Ciskei ( " this side of the Kei " ) was a region of native reserves and later Homeland for the Xhosa in the southeast of South Africa. The 7760 km ² large Homeland was established in 1961 under the apartheid policy of " bantustanisation " talking next to the Transkei as the home of the Xhosa people of the country. From the 1970s, the South African government began with the relocation of part of the population xhosasprachigen there.


Since the preliminary administrative seats Mdantsane 112,000 inhabitants ( 1977) and Zwelitsha appeared unsuitable, was begun with the construction of the new capital Bisho ( Bicho ). Meanwhile, Alice was the capital. The area of ​​Ciskei differed between 7700 (1975) and 8300 km ². The state budget, which was carried to 50 % of South Africa, 1981 was approximately 82.146 million margin.

The area of Ciskei stretched from the elevation of the Storm Mountain massif across the plains with Alice and King William 's Town to the coast in East London. In the West, the country was limited by the Great Fish River and Kat River.


In the area of Ciskei a local council system (local council) in 1894 in the Cape Colony first established for the population. This local council system in the former Glen Grey District saw the election of representatives in urban areas under the black and white population, but was not widely existent. With the Native Affairs Act (No. 23/1920 ) were formed in 1920 more local councils.

In 1934, we brought together representatives from local councils to the Ciskeian General Council ( German about: Ciskei General Agency ) together, it fell back to its construction, during the few years previously created model of the United Transkeian Territories General Council. This guided by white government commissioners of Representatives had its headquarters in King William 's Town. He sat out each white and black together representatives from nine regional areas.

In the 1930s, the living conditions had deteriorated in the reserve areas of Ciskei. Already the dominant soil quality did not provide favorable conditions for good agricultural results. Overcrowding and poor farm economy pointed to the resulting ratios. This affected in particular way the reserves at Middle Drift, Keiskammahoek and the territory of Glen Grey. In order to improve the situation, the then Ministry of Native Affairs had there the Fort Cox Agricultural School built in 1930 for the agricultural training of the black rural population. She earned an exemplary role in the mid-20th century. In the year 1941 400 graduates of the two-year training were counted here. Nevertheless, the living conditions came to a head further into the reserve areas. This situation led from his office in King William 's Town Ciskeian the General Council ( also Ciskeian Bunga ) in January 1945 to send a memorandum to the Department of Native Affairs. It called for the official representatives reserve a fundamental change in the living conditions of the indigenous population. The government responded with an altered distribution of land in the overpopulated areas to the detriment of the Native Trust.

In a meeting in October 1955, the Ciskeian General Council called on the government to apply the Bantu Authorities Act (Act No. 68/1951 ) in the Ciskei. In the result, the South African government dissolved the General Council on 1 January 1956 with the Proclamation No.. 279/1955 on. During this process there were three future administrative levels for the Ciskei for discussion, after which the levels of tribal and regional authorities as well as a higher-level territorial administration were being considered.

With the Proclamation no. R 496 was a Territorial Authority ( Territorial Authority) installed, which consisted of 22 members in 1961 for the Ciskei. On the level below there were 38 Tribal Authorities ( tribal authorities ) and three similar Asked Community Authorities ( Community authorities ).

In 1971 a Legislative Assembly ( Legislative Assembly ) based in Zwelitsha and 1972 Ciskei received extensive autonomy. In 1973 ( February 19 to 23 ) were first held elections. In this context, Lennox Sebe Leslie came into the function of the government of this autonomous region now.

By Proclamation R154 of 16 August 1974 ( entry into force on 1 September), several villages were struck predominantly owned by white owners, the field of Ciskei. These were to Frankfort, Keiskammahoek, Lady Frere, Peddie and part of Brunswick. Four other settlements have been investigated in accordance with the Government Notice R1336 of 2 August 1974 by a committee, whether it can be colonized by the black population and must be purchased in their land by this. That was Bell / Bodiam, Hamburg, Middle Drift and Whittlesea.

In the second election, 1978 ( June 18 to 22 ) for the Legislative Assembly to which all inside and outside living Ciskei - Xhosa vote and parties were allowed, won the Ciskei National Independence Party ( CNIP ) of the Government Sebe all 50 options standing seats.

A commission set up in 1979 turned mainly for economic reasons, to the separation of South Africa.

In a referendum on the proposed independence in December 1980, 98.7 % of voters were in favor of the independence of South Africa. Voter turnout was 59.5 %.

On December 4, 1981 Ciskei was, as before Transkei in 1976, Bophuthatswana in 1977, Venda then released into the formal independence of South Africa. All residents of Ciskei lost by the South African nationality. International independence of the four homelands were not recognized. The UN Security Council condemned on 15 December 1981, the claimed independence of Ciskei and declared it null and void. As a national memorial monument of the Ciskei Ntaba KaNdoda was inaugurated in 1981 at the foot of the Amathole Mountains.

1992 called for the South African African National Congress ( ANC) reintegrating the Ciskei into South Africa and the dismissal of the ruling authoritarian President Oupa Gqozo. On September 7, 1992, came at a ANC - demonstration to Bisho massacre, as soldiers of the Ciskei Defence Force fired on protesters. 29 people were killed. On 27 April 1994, the Ciskei came along with the nine other homelands back in the state of South Africa. The territory has since been the province of the Eastern Cape.


1980 there was a census. Ciskei was therefore 1,072,353 inhabitants (of which 442,000 work outside of the area ). Were counted only Xhosa, not the small white minority and Coloureds. The relationship between the resident population and migrant workers outside Ciskei fluctuated constantly.

In 1991, the population stood at 847,000 people (all groups). Last lived from about 839,000 to about 6,000,000 Xhosa Ciskei.