The Vhavenda people are located on the North and West of Makhado, in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The region they inhabit borders Zimbabwe, and it is where the Shashe and Vhembe rivers meet. The word Vhavenda and Venda are used interchangeably when referring to the Vhavenda people, however the word Vhavenda better describes the people, whilst Venda refers more to the language.
The Vhavenda are one of many tribal groups within South Africa, and despite their language being recognised as one of the eleven official languages of South Africa, their main aim is to establish their traditional leaders as the local authorities of their territory with legitimate jurisdiction. To date their chiefs and leaders do have influence amongst their people, but since their re-integration into South Africa, and loss of homeland status in 1994, they are now governed by the State law of South African government. The division of South Africa into nine provinces in 1994 saw the Vhavenda incorporated into what was first known as the Northern Transvaal, then later the Northern Province, and today is known as the Limpopo Province.
The Vhavenda people constitute 12% of the population of the Limpopo province. The Limpopo Province is the third largest province in South Africa. South African government functions at a national, provincial and local level. The African National Congress (ANC) has since 1994 dominated election results in the Limpopo region, and since then, all premiers are represented by the ANC.
DATES OF SPECIAL INTEREST
- 1 February 1973: Venda Achieved self-governance.
- 13 September 1979: Venda was declared independent by the apartheid government to become the Republic of Venda.
- 27 April 1994: Venda was re-integrated into South Africa.
For more information see: http://www.unpo.org/members/7912