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The High Commission Territories of Southern Africa are three protectorates in Southern Africa that are under the protection and rule of UK.
The protectorates are under the political responsibility and administration of the High Commissioner for Southern Africa. Its office is separate from the one of Governor-General of South Africa since the 1920s.
These territories were supposed to be transferred to South Africa. However South Africa's segregation policies and opposition of local chiefs halted the possibility of annexation. Rhodesia-Nyasaland has officially petitioned for Bechuanaland to become its fourth state.
Each territory is governed by a resident commissioner who rules according to decrees issued by the High Commissioner for Southern Africa. Such decrees are formulated in close consultation with the resident commissioners, who in turn take informal and formal advice from white settler interests and local royalty. It was later established in each territory two advisory councils to represent African and European interests.
The High Court of the High Commission Territories serves has court of appeal in civil, criminal and administrative law. A system of tribal courts operates alongside the territorial courts.
Law enforcement is in charge of Bechuanaland Border Police, Bechuanaland Protectorate Police, Swaziland Protectorate Police and Basutoland Territory Police.
Economically the main activities are subsistence crops and livestock farming. The majority of households subsist on farming or migrant labor, primarily miners who remain in South Africa for 3 to 9 months. The Territories form part of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
The Cape to Cairo Railway section in Bechuanaland is one of the busiest in southern Africa due to its link between the mining zones of Rhodesia and ports and mills of South Africa.
The territories are: