Back in the days of colonial South Africa, "Cape Dutch" used to refer collectively
to the Dutch-based varieties typical of the Cape. The most formal
version of these registers was close, if not similar to European Dutch.
Conversely, the least formal versions of these registers had a distincty local
character. The nationalist réveil of the late 19th century prompted the definition
of a new language to be called 'Afrikaans', i.e. truly local, truly South
African, and as such severed as much as possible from its Dutch connexion.
Not as radical, the Afrikaans language activists from the period following the
second Boer War (1899-1902) would rather endeavour to emphasize the
Afrikaans linguistic identity within a Dutch context.
The codification of Afrikaans has continuously been marked by the -
sometimes conflicting - concerns of nurturing 'truly Afrikaans' linguistic features,
while cultivating similarities with Dutch for the sake of distantiation
from English. However, Afrikaans norms have recently tended to open up to
language reality for the sake of stylistic and ethnic representativity.