The Dutch declared bankruptcy, and the British annexed the Cape Colony in 1805.
Extensive fossil remains at the Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Makapansgat caves suggest that various australopithecines existed in South Africa from about three million years ago.
These were succeeded by various species of Homo, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and modern man, Homo sapiens.
Bantu iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen moved south of the Limpopo River into modern-day South Africa by the 4th or 5th century (the Bantu expansion).
For most of the 17th and 18th centuries, the slowly expanding settlement was a Dutch possession.
The Dutch settlers initiated a series of wars called Cape Frontier Wars against the Xhosa people, and imported slaves from Indonesia, Madagascar, and India.
Descendants of these slaves, who often married with Dutch settlers, were later classified together with the remnants of the Khoikhoi as Cape Coloureds and "Cape Malays", constituting roughly 50 percent of the population in the Western Cape Province.British annexation Great Britain seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1797 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.They slowly moved south and the earliest ironworks in modern-day Kwa Zulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050.The furthest south they reached was the Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province.These Iron Age populations displaced earlier hunter-gatherer peoples as they migrated.Dutch settlement The written history of South Africa began on April 6, 1652, when a victualing station was established at the Cape of Good Hope by Jan van Riebeeck on behalf of the Dutch East India Company.