This thesis explores and traces the history of the clarinet in South Africa. After discussing the problems of researching western European music history in South Africa from the arrival of the Dutch in 1652, and briefly summarising that music history up to the first clarinet reference, the thesis goes through the existing clarinet references. These have been sourced from travellers' journals, newspapers, military histories, other theses, etc., with particular emphasis on the 19th century, since the clarinet was introduced to South Africa near the beginning of it, and the most unknown part of the clarinet's South African history is within it. The references are noted, discussed, and where possible, the performers' biographical details are given and discussed. This carries through to the beginning of the 20th century, at which point South Africa got its first professional symphony orchestra, and first College of Music. From here, the clarinet is deemed to be more readily available, so at this point, the focus changes to South African compositions for clarinet. Finally, a case study is done on Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle, who was the first clarinet soloist to visit South Africa, as well as one of the most interesting and mysterious characters encountered in this research. Advisors/Committee Members: Bezuidenhout, Morné (advisor).