The policy of separate development served as a structural solution for apartheid's planners, who wanted to turn South Africa into a white republic in which Blacks did not feature as citizens. This 'Bantustan' policy sought to assign every Black African to a 'homeland' according to their ethnic identity. Ten homelands were created to rid South Africa of its Black citizens, opening the way for mass forced removals.
Steeped in corruption even before they were granted independence, these states within a state served as labour reservoirs, housing the unemployed and releasing them when their labour was needed in 'South Africa proper'.
The leaders of the homelands were unable to develop local economies, and most of the employed residents worked as bureaucrats in the homeland administrations. The few economic opportunities created were in small industries that had little effect on GNP. The homelands were dependent on South Africa for funding, and most of their 'citizens' were migrant labourers in South African cities who sent money home to their families in these reserves.
The Transkei became the first of the four homelands to be granted 'independence'. From the very beginning it was a 'failed state', in which opposition parties were hounded, the people repressed and forced to submit to the will of corrupt and despotic chiefs who lined their own pockets.
When democracy came to South Africa, the Transkei, like all the other homelands, was reincorporated into the republic.
Howcroft, P. (unpublished encyclopedia, part of SAHO archive)