Bantustans and Natural and Economic Resources

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Maps can summarize a large quantity and variety of information linked to place for analysis.

Five maps of South Africa and the bantustans display several kinds of information:

political – boundaries drawn by the apartheid government
geological – mineral deposits
economic – industries, ports, and farms

Map 1: The Bantustans


What strikes you about this political map of the ten homelands that the apartheid government designated as independent countries for what it defined as various African ethnic groups? [See Multimedia Resources about bantustans.]

How would you compare these territories to other independent countries?

Maps 2 – 5: The bantustans and national industrial, mining, and agricultural resources

These maps begin with political information (the land designated for all ten homelands) and add information about natural and economic resources in South Africa as a whole – industry, major cities, ports, mines, and agricultural land.


Describe the distribution of resources between the areas designated by the apartheid government as being for whites and those for Africans. Use at least two specific examples for each of the following types of resources: industry, ports, mines, and agricultural land.

What was the source of the labor and capital used in developing the mines, industries, and farms? [See Units 2 and 3.] Do you believe the political decision to locate these resources primarily in white-controlled territory was just? Why or why not?

AODL African Studies Center MSU NEH Matrix