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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

South Africa: Security Assistance


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Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC
October 20, 2008

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[This material is no longer current.  Updated data will be posted.]

Map and flag of South Africa

Background: Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together under the Union of South Africa. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in black majority rule. (Source: CIA—The World Factbook)

Security Assistance Funding: (Source: 2009 Congressional Budget Justifications for Foreign Operations)

($ in thousands)

Account FY 2007 FY2007 FY 2008 FY 2008 FY2009

Actual Supp Estimate Supp Request
IMET 48 -- 857 -- 850
NADR 100 -- -- -- 50

Direct Commercial Sales: (Source: 2007 Section 655 Report)

In FY 2007, the Department of State authorized the export of defense articles and services valued at $345,681,562.




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