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About South Africa

The history of stamps in South Africa pre-dates the present Republic of South Africa and even the Union of South Africa that existed from 1910 to 1961. Before that union, South Africa was a collection of separate states and each issued their own stamps. These date back to the 1850s in the case of Natal and the Cape of Good Hope. Certain South African cities also issued their own stamps for the duration of the second Boer war. These included cities such as Mafeking, Pietersburg and Volksrust. Stamps of the Union of South Africa The Union of South Africa issued stamps from 1910 to 1961. The first of these was the 2½ d stamp from 1910. It featured King George V and also the official arms of the four British colonies of the Union: Cape, Orange River, Natal and Transvaal. The stamps of South Africa issued between 1926 and 1951 reflected the diverse background of the European settlers and included both the names 'South Africa' and 'Suid-Afrika'. Stamps of the Republic of South Africa and the Homelands The first stamps of the new Republic were issued in 1961. These continued the tradition of including different languages and included the 'Republic of South Africa' and 'Republiek Van Suid-Afrika' names. This situation was simplified from 1967 when the names were replaced by the acronym 'RSA'. From the 1970s to 1994 the South African Homelands of Bophuthatswana, Ciskei and Transkei each issued their own range of stamps. The most valuable South African stamp is a Union King's Head with an inverted watermark, valued at£70,000.