Quick reference

General issues: Republic 1977-1994

Country name on general issues: Bophuthatswana

Currency: 1 Rand = 100 Cent 1977-1994

Population: 1 323 000 in 1980

Political history Bophuthatswana

Postal history Bophuthatswana Map

Please click on the image to enlarge

Bophuthatswana is located in southern Africa. Bophuthatswana is one of the ‘homelands’, or ‘Bantustans’, formed by the apartheid regime in South Africa in the second part of the 20th century. The concept of the homelands is a continuation of the ‘native reserves’ – territories designated for the indigenous peoples of South Africa formed from the 19th century on by the British and South African administrations. The concept of the homelands was that the black population of South Africa would move to and become citizen of the homelands, eventually with independence for the homelands. Thus a complete social and political segregation between the black and white population groups in South Africa would be realized. A total of ten homelands were established, together taking up 15% of South Africa for 80% of its population. All homelands gained a form of self government, four have become de jure independent. Independence of the homelands has not been recognized internationally. Eventually, 55% of the black population were relocated to the homelands. At the end of the apartheid regime in 1994 the homelands were dissolved.

Bophuthatswana was the homeland for the Tswana, one of the Bantu peoples in southern Africa to be found in South Africa but also in Botswana where the Tswana are the largest population group. Bophuthatswana has been established as a homeland in 1961, gained self government in 1971 and became independent in 1977 as a republic.

Postal history Bophuthatswana

Postal history Bophuthatswana Stamp

1977 – Coat of arms

Bophuthatswana has issued stamps from 1977 until 1994. Before and after that, the stamps of South Africa were used.






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