 (Straighten Crop).jpg
J.M. Coetzee.JPG
Mark Shuttleworth by Martin Schmitt.jpg
Barryh2.jpg
Candice-Swanepoel 2010-03-31 VictoriasSecretStoreChicago photo-by-Adam Bielawski.jpg
All Black.jpg
Total population

2014 Estimate:[1] 4,554,800 (8.4% of South Africa's population)

2011 Census: 4,586,838 (8.9% of South Africa's population)
Regions with significant populations
Throughout South Africa, but concentrated in urban areas
Gauteng1,920,000
Western Cape980,000
KwaZulu-Natal450,000
Eastern Cape300,000
Free State270,000
Mpumalanga250,000
North West240,000
Limpopo110,000
Northern Cape110,000
Languages
Afrikaans 61%, English 36%, other (e.g. Portuguese) 3%
Religion
Christianity (87%), no religion (9%), Judaism (1%), other (3%)
Related ethnic groups
Afrikaners, Coloureds, Dutch, Germans, French, British and Irish
 
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White South Africans
F. W. de Klerk 2012.jpg
Jan Christiaan Smuts.jpg
Zille and Selfe in 2010 (cropped).jpg
Charlize Theron WonderCon 2012 (Straighten Crop).jpg
J.M. Coetzee.JPG
Mark Shuttleworth by Martin Schmitt.jpg
Barryh2.jpg
Candice-Swanepoel 2010-03-31 VictoriasSecretStoreChicago photo-by-Adam Bielawski.jpg
All Black.jpg
Total population

2014 Estimate:[1] 4,554,800 (8.4% of South Africa's population)

2011 Census: 4,586,838 (8.9% of South Africa's population)
Regions with significant populations
Throughout South Africa, but concentrated in urban areas
Gauteng1,920,000
Western Cape980,000
KwaZulu-Natal450,000
Eastern Cape300,000
Free State270,000
Mpumalanga250,000
North West240,000
Limpopo110,000
Northern Cape110,000
Languages
Afrikaans 61%, English 36%, other (e.g. Portuguese) 3%
Religion
Christianity (87%), no religion (9%), Judaism (1%), other (3%)
Related ethnic groups
Afrikaners, Coloureds, Dutch, Germans, French, British and Irish

White South African is a term which refers to people from South Africa who are of European descent and who do not regard themselves, or are not regarded as, being part of another racial group, for example, as Coloured.[2] In linguistic, cultural and historical terms, they are generally divided into the Afrikaans-speaking descendants of mainly Dutch, German and French settlers, known as Afrikaners, and the Anglophone descendants of mainly British and Irish colonists. South Africa's white population is divided into 61% Afrikaans-speakers, 36% English-speakers, and 3% who speak another language,[3] such as Portuguese. White South Africans are by far the largest European-descended population group in Africa.

White South Africans differ significantly from other white African groups, due to not only their much larger population, but because they have developed nationhood, as in the case of the Afrikaners, who established a distinct language, culture and faith in Africa.[4]

History[edit]

The history of the Afrikaner nation can be traced back to the first white settlement of Africa with the arrival of the Dutch under Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. Therefore, their presence in Africa long predates the arrival of other white groups on the continent although the Portuguese began trading African slaves in the 1550s. White South Africans are also considered to be the last major white population group on the African continent, since the number of white people in other African states has declined to negligible figures. Whites continue to play a role in the South African economy and across the political spectrum. Whites number approximately 4.5 to 5 million, or between 9% and 10% of South Africa's population. This represents a decline, both numerically and proportionately, since white rule ended. It is estimated[by whom?] that as many as 800,000 whites have emigrated since the end of apartheid in 1994, however some have since returned.

Apartheid era[edit]

Under the 1950 Population Registration Act, each inhabitant of South Africa was classified into one of several different race groups, of which White was one. The Office for Race Classification defined a white person as one who "in appearance is obviously a white person who is generally not accepted as a coloured person; or is generally accepted as a white person and is not in appearance obviously not a white person." Many criteria, both physical (e.g. examination of head and body hair) and social (e.g. eating and drinking habits, knowledge of Afrikaans) were used when the board decided to classify someone as white or coloured.[2][5] The Act was repealed on 17 June 1991.

Post-apartheid era[edit]

The 1994 Employment Equity Act aimed at achieving equality in South African workplaces. In order to do this, the act required that it be possible to distinguish between black and white South Africans. It was necessary to know if someone was considered to be black or white when evaluating the racial composition of a company's workforce.[2]

Current trends[edit]

In recent decades there has been a steady proportional (and possibly also numerical) decline in the white African population, due to higher birthrates among the non-white population of South Africa, as well as high emigration. In 1977, there were 4.3 million whites, constituting 16.4% of the population at the time. It is estimated that at least 800,000 white Africans have moved abroad since 1995.[6]

Like many other communities strongly affiliated with the West and Europe's colonial legacy in Africa, the white Africans are often economically better off than their black African neighbors and have only relatively recently surrendered political dominance to majority rule. There were also some white Africans in South Africa who lived in poverty—especially during the 1930s and increasingly since the end of minority rule. Current estimates of white poverty in South Africa run as high as 12%, though fact-checking website Africa Check described these figures as "grossly inflated", and suggested that a more accurate estimate was that "only a tiny fraction of the white population – as little as 7,754 households – are affected".[7]

Lara Logan is a television and radio journalist and war correspondent.

The new phenomenon of white poverty is often blamed on the government's affirmative action employment legislation, which reserves 80% of new jobs for black people[8] and favours companies owned by black people (see Black Economic Empowerment). In 2010, Reuters stated that 450,000 whites live below the poverty line according to Solidarity and civil organisations,[9] with some research saying that up to 150,000 are struggling for survival.[10] A 2006 report claimed that there was anecdotal evidence to suggest that Afrikaner women are increasingly resorting to prostitution, though there appears to be no formal substantiation of this.[11]

A further concern has been crime. Some white South Africans living in affluent white suburbs, such as Sandton, have been affected by the 2008 13.5% rise in house robberies and associated crime.[12] In a study, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Dr. Johan Burger, said that criminals were specifically targeting wealthier suburbs. Burger revealed that several affluent suburbs are surrounded by poorer residential areas and that inhabitants in the latter often target inhabitants in the former. Burger also related to an entitlement complex that criminals have; "They feel they are entitled, for their own sakes, to take from those who have a lot". The report also found that residents in wealthy suburbs in Gauteng were not only at more risk of being targeted but also faced an inflated chance of being murdered during the robbery.[13]

The current global financial crisis has slowed down the high rates of white people emigrating overseas and has led to increasing numbers of white emigrants returning to live in South Africa. Charles Luyckx, CEO of Elliot International and a board member of the Professional Movers Association said that in the past six months leading to December (2008), emigration numbers had dropped by 10%. Meanwhile he revealed that "people imports" had increased by 50%.[14]

As of May 2014, Homecoming Revolution has estimated that around 340,000 white South Africans have returned in the last decade.[15]

Furthermore, immigration from Europe has also supplemented the white population. The 2011 census found that 63,479 white people living in South Africa were born in Europe; of these, 28,653 had moved to South Africa since 2001.[16]

Demographics[edit]

The Statistics South Africa Census 2011 showed that there were about 4,586,838 white people in South Africa, amounting to 8.9% of the country's population.[17] This is a 6.8% increase since the 2001 census. According to the Census 2011, English is the first language of 36% of the white population group and Afrikaans is the first language of 61% of the white population group.[3] The majority of white South Africans identify themselves as primarily South African, regardless of their first language or ancestry.[18][19]

Approximately 87% of white South Africans are Christian, 9% have no religion, and 1% are Jewish. The largest Christian denomination is the Dutch Reformed Church, with 34% of the white population being members. Other significant denominations are the Methodist Church (8%), the Roman Catholic Church (7%), and the Anglican Church (6%).[20]

Many white people have migrated to South Africa from other parts of Africa following the independence of those African nations or when those nations became hostile to them. Many Portuguese from Mozambique and Angola and white Zimbabweans emigrated to South Africa when their respective countries became independent.

Meanwhile, many white South Africans also emigrated to Western countries over the past two decades, mainly to English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, and with others settling in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, France, Argentina, Mexico, Israel and Brazil. However, the financial crisis has slowed down the rate of emigration and as of May 2014, Homecoming Revolution has estimated that around 340,000 white South Africans have returned in the last decade.[15]

Distribution[edit]

White South Africans as a proportion of the total population.
Density of the White South African population.

According to Statistics South Africa, white South Africans make up 8.9% (Census 2011) of the total population in South Africa. Their actual proportional share in municipalities is likely to be higher, given the undercount in the 2001 census.[21]

The following table shows the distribution of white people by province, according to the 2011 census:[22]

ProvinceWhite populationPercentage of provincePercentage of whites
Eastern Cape310,4504.76.8
Free State239,0268.75.2
Gauteng1,913,88415.641.7
KwaZulu-Natal428,8424.29.3
Limpopo139,3592.63.0
Mpumalanga303,5957.56.6
North West255,3857.35.6
Northern Cape81,2467.11.8
Western Cape915,05315.719.9
Total4,586,8388.9100.0

Politics[edit]

Romanticised painting of an account of the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck, founder of Cape Town.

White South Africans continue to participate in politics, having a presence across the whole political spectrum from left to right.

South African President Jacob Zuma commented in 2009 on Afrikaners being "the only white tribe in a black continent or outside of Europe which is truly African." and said that "of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word."[23] These remarks have led to the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) laying a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against Zuma.[24]

Former president Thabo Mbeki stated in one of his speeches to the nation that: "South Africa belongs to everyone who lives in it. Black and White."[25] The history of white people in South Africa dates back to the 17th century.

Prior to 1994, a white minority held complete political power under a system of racial segregation called apartheid. Many white people supported this policy, but some others opposed it. During apartheid, immigrants from Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan were considered honorary whites in the country, as the government had maintained diplomatic relations with these countries. These were granted the same privileges as white people, at least for purposes of residence.[26] Some African Americans such as Max Yergan were granted an 'honorary white' status as well.[27]

Today, the majority of white and Coloured people support the Democratic Alliance, a liberal party led by Helen Zille, the Premier of the Western Cape.[28] However a minority (especially among the Afrikaners) support the Freedom Front, a conservative party for minority interests. A minority of white South Africans also support the African National Congress, the ruling party of South Africa.

Statistics[edit]

Historical population[edit]

Statistics for the white population in South Africa vary greatly. Most sources show that the white population peaked in the period between 1989-1995 at around 5.2-5.6 million. Up to that point the white population largely increased due to high birth rates and immigration. Subsequently, between the mid 1990s and the mid-2000s the white population decreased overall. However, since 2006 the population has increased.

YearTotal populationAnnual % changeSource
19041,116,805N/A1904 Census
19101,270,000 Increase+2.3%Eugene Larson
19603,008,000 Increase+2.7%1960 Census
19653,408,000 Increase+2.7%Stats SA
19703,792,848 Increase+2.3%1970 Census
19804,522,000 Increase+1.9%1980 Census[29]
19854,867,000 Increase+1.5%1985 Census[29]
19915,068,300 Increase+0.7%1991 Census
19964,434,700 Decrease-3.5%1996 Census
20014,293,640 Decrease-0.6%2001 Census
20064,365,300 Increase+0.3%Stats SA estimate
20094,472,100 Increase+0.8%Stats SA estimate
20104,584,700 Increase+2.5%Stats SA estimate
20114,586,838 Increase+0.05%2011 Census
20134,602,386 Increase+0.34%Stats SA estimate
20144,554,800 Decrease-1%Stats SA estimate

Fertility rates[edit]

Contraception among white South Africans is stable or slightly falling: 80% used contraception in 1990, and 79% used it in 1998.[30] The following data shows some fertility rates recorded during South Africa's history. However, there are varied sources showing that the white fertility rate reached below replacement (2.1) by 1980. Likewise, recent studies show a range of fertility rates, ranging from 1.3 to 2.4. The Afrikaners tend to have a higher birthrate than that of other white people.

YearTotal fertility rate[31]Source
19603.5 DecreaseSARPN
19703.1 DecreaseSARPN
19802.4 DecreaseSARPN
19891.9 DecreaseUN.org
19902.1 IncreaseSARPN
19961.9 DecreaseSARPN
19981.9 SteadySARPN
2001[32]1.8 Decreasehst.org.za
2006[32]1.8 Steadyhst.org.za
20111.63(?) DecreaseCensus 2011

Life expectancy[edit]

The average life expectancy at birth for males and females

YearAverage life expectancyMale life expectancyFemale life expectancy
1980[33]70.366.873.8
1985[34]71 ? ?
199773.57077
2009[35][36]71 ? ?

Unemployment[edit]

Province(strict) White unemployment rate
Eastern Cape[37]4.5%
Free State
Gauteng[38]8.7%
KwaZulu-Natal[39]8.0%
Limpopo[40]8.0%
Mpumalanga[39]7.5%
North West
Northern Cape[41]4.5%
Western Cape2.0%
Total


Percentage of workforce[edit]

ProvinceWhites % of the workforceWhites % of population
Eastern Cape[37]10%4%
Free State
Gauteng[42]25%18%
KwaZulu-Natal[39]11%6%
Limpopo[40]5%2%
Mpumalanga
North West
Northern Cape[41]19%12%
Western Cape[43]22%18%
Total

Religion[edit]

Religion among white South Africans remains high compared to other white ethnic groups, but likewise it has shown a steady proportional drop in both membership and church attendance with until recently the majority of white South Africans attending regular church services.

Religious affiliation of white South Africans (2001 census)[44]
ReligionNumberPercentage (%)
- Christianity3 726 26686.8%
- Dutch Reformed churches1 450 86133.8%
- Pentecostal/Charismatic/Apostolic churches578 09213.5%
- Methodist Church343 1678.0%
- Catholic Church282 0076.6%
- Anglican Church250 2135.8%
- Other Reformed churches143 4383.3%
- Baptist churches78 3021.8%
- Presbyterian churches74 1581.7%
- Lutheran churches25 9720.6%
- Other Christian churches500 05611.6%
Judaism61 6731.4%
Islam8 4090.2%
Hinduism2 5610.1%
No religion377 0078.8%
Other or undetermined117 7212.7%
Total4 293 637

Notable White South Africans[edit]

Science and technology[edit]

Military[edit]

Royalty[edit]

Arts and media[edit]

Business[edit]

Politics[edit]

Sport[edit]

Other[edit]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mid-year population estimates 2014". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "What’s in a name? Racial categorisations under apartheid and their afterlife". 
  3. ^ a b Census 2011: Census in brief. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012. p. 27. ISBN 9780621413885. 
  4. ^ Kaplan, Irving. Area Handbook for the Republic of South Africa. pp. 113–539. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ White flight from South Africa | Between staying and going, The Economist, 25 September 2008
  7. ^ Do 400,000 whites live in squatter camps in South Africa? No , Africa Check, 22 May 2013
  8. ^ Wood, Simon (22 January 2006). "Race against time". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 February 2013. "Certainly the new phenomenon of white poverty is often blamed on the government's Affirmative Action employment legislation, which reserves 80 per cent of new jobs for blacks." 
  9. ^ O'Reilly, Finbarr (26 March 2010). "Tough times for white South African squatters". Reuters. Retrieved 25 February 2013. "At least 450,000 white South Africans, 10 percent of the total white population, live below the poverty line" 
  10. ^ Wood, Simon (22 January 2006). "Race against time". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 February 2013. "some research claiming that up to 150,000 are destitute and struggling for survival" 
  11. ^ Wood, Simon (22 January 2006). "Race against time". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 February 2013. "With their menfolk unemployed, according to press reports, an increasing number of women are turning to the sex trade to maintain their lifestyle" 
  12. ^ Fourie, Hilda (2 July 2008). "Criminals feel 'entitled' to steal". Beeld (Johannesburg). Retrieved 25 February 2013. "According to the police's latest crime statistics, which were announced at the Union Buildings on Monday, house robberies had increased countrywide by 13.5%." 
  13. ^ Fourie, Hilda (2 July 2008). "Criminals feel 'entitled' to steal". Beeld (Johannesburg). Retrieved 25 February 2013. "According to the report, Gautengers who live in richer neighbourhoods "like Brooklyn, Garsfontein, Sandton, Honeydew and Douglasdale, have a bigger chance of being targeted or murdered in house robberies"." 
  14. ^ Coming Home The Times. 21 December 2008
  15. ^ a b "BBC News - Why white South Africans are coming home". Bbc.co.uk. 2014-05-03. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  16. ^ "Community Profiles > Census 2011 > Migration". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Census 2011" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. 30 October 2012. p. 3. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  18. ^ Alexander, Mary (30 June 2006). "Black, white – or South African?". SAinfo. Retrieved 26 June 2013. "With 82% defining themselves as 'South African', whites identify with the country the most, followed by coloureds and Indians. Five percent of whites consider themselves to be Africans, while 4% identify themselves according to race and 2% according to language or ethnicity." 
  19. ^ "A Nation in the Making: A Discussion Document on Macro-Social Trends in South Africa". Government of South Africa. 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Table: Census 2001 by province, gender, religion recode (derived) and population group.". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  21. ^ "Where have all the whites gone?". Pretoria News. 8 October 2005. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  22. ^ Census 2011: Census in brief. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012. p. 21. ISBN 9780621413885. 
  23. ^ "Zuma: Afrikaners true S Africans". Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  24. ^ Zuma’s Afrikaner remark before HRC The Times. 3 April 2009
  25. ^ "Address of the then President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the celebration of Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday". African National Congress Website. 19 July 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  26. ^ Honorary Whites, TIME, 19 January 1962
  27. ^ A chronicle of Apartheid's propaganda war on black America, City Press, 25 August 2013
  28. ^ The pocket guide to voting in 2009 The Times. 29 March 2009
  29. ^ a b Rounded to nearest thousand
  30. ^ "South Africa". SARPN. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  31. ^ "South Africa". SARPN. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  32. ^ a b http://www.hst.org.za/healthstats/5/data/eth
  33. ^ http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cde/cdewp/88-25.pdf SSC.wisc.edu, pg.34
  34. ^ http://www.israel21c.org/opinion/israel-and-the-apartheid-lie
  35. ^ http://www.skillsportal.co.za/asgisa/14092010-Zwelinzima-Vavi-address-Nedlac-Summit.htm
  36. ^ http://links.org.au/node/1851
  37. ^ a b http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/15617/1/bp050002.pdf
  38. ^ [2][dead link]
  39. ^ a b c "A Profile of the Mpumalanga Province: Demographics, Poverty, Income, Inequality and Unemployment from 2000 till 2007". Elsenburg. February 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  40. ^ a b "A profile of the Limpopo province: Demographics, poverty, inequality and unemployment". Elsenburg. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  41. ^ a b "A profile of the Northern Cape province: Demographics, poverty, inequality and unemployment". Elsenburg. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  42. ^ "A profile of Gauteng: Demographics, poverty, inequality and unemployment". Elsenburg. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  43. ^ "A profile of the Western Cape province: Demographics, poverty, inequality and unemployment". Elsenburg. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  44. ^ "Table: Census 2001 by province, gender, religion recode (derived) and population group". Census 2001. Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  45. ^ Cobain, Ian (19 May 2011). "The rise of Glencore, the biggest company you've never heard of". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2011.