| The Dutch East
India Company imported slaves to work its gardens, help construct
fortifications and provide labour to farmers. The
first slaves were African, but
most came from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia.
Company slaves were kept in the Slave Lodge where the practice
of Islam developed among
them. The slave community was roughly as large in number as the Europeans up
until emancipation in 1834.
The Cape Carnival
has its origins in the emancipation celebrations.
There was some intermarriage between slaves and Europeans and
coloured people and
Cape Malays originate, in part, from
Missionaries arrived in the Cape in the late eighteenth century. Under British
rule they became a liberal force that publicised the
abuse of indigenous
people. Churches grew in
Under apartheid only a few churches remained multi-racial. But after the
1976 Uprising against apartheid
elements of the church engaged in
especially under the influence of Desmond Tutu.
Islam was established in Cape Town under the influence of
political prisoners from
Malaysia in the late seventeenth century - see also
Cape Malays. Later,
Hadji Abdullah Haron
encouraged armed Muslim opposition to apartheid.
A Jewish community developed at the end of the nineteenth
century as Jews fled the pogroms
of Eastern Europe.
| Cape Town's
economy developed slowly during the Dutch era. It was highly dependent upon
offering produce and hospitality to ships until a boom came in the
1780s due to large numbers of French
troops garrisoned at the Cape.
In the nineteenth century
British merchants developed
businesses exporting agricultural crops, including wool and wine. Banks and
joint-stock companies developed from the 1830s, including several that are
still in business.
The completion of the harbour and railways was just in time for the
diamond rush of the 1870s which brought
huge economic growth.
During the twentieth century discriminatory laws
favoured the white population and disadvantaged other South Africans. This led
to a profound imbalance in the economy, with great disparities of wealth (see
When the ANC came to power in 1994 they launched a policy of
affirmative action to empower
hardly developed at all in the era of the Dutch East India Company. But under
British rule Christian
missionaries, Islamic leaders
and liberal officials
established various schools, several of which continue to the present
societies also promoted learning among adults, from basic literacy to
discriminated in favour of white children, leading to great disparities in
education. Black children were excluded from the leading centres of education.
Students became heavily involved in the fight against apartheid
in 1976 and during the
1980s. In the
New South Africa there was considerable
change in education, with racial integration and new syllabi.
| When the VOC
established Cape Town in 1652 health care was a priority for them, to help
sailors recover strength for the the arduous voyages ahead.
Simon van der Stel
established a hospital for 225 patients in the Company Gardens.
During the British era there was a new emphasis upon public
health, but by the end of the Victorian era the spread of plague turned public
health into a policy of social control leading to the first
A major outbreak of influenza in
1918, was caused by poverty and overcrowding. This led to calls for a
welfare state but
these were not heeded, and high levels of TB became normal.
During the apartheid era 'white' hospitals advanced and the
world's first heart transplant was performed in Cape Town. But there was little
provision for black people until the New South
| Under the Dutch
East India Company the arts were not developed at all, although sometimes
Khoekhoe and slaves played instruments to provide entertainment.
When the British arrived in 1795, one of the first changes was
the building of a theatre and
the development of drama groups. With emancipation in 1834, slaves brought
their own Asian/ European fusion onto the streets and laid the basis for the
1914 saw the birth of Cape Town's municipal orchestra, and
although it was criticised for being too high brow, its appeal stretched to
residents of many backgrounds for whom music was important.
Radio arrived in Cape Town in 1924, with concerts, children's
hour, news, market prices and talks on the League of Nations. During the war,
the radio was an important source of news.
Cinema was part of people's lives from the end of the first
world war. In District Six the 'Bioscope'
(cinema) was an integral part of the community. The Globe was one cinema, and
the Avalon was a superior venue where the seats were soft, and patrons were not
allowed to take their fish and chips inside.
During the apartheid
years regulations both inspired and curtailed the practise of Jazz and the arts
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