IntroductionTranskei (trănskĪˈ) [key], former black "homeland" and nominal republic, E South Africa, in what is now Eastern Cape prov. Transkei was bounded by the Great Kei River on the south, by the Indian Ocean on the east, by Natal (now Kwazulu-Natal) on the north, and by Lesotho on the northwest. Two exclaves were separated from the main territory, in the northwest by Cape Province and in the northeast by Natal. The capital and main city was Umtata (now Mthatha).
Part of the Drakensberg Range was in W Transkei. Much of the former territory of the homeland is hilly or mountainous, and there is little good farmland. Most of the area's inhabitants speak a Xhosa language. Roughly two thirds of the Transkei's income was provided by the South African government, and all trade was conducted through South Africa.
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