The history of the Netherlands and its people played a strong role in the earliest of European settlements in what eventually became Cape Colony, with the Dutch East India Company initiating the settlement of many of the ancestors of today's Cape Dutch in the region in the 1600s. Eventually, control over the colony was wrested by the British away from Dutch rule beginning in 1795, and the Afrikaners, as the Dutch-speaking Calvinist residents became known, developed a distinct Boer culture as many would migrate into the Free State and Transvaal regions.
During the era of apartheid, the Netherlands was among a number of countries which had distanced itself from the South African government. Today, due to the mutual intelligibility of the Dutch and Afrikaans languages, a number of Dutch and Belgian companies outsource their call centres to South Africa. In addition, Dutch tourists were a strong presence in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup,