Any of the 10 former territories that the Republic of South Africa designated as “homelands” for the country's black African population during the mid- to late 20th century. Also known as South Africa homelands, Bantu homelands, or black states, they were created under the white-dominated government's policy of apartheid. They were Gazankulu, KwaZulu, Lebowa, KwaNdebele, KaNgwane, Qwaqwa, Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, and Ciskei. The last four were declared “independent” by the South African government, but their independence was never internationally recognized. Although the creation of Bantustans was rooted in earlier acts, the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970 defined blacks living throughout South Africa as legal citizens only of the homelands designated for their particular ethnic groups—thereby stripping them of their South African citizenship. Between the 1960s and '80s, the South African government continuously removed black people still living in “white areas” of South Africa and forcibly relocated them to the Bantustans. In 1994, after the end of apartheid, the South African government created nine new South African provinces, which included both former provinces and former Bantustans.
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A homeland (rel. country of origin and native land) is the concept of the territory (cultural geography) to which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association with —the country in which a particular national identity began. As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one's origin. When used as a proper noun, the word, as well as its cognates in other languages (ie. Heimatland in German) often have ethnic nationalist connotations: Fatherland, Motherland, Mother country, each having some distinct interpretation according to nationality or historical usage.