Talk:Union of South Africa

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Merge with History of South Africa[edit]

THis should be merged with History of South Africa (Alphaboi867 18:31, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC))

Umm, why? At least substantiate your sweeping statement. Dewet 19:15, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think this should stay were it is but be improved. The History of South Africa article is getting too big. --Jcw69 06:30, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Invmog (talk) 02:39, 24 March 2010 (UTC)


South West Africa (now Namibia) was never part of either the Union of South Africa, or the Republic. While it was treated as a de facto fifth province, it was never officially incorporated into South Africa.

Quiensabe 16:37, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Union was a milestone in our history[edit]

This article should be developed to one with Main article status, I am amazed to see how flimsy the content is. Gregorydavid 04:36, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I've started expanding this article. However it will need to be checked through and so on. Im relying in part on 500 Years of South African History and The Unification of South Africa and have added both texts to a Bibliography section at the end. If people can please check for spelling errors and typing errors (I've asked a few friends to check the article and make contributions, but with me spelling and grammer creep in inevitably). I've made a concerted effort not to use the texts in any manner that touches on copywrite enfrindgment.Paul Hjul 16:06, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I have quite a few of the standard texts for the Union period, though my interests are primarily pre 1910. I started off the as yet unfinished South Africa Act 1909 article - I'll try and find some time to finish it off. We could keep the legal/constitutional issues there and deal with the social/historical issues here. We could probably deal with the Union negotiations in a seperate article. At some point I'll try to add a section dealing with customs rates etc as a spur to the Union.
Xdamrtalk 16:28, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll get looking onto that article as well. Particularly dealing with the process of Unification (which I think has a fair amount of print coverage but hasn't really filtered to electronic media) Wrt Customs rates - one step ahead there :) Was going to add a section on the customs union et al today. 12:19, 30 October 2006 (UTC) P.S.: I mucked up the post a bit - fixed it :(

Bad introduction[edit]

I've changed the introduction from

The Union of South Africa came into being on 31 May 1910, resulting in the consolidation of the two former Boer Republics with the two British Colonies under one system of government. The two British colonies, the Cape Colony and Natal Colony, were combined with the two defeated Boer states, the South African Republic and Orange Free State, known thereafter as the Cape Province, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State, respectively.

for several reasons, firstly the Union was between 4 British Colonies (the only four British Colonies in the region - the other entities that have become states in Southern Africa were Protectorates or company grounds of the British South Africa company [Rhodesia]). The paragraph is also repetitive so bad yeti no biscuit on it.

That is not to say Im fully satisfied with the changes I've made. Particularly because I don't think it provides a sufficient summary for an introduction:

The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910, as a result of the consolidation of the British Colonies in the Southern Africa region under one system of government. The previously independent (of each other) colonies became Provinces in the Union of South Africa as the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State, respectively. With the conversion of South Africa from a dominion in the Commonwealth to a seperate Republic in 1961 the Union ceased to exist and is therefore part of the history of the present day state of the Republic of South Africa —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paul Hjul (talkcontribs) 08:28, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

But this is also bad wording for several reasons. For one the colonies Cape and Natal were not independent. On the other hand the Boer Republics like the South African Republic and the Orange Free State were indeed independent states previously. They have been conquered after the armies of those states ceased to continue their struggle against the British aggressor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:12, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that "independent" isn't the right word -- maybe "distinct" or "separate"? Still, the fact that the Boer Republics had recently been independent doesn't really bear on the fact that they were British colonies in 1910. Surely the sentence "They have been conquered after the armies of those states ceased to continue their struggle against the British aggressor" could apply to just about every colony the Brits added to their empire by force (which was most of them). --Jfruh (talk) 16:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)


This arrangement continues to this day, with government ministers, civil servants, and diplomats moving from Pretoria to Cape Town every year when Parliament is in session, and back to Pretoria when it is not.

This is not really particularly accurate:
a) Diplomats don't move between Pretoria and Cape Town, some countries maintain seperate Consulates at Cape Town, although the permanent missions remain in Pretoria.
b) Cabinet ministers are pretty much wherever they want to be on any particular date, and with the amount of imbizos and such there isn't a great move from Pretoria to Cape Town once a year and then back again
c) The civil service doesn't move with the minister. Civil servants may be summoned to appear before a Parliamentary Committee and so on, but there isn't one big move down.

Im tempted to speculate that the arrangement contributed to creating a climate that made the Travelgate scandal possible, but will not include as much yet. It may also make sense to create a seperate entry on the Capital of South Africa —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paul Hjul (talkcontribs) 08:37, 1 November 2006 (UTC)


The first mention of the word "apartheid" in this article in in the following context in the "Final Days" section: "Following a referendum on 5 October 1960, in which whites voted in favour of a republic, the Union became the Republic of South Africa on 31 May 1961 and left the Commonwealth in the face of condemnation of its apartheid policies." Condemnation for what "apartheid policies"? None have been mentioned so far.

Later we are told that "The South Africa Act dealt with race in two specific provisions: Firstly it entrenched the vote of the Cape Colony which operated free of racial considerations (although due to socio-economic restrictions no real political expression of non-whites was possible). Secondly it made "native affairs" a matter for the national government. The practice therefore was to establish a Minister of Native Affairs." And that description grossly understates (even whitewashes) what was going on.

The article requires some work, and as you have noticed the link to Apartheid opens a whole can of worms. The Union was for the whites who wanted to stop fighting amongst themselves, but politics went on as before.Gregorydavid 14:30, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


Since this article is about the pre-1961 entity, LocationSouthAfrica-1990.png is inappropriate. Namibia did not gain independence until 1990. I have replaced it with an image showing Namibia as part of South Africa (Which it was). Juffy (talk) 17:23, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

South West Africa was not part of the Union of South Africa, it was a League of Nations mandated territory. Although it was treated de facto as the fifth province, it was never formally part of either the Union or the Republic of South Africa.Quiensabe (talk) 18:06, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


On the large infobox on the right side, there is an arrow leading toward the right indicating the Union's successor, the republic of South Africa after 1961. However the flag symbolizing South Africa as a republic is the post-1994 flag. For historical reasons, shouldn't the orange-white-blue flag (Prinsevlag) be used to represent SA post-1961 since that was indeed the flag it used when it attained sovereignty as a republic? --达伟 (talk) 03:48, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

And now that someone fixed that, also for historical reasons, shouldn't the Union of South Africa flag be included in the header also? I know it's under the header, but it was the official flag first - until it became the Republic of South Africa.
Red Ensign of South Africa 1912-1928.svg
On the other hand, why isn't there a separate article for the Republic of South Africa from 1962 to whenever which is when they still used the Orange, white, and blue one?
If possible, for now though I think it would be best to include both of the flags used during 1910-61 for historical accuracy. However we wouldn't need two coats-of-arms because according to this article they didn't have their own coat-of-arms until they became a republic. Invmog (talk) 01:46, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

PMB Capital City[edit]

I see that Pietermaritzburg is listed as one of the 4 capital cities, and is listed as 'Archival'? What exactly do you mean? And when was this dropped? When it turned into a republic, or as time went by? Bezuidenhout (talk) 18:32, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Coat of arms[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

original gif file
replacement svg file

should we use the original file that is better better quality or the new file that look kind bad quality (does not seem like much effort was put into the new file) (talk) 14:54, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

That depends. In what ways is the original file better than the newer file? (talk) 01:18, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
it is better quality (talk) 11:29, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
How? To me, the old version looks like it was drawn. (talk) 18:08, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
There is no comparison. The newer file (File:Coat of Arms of South Africa (1932-2000).svg) renders MUCH clearer in my browser (Firefox 25.0.1). "SVG" is also the preferred form for picture graphics. See Image Formats GenQuest "Talk to Me" 01:18, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
if we are going to use the svg version please change the colours to the gif version becuase the current colours are incorect (talk) 21:01, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I concur with GenQuest that the new file renders much clearer. However the colours of the new image are much different to the original. I would advise that the colours of the Coat of Arms match the description given by whoever issued the arms. {Cesdeva (talk) 22:40, 28 December 2013 (UTC)}
I have put in a request at [1] for the creator to fix the colors. Not sure if and when this will happen. Of course, anyone with the knowledge and wherewithal can do so themselves. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 20:32, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I believe that the svg (new file) is a lot clearer. Just be sure that changing the white to black still matches the actual coat of arms.— Carnivorous Bunny (talk) 18:23, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the svg is clearer but it looks to have some color problems. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:03, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
let use the original file until the svg version is fixed (talk) 20:24, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
What colours to you seem wrong? (talk) 01:42, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
The new, color-improved SVG file has been set up as of 4 March 2014. (See this diff.) Closing discussing. Thanks to all involved with the discussion and making the changes happen, especially User:Hazmat2 for the graphics work. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 21:04, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.