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2 Rural Transformation In The Eastern Cape

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a history of important changes in the livelihoods in the Eastern Cape with an emphasis on African people. It focuses on the processes and events that have shaped the overall development trajectories of these people and how these have affected their land-based activities. Empirically, the chapter draws on many sources of information. Historians, economists, agronomists, anthropologists and sociologists alike have extensively documented the history of the Eastern Cape. The chapter describes the origins of the Xhosa people. It explores pre-colonial society and its patterns of settlement and livelihood. The chapter deals in general terms with colonisation and analyzes processes of commoditisation and rural resistance to colonialism. No attempt is made to depict agricultural development by distinguishing various periods. Bundy, Lewis, Switzer, Wilson, Simkins and Knight and Lenta all agree that the hay day of African agriculture occurred around the start of the 20th century.

Keywords: African people; Bundy; colonisation; Eastern Cape; Knight; Lewis; rural resistance; Simkins; Switzer; Wilson



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