The British rule of South Africa began in 1795 when the Dutch East India Company transferred its control of the Cape Colony to the British Crown. The British rule continued until the Union of South Africa was established in 1910. During this time, the British implemented a policy of segregation and discrimination against the black majority. This system of racial oppression was known as apartheid. In 1948, the National Party came to power and institutionalized apartheid. The system of apartheid was dismantled in the early 1990s, and South Africa held its first free and fair elections in 1994.
The British first colonized South Africa in 1795, when they occupied the Dutch Cape Colony. Although the British initially only intended to secure their trade routes, they gradually began to expand their control over the region. In 1806, the British formally annexed the Dutch Cape Colony, and by 1814 they had also seized control of the Dutch East India Company’s settlement at the Cape.
The British continued to expand their control over South Africa throughout the 19th century. In 1820, they established the colony of Natal, and in 1843 they annexed the Orange Free State. In 1877, they annexed the Transvaal, which was an independent Boer republic.
The British rule of South Africa ended in 1931, when the country was granted self-government within the British Empire. However, the white minority government that was established kept many of the policies of British rule in place, and South Africa remained a British Dominion until 1961, when it became an independent republic.