The British left Cape Colony in 1934, leaving the remaining descendants of Dutch colonists in charge. In order to maintain control over South Africa’s valuable resources, the all-white government utilized Apartheid–racial segregation policies restricting blacks and “coloureds” (a term for individuals of mixed race) from residing in certain areas of the city. Between 1949-1971, the government passed 148 Apartheid laws, preventing non-whites from participating in many aspects of city life. Civil unrest and international condemnation of Apartheid led to major political changes beginning in 1989. Eventually, the government lifted the ban on black political parties and released its political prisoners, including anti-apartheid lawyer and activist Nelson Mandela. After 27 years of incarceration, Mandela was released on February 11, 1990 and soon became the local and international symbol of opposition to Apartheid. For his relentless dedication towards creating a desegregated, democratic, and equal South Africa, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Less than one year later, he became South Africa’s first ever democratically elected president.
South African cuisine is a direct reflection of the country’s complex roots, showing connections to its history of colonization as well as the fight for equality and democratization in the last century. Often considered a cultural melting pot, Cape Town is referred to as the “Foodie Capital of South Africa”, largely due to its Mediterranean climate that provides an ideal agricultural landscape for local produce and viticulture.