Croatian diaspora in the South African Republic
Number of Croats in the South African Republic and their immigration
Despite scientific research, the number of Croats who are living in the South African Republic can not be reliably determined. Based on estimates of the Croatian Embassy in Pretoria, the Croatian Catholic Mission and the estimates of the Croatian community in South African Republic, there are between 1,500 and 2,000 Croats, who speak Croatian and maintain relations with their homeland. They are aware of their nationality and declare themselves Croats. Likewise, a few thousand people live in South African Republic who have Croatian origin (second, third, and fourth generation already), but because they are fully integrated and have no connection with Croatia, they do not speak Croatian and do not declare themselves Croats. Based on rough estimates about 8,000 Croatian emigrants and their descendants live in South African Republic today.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the 20th century 2,000 to 3,000 Croats lived in this country. Without valid sources it is difficult to deny the estimates of 3,500 do 4,000 of our emigrants and their descendants just before the WWII, as well as the current number of 8,000 to 8,500.
Compared to the number of Croats in other countries of emigration, this community is small in number and power (there are no extremely wealthy business people).
Today, the number of Croats in South African Republic decreases, despite dozens of Croats who immigrated to this country in the early 1990s.
The largest number of Croatian emigrants and their descendants now live in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Some of them are in Cape Town and Durban, in Vanderbijlpark, Pinetown, Stellenbosch, Pietermaritzburg, Westville, Roodeport, Brakvan and some smaller settlements.
Status of Croats in South Africa
Most Croats have South African citizenship or permanent residence in South Africa, and they have the same rights and obligations as native South African citizens. The Republic of South Africa allows dual citizenship.
Croatian Associations and Catholic Missions
There is a Croatian Catholic Mission in Johannesburg. A large number of Croats gather there (Sunday Mass, religious holidays, Caritas activities). Croatian Caritas operates within the Mission.
Croatian classes and courses of the Croatian language
There are no Croatian classes and exchange programs for Croatian language within the competence of the the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia.
Publishing and Media
There is no radio or TV station that broadcast a program in the Croatian language in South African Republic. Also, there is no newspaper published in Croatian, except the “Župne vijesti” , published periodically by Croatian Catholic Mission in Johannesburg.