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Q: early development in the history of banking in south africa
A: Before South Africa's vast mineral wealth was discovered in the late nineteenth century, there was a general belief that southern Africa was almost devoid of the riches that had drawn Europeans to the rest of the continent. [ South Africa had no known gold deposits such as those the Portuguese had sought in West Africa in the fifteenth century. The region did not attract many slave traders, in
part because local populations were sparsely settled. Valuable crops such as palm oil, rubber, and cocoa, which were found elsewhere on the continent, were absent. Although the local economy was rich in some areas- based on mixed farming and herding- only ivory was traded to any extent. Most local products were not sought for large-scale consumption in Europe. Instead, Europeans first settled southern Africa to resupply their trading expeditions bound for other parts of the world (see Origins of Settlement, ch. 1). In 1652 the Dutch East India Company settled a few employees at a small fort at present-day Cape Town and ordered them to provide fresh food for the company's ships that rounded the Cape on their way to East Africa and Asia. This nucleus of European settlement quickly spread outward from the fort, first to trade with the local Khoikhoi hunting populations and later to seize their land for European farmers. Smallpox epidemics swept the area in the late eighteenth century, and Europeans who had come to rely on Khoikhoi labor enslaved many of the survivors of the epidemics. By the early nineteenth century, when the Cape settlement came under British rule, 26,000 Dutch farmers had settled the area from Stellenbosch to the Great Fish River (see fig. 7). In 1820 the British government sponsored 5,000 more settlers who also established large cattle ranches, relying on African labor. But the European immigrants, like earlier arrivals in the area, engaged primarily in subsistence farming and produced little for export. The discovery of diamonds in 1869 and of gold in 1886 revolutionized the economy. European investment flowed in; by the end of the nineteenth century, it was equivalent to all European investment in the rest of Africa. ]
mirajane|Points 156|
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Asked 7/22/2013 7:32:34 AM
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