At that point, for nearly half-a-century, much of the southern African region had already been plunged into a massive process of monopoly capitalist-driven transformation. Rapid industrialisation, centred on the diamond fields around Kimberley and then the gold fields of the Witwatersrand, drew huge flows of private monopoly capital from the imperialist centres. There were major investments in mines, and also in rail and port infrastructure connecting the mining hinterland to the colonial ports. The Anglo-Boer war, the largest armed conflict of its time, forcibly consolidated disparate states, establishing a single geographical political entity, the Union of South Africa, under British imperial hegemony. In 1910, the Union of South Africa became a semi-independent British dominion under local white minority rule.
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