1948 in South Africa
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- Monarch: King George VI.
- Governor-General and High Commissioner for Southern Africa: Gideon Brand van Zyl.
- Prime Minister: Jan Christiaan Smuts (until 4 June), Daniel François Malan (starting 4 June).
- Chief Justice: Ernest Frederick Watermeyer.
- 26 – The National Party wins the General Elections in coalition with the Afrikaner Party (AP).
- 28 – The National Party forms a new South African government as incumbent prime minister Jan Smuts loses his seat.
- 4 – Daniel François Malan is elected the 5th Prime Minister of South Africa.
- 12 – The first Rembrandt cigarettes are manufactured.
- 8 – A group of 83 German children, orphaned by the war, arrives in Table Bay.
- 10 – The German orphans reach Pretoria to settle in South Africa.
- 15 – Foreign Minister Eric Louw informs Commonwealth leaders that South Africa is not prepared to allow interference in its domestic affairs.
- 2 February – Mluleki George, politician.
- 24 June – Dave Orchard, cricketer.
- 9 July – Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, composer, pianist and teacher.
- 27 July – Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, King of the Zulu.
- 30 July – John Briscoe, South African-American epidemiologist, engineer, and academic (d. 2014)
- 10 December – Thamsanga Mnyele, artist and activist. (d. 1985)
- 13 December
- 2 February – Bevil Rudd, athlete. (b. 1894)
- 25 February – Alexander du Toit, geologist. (b. 1878)
- 3 December – Jan Hofmeyr, Prime Minister of South Africa. (b. 1894)
Railway lines opened
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