Missionary efforts continued steadily in the course of the nineteenth century, bringing about not only a large increase in converts, but also a major expansion of literacy. The colonial states had left the education of black and coloured children to churches and missionary societies. Protestant missionaries remained key players in racial politics in South Africa deep into the twentieth century.
By the mid-1930s the English-speaking churches and missionary societies would discard the hope that some good could come for blacks out of segregation. They would rally around the common belief of nineteenth-century missionaries that command of the English language and of Western culture and habits were the key to success in a society that was increasingly becoming economically and culturally integrated. Meanwhile, Afrikaner-funded missions would walk further on the road of segregation, stressing the education of blacks in their mother tongue and own culture. But it was only in the 1950s that the English-speaking and Afrikaner churches would come to a parting of the ways.