Portuguese South African
0.6% of total population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Johannesburg and other large urban areas|
|Portuguese, South African English, Afrikaans|
|Roman Catholic, small Protestant, Muslim and Jewish minorities|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Portuguese · Portuguese Africans · White South Africans|
The Portuguese explored the coasts of South Africa in the late 15th century, and nominally claimed them as their own with the erecting of padrões (large stone cross inscribed with the coat of arms of Portugal placed there as part of a land claim). Bartolomeu Dias did so in 1486, and Vasco da Gama recorded a sighting of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497, en route to India.
The early 20th century witnessed a trickle of emigrants from Madeira whose numbers greatly increased in the decades following World War II. Madeiran immigrants, who are traditionally associated with horticulture and commerce, form the largest group within South Africa's Portuguese community.
The largest single event of Portuguese settlement occurred when the former Portuguese colonies became independent in 1975. Most of them went to Portugal and Brazil, but a significant number of black and white refugees from Angola and Mozambique made their way to South Africa. Their arrival made South Africa the home of the largest Portuguese African population, increasing it from about 49,000, to 300,000.
Politics and economics
The Portuguese South African community is highly active within the South African community, both politically and economically. Notable members include Maria Ramos who was the former director general of South Africa's National Treasury. She is currently the Group CEO of ABSA, one of South Africa's largest financial services companies. Other Portuguese involvement within the business community includes companies like Mercantile Bank. The community is also actively involved in investment activities with other Southern African countries like Angola and Mozambique.
Socially, the Portuguese community have held an annual festival called Lusito Land (the second largest festival in South Africa).
The most popular sport with Portuguese South Africans is football. There are many football clubs in South Africa that are of Portuguese origin. One example is the professional football club Vasco Da Gama which currently plays in the National First Division. Football is a favourite pastime for Portuguese youth in South Africa, and many of them tend to join amateur and football clubs in the country.
Notable Portuguese South Africans
- Jeannie de Gouveia (better known as Jeannie D), TV presenter and media personality
- Roger De Sá, former footballer and coach
- Vanessa Do Céu Carreira, Miss South Africa 2001
- Mike dos Santos, strategist, dancer and writer
- Fernando Duarte, co-founder of Nando's
- Sonia Esgueira, actress and writer of the satirical comedies "Porra" and "Porralicious"
- Manny Fernandes, professional boxing promoter
- Frank Pereira, former footballer
- Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Africa Group Limited
- Marilyn Ramos, Miss South Africa 2012
- João Silva, photographer
- Portuguese Africans
- Portuguese people
- White South Africans
- White Africans
- Portuguese Americans
- Observatório da Emigração Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- "English Speakers". U.S. Library of Congress. Country Studies. Retrieved 2009-06-27. External link in
- Abundant Portuguese Residents Elude The South African Census, The New York Times, May 29, 1981