1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Transvaal
Transvaal, an inland province of the Union of South Africa between the Vaal and Limpopo rivers. It lies, roughly, between 22½° and 27½° S. and 25° and 32° E., and is bounded S. by the Orange Free State and Natal, W. by the Cape province and the Bechuanaland Protectorate, N. by Rhodesia, E. by Portuguese East Africa and Swaziland. Save on the south-west the frontiers, for the main part, are well defined natural features. From the south-west to the north-east corners of the colony is 570 m.; east to west its greatest extent is 397 m. The total area. is 111,196 sq. m., a little less than the area of Great Britain and Ireland. The boundaries of the Transvaal have varied from time to time. The most important alteration was made in January 1903 when the districts of Utrecht and Vryheid, which then formed the south-eastern part of the country were annexed to Natal. The area thus lost to the Transvaal was 6970 sq. m. (For map see South Africa.)
Physical Features.—About five-sixths of the country lies west of the Drakensberg (q.v.), the mountain range which forms the inner rim of the great tableland of South Africa. For a few miles on the Natal–Transvaal frontier the Drakensberg run east and west and here is the pass of Laing’s Nek. Thence the mountains sweep round to the north, with their precipitous outer slopes facing east. For some 250 m. within the province the mountains form a more or less continuous range, the highest point being the Mauchberg (8725 ft.) in 24° 20′ 10″ S. 30° 35′ E., while there are several heights of 7000 or more feet. Eastward from the foot of the Drakensberg stretches a broad belt of low land beyond which rise the Lebombo hills running north and south along the parallel of 32° E. and approaching within 35 m. of the sea at Delagoa Bay. The Lebombo hills are flat topped but with a well-defined break on their seaward side. This eastern edge forms the frontier between Transvaal and Portuguese territory.
The country west of the Drakensberg, though part of the main South African tableland, is not uniform in character, consisting of (1) elevated downs, (2) their slopes, (3) the flat “bottom” land. The downs or plateaus occup all the southern part of the country, sloping gradually westward from the Drakensberg. That part of the plateau east of Johannesburg is from 5000 to 6400 ft. high; the western and somewhat larger half is generally below 5000 ft. and sinks to about 4000 ft. on the Bechuanaland border. This plateau land is called the high veld, and covers about 34,000 sq. m. The northern edge of the plateau follows an irregular line from somewhat north of Mafeking on the west to the Mauchberg on the east. This edge is marked by ranges of hills such as the Witwatersrand, Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg; the Witwatersrand, which extends eastward to Johannesburg, forming the watershed between the rivers flowing to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Farther north, beyond the intervening slopes and low bush, are two elevated regions covering together over 4000 sq. m. They are the Waterberg, and, more to the east, separated from the Waterberg by the valley of the Magalakwane tributary of the Limpopo, the Zoutpansberg. The Zoutpansberg has steep slopes and is regarded as the northern termination of the Drakensberg. An eastern offshoot of the Zoutpansberg is known as the Murchison Range. The low land between the high veld and the Waterberg and Zoutpansberg is traversed by the Olifants River, an east flowing tributary of the Limpopo.
The true high veld, extending east to west 12O m. and north to south 100 m., consists of rolling grass covered downs, absolutely treeless, save where, as at Johannesburg, plantations have been made by man, the crest of the rolls being known as builts and the hollows as laagtes or vleys. The surface is occasionally broken by kopjes—either table-shaped or pointed—rising sometimes 100 ft. above the general level. Small springs of fresh water are frequent and there are several shallow lakes or pans—flat bottomed depressions with no outlet. The largest of these pans, Lake Chrissie, some 5 m. long by 1 m. broad, is in the south-eastern part of the high veld. The water in the pans is usually brackish. The middle veld is marked by long low stony ridges, known as rands, and these rands and the kopjes are often covered with scrub, while mimosa trees are found in the river valleys.
The banken veld, formed by the denudation of the plateau, is much broken up and is rich in romantic scenery. It covers about 27,000 sq. m., and has an average breadth of 40 m. In places, as between Mafeking and Johannesburg, the descent is in terrace-like steps, each step marked by a line of hills; in other places there is a gradual slope and elsewhere the descent is abrupt, with outlying hills and deep well-wooded valleys. The rocks at the base of the slopes are granite, the upper escarpments are of sedimentary rocks. Thence issue many streams which in their way to the ocean have forced their way through the ranges of hills which mark the steps in the plateau, forming the narrow passes or poorts characteristic of South African scenery.
As in the middle veld, rands and kopjes occur in the low or bush veld, but the general characteristic of this part of the country, which covers over 50,000 sq. m., is its uniformity. The low veld east of the Drakensberg begins at about 3000 ft. above the sea and slopes to 1000 ft. or less until it meets the ridge of the Lebombo hills. The lowest point is at Komati Poort, a gorge through the Lebombo hills only 476 ft. above the sea. West and north of the Drakensberg the general level of the low veld is not much below that of the lowest altitudes of the middle veld, though the climatic conditions greatly differ. North of the Zoutpansberg the ground falls rapidly, however, to the Limpopo flats which are little over 1200 ft. above the sea. Near the north-west foot of the Zoutpansberg is the large saltpan from which the mountains get their name. The low veld is everywhere covered with scrub, and water is scarce, the rivers being often dry in the winter season.
River Systems.—There are four separate river basins in the Transvaal. Of these the Komati (q.v.) and its affluents, and the Pongola and its affluents rise in the high veld and flowing eastward to the Indian Ocean drain but a comparatively small area of the province, of which the Pongola forms for some distance the south-eastern frontier. The rest of the country is divided between the drainage areas of the Vaal and Limpopo. The Vaal (q.v.) rises in the high veld in the Ermelo district not far from the source of the Komati and that of the Usuto tributary of the Pongola. The Vaal drains the greater part of the plateau, flowing westward towards the Atlantic. The waters of the northern escarpments of the plateau and of all the region farther north are carried to the Indian Ocean by the Limpopo (q.v.) and its tributaries the Olifants, Great Marico, Great Letaba, &c. Both the Vaal and the Limpopo in their main course have high steep banks. They carry an immense volume of water during the summer rains, but are very small streams in the winter, when several of their tributaries are completely dry. None of the rivers is navigable within the limits of the province. The absence of alluvial deposits of any size is another characteristic of the Transvaal rivers. For a considerable distance the Vaal forms the frontier between the province and the Orange Free State and in similar manner the Limpopo separates the Transvaal from Bechuanaland and Rhodesia. Since the first advent of white colonists many springs and pans and small streams have dried up, this desiccation being attributed, not so much to decreased rainfall, as to the burning off of the grass every winter, so that the water, instead of soaking in, runs off the hard, baked ground into the larger rivers. (F. R. C.)
A broad ring of crystalline rocks (Swaziland schists) encircles the Transvaal except on the south, where the Karroo formation extends over the Vaal River. Within this nearly complete circle of crystalline rocks several geological formations have been determined, of which the age cannot be more definitely fixed than that they are vastly older than the Karroo formation and newer than the Swaziland schists.
The following subdivisions have been recognized by Molengraaff: Karroo System, Transvaal System, Vaal River System, South African Primary System. Each of these systems is separated from the other by a strong unconformity.
South African Primary System.—The South African Primary System includes a complex of rocks as yet little understood. According to Molengraaff it includes the two following series:—
Barberton Series.—Molengraaff considers the Barberton series to be the metamorphosed equivalent of the Hospital Hill series, while Hatch regards it to be older and to form a portion of his Archaean series (Swaziland schists) to which position it is here assigned. The chief outcrops are in the south-western Transvaal, around Zoutpansberg and in Swaziland. They show a great variety of type made up of slates, quartzites, occasional conglomerates, schists with large masses of intrusive granites and gneiss.
Witwatersrand Series.—It is now generally acknowledged that this important series consists of two main groups. Their chief occurrences are in the districts of Witwatersrand, Heidelberg, Klerksdorp and Venterskroon. The lower group (Hospital Hill slates) consists of quartzites and shales, resting on the eroded surface of the older granites and schists, and estimated to be from 10,000 to 12,000 ft. thick. There are occasional bands of conglomerates, sometimes auriferous. In the absence of fossils their age cannot be determined. The upper group consists of conglomerates, grits and quartzites with a few bands of shales. It has obtained notoriety from the conglomerates along certain bands containing gold, when they constitute the famous “banket.” The thickness varies from 2300 to over 11,000 ft. The conglomerate beds occur in belts forming in descending order the Elsburg series, Kimberley series, Bird Reef series, Livingstone Reef series, Main Reef series. The richest in gold are to be found among the Main Reef series, which yields by far the greater part of the total output of gold from the Transvaal. The individual beds, seldom more than a few feet in thickness and sometimes only a few inches, are interstratified with an immense thickness of quartzites. The conglomerates consist almost entirely of pebbles of quartz set in a hard matrix consolidated by the deposition of secondary silica. The conglomerate bands and quartzites contain large quantities of iron pyrites deposited subsequent to their formation, that in the conglomerates containing the gold. Sericite in the form of scales and films characterizes those portions which have been faulted, squeezed or sheared. Sheets of diabase, apparently volcanic flows, and numerous dykes interfere with the regularity of the stratification. The theory of the subsequent infiltration of the gold is that generally accepted. No fossils have been discovered, and except that they represent some portion or portions of rocks of the Pre-Cape formation the age of the upper Witwatersrand beds, as well as that of the lower division, remains an open question. They may safely be considered to be among the oldest auriferous sediments of the world.
Vaal River System.—This consists largely of rocks of igneous origin, of which the amygdaloidal diabase of Klipriversberg forms the type. The other rocks include igneous breccias, shales, coarse conglomerates and grits. Near Reitzburg the coarse conglomerates reach a thickness of 400 ft. and about 500 ft. at Kroomdraai. This system rests unconformably on the Witwatersrand series and is unconformably overlain by the Transvaal system. It must, however, be acknowledged that these relationships are very imperfectly understood. Compared with other formations they occupy restricted areas, being only met with south of Johannesburg, around Wolmaransstad, Lichtenburg and east of Marico.
Transvaal System.—This is a very definite sequence of rocks covering immense areas in the centre of the country. The following groups are recognized: Waterberg Series, Pretoria Series, Dolomite Series, Black Reef Series.
The Black Reef Series is composed of quartzites, sandstone, slates and conglomerate. It varies in thickness from 100 ft. in the southern Transvaal to 1000 ft. at Lydenburg. Thin bands of conglomerate, sometimes auriferous, occur near the base.
The Dolomite Series, known to the Dutch as “Olifants Klip,” consists of a bluish-grey magnesian limestone with bands of chert. The thickness varies from 2600 ft. in the Witwatersrand area to 5000 ft. around Pretoria; and is about 2600 ft. about Lydenburg. It is worn by solution into caves and swallow-holes (Wondergarten). Gold, lead, copper and iron ores occur as veins. So far it has proved to be unfossiliferous. Dykes and intrusive rocks are common.
The Pretoria Series, formerly known as the Gatsrand series, consists of repeated alternations of flagstones and quartzites, shales and sheets of diabase. These follow conforrnably on the Dolomite series. In the Marico district the shales become highly ferruginous and resemble the Hospital Hill slates of the Witwatersrand series. Near Pretoria duplications of the beds, due to over-thrusting, are not uncommon.
The Waterberg Series lies unconformably on the Pretoria series. The colour is usually red, forcibly recalling the Old Red Sandstone and Trias of England. Sandstones, quartzites, conglomerates and breccia make up the formation. They occur to the north-east of Pretoria and occupy still wide areas in the Waterberg district.
A complex of igneous rocks of different ages covers immense areas in the central Transvaal. Various types of granite are the predominant variety. Syenites, gabbros, norites and volcanic rocks are also represented. The granite contains two varieties. One is a red granite intruded subsequently to the Waterberg sandstones; another is a grey variety considered to be older than the Black Reef series and possibly older than the Witwatersrand series.
The Karroo System attains its chief development in the south-eastern Transvaal in the districts of Ermelo, Standerton and Wakkerstroom.
The latest classification of Molengraaff subdivides the beds as follows:—
|Hoogeveld Series.||=||Beaufort beds of Cape Colony.|
|Ecca shales.||Not present at Vereeniging.|
|Dwyka conglomerate.||Sandstones and conglomerates with coal-seams at Vereeniging.|
The Dwyka conglomerate resembles the same bed in the Cape province. The boulders consist of very various rocks often of large size. Many of them show glacial striae. The direction of striae on the underlying quartzitic rocks, particularly well seen near the Douglas colliery, Balmoral, point to an ice movement from the north-north-west to south-south-east.
The Ecca series, as in the Cape, consists of sandstones and shales. Seams of coal lie near the base, some of them exceeding 20 ft. in thickness, but in this case layers of shaly coal are included. The overlying sandstones afford good building stones, and frequently, as at Vereeniging, yield many fossil plants. These include among others, Glossopteris browniana, Gangamopteris cyclopteroides, Sigillaria Brardi, Bothrodendron Leslii, Noeggerathiopsis Hislopi.
The Karroo beds lie almost horizontally, in marked contrast to the highly inclined older rocks. Their distribution, other than in the south-eastern districts, is imperfectly understood. Remnants have been found of their former existence in the neighbourhood of Pretoria; and portions of the Bushveld Sandstone have recently been relegated to the Karroo formation.
The diamond pipes probably represent some of the most recent rocks of the Transvaal. They may be of Cretaceous age or even later, and in any case belong to the same class as those of Kimberley. The recent deposits of the Transvaal may be considered to be insignificant. They include the gravels and alluviums of the present streams and the almost ubiquitous red sand of aeolian origin. (W. G.*)
Climate.—Although lying on the border of and partly within the tropics, the Transvaal, owing to its high general elevation, and to the absence of extensive marshy tracts, enjoys on the whole a healthy invigorating climate, well suited to the European constitution. The climate of the high veld is indeed one of the finest in the world. The air is unusually dry, owing to the proximity of the Kalahari Desert on the west and to the interception on the east by the Drakensberg of the moisture bearing clouds from the Indian Ocean. The range of temperature is often considerable—in winter it varies from about 100° F. in the shade at 1 p.m. to freezing point at night. During summer (Oct.–April) the mean temperature is about 73°; during winter about 53°. Nov.–Jan. are the hottest and June–July the coldest months. The chief characteristic of the rainfall is its frequent intensity and short duration. During May to August there is practically no rain, and in early summer (Sept.–Dec.) the rainfall is often very light. The heaviest rain is experienced between January and April and is usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms. On the eastern escarpment of the Drakensberg the rainfall is heavy, 50 or 60 in. in the year, but it diminishes rapidly towards the centre of the plateau where it averages, at Johannesburg about 30 in., while in the extreme west as the Kalahari is approached it sinks to about 12 in. The winds in winter are uniformly dry while dust storms are frequent at all seasons—a fact which renders the country unsuitable for persons suffering from chest complaints. In the eastern part of the plateau snow occasionally falls, and frost at night is common during winter.
The banken veld district is also generally healthy though hotter than the plateaus, and malarial fever prevails in the lower valleys. Malarial fever is also prevalent throughout the low veld, but above 3000 ft. is usually of a mild type. Nearly all the country below that elevation is unsuitable for colonization by whites, while the Limpopo flats and other low tracts, including the district between the Drakensberg and the Lebombo hills are extremely unhealthy, blackwater fever being endemic. In the low veld the shade temperature in summer rises to 113° F., but the nights are generally cool, and down to 2000 ft. frost occurs in winter. The rainfall in the low country is more erratic than on the plateau, and in some districts a whole year will pass without rain.
Flora.—The general characteristic of the flora is the prevalence of herbaceous over forest growths; the high veld is covered by short sweet grasses of excellent quality for pasturage; grass is mingled with protea scrub in the middle veld; the banken veld has a richer flora, the valley levels are well wooded, scattered timber trees clothe their sides and the hills are covered with aloe, euphoria, protea and other scrub growths. Among the timber trees of this region is the bolkenhout of terblanz (Faurea Saligna) which yields a fine wood resembling mahogany. The scrub which covers the low veld consists mainly of gnarled stunted thorns with fattened umbrella shaped crowns, most of the species belonging to the sub-order mimoseae. A rare species is the acacia erioloba Rameel doorn, akin to the acacia giraffae of Bechuanaland. The wild seringa (Burkea africana) is also characteristic of the low veld and extends up the slopes of the plateau. The meroola (sclerocarya caffra) a medium sized deciduous tree with a rounded spreading top is found in the low veld and up the slopes to a height of 4500 ft. It is common in the lower slopes of the rands of the low veld. Cotton and cotton-like plants and vines are also native to the low veld. Few of the low veld bushes are large or straight enough to furnish any useful wood, and timber trees are wholly absent from the level country. The forest patches are confined to the deep kloofs of the mountains, to the valleys of the larger rivers and to the sea slopes of the Drakensberg and other ranges, where they flourish in regions exposed to the sea mists. These patches, called “woodbushes,” contain many hardwood trees of great size, their flora and fauna being altogether different from that immediately outside the wood. Common species in the woodbush are three varieties of yellow wood (Podocarpus), often growing to an enormous size, the Cape beech (myrsine), several varieties of the wild pear (Olinia) and of stink wood (Oreodaphne) ironwood and ebony. The largest forest areas are in the Pongola district and the Haenertsburg and Woodbush districts north of the Olifants river. Mimosa and the wild wilge-boom (Salix capensis) are the common trees on the banks and rivers, while the weeping willow is frequent round the farmsteads.
Many trees have been introduced and considerable plantations made, as for instance on the slopes between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Among the most successful of the imported trees are citrus trees, the Australian wattle and the eucalyptus. Tobacco and the vine both flourish and most European fruits and vegetables thrive. Of native fruits the misple (Vangueria infausta), miscalled the wild medlar, is of excellent flavour. It is common on the rands and kopjes of the bush veld. Rose and other flowering shrubs and trees grow well on the banken veld and in the valleys. A large yellow tulip (Homerica pallida) is one of the most abundant flowers on moist vlei lands on the high veld and is occasionally met with in the low veld; slangkop (Urginea Burkei) with red bulbs like a beetroot is a low bush plant apparently restricted to the Transvaal and adjacent Portuguese territory. Both these and many other plants such as gift-blaar and drouk-gras are poisonous to cattle. These poisonous plants are found chiefly in the banken and low veld.
Fauna.—When first entered by white men the Transvaal abounded in big game, the lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe, zebra and rhinoceros being very numerous, while the hippopotamus and crocodile were found in all the rivers. The indiscriminate destruction of these animals has greatly reduced their numbers and except in the Pongola district, at one or two other places on the Portuguese frontier, and along the Limpopo the hippopotamus, rhinoceros and crocodile are now extinct in the province. A few elephants, giraffes and zebras (equus burchelli—the true zebra is extinct) are still found in the north and north-eastern districts and in the same regions lions and leopards survive in fair numbers. Other animals fairly numerous are the spotted hyena, long-eared fox, jackal, aard wolf, red lynx, wild cat, wild dog and wart hog. Many species of antelope are found, mostly in small numbers, including the kudu, hartebeest, the sable and roan antelope, the white tailed and the brindled gnu, water buck, red buck, duiker, blesbok, palla, springbuck (numerous), steinbok, grysbok and klipspringer. The Africander breed of cattle is a well-marked variety, and a characteristic native domestic animal. Whether originally imported from Europe by the Portuguese or brought from the north by Africans is not certain. It is not found in a wild state and the buffalo (bos caffer) is almost if not quite extinct in the Transvaal. Among edentata the ant-bear, scaly ant-eater and porcupine are plentiful. The spring hare (pedetes capensis) abounds. Baboons and other apes are fairly common and there are several species of snakes. The ostrich is found in the Marico and Limpopo districts, and more rarely elsewhere; the great kori bustard and the koorhaan are common.
Insects abound, the greatest pest being the tsetse fly, common in the low veld. Six species of tick, including the blue tick common throughout South Africa, are found, especially in the low veld, where they are the means of the transmission of disease to cattle. Mosquitoes, locusts and ants are also common.
The baba or cat fish and the yellow fish are plentiful in the rivers and the trout has been acclimatized.
To preserve the native fauna the low country on the Portuguese frontier has been made a game reserve. It is nearly 300 m. long with an average breadth of 50 m. Other reserves have been constituted in the north of the province.
Inhabitants.—The population of the Transvaal, on the 17th of April 1904, when the first complete census of the country was taken, was 1,269,951 (including 8215 British soldiers in garrison), or 11.342 persons per sq. m. Of these 20.67%, namely 297,277, were European or white. Of the coloured population 937,127 were aboriginals; and 35,547 were of mixed or other coloured races. Of the whites 178,244 (59.95 %) were males. The white population is broadly divisible into the British and Dutch elements, the percentage of other whites in 1904 being but 8.6. The Dutch, as their usual designation, Boers, implies, are mainly farmers and stock-raisers and are still predominant elsewhere than in the Witwatersrand and Pretoria districts. They speak the patois of Dutch known as the Taal. The British element is chiefly gathered in Johannesburg and other towns on the Rand and in Pretoria.. The total white population in the Witwatersrand and in Pretoria in 1904 was 135,135, and the strength of the British in these districts is shown by the fact that only 20% was Transvaal born. Of those born outside the Transvaal 24.6% came from other British possessions in Africa and 24.92% from Great Britain or British colonies other than African. Of the non-British or Boer whites Russians form 3.01%, Germans 1.62% and Dutch (of Holland) 1.14%.
The natives are found chiefly in Zoutpansberg district, where there were 314,797 at the 1904 census, and the adjoining districts of Lydenburg and Waterberg, i.e. in the northern and north-eastern region of the country. The natives belong to the Bantu negro race and are represented chiefly by Basuto, Bechuana, Bavenda, and Xosa-Zulu tribes. None of these peoples has any claim to be indigenous, and, save the Bavenda, all are immigrants since c. 1817–1820, when the greater part of the then inhabitants were exterminated by the Zulu chief Mosilikatze (see § History). After that event Basuto entered the country from the south, Bechuana from the west and Swazi, Zulu, Shangaan and other tribes from the east and south-east.
The Basuto, who number 410,020 and form 40% of the total population, are now found mostly in the central, northern and north-eastern districts, forming in Lydenburg about 67%, and in Zoutpansberg about 50% of the inhabitants. The Bechuana, who number 64,751, are almost confined to the western and south-western districts.
Next, numerically, to the Basuto and Bechuana peoples are the tribes known collectively as Transvaal Kaffirs, of whom there were 159,850 enumerated at the 1904 census. Altogether the Transvaal Kaffirs form 50% of the inhabitants of Waterberg district, 30% of Zoutpansberg district and 18% of Middelburg district. Zulus number 75,601 and form 54% of the population in Wakkerstroom district and 18% in Standerton district. Elsewhere they are very thinly represented. Swazis form more than half the total population of the Barberton and Ermelo districts and are also numerous in Wakkerstroom. In Barberton, Lydenburg and Zoutpansberg districts Shangaan and other east coast tribes are settled, 80,834 being returned as born in the Transvaal. The Shangaan are members of a Bantu tribe from the Delagoa Bay region who took refuge in the Transvaal between 1860 and 1862 to escape Zulu raids. They were for some time ruled by a Portuguese, Joao Albasini, who had adopted native customs. Since 1873 Swiss Protestant missionaries have lived among them and many of the Shangaans are Christians and civilized. Several other east coast tribes, such as the Bankuna, are of mixed Zulu and Shangaan blood. Among the mixed and other coloured races in the census returns figure 1592 Bushmen, 3597 Hottentots and 1147 Koranna; these people are found chiefly in the south-western regions and are remnants of the true aboriginal population.
Besides the tribes whose home is in the Transvaal considerable numbers of natives, chiefly members of east coast tribes, Cape Kaffirs and Zulus, go to the Witwatersrand to work in the gold and other mines. In all there were, in 1904, 135,042 Bantus in the country born elsewhere. Many east coast natives after working in the mines settle in the northern Transvaal. Of the aboriginal South Africans in the Transvaal, at the 1904 census, 77.69% were born in the Transvaal. Among the aborigines the number of females to males was 114 to 100. (See further Kaffirs; Bechuanas; Zululand; Bushmen; Hottentots; and for languages Bantu Languages).
The number of Asiatics in the Transvaal in April 1904 was 12,320, including 904 Malays, natives of South Africa, and 9986 British Indians. They were nearly all domiciled in the Witwatersrand and in the towns of Pretoria and Barberton, where they are engaged mainly in trade.
Administrative Divisions and Chief Towns.—The province is divided into sixteen magisterial districts. Zoutpansberg, 25,654 sq. m.; Waterberg, 15,503 sq. m.; Lydenburg, 9868 sq. m., occupy the north and north-eastern parts of the country and include most of the low veld areas. Barberton district, 5106 sq. m., is east central. Piet Retief district (in the south-east), 1673 sq. m., lies between Swaziland and Natal. Along the southern border, going east to west from Piet Retief, are the districts of Wakkerstroom, 2128 sq. m.; Standerton, 1959 sq. m.; Heidelberg, 2410 sq. m.; Potchefstroom, 4805 sq. m.; Wolmaransstad, 2169 sq. m., and, occupying the south-western corner of the province, Bloemhof, 3003 sq. m. In the west are the districts of Lichtenburg, 4487 sq. m.; Marico, 3626 sq. m. and Rustenberg, 9511 sq. m. The central regions are divided into the districts of Witwatersrand, 1653 sq. m.; Pretoria, 6525 sq. m.; Middelburg, 4977 sq. m.; Carolina, 1877 sq. m.; Ermelo, 2995 sq. m. and Bethel, 1959 sq. m. It will be seen that twenty districts are enumerated, these being the divisions under the Boer government and still commonly used. In 1904 Bloemhof was officially included in Wolmaransstad; Bethel in Standerton; Piet Retief in Wakkerstroom, and Carolina in Ermelo. Each district is sub-divided into field-cornetcies, the cornetcies being themselves divided, where necessary, into urban and rural areas. For parliamentary purposes the districts are divided into single member constituencies. The capital of the province, and of the Union is Pretoria, with a population (1904) of 36,839 (of whom 21,114 were whites). Johannesburg, the centre of the gold-mining industry, had a population, within the municipal boundary, of 155,642 (83,363 whites). Other towns within the Witwatersrand district are Germiston (29,477), Boksburg (14,757) and Roodepoort-Maraisburg (19,949), virtually suburbs of Johannesburg, and Krugersdorp (20,073) and Springs (5270), respectively at the western and east ends of the district. Besides Pretoria and the towns in the Witwatersrand district, there are few urban centres of any size. Potchefstroom, in the south near the Vaal (pop. 9348), is the oldest town in the Transvaal. Klerksdorp (4276) is also near the Vaal, S.S.W. of Potchefstroom. Middelburg (5085) is the largest towrn on the railway between Pretoria and Delagoa Bay; Barberton (2433), the centre of the De Kaap gold-fields, lies on the slopes of the Drakensberg overlooking the De Kaap valley.
Communications.—Before 1888 the only means of communication was by road. In that year the government sanctioned the building of a “steam tramway”—a railway in all but name—from the Boksburg collieries to the Rand gold mines. In 1890 the construction of the Transvaal section of the railway to connect Pretoria with Delagoa Bay was begun, the line from Lourenço Marques having been completed to Komati Poort in December 1887. The line to Pretoria was not opened until July 1895. Meantime, in September 1892, the Cape railway system had been extended to Johannesburg and in December 1895 the through line between Durban and Pretoria was completed. Since that date many other lines have been built. The majority of the railways are the property of and are worked by the state. With the exception of a few purely local lines they are of the standard South African gauge—3 ft. 6 in. The lines all converge on Johannesburg. The following table gives the distances from that city to other places in South Africa:—
|″||Bulawayo||(via Fourteen Streams)||979||″|
|To||Cape Town||(via Kimberley)||957||″|
|″||Lourenço Marques (via Pretoria)||396||″|
Besides the lines enumerated the other railways of importance are: (1) A line from Johannesburg eastward via Springs and Breyten to Machadodorp on the Pretoria–Delagoa Bay railway. (2) A line, 68 m. long from Witbank, a station on the Pretoria–Delagoa Bay line, to Brakpan on the Springs line. By (1) the distance between Johannesburg and Lourenço Marques is 364 m., by (2) 370 m. A continuation of the Springs–Breyten line eastward through Swaziland to Delagoa Bay will give a second independent railway from that port to the Rand, some 60 m. shorter than the route via Pretoria, while from Breyten a line (90 m. long) runs south and east to Ermelo and Piet Retief. (3) A line from Krugersdorp to Zeerust (128 m.). (4) A line from Pretoria to Rustenburg (61 m.). (5) A line from Pretoria to Pietersburg (177 m.). This line was continued (1910) north-west to effect a junction with (6) the “Selati” railway, which, starting from Komati Poort, runs north-west and was in 1910 continued to Leydsdorp. North of the junction with the Pietersburg line the railway goes towards the Limpopo. (7) A line from Belfast on the Pretoria–Delagoa Bay railway to Lydenburg (65 m.). (8) A line from Potchefstroom to Lichtenburg (70 m.).
There is an extensive telegraphic system linking the towns of the province to one another, and, through the surrounding countries, with Europe and the rest of the world. There is inland communication via Rhodesia with British Central Africa and Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika. The telegraph lines within the Transvaal have a length of about 3000 m. There is a well-organized postal service with about 400 offices. In connexion with the postal services to outlying districts there is a public passenger service by mail carts. In the Pietersberg district zebras are occasionally employed.
Mineral Resources.—The Transvaal, the principal gold producing country in the world, is noted for the abundance and variety of its mineral resources. The minerals chiefly mined besides gold are diamonds and coal, but the country possesses also silver, iron, copper, lead, cobalt, sulphur, saltpetre and many other mineral deposits.
Gold.—The principal gold-bearing reefs are found along the Witwatersrand (“The Rand”). Probably connected with the Rand reefs are the gold-bearing rocks in the Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom and Venterskroon districts. Other auriferous reefs are found all along the eastern escarpment of the Drakensberg and are worked in the De Kaap (Barberton) district, on the Swaziland frontier, in the Lydenburg district, in the Murchison Range and in other places in the Zoutpansberg. Goldfields also exist in the Waterberg and on the western frontier in the Marico district (the Malmani fields). The total value of the gold extracted from mines in the Transvaal up to the end of 1909 was about £246,000,000.
a. The Witwatersrand and Neighbouring Mines.—The Rand reefs, first mined in 1886, cover a large area. The main reef, continuously traced, measures about 62 m. and runs in an east and west direction. The gold is found in minute particles and in the richest ores the metal is rarely in visible quantities before treatment. In many places the main reef lies at a great depth and some bore-holes are over 5500 ft. deep. The yield of the Rand mines, in 1887 but 23,000 oz., rose in 1888 to 208,000 oz. In 1892 the yield was 1,210,000 oz.: in 1896 it exceeded 2,280,000 oz. and in 1898 was 4,295,000 oz. The war that followed prevented the proper working of the mines. In 1905 when a full supply of labour was again available the output was 4,760,000 oz., in which year the sum distributed in dividends to shareholders in the Rand mines was over £4,800,000. The total output from the Rand mines up to the end of 1908 was 56,477,240 oz. (see Gold, and Johannesburg). The Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom goldfields, known also as the Western Rand, were proclaimed in 1887 and up to the close of 1908 had yielded 446,224 oz.
b. The De Kaap (Barberton) Fields.—Gold was discovered in this district of the Drakensberg in 1875, but it was not until 1884 that the fields attracted much attention. The mines are, in general, situated on the slopes of the hills and are easily opened up by adits. The reefs are narrower than those of the Rand, and the ore is usually very hard. The output, 35,000 oz. in 1889, was 121,000 oz. in 1896, but only 43,000 oz. in 1905. The total production (including the Komati and Swaziland fields) to the end of 1908 was 1,097,685 oz.
c. The Lydenburg and other Fields.—The Lydenburg fields, reported to have been worked by the Portuguese in the 17th century, and rediscovered in 1869, though lying at an elevation of 4500 to 5000 ft. are alluvial—and the only rich alluvial goldfields in South Africa. The ground containing the gold is soil which has escaped denudation. Though several large nuggets have been found (the largest weighing 215 oz.), the total production is not great, the highest output obtained by washing being worth about £300,000 in one year. Besides the alluvial deposits a little mining is carried on, gold being present in the thin veins of quartz which cross the sandstone. The chief centres of the fields are Lydenburg, Pilgrims Rest and Spitzkop. The total output of the Lydenburg fields up to the end of 1908 is estimated at 1,200,000 oz. Farther north, in the Zoutpansberg and on its spurs are the little-worked mines generally known as the Low Country goldfields. Near Pietersburg in the Zoutpansberg is the Eersteling, the first mine worked in the Transvaal. Operations began in 1873 but in 1880 the machinery was destroyed by the Boers. It was not until 1904 that prospecting in the neighbourhood was again undertaken. The fields in the Waterberg and along the Malmani river are very small producers. The total yield to the end of 1908 of the Zoutpansberg, Low Country and other minor fields was 160,535 oz.
Diamonds.—The chief diamond fields are in the Pretoria district. The ground was discovered to be diamondiferous in 1897, but it was not until 1903, when mining began on the Premier mine, situated 20 m. north-east of Pretoria, that the wealth of the fields was proved. The site of the Premier mine had been recognized as diamond-bearing in March 1898. The owner of the land, a Boer named Prinsloo, refused to' allow experimental spade work, but after the conclusion of the Anglo-Boer War in 1902 sold his property for £55,000 to T. Cullinan (a Cape colonist and one of the chief contractors in the building of Johannesburg), whose faith in the richness of the ground was speedily justified. In June 1903 mining began and the diamonds found in the first five months realized over £90,000. On the 27th of January 1905, the largest diamond in the world, weighing 3025¾ carats, over 1½ lb avoirdupois, was found in the mine and named the Cullinan. The Premier mine is of the same character as the diamond mines at Kimberley (see Diamond), and is considerably larger. The area of the “pipe” containing blue ground is estimated at 350,000 sq. yds.
Besides the Pretoria fields there are diamondiferous areas (alluvial diggings) in the Bloemhof district on the Vaal river north-east of Kimberley, and in other regions. In 1898 the output for the whole of the Transvaal was valued at £44,000. The output since the opening of the Premier mine has been: 1903–1904, £685,720; 1904–1905, £1,198,530; 1905–1906, £968,229; 1906–1907, £2,203,511; 1907–1908, £1,879,551; 1908–1909, £1,295,296.
Coal and other Minerals.—There are extensive beds of good coal, including thick seams of steam coal near the Rand and other goldfields. Coal appears to have been first discovered in the neighbourhood of Bronkhorst Spruit between the Wilge and Olifants rivers, where it was so near the surface that farmers dug it up for their own use. In 1887 coal was found at Boksburg in the East Rand, and a mine was at once started. The principal collieries are those at Boksburg and at Brakpan, also on the East Rand, with a coal area of 2400 acres; at Vereeniging and Klerksdorp, near the Vaal; at Watervaal, 12 m. north of Pretoria; and in the Middelburg district, between Pretoria and Lourenço Marques. Like that of Natal the Transvaal coal burns with a clear flame and leaves little ash. The mines are free from gas and fire damp and none is more than 500 ft. deep. The output in 1893, the first year in which statistics are available, was 548,534 tons (of 2000 lb); in 1898 it was 1,907,808 tons, and for the year ending 30th of June 1909 was 3,312,413 tons, valued at £851,150.
Iron and copper are widely distributed. The Yzerberg near Marabastad in the Zoutpansberg consists of exceedingly rich iron ore, which has been smelted by the natives for many centuries. Silver is found in many districts, and mines near Pretoria have yielded in one year ore worth £30,000.
Salt is obtainable from the many pans in the plateaus, notably in the Zout(salt)pansberg, and was formerly manufactured in considerable quantities.
Agriculture.—Next to mining agriculture is the most important industry. At the census of 1904 over 500,000 persons (excluding young children), or 37% of the population, were returned as engaged in agriculture. Some 25% more women than men were so employed, this preponderance being due to the large number of Kaffir women and the few native men who work in the mealie fields. The chief occupation of the majority of the white farmers is stock-raising. The high veld is admirably adapted for the raising of stock, its grasses being of excellent quality and the climate good. Even better pasture is found in the low veld, but there stock suffers in summer from many endemic diseases, and in the more northerly regions is subject to the attack of the tsetse fly. The banken veld is also unsuited in summer for horses and sheep, though cattle thrive. Much of the stock is moved from the lower to the higher regions according to the season. Among the high veld farmers the breeding of merino sheep is very popular.
The amount of land under cultivation is very small in comparison with the area of the province. In 1904 only 951,802 acres, or 1.26% of the total acreage was under cultivation, and of the cultivated land nearly half was farmed by natives. The small proportion of land tilled is due to many causes, among which paucity of populations is not the least. Moreover while large areas on the high veld are suitable for the raising of crops of a very varied character, in other districts, including a great part of the low veld, arable farming is impossible or unprofitable. Many regions suffer permanently from deficient rainfall; in others, owing to the absence of irrigation works, the water supply is lost, while the burning of the grass at the end of summer, a practice adopted by many farmers, tends to impoverish the soil and render it arid. The country sulffers also from periods of excessive heat and general drought, while locusts occasionally sweep over the land, devouring every green thing. In some seasons the locusts, both red and brown, come in enormous swarms covering an area 5 m. broad and from 40 to 60 m. long. The chief method employed for their destruction is spraying the swarms with arsenic. The districts with the greatest area under cultivation are Heidelberg, Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Standerton and Krugersdorp. The chief crops grown for grain are wheat, maize (mealie) and kaffir corn, but the harvest is inadequate to meet local demands. Maize is the staple food of the Kaffirs. Since 1906 an important trade has also arisen in the raising of mealies for export by white farmers. Oats, barley and millet are largely grown for forage. Oats are cut shortly before reaching maturity, when they are known as oat-hay. The chief vegetables grown are potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, onions and tomatoes.
Fruit farming is a thriving industry, the slopes of the plateaus and the river valleys being specially adapted for this culture. At the census of 1904 over 3,032,000 fruit trees were enumerated. There were 163,000 orange trees and nearly 60,000 other citrus trees, 430,000 grape vines, 276,000 pine plants and 78,000 banana plants. Oranges are cultivated chiefly in the Rustenburg, Waterberg, Zoutpansberg and Pretoria districts, grapes in Potchefstroom, Pretoria and Marico, as well as in the Zoutpansberg and Waterberg to which northern regions the cultivation of the banana is confined. In the tropical district of the Limpopo valley there is some cultivation of the coffee-tree, and this region is also adapted for the growing of tea, sugar, cotton and rice. Tobacco is grown in every district, but chiefly in Rustenburg. Of the 3,032,000 lb of tobacco grown in 1904, Rustenburg produced 884,000 lb.
A department of agriculture was established in 1902, and through its efforts great improvements have been made in the methods of farming. To further assist agriculture a land bank was established by the government in 1907 and an agricultural college in 1910.
Land Settlement.—The land board is a government department charged with the control of Crown lands leased to settlers on easy terms for agricultural purposes. Between 1902 and 1907 about 550 families were placed on the land, their holdings aggregating over 500,000 acres. The Crown lands cover in all about 21,500,000 acres. Large areas of these lands, especially in the northern districts, are used as native reserves.
Other Industries.—There are few manufacturing undertakings other than those connected with mining, agriculture and the development of Johannesburg. There is a large factory for the supply of dynamite to the gold mines. The building and construction trade is an important industry on the Rand, where there are also brick-works, iron and brass foundries, breweries and distilleries. There are a number of flour mills and jam factories in various centres. A promising home industry, started under English auspices after the war of 1899–1902, is the weaving by women of rugs, carpets, blankets, &c., from native wool.
Export and Import Trade.—Before the discovery of gold the trade of the Transvaal was of insignificant proportions. This may be illustrated by the duties paid on imports, which in 1880 amounted to £20,306 In 1887 when the gold-mining industry was in its infancy the duty on imports had risen to £190,792, and in 1897, when the industry was fully developed, to £1,289,039. The Anglo-Boer War completely disorganized trade, but the close of the contest was marked by feverish activity and the customs receipts in 1902–1903 rose to £2,176,658. A period of depression followed, the average annual receipts for the next three years being £1,683,159. In 1908–1909 they were £1,588,960.
The chief exports are gold and diamonds. Of the total exports in 1908, valued at £33,323,000, gold was worth £29,643,000 and diamonds £1,977,000. Next in value came wool (£226,000), horses and mules (£110,000), skins, hides and horns (£106,000), tobacco (£89,000), tin, coal, copper and lead. The gold and diamonds are sent to England via Cape Town; the other exports go chiefly to Delagoa Bay. The imports, valued at £16,196,000 in 1908, include goods of every kind. Machinery, provisions, largely in the form of tinned and otherwise preserved food, and liquors, clothing, textiles and hardware, chemicals and dynamite, iron and steel work and timber, and jewelry are the chief items in the imports. Of the imports about 50% comes from Great Britain and about 20% from British colonies (including other South African states). Half the imports reach the Transvaal through the Portuguese port of Lourenço Marques, Durban taking 25% and the Cape ports the remainder. There is free trade between the Transvaal and the other British possessions in South Africa, and for external trade they all adhere to a Customs Union which, as fixed in 1906, imposes a general ad valorem duty of 15% on most goods save machinery, on which the duty is 3%. A rebate of 3% is granted on imports from Great Britain.
Constitution.—The existing constitution dates from 1910. The province is represented in the Union Parliament by eight senators and thirty-six members of the House of Assembly. For parliamentary purposes the province is divided into single-member constituencies. Every adult white male British subject is entitled to the franchise, subject to a six months’ residential qualification. There is no property qualification. All electors are eligible to the assembly. Voters are registered biennially, and every five years there is an automatic redistribution of seats on a voters’ basis.
Central Government.—At the head of the executive is a provincial administrator, appointed by the Union ministry, who holds office for live years and is assisted by an executive committee of four members elected by the provincial council. The provincial council consists of 36 members elected for the same constituencies and by the same electorate as are the members of the House of Assembly. The provincial council, which has strictly local powers, sits for a statutory period of three years. The control of elementary education was guaranteed to the provincial council for a period of five years from the establishment of the Union.
In May 1903 an inter-colonial council was established to deal with the administration of the railways in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony (known as the Central South African railways), the South African constabulary and other matters common to the Orange River and Transvaal colonies. This council was presided over by the governor of the Transvaal and formed an important part of the administrative machinery. By agreement between the two colonies the council was dissolved in 1908. In 1910 the control of the railways passed to the harbours and railway board of the Union of South Africa.
Local Government.—The unit of administration is the field cornetcy. The semi-military organization of these divisions, which existed under the South African republic, has been abolished, and field-cornets, who are nominated by the provincial government, are purely civil officials charged with the registration of voters, births and deaths, the maintenance of public roads, &c. The chief local authorities are the municipal bodies, many “municipalities” being rural areas centred round a small town. The municipal boards possess very wide powers of local government. The Witwatersrand municipalities are for certain purposes combined into one authority, and representatives of these municipalities, together with representatives of the chamber of mines, compose the Rand water board. The basis of municipal qualihcation is ownership of real property of the value of £100, or the tenancy of premises of the value of £300, or annual value of £24. Neither aliens nor coloured British subjects can exercise the franchise.
Finance.—In 1883, before the Rand gold mines had been found revenue and expenditure were about £150,000; in 1887, when the mines were beginning to be developed, the receipts were £668,000 and the expenditure £721,000; in 1889 the receipts had risen to £1,577,000 and the expenditure to £1,226,000. In 1894 the receipts first exceeded two millions, the figures for that year being: revenue £2,247,000, expenditure £1,734,000. The figures for the four following years were:—
The public debt of the Boer government was £2,500,000. In 1899 war broke out and the finances of the country were disorganized. The accounts of the colony began, for normal purposes, with the year ending 30th of June 1903, and ended in June 1910 on the establishment of the Union. In May 1903 a loan of £35,000,000, guaranteed by the imperial government and secured on the general revenues of the Transvaal and Orange River colonies, was issued to the extent of £30,000,000, the balance being raised about the middle of 1904. This loan bears interest at 3% per annum, with a sinking fund of 1%, and as to the £30,000,000 was issued at par, the £5,000,000 being put up to tender and realizing an average price of, £98, 10s. 3d. The principal head in the allocation of this loan was the purchase of the railways in the two colonies at a cost of £13,520,000, while an additional £5,958,000 was devoted to the building of new lines, purchases of rolling stock, &c. The debt of the South African Republic was paid off; £542,000 went to make good the deficit on the administration for 1901–1902; the sum of £1,561,000 was paid to burghers of the Cape Colony and Natal as compensation for war losses;, £3,000,000 was devoted to land settlement schemes and £2,000,000 to public works other than railways. The railways were treated as the common property of both colonies, and to administer them and other common services the inter-colonial council was created. In addition to the charges enumerated £5,000,000 were spent out of the loan on “repatriation and compensation” of burghers who had suffered during the war. In addition to the £35,000,000 guaranteed loan of 1903–1904 two small loans for land settlement and public works. together amounting to, £254,800, were issued, and in 1907 an imperial guarantee was given for the raising of another loan, of £5,000,000, by the colonial government. The act authorizing the loan devoted £2,500,000 to the establishment of a land and agricultural bank, and £2,500,000 to railways, public works, irrigation and agricultural settlement and development. The loan was raised, as to £4,000,000, in January 1909, the average price obtained being, £96, 3s. 7d.
The chief sources of revenue are customs, mining royalties, railways, native revenue (poll tax and passes), posts and telegraphs, stamp and transfer duties, land revenue and taxes on trades and professions. A tax of 10% is levied on the annual net produce of all gold workings (proclamation of 1902) and the government takes 60% of the profits on diamond mines. In 1907 an excise duty was, for the first time, levied on beer. The principal heads of expenditure are on railways and other public works, including posts and telegraphs, justice, education, police, land settlement and agriculture generally, mines and native affairs. Since June 1910 the control of state finance passed to the Union parliament, but the Transvaal provincial council is empowered to raise revenue for provincial purposes by direct taxation and, with the consent of the Union government, to borrow money on the sole credit of the province.
In the five years 1902–1907 the average annual receipts and expenditure amounted to £4,500,000, exclusive of the sums received and expended on account of the loans mentioned. The inter-colonial council received and spent in the four years 1903–1907 over £21,500,000, including some £3,500,000 paid in from revenue by the Transvaal and Orange River colonies to make good deficits. Fully two-thirds of the revenue and expenditure of the Council was derived from and spent upon the Transvaal, so that had the accounts of the two colonies been entirely distinct the figures of the Transvaal budget for 1903–1907 would have balanced at about £8,500,000 a year. In July 1907 when the control of the finances passed into the hands of the Transvaal legislature the credit balance on the consolidated fund was £960,000. In 1908 the inter-colonial council was dissolved, but the railways continued to be administered as a joint concern by a railway board on which the governments of both colonies were represented. This board in 1910 handed over its duties to the harbour and railway board of the Union. The Transvaal revenue (apart from railway receipts) in 1908–1909 was £5,735,000, the corresponding expenditure £4,524,000. The budget figures for 1909–1910 were: revenue £5,943,000; expenditure £5,231,000. The diamond revenue yielded £235,000 and the gold profits tax £965,000. The balance handed over to the Union government was £1,015,000.
Justice.—The laws are based on Roman-Dutch law, as modified by local acts. Courts of first instance are presided over by magistrates, the whole colony being divided into sixteen magisterial wards. There is a provincial division of the Supreme Court of South Africa sitting at Pretoria (consisting of a judge president and six puisne justices) with original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters. A local division of the Supreme Court, formerly known as the Witwatersrand high court (consisting of one or more judges of the Supreme Court) sits permanently at Johannesburg and has civil and criminal jurisdiction throughout the Rand. Circuit courts are held as occasion requires.
Police.—Pretoria and Johannesburg have their own police forces. The rest of the province is policed by the South African constabulary, a body 3700 strong, to which is also entrusted customs preventive work, fire brigade work and such like functions.
Education.—Since 1910 education other than elementary is under the control of the Union parliament. The provincial council is responsible for elementary education. At the head of the permanent staff is a director of education. School boards and district committees are formed, but their functions are almost entirely advisory. In accordance with the terms of the Education Act of 1907 of the Transvaal colony, state schools are provided for the free instruction of all white children in elementary subjects. Attendance at school between the ages of 7 and 14 is, with certain exceptions, compulsory. The medium of instruction in the lower standards is the mother tongue of the children. Above standard III. English is the medium of instruction. No religious tests are imposed on teachers and religious teaching is confined to undenominational Bible teaching. No government grants are given to private schools. (In 1906 members of the Dutch community established a “Christian National Education” organization and opened a number of denominational schools.) Secondary education is provided in the towns and high schools are maintained at Pretoria, Johannesburg and Potchefstroom. There are University colleges at Pretoria and Johannesburg. Education of the natives is chiefly in the hands of the missionaries, but the government gives grants in aid to over 100 schools for natives. At the census of 1904 the natives able to read formed less than 1% of the population. At the same census 95% of the white population over 21 were able to read and write; of the whites between the ages of 5 and 14 59 % could read and write.
State schools for white children were established by the Boer government, and in the last year (1898) before the British occupation there were 509 schools and 14,700 scholars, the education vote that year being £226,000. In 1902 the property vested in various school committees was transferred to government and control of the schools vested in a department of state. In 1909 there were 670 government elementary schools, with more than 42,000 scholars. In 1907–1908 the education vote exceeded £500,000.
Religion.—Of the total population 26.69% are Christians, and of the Christians 80% are whites. No fewer than 70% of the people, including the bulk of the natives, are officially returned as of “no religion.” Of the 336,869 Christians 69,738 were natives. Nearly half of the white community, 142,540 persons, belong to one or other of the Dutch Churches in the Transvaal, but they have only 4305 native members. Of Dutch Churches the first and chief is the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk, founded by the Voortrekkers and originally the state Church. The others are the Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, an offshoot of the Church of the same name at the Cape, and the Gereformeerde Kerk (the “Dopper” Church) with some 15,000 members and adherents in the Transvaal. The “Dopper” Church, an offshoot of the Separatist Reformed Church of Holland, is distinguished from the other Dutch churches in being more rigidly Calvinistic and “Biblical,” and in not using hymns. A “Scouts” Church was formed at the end of the war of 1899–1902 by burghers who had previously acted as “National Scouts” and were ostracized by the synods of their former Churches. After some years of friction “National Scouts” were however readmitted, on terms, to their former membership. The Anglicans number 67,882 (including 13,033 natives), and are 19% of the European population. At the head of the community is the bishop of Pretoria. Next in numbers according to European membership among the Protestant bodies are Presbyterians, 19,821 (including 1194 natives), and Methodists 37,812 (including 20,648 natives). The Lutherans are the chief missionary body. Of a total membership of 24,175 only 5770 are European. The Protestant European community amounts altogether to 35% of the white population. The Roman Catholics number 16,453 (including 2005 natives) and form 5% of the European population, and the Hebrews 15,478 or 5.34% of the European inhabitants.
Defence.—A strong garrison of the British army is maintained in the province, the headquarters of all the imperial military forces in South Africa being at Pretoria. These forces are under the command of a lieutenant-general, who, however, acts under the supreme direction of the governor-general. The Transvaal forms a distinct district command under a major-general. A volunteer force was established in 1904, for service within the Transvaal, or wherever the interests of the country might require. The force, disciplined and organized by a permanent staff of officers and non-commissioned officers of the regular army, is about 6500 strong, and consists of a brigade of artillery, four mounted, three composite and four infantry corps, a cyclist corps, &c. There are also cadet companies some 3000 strong. (F. R. C.)
A. Foundation of the Republic.—At the beginning of the 19th century the country now known as the Transvaal was inhabited, apparently somewhat sparsely, by Bavenda and other Bantu negroes, and in the south-west by wandering Bushmen and Hottentots. About 1817 the country was invaded by the chieftain Mosilikatze and his impis, who were fleeing from the vengeance of Chaka, king of the Zulus. The inhabitants were unable to withstand the attacks of the disciplined Zulu warriors—or Matabele, as they were henceforth called—by whom large areas of central and western Transvaal were swept bare. The remnants of the Bavenda retreated north to the Waterberg and Zoutpansberg, while Mosilikatze made his chief kraal at Mosega, not far from the site of the town of Zeerust. At that time the region between the Vaal and Limpopo was scarcely known to Europeans. In 1829, however, Mosilikatze was visited at Mosega by Robert Moffat, and between that date and 1836 a few British traders and explorers visited the country and made known its principal features. Such was the situation when Boer emigrants first crossed the Vaal.
The causes which led to the exodus of large numbers of Dutch farmers from Cape Colony are discussed elsewhere (see South Africa and Cape Colony). Here it is only necessary to state that the Voortrekkers were animated by an intense desire to be altogether rid of British control, and to be allowed to set up independent communities and govern the natives in such fashion as they saw fit. The first party to cross the Vaal consisted of 98 persons under the leadership of Louis Trichard and Jan van Rensburg. They left Cape Colony in 1835 and trekked to the Zoutpansberg. Here Rensburg’s party separated from the others, but were soon afterwards murdered by natives. Trichard’s party determined to examine the country between the Zoutpansberg and Delagoa Bay. Fever carried off several of their number, and it was not until 1838 that the survivors reached the coast. Eventually they proceeded by boat to Natal. Meantime, in 1836, another party of farmers under Andries Hendrik Potgieter had established their headquarters on the banks of the Vet river. Potgieter.Potgieter and some companions followed the trail of Trichard’s party as far as the Zoutpansberg, where they were shown gold workings by the natives and saw rings of gold made by native workmen. They also ascertained that a trade between the Kaffirs and the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay already existed. On returning to the Vet, Potgieter learned that a hunting party of Boers which had crossed the Vaal had been attacked by the Matabele, who had also killed Boer women and children. This act led to reprisals, and on the 17th of January 1837 a Boer commando surprised Mosilikatze’s encampment at Mosega. inflicting heavy loss on the Matabele without themselves losing a man. In November of the same year Mosilikatze suffered further heavy losses at the hands of the Boers, and early in 1838 he fled north beyond the Limpopo, never to return. Potgieter, after the flight of the Matabele, issued a proclamation in which he declared the country which Mosilikatze had abandoned forfeited to the emigrant farmers. After the Matabele peril had been removed, many farmers trekked across the Vaal and occupied parts of the district left derelict. Into these depopulated areas there was also a considerable immigration of Basuto, Bechuana and other Bantu tribes.
The first permanent white settlement north of the Vaal was made by a party under Potgieter’s leadership. That commandant had in March 1838 gone to Natal, and had endeavoured to avenge the massacre of Piet Retief and his comrades by the Zulus. Jealous, however, of the preference shown by the Dutch farmers in Natal to another commandant (Gert Maritz), Potgieter speedily recrossed the Drakensberg, and in November 1838 he and his followers settled by the banks of the Mooi river, founding a town named Potchefstroom in honour of Potgieter. This party instituted an elementary form of government, and in 1840 entered into a loose confederation with the Natal Boers, and also with the Boers south of the Vaal, whose headquarters were at Winburg. In 1842, however, Potgieter’s party declined to go to the help of the Natal Boers, then involved in conflict with the British. Up to 1845 Potgieter continued to exercise authority over the Boer communities on both sides of the Vaal. A determination to keep clear of the British and to obtain access to the outer world through an independent channel led Potgieter and a considerable number of the Potchefstroom and Winburg burghers in 1845 to migrate towards Delagoa Bay. Potgieter settled in the Zoutpansberg, while other farmers chose as headquarters a place on the inner slopes of the Drakensberg, where they founded a village called Andries Ohrigstad. It proved fever-ridden and was abandoned, a new village being laid out on higher ground and named Lydenburg in memory of their sufferings at the abandoned settlement.
Meantime the southern districts abandoned by Potgieter and his comrades were occupied by other Boers. These were joined in 1848 by Andries W. J. Pretorius (q.v.), who became commandant of the Potchefstroom settlers. When the British government decided to recognize the independence of the Transvaal Boers it was with Pretorius that negotiations were conducted. The Sand River Convention.On the 17th of January 1852 a convention was signed at a farm near the Sand river in the Orange sovereignty by assistant commissioners nominated by the British high commissioner on the one hand, and by Pretorius and other Boers on the other. The first clause was in the following terms:—
At this time there were settled north of the Vaal about 5000 families of European extraction—about 40,000 persons, including young children. They had obtained independence, but they were far from being a united people. When Pretorius conducted the negotiations which led to the signing of the Sand River Convention he did so without consulting the volksraad, and Potgieter’s party accused him of usurping power and aiming at domination over the whole country. However, the volksraad, at a meeting held at Rustenburg on the 16th of March 1852, ratified the convention, Potgieter and Pretorius having been publicly reconciled on the morning of the same day. Both leaders were near the end of their careers; Potgieter died in March and Pretorius in July 1853.
Whatever their internal dissensions the Boers were united in regard to what they considered their territorial rights, and in the interval between the signing of the Sand River Convention and the death of Pretorius an incident occurred significant alike of their claims to jurisdiction over enormous areas and of their manner of treating the natives. Within a few weeks of the signing of the convention Pretorius had asked the British authorities to close the “lower road” to the interior, that is the route through Bechuanaland, opened up by Moffat, Livingstone and other missionaries. Pretorius alleged that by this means the natives were obtaining firearms. At the same time the Transvaal Boers claimed that all the Bechuana country belonged to them, a claim which the British government of that day did not think it worth while to contest. No boundary westward had been indicated in the Sand River Convention. The Barolong, Bakwena and other Bechuana tribes, through whose lands the “lower road” ran, claimed however to be independent, among them Sechele (otherwise Setyeli), at whose chief kraal—Kolobeng—Livingstone was then stationed. Sechele was regarded by the Boers as owing them allegiance, and in August 1852 Pretorius sent against him a commando (in which Paul Kruger served as a field cornet), alleging that the Bakwena were harbouring a Bakatla chief who had looted cattle belonging to Boer farmers. It was in this expedition that Livingstone’s house was looted. There was little fighting, but the commando carried off between two and three hundred native women and children—some of whom were redeemed by their friends, and some escaped, while many of the children were apprenticed to farmers. Sechele's power was not broken, and he appealed for British protection, which was not then granted. The incident was, however, but the first step in the struggle for the possession of that country (see Bechuanaland). It served to strengthen the unfavourable impression formed in England of the Transvaal Boers with regard to their treatment of the natives; an impression which was deepened by tidings of terrible chastisement of tribes in the Zoutpansberg, and by the Apprentice Law passed by the volksraad in 1856—a law denounced in many quarters as practically legalizing slavery.
On the death of Andries Pretorius his son Marthinus W. Pretorius (q.v.) had been appointed his successor, and to the younger Pretorius was due the first efforts to end the discord and confusion which prevailed among the burghers—a discord heightened by ecclesiastical strife, the points at issue being questions not of faith but of church government. In 1856 a series of public meetings, summoned by Pretorius, was held at different districts in the Transvaal for the purpose of discussing and deciding whether the time had not arrived for substituting a strong central government in place of the petty district governments which had hitherto existed. The result was a representative assembly of delegates was elected, empowered to draft a constitution. Potchefstroom Assembly, 1856.In December this assembly met at Potchefstroom, and for three weeks was engaged in modelling the constitution of the country. The name “South African Republic” was adopted as the title of the state, and the new constitution made provision for a volksraad to which members were to be elected by the people for a period of two years, and in which the legislative function was vested. The administrative authority was to be vested in a president, aided by an executive council. It was stipulated that members both of the volksraad and council should be members of the Dutch Reformed Church, and of European blood. No equality of coloured people with the white inhabitants would be tolerated either in church or state. In reviewing an incident so important in the history of the Transvaal as the appointment of the Potchefstroom assembly it is of interest to note the gist of the complaint among the Boers which led to this revolution in the government of the country as it had previously existed. In his History of South Africa Theal says: “The community of Lydenburg was accused of attempting to domineer over the whole country, without any other right to pre-eminence than that of being composed of the earliest inhabitants, a fight which it had forfeited by its opposition to the general weal.” In later years this complaint was precisely that of the Uitlanders at Johannesburg. To conciliate the Boers of Zoutpansberg the new-born assembly at Potchefstroom appointed Stephanus Schoeman, the commandant general of the Zoutpansberg district, commandant-general of the whole country. This offer was, however, declined by Schoeman, and both Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg indignantly repudiated the new assembly and its constitution. The executive council, which had been appointed by the Potchefstroom assembly, with Pretorius as president, now took up a bolder attitude: they deposed Schoeman from all authority, declared Zoutpansberg in a state of blockade, and denounced the Boers of the two northern districts as rebels.
Further to strengthen their position, Pretorius and his party unsuccessfully endeavoured to bring about a union with the Orange Free State. Peaceful overtures having failed, Pretorius and Paul Kruger placed themselves at the head of a commando which crossed the Vaal with the object of enforcing union, but the Free State compelled their withdrawal (see Orange Free State). Presidency of Marthinus Pretorius.Within the Transvaal the forces making for union gained strength notwithstanding these events, and by the year 1860 Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg had become incorporated with the republic. Pretoria, newly founded, and named in honour of the elder Pretorius, was made the seat of government and capital of the country. The ecclesiastical efforts at unity had not been equally successful. The Separatist Reformed Church of Holland had sent out a young expositor of its doctrines named Postma, who, in November 1858, became minister of Rustenburg. In the following year a general church assembly endeavoured to unite all the congregations in a common government, but Postma’s consistory rejected these overtures, and from that date the Separatist (or Dopper) Church has had an independent existence (see ante, § Religion). Paul Kruger, who lived near Rustenburg, became a strong adherent of the new church.
Pretorius, while still president of the Transvaal, had been elected, through the efforts of his partisans, president of the Orange Free State. He thereupon (in February 1860) obtained six months’ leave of absence and repaired to Bloemfontein, in the hope of peacefully bringing about a union between the two republics. He had no sooner left the Transvaal than the old Lydenburg party, headed by Cornelis Potgieter, landdrost of Lydenburg, Internal Dissensions.protested that the union would be much more beneficial to the Free State than to the people of Lydenburg, and followed this up with the contention that it was illegal for any one to be president of the South African Republic and the Free State at the same time. At the end of the six months Pretorius, after a stormy meeting of the volksraad, apparently in disgust at the whole situation, resigned the presidency of the Transvaal. J. H. Grobelaar, who had been appointed president during the temporary absence of Pretorius, was requested to remain in office. The immediate followers of Pretorius now became extremely incensed at the action of the Lydenburg party, and a mass meeting was held at Potchefstroom (October 1860), where it was resolved that: (a) the volksraad no longer enjoyed its confidence; (b) that Pretorius should remain president of the South African Republic, and have a year's leave of absence to bring about union with the Free State; (c) that Schoeman should act as president during the absence of Pretorius; (d) that before the return of Pretorius to resume his duties a new volksraad should be elected.
If at this stage of their existence the real ambition of the Transvaal Boers was to found a strong and compact republican state, their conduct in opposing a scheme of union with the Orange Free State was foolish to a degree. The events of the year 1860, as well as of all the years that followed down to British annexation in 1877, show that licence rather than liberty, a narrow spirit of faction rather than patriotism, were the dominant instincts of the Boer. Had the fusion of the two little republics which Pretorius sought to bring about, and from which apparently the Free State was not averse, actually been accomplished in 1860, it is more than probable that a republican state on liberal lines, with some prospect of permanence and stability, might have been formed. But a narrow, distrustful, grasping policy on the part of whatever faction might be dominant at the time invariably prevented the state from acquiring stability and security at any stage of its history.
The complications that ensued on the action of the Pretorius party subsequent to his resignation were interminable and complicated. Some of the new party were arraigned for treason and fined; and for several months there were two acting presidents and two rival governments within the Transvaal. At length Commandant Paul Kruger called out the burghers of his district and entered into the strife. Having driven Schoeman and his followers from Pretoria, Kruger invaded Potchefstroom, which, after a skirmish in which three men were killed and seven wounded, fell into his hands. He then pursued Schoeman, who doubled on his opponent and entered Potchefstroom. A temporary peace was no sooner secured than Commandant Jan Viljoen rose in revolt and engaged Kruger’s forces. Viljoen’s commando, with which Pretorius was in sympathy, was known as the Volksleger, or Army of the People. Kruger's force called itself the Staatsleger or Army of the State. Pretorius in 1863 resigned his Free State presidency and offering himself as mediator (not for the first time) succeeded at length in putting a period to the confused series of intestine quarrels. In January 1864 a conference, which lasted six days, was held between the parties and an agreement was reached. This was followed by a new election for president, and once more Pretorius was called upon to fill that office. Kruger was appointed commandant-general.
Civil strife for a time was at an end, but the injuries inflicted on the state were deep and lasting. The public funds were exhausted; taxes were impossible to collect; and the natives on the borders of the country and in the mountains of the north had thrown off all allegiance to the state. The prestige of the country was practically gone, not only with the world outside, but, what was of still more moment, with her neighbour the Free State, which felt that a federation with the Transvaal, which the Free State once had sought but which it now forswore, was an evil avoided and not an advantage lost. The Charge of Slavery against the Boers.A charge frequently laid at the door of the Boers, at that time and since, was that of enslaving the black races. This charge was not without some justification. It is true that laws prohibiting slavery were in existence, but the Boer who periodically took up arms against his own appointed government was not likely to be, nor was he, restrained by laws. Natives were openly transferred from one Boer to another, and the fact that they were described as apprentices by the farmers did not in the least alter the status of the native, who to all intents and purposes became the property of his master. These apprentices, mostly bought from slave traders when little children, formed, however, a very small proportion of the native population, and after some fifteen years’ servitude were usually allowed their freedom. Natives enjoying tribal government were not enslaved, but nothing could exceed in ferocity the measures taken to reduce recalcitrant tribes to submission. Education, as need hardly be said, was in the ’sixties at a very low ebb, and nothing approaching the standard of a high school existed. The private tutor was a good deal in demand, but his qualifications were of the slightest. An unsuccessful European carpenter or other mechanic, or even labourer, not infrequently occupied this position. At the various churches such elementary schools as existed were to be found, but they did not profess to teach more than a smattering of the three “R’s” and the principles of Christianity.
In 1865 an empty exchequer called for drastic measures, and the volksraad determined to endeavour to meet their liabilities and provide for further contingencies by the issue of notes. Paper money was thus introduced, and in a very short time fell to a considerable discount. Zoutpansberg Native Rising, 1865–8.In this same year the farmers of the Zoutpansberg district were driven into laagers by a native rising which they were unable to suppress. Schoemansdal, a village at the foot of the Zoutpansberg, was the most important settlement of the district, and the most advanced outpost in European occupation at that time in South Africa. It was just within the tropics, and was situated in a well-watered and beautiful country. It was used as a base by hunters and traders with the interior, and in its vicinity there gathered a number of settlers of European origin, many of them outcasts from Europe or Cape Colony. They earned the reputation of being the most lawless white inhabitants in the whole of South Africa. When called upon to go to the aid of this settlement, which in 1865–1866 was sore pressed by one of the mountain Bantu tribes known as the Baramapulana, the burghers of the southern Transvaal objected that the white inhabitants of that region were too lawless and reckless a body to merit their assistance. In 1867 Schoemansdal and a considerable portion of the district were abandoned on the advice of Commandant-general Paul Kruger, and Schoemansdal finally was burnt to ashes by a party of natives. It was not until 1869 that peace was patched up, and the settlement arrived at left the mountain tribes in practical independence. Meanwhile the public credit and finances of the Transvaal went from bad to worse. The paper notes already issued had been constituted by law legal tender for all debts, but in 1868 their power of actual purchase was only 30% compared with that of gold, and by 1870 it had fallen as low as 25%. Civil servants, who were paid in this depreciated scrip, suffered considerable distress. The revenue for 1869 was stated as £31,511; the expenditure at £30,836.
The discovery of gold at Tati led President Pretorius in April 1868 to issue a proclamation extending his territories on the west and north so as to embrace the goldfield and all Bechuanaland. Efforts to obtain a Seaport.The same proclamation extended Transvaal territory on the east so as to include part of Delagoa Bay. The eastern extension claimed by Pretorius was the sequel to endeavours made shortly before, on the initiative of a Scotsman, to develop trade along the rivers leading to Delagoa Bay. It was also in accord with the desire of the Transvaal Boers to obtain a seaport, a desire which had led them as early as 1860 to treat with the Zulus for the possession of St Lucia Bay. That effort had, however, failed. And now the proclamation of Pretorius was followed by protests on the part of the British high commissioner, Sir Philip Wodehouse, as well as on the part of the consul-general for Portugal in South Africa. The boundary on the east was settled by a treaty with Portugal in 1869, the Boers abandoning their claim to Delagoa Bay; that on the west was dealt with in 1871.
The Sand River Convention of 1852 had not defined the western border of the state, and the discovery of gold at Tati to the north-west, together with the discovery of diamonds on the Vaal in 1867, offered Pretorius every inducement to extend his boundary. Although to-day the great diamond mines are south of the Vaal River, the early discoveries of diamonds were made chiefly on the northern bank of the Vaal, near the site of the town now known as Barkly West. The Keate Award.This territory was claimed by the South African Republic, by Barolong and Batlapin Bechuanas, by Koranas, and also by David Arnot, on behalf of the Griqua captain, Nicholas Waterboer. To settle the boundary question an arbitration court was appointed consisting of a Transvaal landdrost, A. A. O’Reilly, on behalf of the South African Republic, and John Campbell on behalf of the other claimants, with Lieutenant-Governor Keate of Natal as referee. The judges disagreed, and the final decision, afterwards known as the Keate award, was given by the referee on the 17th of October 1871. The decision was in favour of Waterboer, who had, on the 25th of August 1870, before the appointment of the arbitration court, offered his territory to Great Britain, and it was understood by all the parties interested that that offer would be accepted. The award, admittedly just on the evidence before Keate, placed, however, outside the territory of the republic the Bloemhof district, in which district Boer farmers were settled, and over which the Pretoria government had for some years exercised jurisdiction. A few days after the publication of the Keate award Sir Henry Barkly, the British high commissioner, issued proclamations taking over Waterboer’s territory under the title of Griqualand West (q.v.). The eastern boundary of the new territory was made to include the region between the Harts river and the Vaal, in which the diamond diggings were situated, but not the Bloemhof district. To this district Sir Henry Barkly asserted the British rights, but no steps were taken to enforce them and as a matter of fact the Bloemhof district continued to be part of the Transvaal.
The award caused a strong feeling of resentment among the Boers, and led to the resignation of President Pretorius and his executive. The Boers now cast about to find a man who should have the necessary ability, as they said, to negotiate on equal terms with the British authorities should any future dispute arise. With this view they asked Mr (afterwards Sir John) Brand, president of the Free State, to allow them to nominate him for the presidency of the South African Republic. Burgers becomes President, 1872.To this President Brand would not consent. He recognized that, even at this early stage of their history, the Transvaal Boers were filled with the wildest ideas as to what steps they would take in the future to counteract the influence of Great Britain. Brand intimated to many of the leading Transvaal Boers that in his opinion they were embarking on a rash and mistaken policy. He urged that their true interests lay in friendship with, not in hostility to, Great Britain and the British. Having failed with Brand, the Boers invited the Rev. Thomas François Burgers, a member of a well-known Cape Colony family and a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, to allow himself to be nominated. Burgers accepted the offer, and in 1872 was elected president. About this time gold reefs were discovered in the Zoutpansberg district near Marabastad, and a few gold seekers from Europe and Cape Colony began to prospect the northern portions of the Transvaal. The miners and prospectors did not, however, exceed a few hundred for several years.
The appointment of Burgers to the presidency in 1872 was a new departure. He was able, active and enlightened, but he was a visionary rather than a man of affairs or sound judgment. Instead of reducing chaos to order and concentrating his attention, as Brand had done in the Free State, on establishing security and promoting industry, he took up, with all its entanglements, the policy of intrigues with native chiefs beyond the border and the dream of indefinite expansion. In 1875 Burgers proceeded to Europe with the project of raising a loan for the construction of a railway to Delagoa Bay. He was empowered by the volksraad to raise £300,000, but with great difficulty he obtained in Holland the sum of £90,000 only, and that at a high rate of interest. With this inadequate sum some railway plant was obtained, and subsequently lay for ten years at Delagoa Bay, the scheme having to be abandoned for want of funds. On his return to the Transvaal in 1876 Burgers found that the conditions of affairs in the state was worse than ever. The acting-president had in his absence been granted leave by the volksraad to carry out various measures opposed to the public welfare; native lands had been indiscriminately allotted to adventurers, and a war with Sikukuni (Secocoeni), a native chief on the eastern borders of the country, was imminent. A commando was called out, which the president himself led. The expedition was an ignominious failure, and many burghers did not hesitate to assign their non-success to the fact that Burgers’s views on religious questions were not sound. Burgers then proceeded to levy taxes, which were never paid; to enrol troops, which never marched; and to continue the head of a government which had neither resources, credit nor power of administration. In 1877 the Transvaal one-pound notes were valued at one shilling cash. Add to this condition of things the fact that the Zulus were threatening the Transvaal on its southern border, and the picture of utter collapse which existed in the state is complete.
B. First Annexation by Great Britain.—This condition of affairs coincided with the second movement in South Africa for a confederation of its various colonies and states, a movement of which the then colonial secretary, the 4th earl of Carnarvon, was a warm advocate. As to the Transvaal in particular, it was felt by Lord Carnarvon “that the safety and prosperity of the republic would be best assured by its union with the British colonies.” Sir Theophilus Shepstone (q.v.) was given a commission, dated the 5th of October, 1876, instructing him to visit the Transvaal and empowering him, if it was desired by the inhabitants and in his judgment necessary, to annex the country to the British crown. Sir Theophilus went to Pretoria in January 1877, with an escort of twenty-five mounted police, and entered into conferences with the president and executive as to the state of the country. By this time Burgers was no longer blinded by the foolish optimism of a visionary who had woven finespun theories of what an ideal republic might be. He had lived among the Boers and attempted to lead their government. He had found their idea of liberty to be anarchy, their native policy to be slavery, and their republic to be a sham. His was a bitter awakening, and the bitterness of it found expression in some remarkable words addressed to the volksraad:
After careful investigation Shepstone satisfied himself that annexation was the only possible salvation for the Transvaal. He had gone to Pretoria hoping that the Transvaal volksraad would accept Carnarvon’s federation scheme; but the federation proposals were rejected by the raad. Shepstone was willing to find some way other than simple annexation out of the difficulty, but none appeared to present itself. The treasury was empty, the Boers refused to pay their taxes, and there was no power to enforce them. A public debt of £215,000 existed, and government contractors were left unpaid. Sir Theophilus Shepstone, finding that the raad would not adopt any remedial measures, on the 12th of April 1877 issued a proclamation annexing the country. The proclamation stated (among other things): “It is the wish of Her Most Gracious Majesty that it [the state] shall enjoy the fullest legislative privileges compatible with the circumstances of the country and the intelligence of its people.” British Annexation, 1877.The wisdom of the step taken by Shepstone has been called in question. For many years subsequently the matter was so surrounded with the sophistry of English party politics that it was difficult for Englishmen to form any impartial opinion. The history of the Transvaal is more complete and better understood to-day than it was in 1877, and no one who acquaints himself with the facts will deny that Shepstone acted with care and moderation. The best evidence in favour of the step is to be found in the publicly expressed views of the state’s own president, Burgers, already quoted. Moreover, the menace of attack on the Zulu side was a serious one, however able the Boers may have been to meet a foe who fought in the open, and who had been beaten by them in previous wars. Even before annexation had occurred, Shepstone felt the danger so acutely that he sent a message to Cetywayo, the Zulu chief, warning him that British annexation was about to be proclaimed and that invasion of the Transvaal would not be tolerated. To this warning Cetywayo, who, encouraged by the defeat of the Boers at Sikukuni’s hands, had already gathered his warriors together, replied: “I thank my father Somtseu [Shepstone] for his message. I am glad that he has sent it, because the Dutch have tired me out, and I intended to fight with them … and to drive them over the Vaal. …” A still further reason for Shepstone’s annexation, given by Sir Bartle Frere, was that Burgers had already sought alliance with European powers, and Shepstone had no reason to doubt that if Great Britain refused to interfere, Germany would intervene. Moreover, apart from the attitude of President Burgers, which cannot be said to have been one of active opposition, a considerable number of the Boers accepted the annexation with complacency. Burgers himself left the Transvaal a disappointed, heart-broken man, and a deathbed statement published some time after his decease throws a lurid light on the intrigues which arose before and after annexation. He shows how, for purely personal ends, Kruger allied himself with the British faction who were agitating for annexation, and to undermine him and endeavour to gain the presidency, urged the Boers to pay no taxes. However this may be, Burgers was crushed; but as a consequence the British government and not Paul Kruger was, for a time at least, master of the Transvaal. In view of his attitude before annexation, it was not surprising that Kruger should be one of the first men to agitate against it afterwards. The work of destruction had gone too far. The plot had miscarried. And so Kruger and Dr Jorissen, by whom he was accompanied, were the first to approach Lord Carnarvon with an appeal for revocation of the proclamation. Lord Carnarvon’s reply was that the act of annexation was an irrevocable one. Unfortunately the train of events in England favoured the intrigues of the party who wished the annexation cancelled. In 1878 Lord Carnarvon resigned, and there were other evidences of dissension in the British cabinet.
Kruger, who since the annexation had held a salaried appointment under the British Government, again became one of a deputation to England. His colleague was Piet Joubert. They laid their case before Sir Michael Hicks Beach (who had succeeded Lord Carnarvon) but met with no success. Sir Michael, however, in a despatch dated September the 16th 1878, reiterated the intention of the British cabinet to grant the state “to the utmost practicable extent, its individuality and powers of self-government under the sovereignty of the queen.” On the occasion of Kruger’s second mission to endeavour to get the annexation revoked Sir T. Shepstone determined to dispense with his further services as a government servant, and terminated the engagement. In the beginning of 1879 Shepstone was recalled and Colonel Owen Lanyon, who had served in Bechuanaland and was then administrator of Griqualand West, was appointed administrator in the Transvaal. In the meantime, the Zulu forces which threatened the Transvaal had been turned against the British, and the disaster of Isandhlwana occurred. Rumours of British defeat soon reached the Transvaal, and encouraged the disaffected party to become bolder in their agitation against British rule. Agitation for independence.Thus Sir Bartle Frere wrote at the time: “All accounts from Pretoria represent that the great body of the Boer population is still under the belief that the Zulus are more than a match for us, that our difficulties are more than we can surmount, and that the present is the favourable opportunity for demanding their independence.” In April Frere visited Pretoria and conferred with the Boers. He assured them that they might look forward to complete self-government under the Crown, and at the same time urged them to sink political differences and join hands with the British against their common enemy, the Zulus. The Boers, however, continued to agitate for complete independence, and, with the honourable exception of Piet Uys, a gallant Boer leader, and a small band of followers, who assisted Colonel Evelyn Wood at Hlobani, the Boers held entirely aloof from the conflict with the Zulus, a campaign which cost Great Britain many lives and £5,000,000 before the Zulu power was finally broken. In June Sir Garnet Wolseley went to South Africa as commander of the forces against the Zulus, and as high commissioner “for a time,” in the place of Sir Bartle Frere, of the Transvaal and Natal. Meantime Frere’s proposals to fulfil the promises made to grant the Boers a liberal constitution were shelved. After the “settlement” of the Zulu question, Sir Garnet Wolseley proceeded to Pretoria and immediately organized an expedition against Sikukuni, who throughout the Zulu campaign had been acting under the advice of Cetywayo. Sikukuni’s stronghold was captured and his forces disbanded.
Sir Garnet Wolseley now assured the Boers at a public gathering that so long as the sun shone the British flag would fly at Pretoria. In May 1880 he returned to England, having established in the Transvaal a legislative council with powers so limited as to convince many of the Boers that there was no intention of fulfilling Shepstone’s promises. Meanwhile events in Great Britain had once more taken a turn which gave encouragement to the disaffected Boers. Already in November 1879 Gladstone had conducted his Midlothian campaign. In one speech, referring to Cyprus and the Transvaal, he said: “If those acquisitions were as valuable as they are valueless, I would repudiate them, because they were obtained by means dishonourable to the character of our country.” And in another speech he said that the British had insanely placed themselves in the strange predicament of the free subjects of a monarchy going to coerce the free subjects of a republic. Effect of Mr Gladstone’s Speeches in England.Expressions such as these were translated into Dutch and distributed among the Boers, and they exercised a good deal of influence in fanning the agitation already going on in the Transvaal, So keenly were the Midlothian speeches appreciated by the Boers that the Boer committee wrote a letter of thanks to Gladstone, and expressed the hope that should a change in the government of Great Britain occur, “the injustice done to the Transvaal might find redress.” In April 1880, this change in the British Government did occur. Gladstone became prime minister, and shortly afterwards Frere was recalled. Could events be more auspicious for the party seeking retrocession? On being directly appealed to by Kruger and Joubert, Gladstone however replied that the liberty which they sought might be “most easily and promptly conceded to the Transvaal as a member of a South African Confederation.” This was not at all what was wanted, and the agitation continued. Meanwhile in the Transvaal, concurrently with the change of prime minister and high commissioner, the administrator, Colonel Lanyon, began vigorously to enforce taxation among the Boers. Men who would not pay taxes to their own appointed governments, and who were daily expecting to be allowed to return to that condition of anarchy which they had come to regard as the normal order of things, were not likely to respond willingly to the tax-gatherer’s demands. That many of them refused payment in the circumstances which existed was natural.
In November matters were brought to a head by the wagons of a farmer named Bezuidenhout being seized in respect of the non-payment of taxes, and promptly retaken from the sheriff by a party of Boers. Outbreak of War, 1880.Lanyon began to recognize that the position was becoming grave, and telegraphed to Sir George Colley, the high commissioner of South-East Africa, for military aid. This, however, was not immediately available, and on the 13th of December the Boers in public meeting at Paardekraal resolved once more to proclaim the South African Republic, and in the meantime to appoint a triumvirate, consisting of Kruger, Pretorius and Joubert, as a provisional government. Within three days of the Paardekraal meeting a letter was sent to the administrator demanding the keys of the government offices. Formal proclamation of the republic was made on the 16th of December (Dingaan’s Day) at Heidelberg. Hostilities forthwith began. Meanwhile pressure was put on the British prime minister to carry out the policy he had avowed while out of office. But it was not until Great Britain was suffering from the humiliation of defeat that he was convinced that the time for granting that retrocession had arrived. The first shots fired were outside Potchefstroom, which was then occupied by a small British garrison (see Potchefstroom). On the 20th of December some 240 men under Colonel Anstruther, chiefly belonging to the 94th Regiment, while marching from Lydenburg to Pretoria, were surprised at Bronkhorst Spruit, and cut up by the Boer forces. Half the men were killed and wounded; the other half including some officers, were taken prisoners. Captain Elliot, one of the prisoners, who had been released on parole, was shot dead by Boers while crossing the Vaal, and Captain Lambert, another paroled prisoner who accompanied Elliot, was also shot, but escaped. Pretoria, Rustenberg, Lydenburg, and other smaller towns had been placed in a position of defence under the directions of Colonel Bellairs, who remained in command at Pretoria, the garrison consisting of a small number of troops and the loyal inhabitants. Sir George Colley, with about 1400 men, marched towards the Transvaal frontier, but before reaching it he found, on the 24th of January 1881, that the Boers had already invaded Natal and occupied Laing’s Nek. He pitched his camp at Ingogo. Majuba Hill, 1881.Having been defeated at Laing’s Nek, and suffered considerable loss in an engagement near Ingogo, Colley took a force to the top of Majuba, a mountain overlooking the Boer camp and the nek. He went up during the night, and in the morning was attacked and overwhelmed by the Boers (Feb. 27). Of the 554 men who constituted the British force on Majuba, 92 were killed and 134 wounded, Sir George Colley himself being amongst those who were slain.
Ten days previous to the disaster at Majuba Sir Evelyn Wood had arrived at Newcastle with reinforcements. On Colley’s death he assumed command. Negotiations had been opened with the Boers before the attack on Majuba and the British cabinet refused to allow that disaster to influence their action. On the 6th of March a truce was concluded and on the 21st terms of peace were arranged between the Boer triumvirate and Sir Evelyn Wood. The most important of these terms were that the Transvaal should have complete internal self-government under British suzerainty and that a British resident should be stationed at Pretoria. Another article reserved to her majesty “the control of the external relations of the said state, including the conclusion of treaties and the conduct of diplomatic intercourse with foreign powers,” and the right to march troops through the Transvaal. The boundaries of the state were defined, and to them the Transvaal was strictly to adhere. These terms practically conceded all that the Boers demanded, and were never regarded as anything else than surrender either by the Boers or the loyalists in South Africa. The agreement had hardly been concluded when Sir Frederick Roberts arrived at the Cape with 10,000 troops, and after spending forty-eight hours there returned to England.
In the meantime, while the British general was making a treaty under the instructions of British ministers on the frontier, the beleaguered garrisons of Pretoria, Potchefstroom, and other smaller towns were gallantly holding their own. The news of the surrender reached Pretoria through Boer sources, and when first received there was laughed at by the garrison and inhabitants as a Boer joke. When the bitter truth was at length realized, the British flag was dragged through the dust of Pretoria streets by outraged Englishmen. Presently there assembled in Pretoria a commission to elaborate the terms of peace. On the one side were the Boer triumvirate, on the other Sir Evelyn Wood, Sir Hercules Robinson (Frere’s successor in the high commissionership), and Sir J. H. de Villiers, chief justice of Cape Colony, while President Brand of the Orange Free State gave the commission the benefit of his advice. The terms agreed upon were drawn up in the form of a convention and signed (Aug. 3). Pretoria Convention.The preamble to the Pretoria Convention of 1881 contained in brief but explicit terms the grant of self-government to the Boers, subject to British suzerainty, In later years, when the Boers desired to regard the whole of this convention (and not merely the articles) as cancelled by the London Convention of 1884, and with it the suzerainty, which was only mentioned in the preamble, Mr Chamberlain, a member of the cabinet of 1880–1885, pointed out that if the preamble to this instrument were considered cancelled, so also would be the grant of self-government.
The government of the state was handed over to the triumvirate on the 8th of August and was continued in their name until May 1883, when Kruger was elected president.
C. From the Retrocession to 1899.—The retrocession of the Transvaal was a terrible blow to the loyalists. The Boers, on the other hand, found themselves in better plight than they had ever been before. Their native foes had been crushed by British forces; their liabilities were consolidated into a debt to Great Britain, to be repaid at convenience and leisure—as a matter of fact, not even interest was paid for some time. If ever a small state was well treated by a large one, the Transvaal was so in the retrocession of 1881. Unfortunately, this magnanirnity was forthcoming after defeat. It appeared as though a virtue had been made of a necessity, and the Boers never regarded it in any other light.
The new volksraad had scarcely been returned and the Pretoria Convention ratified (Oct. 25) before a system of government concessions to private individuals was started. The New Régime.These concessions, in so far as they prejudiced the commerce and general interests of the inhabitants, consisted chiefly in the granting of monopolies. Among the first monopolies which were granted in 1882 was one for the manufacture of spirituous liquor. The system continued steadily down to 1899, by which time railways, dynamite, spirits, iron, sugar, wool, bricks, jam, paper and a number of other things were all of them articles of monopoly. In 1882 also began that alteration of the franchise law which subsequently developed into positive exclusion of practically all save the original Boer burghers of the country from the franchise. In 1881, on the retrocession, full franchise rights could be obtained after two years’ residence; in 1882 the period of residence was increased to five years. Meanwhile the land-hunger of the Boers became stimulated rather than checked by the regaining of the independence of their country. On the western border, where the natives were of less warlike character than those on their southern and northern frontiers, intrigues were already going on with petty tribal chiefs, and the Boers drove out a portion of the Barolongs from their lands, setting up the so-called republics of Stellaland and Goshen. This act called forth a protest from the 15th Lord Derby (now secretary of state for the colonies), stating that he could not recognize the right of Boer freebooters to set up governments of their own on the Transvaal borders. This protest had no effect upon the freebooters, who issued one proclamation after another, until in November 1883 they united the two new republics under the title of the “United States of Stellaland.” Simultaneously with this “irresponsible” movement for expansion, President Kruger proceeded to London to interview Lord Derby and endeavour to induce him to dispense with the suzerainty, and to withdraw other clauses in the Pretoria Convention on foreign relations and natives, which were objectionable from the Boer point of view. Moreover, Kruger requested that the term “South African Republic” should be substituted for Transvaal State.
The result was the London Convention of the 27th of February 1884. In this document a fresh set of articles was substituted for those of the Pretoria Convention of 1881. In the articles of the new convention the boundaries were once more defined, concessions being made to the Transvaal on the Bechuanaland frontier, and to them the republic was bound to “strictly adhere.” In what followed it must always be remembered that Lord Derby began by emphatically rejecting the first Boer draft of a treaty on the ground that no treaty was possible except between equal sovereign states. London Convention, 1884.Moreover, it is undeniable that Lord Derby acted as though he was anxious to appear to be giving the Boers what they wanted. He would not formally abolish the suzerainty, but he was willing not to mention it; and though, in substituting new articles for those of the Pretoria Convention he left the preamble untouched, he avoided anything which could commit the Boer delegates to a formal recognition of that fact. On the other hand, he was most indignant when in the House of Lords he was accused by Lord Cairns of impairing British interests and relinquishing the queen’s suzerainty. He declared that he had preserved the thing in its substance, if he had not actually used the word; and this view of the matter was always officially maintained in the colonial office (which, significantly enough, dealt with Transvaal affairs) whatever the political party in power. Unfortunately, the timid way in which it was done made as in efface able an impression on Kruger even as the surrender after Majuba. Article 4 stated:
The other article to which the greatest interest was subsequently attached was art. 14:
Notwithstanding the precise fixing of the boundaries of the republic by the London Convention, President Kruger endeavoured to maintain the Boer hold on Goshen and Stellaland, Territorial Expansion Efforts.but the British government on this point proved firm, and an expedition set out in 1884 under Sir Charles Warren, broke up the freebooters’ two states, and occupied the country without a shot being fired (see Bechuanaland). The expedition cost Great Britain a million and a half, but the attempt at farther extension westwards was foiled, and a little later treaties with Lobenguela and the grant to Cecil Rhodes and his co-directors of a charter for the British South Africa Company put a check on designs the Boers held to expand northward (see Rhodesia). On the eastern border a similar policy of expansion was followed by the Boers, and in this instance with more success. Following up the downfall of the Zulu power after the British conquest in 1879, several parties of Boers began intriguing with the petty chiefs, and in May 1884, in the presence of 10,000 Zulus, they proclaimed Dinizulu, the son of Cetywayo, to be king of Zululand (see Zululand). As a “reward” for their services to the Zulus, the Boers then took over from them a tract of country in which they established a “New Republic.” In 1886 the “New Republic” with limits considerably narrowed, was recognised by Great Britain, and the territory became incorporated with the Transvaal in 1888. Their eastern boundary, in the teeth of the spirit of the conventions, and with but scant observance of the letter, was by this means considerably extended. A similar policy eventually brought Swaziland almost entirely under their dominion (see Swaziland). At the same time President Kruger revived the project of obtaining a seaport for the state, one of the objects of Boer ambitions since 1860 (vide supra). Kruger endeavoured to acquire Kosi Bay, to the north of Zululand and only 50 m. east of the Swazi frontier. Meanwhile, events occurring within the state augured ill for the future of the country. In 1884 a concession to a number of Hollander and German capitalists of all rights to make railways led to the formation of the Netherlands Railway Company. This company, which was not actually floated till 1887, was destined to exercise a disastrous influence upon the fortunes of the state. Economic Developments: Gold Industry.Gold digging had hitherto enjoyed in the Transvaal but a precarious existence. In 1883 the discovery of Moodie’s Reef near the Kaap Valley led to a considerable influx of diggers and prospectors from the colonies and Europe, and by 1884 the Sheba Mine had been opened up, and Barberton, with a population of 5000 inhabitants, sprung into existence. In 1886 the Rand goldfields, which had just been discovered, were proclaimed and Johannesburg was founded. From that time the gold industry made steady progress until the Rand gold mines proved the richest and most productive goldfield in the world. As the industry prospered, so did the European population increase. The revenue of the state went up by leaps and bounds. At the end of 1886 Johannesburg consisted of a few stores and some few thousand inhabitants. In October 1896 the sanitary board census estimated the population as 107,078, of whom 50,907 were Europeans. The wealth which was pouring into the Boer state coffers exceeded the wildest dreams of President Kruger and his followers. Land went up in value, and farms, many of them at comparatively remote distances from the goldfields, were sold at enormously enhanced prices. In fact, so attractive did this sale of land become to the Boers that they eventually parted with a third of the whole land area of the country to Uitlander purchasers. Yet in spite of the wealth which the industry of the Uitlanders was creating, a policy of rigid political exclusion and restriction was adopted towards them.
An attempt was made in 1888, after the conference held between Cape Colony, the Orange Free State and Natal, to induce the Transvaal to enter a customs union. Relations with the rest of South Africa.Kruger would have none of it, although by so doing he could have obtained permission for a settlement at and railway to Kosi Bay. A convention to this effect was signed in August 1890, the Transvaal being allowed three years in which to take advantage of its provisions. Kruger’s design at this time was to bring the whole of the external trade of the state, which was growing yearly as the gold industry developed, through Delagoa Bay and over the Netherlands railway. His hostility towards Great Britain and even Cape Colony led him to adopt a commercial policy both narrow and prejudicial to the interests of the gold industry. In the appointment of F. W. Reitz as president of the Orange Free State (January 1889) on the death of Sir John Brand, Kruger recognized a new opportunity of endeavouring to cajole the Free State. Brand had arranged, in the teeth of the strongest protests from Kruger, that the Cape railway should extend to Bloemfontein and subsequently to the Vaal river. Kruger now endeavoured to control the railway policy of the Free State, and induced that republic to agree to a treaty whereby each state bound itself to help the other whenever the independence of either should be threatened or assailed, unless the cause of quarrel was, in the eyes of the state called in to assist, an unjust one (see Orange Free State).
In 1890 a feeling of considerable irritation had grown up among the Uitlanders at the various monopolies, but particularly at the dynamite monopoly, which pressed solely and with peculiar severity upon gold miners. Oligarchical Restrictions.Requests for consideration in the matter of the franchise, and also for a more liberal commercial policy in the matter of railways, dynamite and customs dues, began to be made. In response Kruger enacted that the period of qualification for the full franchise should now be raised to ten years instead of five. He at the same time instituted what was called a second chamber, the franchise qualifications for which were easier, but which was not endowed with any real power. During this year Kruger visited Johannesburg, and what was known as “the flag incident” occurred. He had by this time rendered himself somewhat unpopular, and in the evening the Transvaal flag, which flew over the landdrost’s house, was pulled down. This incensed Kruger so much that for many years he continued to quote it as a reason why no consideration could be granted to the Uitlanders.
By 1892 the Uitlanders began to feel that if they were to obtain any redress for their grievances combined constitutional action was called for, and the first reform movement began. Uitlander Grievances.The Transvaal National Union was formed. This consisted at the outset chiefly of mercantile and professional men and artisans. The mining men, especially the heads of the larger houses, did not care at this juncture to run the risk of political agitation. The Hon. J. Tudhope, an ex-minister in the Cape government, was elected chairman of the union. The objects of this body were avowed from the outset. They desired equal rights for all citizens, the abolition of monopolies and abuses, together with the maintenance of the state’s independence. In the furthering of this policy Tudhope was supported by Charles Leonard and his brother James Leonard, at one time attorney-general of Cape Colony. Both the Leonards, as well as many of their followers, were South Africans by birth. They, in common with the great bulk of the Uitlanders, recognized that the state had every right to have its independence respected. But they asserted that a narrow and retrogressive policy, such as Kruger was following, was the very thing to endanger that independence. The soundness of these views and the legitimacy of Uitlander aspirations were recognized by a few Boer officials at Pretoria. Some prominent burghers even spoke at Uitlander meetings in favour of the Uitlander requests. At a later date, Chief Justice Kotze, when on circuit, warned the Boers that in its retrogressive action the government was undermining the grondwet or constitution of the state. It soon became evident that one course, and one only, lay open to President Kruger if he desired to avert a catastrophe. It was to meet in a friendly spirit those men who had by their industry converted a poor pastoral country into a rich industrial one, who represented more than half the inhabitants, who paid more than three fourths of the revenue, and who were anxious to join him as citizens, with the rights of citizenship. He chose a course diametrically opposite. In an interview accorded to seven delegates from the National Union, in 1892, he told Charles Leonard to “go back and tell your people that I shall never give them anything. I shall never change my policy. And now let the storm burst.” In 1894 there occurred an incident which not only incensed the Uitlanders to fury, but called for British intervention. Commandeering incident, 1894.A number of British subjects resident in the Transvaal, in spite of their having no political status, were commandeered to suppress a native rising. This led to a protest, and eventually a visit to Pretoria, from Sir Henry Loch the high commissioner. In the negotiations which followed, President Kruger at length agreed to extend “most favoured nation” privileges to British subjects in reference to compulsory military service, and five British subjects who had been sent as prisoners to the front were released. This result was not, however, achieved before President Kruger had done his utmost to induce Sir Henry Loch to promise some revision in favour of the Transvaal of the London Convention. Following this incident came a further alteration in the franchise law, making the franchise practically impossible to obtain. At a banquet given in honour of the German emperor’s birthday in Pretoria in January 1895, Kruger referred in glowing terms to the friendship of Germany for the Transvaal, which in the future was to be more firmly established than ever. This speech was public evidence of what was known to be going on behind the scenes. German Flirtation.The German consul at Pretoria at this juncture as a volatile, sanguine man, with visionary ideas of the important part Germany was to play in the future as the patron and ally of the South African Republic, and of the extent to which the Bismarckian policy might go in abetting an anti-British campaign. Whether he deceived himself or not, he led President Kruger and the Boers to believe that Germany was prepared to go to almost any length in support of the Transvaal if any opportunity occurred. His influence was an undoubted factor in the Kruger policy of that time.
The Delagoa Bay railway being at length completed to Pretoria and Johannesburg, Kruger determined to take steps to bring the Rand traffic over it. Drifts Incident.The Netherlands railway began by putting a prohibitive tariff on goods from the Vaal river. Not to be coerced in this manner, the Rand merchants proceeded to bring their goods on from the Vaal by wagon. Kruger then closed the drifts (or fords) on the river by which the wagons crossed. He only reopened them after the receipt of what was tantamount to an ultimatum on the subject from Great Britain.
In May 1895, on the urgent representations of Sir Henry Loch, the British government annexed Tongaland, including Kosi Bay, thus making the British and Portuguese boundaries conterminous on the coast of south-east Africa. In the previous month certain native territories between Tongaland and Swaziland had been annexed by Great Britain. Boer Road to the Sea Blocked.The Boers, who had failed to fulfil the conditions under which they might have secured Kosi Bay, nevertheless resented this action, which took away from them all chance of obtaining a seaport. Kruger telegraphed that “this annexation cannot be regarded by this government otherwise than as directed against this republic. They must therefore regard it as an unfriendly act, against which they hereby protest.” The protest was unheeded, the British government having realized the international complications that might ensue had the Transvaal a port of its own.
At this time the Uitlanders formed a majority of the population, owned half the land and nine-tenths of the property, and they were at least entitled to a hearing. When in August 1895 they forwarded one of their many petitions praying for redress of their grievances and an extension of the franchise, their petition, with over 35,000 signatures, was rejected with jeers and insult. One member of the Raad, during a debate in the chamber, called upon the Uitlanders to “come on and fight” for their rights if they wanted them. The words were but the utterance of an individual Raad member, but they were only a shade less offensive than those used by Kruger in 1892, and they too accurately describe the attitude of the Boer executive. In September a meeting of the chambers of mines and commerce was held at Johannesburg, and a letter on various matters of the greatest importance to the mining industry was addressed to the Boer executive. It was never vouchsafed an answer. What the next step should be was freely discussed. Some urged an appeal to the Imperial government; but others, especially men of colonial birth and experience, objected that they would be leaning on a broken reed. That men who had still the memory of Majuba in their hearts should have felt misgiving is not to be wondered at. At this juncture (October 1895) came overtures to the leading Uitlanders from Cecil Rhodes, then prime minister of Cape Colony, and from Dr Jameson, leading to the Jameson Raid. The “Jameson Plan.”To one or two men this scheme, subsequently known as the Jameson Plan, had been revealed in the previous June, but to the majority even of the small group of leaders it was not known till October or November 1895. The proposition came in a tempting hour. Rhodes and Jameson, after considerable deliberation, came to the conclusion that they might advantageously intervene between Kruger and the Uitlanders. They induced Alfred Beit, who was an old personal friend of Rhodes, and also largely interested in the Rand gold mines, to lend his co-operation. They then submitted their scheme to some of the Uitlander leaders. Between them it was arranged that Jameson should gather a force of 800 men on the Transvaal border; that the Uitlanders should continue their agitation; and that, should no satisfactory concession be obtained from Kruger, a combined movement of armed forces should be made against the government. The arsenal at Pretoria was to be seized; the Uitlanders in Johannesburg were to rise and hold the town. Jameson was to make a rapid march to Johannesburg. Meanwhile, in order to give Kruger a final chance of making concessions with a good grace, and for the purpose of stating the Uitlander case to the world, Charles Leonard, as chairman of the National Union, issued a historic manifesto, which concluded as follows:—
We have now only two questions to consider: (a) What do we want? (b) How shall we get it? I have stated plainly what our grievances are, and I shall answer with equal directness the question, What do we want? We want: (1) the establishment of this republic as a true republic; (2) a grondwet or constitution which shall be framed by competent persons selected by representatives of the whole people and framed on lines laid down by them—a constitution which shall be safeguarded against hasty alteration; (3) an equitable franchise law, and fair representation; (4) equality of the Dutch and English languages; (5) responsibility to the heads of the great departments of the legislature; (6) removal of religious disabilities; (7) independence of the courts of justice, with adequate and secured remuneration of the judges; (8) liberal and comprehensive education; (9) efficient civil service, with adequate provision for pay and pension; (10) free trade in South African products. That is what we want. There now remains the question which is to be put before you at the meeting of the 6th of January, viz. How shall we get it? To this question I shall expect from you an answer in plain terms according to your deliberate judgment.
The Jameson conspiracy fared no worse and no better than the great majority of conspiracies in history. It failed in its immediate object. Jameson did not obtain more than 500 men. Johannesburg had the greatest difficulty in smuggling in and distributing the rifles with which the insurgents were to be armed. The scheme to seize the Pretoria fort had to be abandoned, as at the time fixed Pretoria was thronged with Boers. Finally, to make confusion worse confounded, Jameson, becoming impatient of delay, in spite of receiving direct messages from the leaders at Johannesburg telling him on no account to move, marched into the Transvaal.
The policy of delay in the execution of the plot which the Uitlander leaders found themselves compelled to adopt was determined by a variety of causes. Apart from the difficulty of obtaining arms, a serious question arose at the eleventh hour which filled some of the Uitlanders with mistrust. The reform leaders in the Transvaal, down to and including the Johannesburg rising, had always recognized as a cardinal principle the maintenance of the independence of the state. From Cape Town it was now hinted that the movement in which Jameson was to co-operate should, in Rhodes’s view, be carried out under the British flag. A meeting of Uitlander leaders was hastily summoned on the 25th of December. Two messengers were that night dispatched to interview Rhodes, who then gave the assurance that the flag question might be left to a plebiscite of the inhabitants of the Transvaal (see Blue-book, 1897, 165, p. 21). It was determined nevertheless to postpone action; however, on the 29th of December, Jameson started, and the news of his having done so reached Johannesburg from outside sources. A number of leading citizens were at once formed into a reform committee. Collapse of Jameson Raid.In the absence of Charles Leonard, who had been sent as one of the delegates to Cape Town to interview Rhodes, Lionel Phillips, a partner in Messrs Eckstein & Co., the largest mining firm on the Rand, was elected chairman. Phillips had been for three years in succession chairman of the chamber of mines, and he had persistently for several years tried to induce Kruger to take a reasonable view of the requirements of the industry. Under the supervision of the reform committee, such arms as had been smuggled in were distributed, and Colonel Frank Rhodes was given charge of the armed men. A large body of police was enrolled, and order was maintained throughout the town. On the end of January 1896 Jameson, who found himself at Doornkop in a position surrounded by Boers, surrendered. Jameson and his men were conveyed to Pretoria as prisoners, and subsequently handed over to the high commissioner (Sir Hercules Robinson, who had succeeded Sir Henry Loch in June 1895).
The Kaiser’s TelegramSignificant of the attitude of Germany—whose “flirtation” with the Transvaal has been noted—was an open telegram sent by the emperor William II. the day after the surrender of Jameson congratulating Kruger that, “without appealing to the help of friendly powers” he had repelled the raiders. The British government rejoined by commissioning a flying squadron and by calling attention to the London Convention, reserving the supervision of the foreign relations of the Transvaal to Great Britain. In Johannesburg meanwhile the Kruger government regained control. The whole of the reform committee (with the exception of a few who fled the country) were arrested on a charge of high treason and imprisoned in Pretoria. In April, at the trial, the four leaders—Lionel Phillips, Frank Rhodes, J. H. Hammond and George Farrar, who in conjunction with Charles Leonard had made the arrangements with Jameson—were sentenced to death, the sentence being after some months’ imprisonment commuted to a fine of £25,000 each. The rest of the committee were each sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, £2000 fine or another year’s imprisonment, and three years’ banishment. This sentence, after a month's incarceration, was also commuted. The fine was exacted, and the prisoners, with the exception of Woolls Sampson and W. D. (Karri) Davies, were liberated on undertaking to abstain from politics for three years in lieu of banishment. Messrs Sampson and Davies, refusing to appeal to the executive for a reconsideration of their sentence, were retained for over a year.
Sir Hercules Robinson was unfortunately in feeble health at the time, and having reached Pretoria on the 4th of January, he had to conduct negotiations under great physical disadvantage. The Surrender of Johannesburg.He had no sooner learnt of the raid in Cape Town than he issued a proclamation through Sir Jacobus de Wet, the British resident at Pretoria, warning all British subjects in Johannesburg or elsewhere from aiding and abetting Jameson. This was freely distributed among the public of Johannesburg. While in Pretoria the high commissioner in the first instance addressed himself to inducing Johannesburg to lay down its arms. He telegraphed to the reform committee that Kruger had insisted “that Johannesburg must lay down arms unconditionally as a precedent to any discussions and consideration of grievances.” On the following day, the 7th of January, Sir Hercules telegraphed again through the British agent, who was then at Johannesburg, saying: “That if the Uitlanders do not comply with my request they will forfeit all claims to sympathy from Her Majesty’s government and from British subjects throughout the world, as the lives of Jameson and the prisoners are now practically in their hands.” The two thousand odd rifles which had been distributed among the Uitlanders were then given up. With regard to the inducements to this step urged upon the reform committee by the high commissioner, it is only necessary to say with reference to the first that the grievances never were considered, and with reference to the second it subsequently appeared that one of the conditions of the surrender of Jameson’s force at Doornkop was that the lives of the men should be spared. It was after the Johannesburg disarmament that Kruger had sixty-four members of the reform committee arrested, announcing at the same time that his motto would be “Forget and forgive.” Sir Hercules Robinson, in response to a message from Mr Chamberlain, who had been secretary of state for the colonies since July 1895, urging him to use firm language in reference to reasonable concessions, replied that he considered the moment inopportune, and on the 15th of January he left for Cape Town. In 1897 he was succeeded in the high commissioner ship by Sir Alfred Milner.
After the Raid.In the period which intervened between the Jameson raid and the outbreak of the war in October 1899 President Kruger’s administration continued to be what it had been; that is to say, it was not merely bad, but it got progressively worse. His conduct immediately after Johannesburg had given up its arms, and while the reform committee were in prison, was distinctly disingenuous. Instead of discussing grievances, as before the Johannesburg disarmament he had led the high commissioner to believe was his intention, he proceeded to request the withdrawal of the London Convention, because, among other things, “it is injurious to dignity of independent republic.” When Kruger found that no concession was to be wrung from the British government, he proceeded, instead of considering grievances, to add considerably to their number. The Aliens Expulsion and Aliens Immigration Laws, as well as the new Press Law, were passed in the latter part of 1896.
In 1897 a decision of Chief Justice Kotze was overruled by an act of the volksraad. This led to a strong protest from the judges of the high court, and eventually led to the dismissal of the chief justice, who had held that office for over twenty years, and during the whole of that time had been a loyal and patriotic friend to his country. An industrial commission appointed during this year by President Kruger fared no better than the high court had done. The commission was deputed to inquire into and report on certain of the grievances adversely affecting the gold industry. Its constitution for this purpose was anomalous, as it consisted almost entirely of Transvaal officials whose knowledge of the requirements of the industry was scanty. In spite of this fact, however, the commission reported in favour of reform in various directions. They urged, among other things, due enforcement of the liquor law, more police protection, the abolition of the dynamite concession, and that foodstuffs should be duty free. These recommendations made by President Kruger's own nominees were practically ignored. In 1898, to strengthen his relations with foreign powers, Kruger sent the state secretary, Dr Leyds, to Europe as minister plenipotentiary, his place on the Transvaal executive being taken by Mr Reitz, the ex-president of the Free State. At home Kruger continued as obdurate as ever. In January 1899 Mr Chamberlain pointed out in a despatch to President Kruger that the dynamite monopoly constituted a breach of the London Convention. To help the Transvaal government out of its difficulty, and to make one more effort towards conciliation, the financial houses of Johannesburg offered to lend the Transvaal government £600,000 wherewith to buy out the dynamite company, and so terminate the scandal and bring some relief to the industry, The offer was not accepted. Meantime Sir Alfred Milner had also endeavoured to induce the Transvaal government to grant the necessary reforms, but his efforts were equally unavailing (see Milner, Viscount). In March the Uitlanders, hopeless of ever obtaining redress from President Kruger, weary of sending petitions to the Raad only to be jeered at, determined to invoke intervention if nothing else could avail, and forwarded a petition to Queen Victoria. Petition to the Queen.This petition, the outcome of the second Uitlander movement for reform, was signed by 21,000 British subjects, and stated the Uitlander position at considerable length. The following extract conveys its general tenor:—
In response to this appeal, Mr Chamberlain, in a despatch dated the 10th of May, proposed a conference at Pretoria. Six days before Sir Alfred Milner had telegraphed to London a summary of the situation, comparing the position of the Uitlanders to that of helots and declaring the case for intervention to be overwhelming. Neither of these dispatches was made public at the time. But on the very day Mr Chamberlain wrote his despatch the friends of the Transvaal government in Cape Colony and the Orange Free State invited Sir Alfred Milner to meet President Kruger at Bloemfontein, hoping to be able to exert pressure on both parties and to arrange a settlement as favourable as possible to the Transvaal. Bloemfontein Conference.The conference opened on the 31st of May and closed on the 5th of June. It no sooner opened than it was evident that Kruger had come to obtain, not to grant, concessions. He offered, it is true, a seven years’ franchise law in place of the five years’ franchise which Sir Alfred Milner asked for. But apart from the relief suggested being entirely inadequate, it was only to be given on certain conditions, one of which was that all future disputes which might arise between the Transvaal and the Imperial government should be referred to a court of arbitration, of which the president should be a foreigner. No arrangement was possible on such terms. Meanwhile feeling was running high at Johannesburg and throughout South Africa. Meetings were held in all the large towns, at which resolutions were passed declaring that no solution of the Transvaal question would be acceptable which did not provide for equal political rights for all white men. Sir Alfred Milner urged the home government strongly to insist upon a minimum of reform, and primarily the five years’ franchise; and Mr Chamberlain, backed by the cabinet, adopted the policy of the high commissioner.
D. The Crisis of 1899.—A state of extreme diplomatic tension lasted all the summer. The British public, in whom there had always been the latent desire to retrieve the surrender to the Boers which had followed the disaster at Majuba, were at last awakened by the ministerialist press to the necessity of vindicating British influence in South Africa, and the government soon found that, in spite of a highly articulate Radical minority, the feeling of the country was overwhelmingly behind them. It was not then realized either by the public or the government how seriously, and with what considerable justification, the Boers believed in their ability, if necessary, to sweep the British “into the sea.” President Kruger had every expectation of large reinforcements from the Dutch in the two British colonies; he believed that, whatever happened, Europe would not allow Boer independence to be destroyed; and he had assured himself of the adhesion of the Orange Free State, though it was not till the very last moment that President Steyn formally notified Sir Alfred Milner of this fact. The Boers profoundly despised the military power of Great Britain, and there was no reason why they, any more than Germany or France, should contemplate the possibility of the empire standing together as a whole in such a cause. In England, on the other hand, it was thought by most people that if a firm enough attitude were adopted Mr Kruger would “climb down,” and the effect of this error was shown partly in the whole course of the negotiations, partly in the tone personally adopted by Mr Chamberlain. It was only later that it was seen that if Great Britain intended effectually to champion the Uitlander cause, the moment for a test of strength had inevitably arrived. Negotiations could only bring the conflict a little nearer, delay it a little longer, or supply an opportunity to either side to justify its action in the eyes of the world. The conditions of the problem were such that unless Great Britain were to accept a humiliating rebuff, any correspondence, however skilfully conducted, was bound to bring into greater prominence the standing causes of offence between the two sides. The exchange of dispatches soon led to a complete impasse. The persistent attempt of the South African Republic to assert its full independence, culminating in a formal denial of British suzerainty, made it additionally incumbent on Great Britain to carry its point as to the Uitlander grievances, while, from Mr Kruger’s point of view, the admission of the Uitlanders to real political rights meant the doom of his oligarchical regime, and appeared in the light of a direct menace to Boer supremacy. The franchise, again, was an internal affair, in which the convention gave Great Britain no right to interfere, while if Great Britain relied on certain definite breaches of the convention, satisfaction | for which was sought in the first place in such a guarantee of amendment as the Uitlander franchise would involve, the Boer answer was an offer of arbitration, a course which Great Britain could not accept without admitting the South African Republic to the position of an equal. Here was material enough for an explosion, even if personal misunderstandings and aggravations, adding fuel to the fire, had not naturally occurred (or even been deliberately plotted) during the negotiations. But the truth was that the Boers thought they stood to gain by fighting, while the British, though not expecting war, and acting up till the last month or so on the assumption that serious military preparations were either unnecessary or sufficiently unlikely to be necessary to make them politically inexpedient, had with no less confidence committed themselves to a policy which was impracticable on peaceful terms.
After July the tactics of the Boer executive were simply directed towards putting off a crisis till the beginning of October, when the grass would be growing on the veld, and meanwhile towards doing all they could in their dispatches to put the blame on Great Britain. At last they drafted, on the 27th of September, an ultimatum to the British government. But, although ready drafted, many circumstances conspired to delay its presentation. Meanwhile, the British war office began to act. Certain departmental details were dispatched to South Africa to form a working nucleus for military bases, and early in September the cabinet sanctioned the despatch to Natal from India of a mixed force, 5600 strong, while two battalions were ordered to South Africa from the Mediterranean. Sir George White was nominated to the chief command of the forces in Natal, and sailed on the 16th of September, while active preparations were set on foot in England to prepare against the necessity of dispatching an army corps to Cape Town, in which case the chief command was to be vested in Sir Redvers Buller. Fortunately, although the draft of an ultimatum was lying in the state secretary’s office in Pretoria, the Boers, unprepared in departmental arrangements which are necessary in large military operations, were unable to take the field with the promptitude that the situation demanded. They consequently forfeited many of the advantages of the initiative.
The military strength of the two republics was practically an unknown quantity. It was certain that, since the troublous times of 1896, the Transvaal had greatly increased its armaments; but at their best, except by a very few, the Boers were looked upon by British military experts as a disorganized rabble, which, while containing many individual first-class marksmen, would be incapable of maintaining a prolonged resistance against a disciplined army. As was to be subsequently shown, the hostilities were not confined to opposition from the fighting strength of the two little republics alone; the British had to face Dutch opposition in their own colonies. The total fighting strength of the Boer republics is difficult to ascertain exactly. General Botha stated that there were 83,000 burghers from 15 to 65 years of age on the commando lists. Lord Kitchener put the total number of combatants on the Boer side at 95,000 (Cd. 1790, p. 13). The British official History of the War gave the number as 87,000; another calculation, based on the number killed, taken prisoner and surrendered, made the total 90,000. In the second (1901) rebellion of the Cape Dutch about 8000 joined the burgher forces. The number of Boers in the field at any one period was probably little more than 40,000. But the fact that it was to a large extent a struggle with a nation in arms doubled the numbers of the force that the Transvaal executive was able to draw upon. The bulk of the Dutch levies were organized on the burgher system—that is, each district was furnished with a commandant, who had under him field-cornets and assistant field-cornets, who administered the fighting capacity of the district. Each field-cornet, who, with the commandant, was a paid official of the state, was responsible for the arms, equipment and attendance of his commando.
The plan of campaign which found favour with the Boers, when they determined to put their differences with Great Britain to the test by the ordeal of the sword, was to attack all the principal British towns adjacent to their own borders; at the same time to despatch a field army of the necessary dimensions to invade and reduce Natal, where the largest British garrison existed. It is not too much to suppose that the executive in Pretoria had calculated that the occupation of Durban would inspire the entire Dutch nation with a spirit of unanimity which would eventually wrest South Africa from the British. On paper the scheme had everything to recommend it as the expedient most likely to bring about the desired end. But the departmental executive could not launch the Natal invading force as early as had been anticipated, and it was not until the 9th of October that the ultimatum was presented to Sir (then Mr) Conyngham Greene, the British agent at Pretoria. The scheduled demands were as follow:—
The Ultimatum.“a. That all points of mutual difference shall be regulated by the friendly course of arbitration, or by whatever amicable way may be agreed upon by the government with Her Majesty’s Government.
“b. That the troops on the borders of this republic shall be instantly withdrawn.
“c. That all reinforcements of troops which have arrived in South Africa since the 1st of June 1899 shall be removed from South Africa within a reasonable time, to be agreed upon with this government, and with a mutual assurance and guarantee on the part of this government that no attack upon or hostilities against any portion of the possessions of the British Government shall be made by the republic during further negotiations within a period of time to be subsequently agreed upon between the governments, and this government will, on compliance therewith, be prepared to withdraw the armed burghers of this republic from the borders.
“d. That Her Majesty’s troops now on the high seas shall not be landed in any part of South Africa.”
To these demands the Transvaal government required an answer within 48 hours.
There could be only one reply, and on Wednesday, the 11th of October 1899, at five o’clock p.m., a state of war existed between the British government and the two Boer republics. On the following day the Boer attack on an armoured train at Kraaipan, a railway station in Cape Colony south of Mafeking and close to the western frontier of the Transvaal, witnessed the first hostile shot of a bloody war, destined to plunge South Africa into strife for two years and a half. (H. Ch.)
E. The War of 1899–1902.—For the purposes of history the South African War may be conveniently divided into five distinct periods. Stages of the War.The first comprises the Boer invasion, terminating with the relief of Ladysmith on the 28th of February. The second, the period of Boer organized resistance, may be said to have finished with the occupation of Komati Poort in October 1900 (a month after Lord Roberts’s formal annexation of the Transvaal) and the flight of President Kruger. The third may be characterized as a period of transition; it marks the adoption in earnest of a guerrilla policy on the part of the enemy, and an uncertain casting about on the part of the British for a definite system with which to grapple with an unforeseen development. This phase endured up to the failure of the Middelburg negotiations in March 1901. The next stage was that which saw the slow building up of the blockhouse system and the institution of small punitive columns, and may be considered to have extended until the close of 1901. The fifth, and last period—which, after all other expedients had failed, finally brought the residue of uncaptured and unsurrendered burghers to submission—was the final development of the blockhouse system, wedded to the institution of systematic “driving” of given areas, which operations were in force until the 31st of May 1902, when peace was ratified at Pretoria.
The first of these periods saw the severest fighting of the campaign. It opened with the investment of Mafeking by a Transvaal force under P. A. Cronje and the envelopment of Kimberley by Free State commandos under General Wessels. But these were minor operations. Operations in Natal.The main Boer effort was made in Natal, where their forces were commanded by P. J. Joubert, while Lieut.-General Sir George White was the British commander-in-chief. The northern part of Natal presented two faces of a triangle to the two enemies, the short base being formed by the Tugela river. Close to the head of the triangle at Dundee and Glencoe was posted a small British force under Major-General Sir W. Penn Symons. Against this force there advanced a Boer force under Lukas Meyer from the east, and, more slowly, the foremost portion of the main Boer army from the north, while at the same time other Transvaalers descended upon the railway between Glencoe and Ladysmith, and the Free Staters from the passes of the Drakensberg advanced towards Ladysmith, the British centre of operations at which the reinforcements sent from India gathered. On the 20th of October the Dundee brigade vigorously and successfully attacked Talana Hill, and drove back Lukas Meyer, but this success was dearly bought. Symons was mortally wounded, and 226 officers and men were killed and wounded. Half the mounted men lost their way in attempting to pass the enemy’s flank and were taken, and the brigade, threatened to its left rear by Joubert’s advance and by the force that had seized the railway, only escaped being enveloped by retreating upon Ladysmith, where it arrived in an exhausted state on the 26th of October. Meanwhile Sir George White had discovered the Boer force on the railway, and, though anxious on account of the advance of the Free Staters, on the 21st, stimulated by the news of Talana, he sent out a force of all arms under General (Sir John) French to drive the Boers from Elandslaagte and so to clear Symons’s line of retreat. This was accomplished by French and his subordinate, Colonel (Sir) Ian Hamilton, in the action of Elandslaagte on the 21st of October (British losses, 258 all ranks). But on the 22nd the Free Staters’ advance caused the victorious force to be recalled to Ladysmith, and the third action north of that town, Rietfontein (24th), was only a demonstration to cover the retirement of the Dundee force. By the 29th of October all the British forces at the front and their reinforcements had fallen in on Ladysmith, which the Transvaalers on the north and east and the Free Staters on the west side began to invest. Before the junction of the two allied wings was complete Sir George White attempted by a general attack to break up their line. The result of this decision was the battle of Lombard’s Kop, outside Ladysmith, in which the whole of the available British force was engaged. The engagement was disastrous to the British, who had undertaken far too comprehensive an attack, and the Natal Field Force was obliged to fall back upon Ladysmith with the loss of 1500 men, including a large number of prisoners belonging to the left column under Lieut.-Colonel F.R.C. Carleton, who were cut off at Nicholson’s Nek and forced to surrender by a mixed force of Transvaalers and Free Staters under Christian de Wet. From that day the rôle of the Natal Field Force was changed from that of a mobile field army into that of a garrison, and two days later it was completely isolated, but not before General French had succeeded in escaping south by train, and the naval authorities had been induced by Sir George White’s urgent appeals to send into the town a naval brigade with a few guns of sufficient range and calibre to cope with the heavy position artillery which Joubert was now able to bring into action against the town.
Buller’s Arrival.General Sir Redvers Buller, who had been appointed to the supreme command in South Africa as soon as it was perceived that war was imminent—his force being one army corps in three divisions, the divisional generals being Lord Methuen, Sir W. Gatacre and Sir C. F. Clery—arrived in Cape Town, ahead of his troops, on the day following Lombard’s Kop. The situation which presented itself was delicate in the extreme. In Natal practically the whole of the available defence force was swallowed up by the steady success of the invasion; on the western frontier two British towns were isolated and besieged; and Boer commandos were on the point of invading Cape Colony, where the Dutch population seemed on the verge of rebellion. The army corps was about to arrive, practically as a whole unit, in South Africa; but it was evident that the exigencies of the situation, and the widely divided areas of invasion, would at least defer the execution of the plan which had been formed for an invasion of the Orange Free State from Cape Colony. The first duty was to effect the relief of the British forces which had been rendered immobile, and another duty imposed by political circumstances was to relieve Kimberley (where Cecil Rhodes was), while the prospect of rebellion forbade the complete denudation of the central part of the colony. Thus Sir Redvers Buller had no choice but to disintegrate the army corps. Clery and some brigades were sent to Natal; Gatacre with less than a brigade, instead of a division, was dispatched to Queenstown, Cape Colony; while Lord Methuen, with a division, was sent off to relieve Kimberley. As November wore on, the situation did not improve. Cape Colony was invaded; while in Natal a flying column of Boers, pushing down from the Tugela, for a short time isolated the newly-arrived force under General (Sir) H. J. T. Hildyard, which opposed Joubert’s advance on Pietermaritzburg at Estcourt. The situation in Natal seemed so serious that on the 22nd of November Sir Redvers Buller left Cape Town and sailed for Durban. In the meantime Lord Methuen had commenced his march to the relief of Kimberley. He encountered resistance at Belmont on the 23rd, but attacking resolutely he drove the Boers out of their strong positions. Failures of Methuen and Gatacre.Two days later he won another action at Enslin. Still persevering he moved on to the Modder, where he was seriously opposed by De la Rey and P. A. Cronje, the latter having posted down from Mafeking with 2000 men and arrived on the previous night. The Boers, who held a river line, kept the British attack at bay all day, but eventually fell back, relinquishing the position after dark, as their right had been turned by General Pole-Carew’s brigade. It was a long and wearing fight, in which the British lost 485 killed and wounded, and what was more serious, Lord Methuen (himself wounded) found that his force had exhausted its forward momentum, and that he would have to collect supplies and reinforcements on the Modder before lighting his next battle. The extent of the operations and the gravity of the situation now began to be felt in England; every available man was called up from the reserves, and the war office made what at the time appeared to be adequate provision for the waste which it was seen would occur. On the 30th of November the mobilization of a sixth division was ordered, offers of colonial aid were accepted, and every facility provided for local recruiting in the South African ports. Thus in the early days of December confidence was considerably restored. Buller was arranging for the relief of Ladysmith, which had already shown its spirit by two successful sorties against the besiegers’ batteries. In every theatre the British strength was consolidating. But the full significance of the situation presented by these two small nations in arms had not yet been appreciated. The confidence restored by the lull during the early part of December was destined to be roughly shattered. On the 10th of December Gatacre essayed a night march and attack upon the enemy’s position at Stormberg, and, misled by his guides in unknown ground, was himself surprised and forced to return with a loss of 719. On the following day Lord Methuen delivered an attack upon Cronje’s position between the Upper Modder river and the Kimberley road, a line of kopjes called Spytfontein and Magersfontein. In a night attack on Magersfontein hill the Highland brigade came under heavy fire while still in assembly formation, and lost its general, A.G. Wauchope, and 750 men, and in the battle by day which followed the other brigades were unable to retrieve the failure, the total losses amounting to about 950. But even this could be suffered with equanimity, since Buller was about to bring his own force into play, and Buller, it was confidently supposed, would not fail. He had collected at Chieveley in Natal a brigade of mounted men, four brigades of infantry and six batteries of artillery, and he carried with him the trust alike of the army and the nation.
Buller’s Failure. Lord Roberts sent out.On the 15th of December Buller made his effort and failed. Behind the Tugela at Colenso were Louis Botha’s forces covering the siege of Ladysmith, and, imperfectly acquainted with the topography, Buller sent a force to turn Botha’s left, in conjunction with a frontal attack. But the flank attack became entangled in mass in a loop of the river and suffered heavily, and two batteries that formed part of the frontal attack came into action within a few hundred yards of unsuspected Boer trenches, with the result that ten guns were lost, as well as in all some 1100 men. Buller then gave up the fight. The full nature of the failure was not realized by the British public, nor the spirit in which the general had received the finding of fortune. He lost heart, and actually suggested to White the surrender of Ladysmith, believing this to be inevitable and desiring to cover White’s responsibility in that event with his own authority; but White replied that he did not propose to surrender, and the cabinet at home, aware of Buller’s despondency, appointed Field Marshal Lord Roberts to the supreme command, with Major-General Lord Kitchener as his chief of staff. A wave of military enthusiasm arose throughout the empire, and as the formation of a seventh division practically drained the mother-country of trained men, a scheme for the employment of amateur soldiers was formulated, resulting in the despatch of Imperial Yeomanry and Volunteer contingents, which proved one of the most striking features of the South African campaign. Pending the arrival of Lord Roberts and reinforcements, the situation in South Africa remained at a deadlock: the three besieged towns—Mafeking, Kimberley and Ladysmith—still held their own, but no headway was made by the relief columns; all they could do was to stand on the defensive. The only bright spot, as far as the British were concerned, was to be found in northern Cape Colony, where General French, with two cavalry brigades and details, by his skilful tactics and wonderful activity kept at arm’s length a superior force of the enemy in the vicinity of Colesberg, an achievement the more noteworthy since he had pitted against him both De la Rey and De Wet, two of the three men of military genius produced by the war on the Boer side. On the 6th of January the Boers in Natal made a desperate attempt to storm Ladysmith. The garrison, though already weakened by privation and sickness, made a stubborn resistance, and after one of the fiercest engagements of the war, repulsed the attack at Caesar’s Camp and Wagon Hill with severe loss to the enemy, itself having 500 casualties.
When Lord Roberts arrived in Cape Town on the 10th of January 1900 the three garrisons were still invested, and the relieving forces were still maintaining their rôle of passive resistance, while at the same time restraining the Dutch in Cape Colony. The commander-in-chief’s first duty was to create a field army out of the tangle of units in Cape Colony. In the meantime, Sir Redvers Buller, who had been reinforced by Sir Charles Warren and the 5th division, essayed a second attempt to cross the Tugela, by turning the Boer left. But much time was consumed and the plan underwent several modifications before its execution began in earnest on the 16th of January. Warren was placed in command of the main body, which crossed the Tugela at Trichardt’s Drift on the 17th and 18th. Spion Kop.The mounted troops engaged a Boer force north-west of the point of passage, but were brought back to take part in a general right wheel of the forces of the Tugela, pivoting on Trichardt’s Drift. But meantime the mobile enemy, whose original flank had been turned, had gathered at the new centre of gravity, and the upshot of several days’ fighting was the retreat of the British. They had penetrated the enemy’s right centre by the seizure of Spion Kop, but the force there became the target for the concentrated attacks of the Boers, and, after suffering heavily, was withdrawn (Jan. 24, 1900), with a loss of 1700 men.
By the 1st of February Lord Roberts had matured his plans and begun to prepare for their execution. On the 3rd of February he ordered a demonstration against the right of the Boer position at Spyffontein-Magersfontein to cover the withdrawal of General French and the cavalry from before Colesberg, and the concentration of his army at Modder River, disregarding another set-back in Natal to Sir Redvers Buller, who had against his advice made a third attempt to relieve Ladysmith on the 5th of February, and failed to make good the purchase which he secured across the Tugela. (Vaal Krantz).
Roberts’s Advance.Lord Roberts’s plan was first to concentrate to his left, taking every measure to induce the Boers to believe that the original scheme of invasion by the centre would now be resumed, and in this purpose he succeeded so well that his field army with the necessary transport for a cross-country march was assembled between the Orange and the Modder without serious mishap. Cronje at the new centre of gravity was not reinforced, all available Boers drawing down towards Colesberg. The concentration effected, Cronje still believed that the relief of Kimberley was the object of the gathering behind Modder River, and therefore held on to his Magersfontein kopje. The relief of Kimberley was indeed urgent, for dissensions between Rhodes and the military authorities had become acute. But to this part of the task only the cavalry division assembled under French was assigned. The army itself was to force Cronje into the open and then advance on Bloemfontein from the west. Roberts began his operations on the 11th of February. French started from Ramdam (near Graspan) eastward on that day, intending to make a wide sweep round Cronje’s immobile army. Skirmishing with De Wet in the first stages of their ride, the cavalry brigades crossed the Modder at Klip Drift on the 13th. Cronje sent only detachments to oppose them, but these detachments were broken through by a sword-in-hand charge of the whole division, and Kimberley was relieved on the 15th. The infantry, meeting with great difficulties in its crossing of the Riet at Waterval owing to the country and its own unwieldy transport, followed 1½ to 2 days later. Paardeberg.But Cronje had now realized his danger, and slipped away westward behind French and in front of the leading infantry at Klip Drift. This was deflected by Kitchener westward to follow up the Boer rearguard, and after some delay the remainder of the infantry, at first fronting northwards, swerved westward likewise, while French from Kimberley, with such of his men as he could mount on serviceable horses, headed off Cronje in the north-west. The result, after one premature and costly assault on Cronje’s lines had been made by Kitchener, was the surrender of 4000 Boers at Paardeberg with their leader on the 29th of February, the anniversary of Majuba. At the same moment came in news at last of the relief of Ladysmith.
It was part of Roberts’s purpose to relieve the pressure in Natal by his own operations. Relief of Ladysmith.Buller began his fourth advance on the 14th of February, and though this was checked the foothold gained was not abandoned, and a fifth and last attempt (Pieter’s Hill) was successful. Ladysmith was relieved on the 28th of February. It had fared worst of all the beleaguered garrisons, and its 22,000 inhabitants were almost at their last gasp when relief came. The casualties from shell-fire had been few, but those from sickness were very heavy. Buller’s operations, too, had cost at Colenso 1100 men, at Spion Kop 1700, at Vaalkrantz 400, and now in the last long-drawn effort 1600 more—over 5000 in all. But the tide of war had changed. The Natal invaders fell back to the mountains which enclose the north of the colony; Oliver and Schoeman retired from Cape Colony before the small forces of Gatacre and Clements; and the presidents of the republics, realizing that the British Empire was capable of more resistance than they had calculated upon, put forward feelers aiming at the restoration of the status quo before the war. These proposals were rejected by Lord Salisbury: there could be no end now but a complete destruction of the Boer power.
The surrender of Cronje and the relief of Ladysmith for the time being paralysed the Boer resistance. Two half-hearted attempts were made on the 7th and 10th of March, at Poplar Grove and Driefontein, to stem Lord Roberts’s advance upon Bloemfontein, President Kruger himself arriving on the scene to give confidence to his burghers; but the demoralization was so great that neither the military genius of the few nor the personal influence of the president could bolster up an adequate resistance, Capture of Bloemfontein.and on the 13th of March 1900 Lord Roberts’s army marched into the Free State capital. This great move was persevered in and accomplished, in spite of the fact that at the very outset of the cross-country march (February 13) the great body of transport which had been collected at Ramdam had been cut off by De Wet (who had stayed on the Riet after French had shaken him off). It was therefore only made possible at all by reducing the rations of the fighting men to a minimum and by undertaking the risks of changing the line of communication three times. Naturally and necessarily the capture of Bloemfontein was followed by a period of reaction. It was not until the 29th of March that the new railway communication recommenced to feed the army. In the meantime rebellion had broken out in the Prieska district of Cape Colony, which was promptly quelled by Lord Kitchener. The halt at Bloemfontein was marked by the publication of proclamations, offering protection to the burghers, which, however, the invaders had not yet the power to fulfil. The enforced halt was unfortunate; it not only resulted in a bad outbreak of enteric, but it gave the Boers time to recuperate, and by the beginning of April they again took the initiative. The death of their commandant general, Piet Joubert, on the 28th of March, seemed to mark a change in the fortunes of the Republican army. Christian De Wet, who had first come into prominence as the captor of Lord Roberts’s convoy at Waterval, and was now operating east and south-west of Bloemfontein in order to counteract the influence of Roberts’s numerous flying columns which rode hither and thither offering peace, added to his laurels by ambushing Broadwood’s mounted brigade and horse artillery at Sannah’s Post, just outside Bloemfontein, on the 31st of March. Four days later he reduced a detachment at Reddersburg, and then went south and invested Colonel Dalgety and a mixed force at Wepener, which was relieved after ten days by General Hunter’s Ladysmith division, brought round to Aliwal North from Natal.
Relief of Mafeking.These successes, if they retarded Roberts’s progress, at least enabled him to rearrange his forces in accordance with the new situation at leisure, and to re-establish his transport, rail and wheeled, and on the 1st of May the main army moved northwards upon the Transvaal capital. The main advance was taken with one cavalry and three infantry divisions (the cavalry commanded by French, and the infantry divisions by Generals Tucker, Pole-Carew and Ian Hamilton). Rundle’s division took the right of the advance; Methuen and Hunter moving from Kimberley, formed the left. Kelly Kenny, Colvile and Chermside held the communications based on Bloemfontein. A flying column detached from Hunter, under Mahon, in conjunction with Colonel H. C. O. Plumer’s Rhodesian levies from the north, on the 17th of May relieved Mafeking, where Colonel (Lieut.-General Sir) R. S. S. Baden-Powell had throughout shown a bold front and by his unconventional gaiety as well as his military measures had held off the assault until the last. The same day the Natal Field Force under Buller moved up into the Biggarsberg and occupied Dundee. On the 10th of May Lord Roberts had crossed the Sand River; on the 12th of May he entered Kroonstad. After a halt of eight days at Kroonstad, the main army again moved forward, and, meeting but small resistance, marched without a halt into Johannesburg, which was occupied on the 31st of May, the Orange Free State having been formally annexed by proclamation three days earlier. Capture of Pretoria.On the 30th of May President Kruger fied with the state archives, taking up his residence at Waterval Boven on the Komati Poort line. The gold mines were now securely in the possession of the British, and on the 5th of June Lord Roberts’s army occupied the capital of the Transvaal practically Without resistance, setting free about 3000 British prisoners of war detained there.
It had been anticipated that the occupation of both the capitals would have brought the hostilities to a close, but this was not the case, and though after the 5th of June regular resistance was at an end, the army of occupation had still to face two years of almost unprecedented partisan warfare. Diamond Hill.On the 8th of June Sir Redvers Buller, who had made a long halt after the relief of Ladysmith and reorganized his army and its line of communication, forced his way over Alleman’s Nek, and on the following day occupied Laing’s Nek, the Natal gate to the Transvaal, while the field marshal fought a widespread battle against Botha, De la Rey and Kemp at Diamond Hill, 20 m. east of Pretoria. The object of this action was to push back the Boers from the neighbourhood of Pretoria, but no sooner was this done than the north-western Transvaal became active, in spite of Hunter’s and Baden-Powell’s advance from Mafeking through this district. As the British line of operations now extended eastward from Pretoria, the advance of these Boers to the Magaliesberg threatened their rearward communications, and as Buller had moved far more slowly than the main army there was not as yet an alternative line through Natal. Most serious of all was the pressure between Bloemfontein and the Vaal, where the Free Staters, under De Wet and other commanders, had initiated the guerrilla as soon as Botha and the Transvaalers retired over the Vaal and ceased to defend them by regular operations. Prinsloo’s Surrender.Large forces had been left behind during the advance on Johannesburg for the protection of the railway and the conquered territory, and these were now reinforced from Kimberley and elsewhere as well as from detachments of the main army. These, under Sir Archibald Hunter and Sir Leslie Rundle, successfully herded Prinsloo with 4000 Free Staters into the Brandwater Basin (July 29)—a very satisfactory result, but one seriously marred by the escape of De Wet, who soon afterwards raided the Western Transvaal and again escaped between converging pursuers under Kitchener, Methuen, Smith-Dorrien, Ian Hamilton and Baden-Powell.
Before this Lord Roberts had initiated a movement from Pretoria to sweep down to Komati Poort on the Portuguese frontier, in which Buller, advancing across country from the south, was to co-operate. On the 26th to 27th of August the combined forces engaged and defeated Botha in the action of Belfast or Bergendal, with the result that the enemy dispersed into the bush-veld north of the Middelburg railway. On the 30th of August the remainder of the British prisoners were released at Nooitgedacht. On the 6th of September Buller, crossing the track of the main army at right angles, occupied Lydenburg in the bush-veld, and five days later the aged president of the republic took refuge in Lourenço Marques. Flight of Kruger.On the 13th of September Barberton was occupied by French, and on the 25th Komati Poort by Roberts’s infantry. From October the military operations were confined to attempts to reduce guerrilla commandos which had taken the field. Mr Kruger, deserting his countrymen, left for Europe in a Dutch man-of-war, and General Buller sailed for Europe. The Boer leaders definitely decided upon a guerrilla and a wearing policy, deliberately dispersed their field army, and then swelled and multiplied the innumerable local commandos. On the 25th of the month the ceremony of annexing the Transvaal was performed at Pretoria.
In November the prevailing opinion was that the war was over, and Lord Roberts, who had been appointed commander-in-chief at home, left South Africa, handing over the command to Lord Kitchener. Kitchener takes Command.Then followed a long period of groping for a means to cope with the development of guerrilla tactics, which for the next six months were at their zenith. The railway communications were constantly damaged, isolated posts and convoys captured, and the raiders always seemed able to avoid contact with the columns sent in pursuit. De Wet, after escaping from Brandwater Basin, was hunted north-westward, and crossed into the Transvaal, where, joining the local guerrilla bands, he surrounded an infantry brigade at Fredrikstad. Raids by De Wet.But, unable to reduce it, and threatened on all sides, he turned back. On the 6th of November he was severely handled and his guns and wagons captured at Bothaville. But this misadventure only stimulated him. His emissaries roused the Free Staters west of Bloemfontein, and disaffection broke out in Cape Colony to an alarming degree, while, as forerunners of the promised invasion, scattered bodies of Free Staters crossed the Orange River to swell the rebellion. From Bothaville De Wet made for Thaba Nchu, where the Bloemfontein garrison held a cordon of posts. These were traversed on the 16th of November and the raiders passed onto Bethulie capturing Dewetsdorp and 500 men en route. Pursued closely and finding the rivers in flood De Wet hid some of his men under Kritzinger near the Orange and himself doubled back, traversing again the line of posts east of Bloemfontein. Kritzinger, Hertzog and bodies of Cape rebels raided Cape Colony as soon as they were able to cros the Orange, and Hertzog penetrated so far that he exchanged shots on the Atlantic coast with a British warship. All that the British forces under Sir Charles Knox and others could do was to localize the raids and to prevent the spread of rebellion. Botha’s Successes.So far, however, energy and vigilance made them successful. Botha meanwhile held his own in the northern Transvaal, both against forces from Pretoria, Middelburg and Lydenburg, and against the Rhodesian Field Force under Sir F. Carrington, which had been sent up from Beira (by arrangement with the Portuguese) to southern Rhodesia. At the close of 1900 the commandos under the direct influence of Louis Botha attacked the railway posts on the Middelburg railway and captured Helvetia. De la Rey operated in the western Transvaal, and in concert with Beyers, whose presence in this region was not known to the British, he inflicted a sharp reverse on General R. A. P. Clements at Nooitgedacht in the Hekpoort valley on the 13th of December. Beyers then slipped away to the east, crossing the line between Johannesburg and Pretoria with impunity. Lord Kitchener called or more men, and on the 22nd of December the war office announced that 30,000 more mounted men would be dispatched to the seat of war.
With the opening of 1901 Lord Kitchener tried new schemes. He withdrew all his detached garrisons except in the most important centres, and set himself to make his railway communications perfectly secure. Concentration Policy.He determined to make the area of operations a waste, and instituted the concentration camps, into which he intended to bring the whole of the non-combatant inhabitants of the two republics. He dispatched French with a large force to clear the south-eastern districts of the Transvaal and for the rest maintained a force to watch De Wet, and organized a defence force in Cape Colony, while using the residue of his mounted men to sweep the country of stock, forage and inhabitants. Although there were no great disasters, the new policy was not prolific in success. The enemy invariably dispersed before superior forces, and the removal of the women and children from the farms did not have the effect of disheartening the burghers as had been anticipated—it rather mended their vitality by relieving them of responsibility for their families’ welfare. Nor were the Boer leaders destitute of comprehensive schemes. Botha arranged to penetrate Natal, De Wet to make a second attempt on the Colony, in connexion with Hertzog and Kritzinger. On the 10th of February De Wet, with five guns and 3000 men, carried out his promised invasion of Cape Colony. Passing the Bloemfontein–Thaba Nchu line a third time, he crossed the Orange to join Hertzog and rouse the Cape Dutch. But this invasion failed. By judicious use of the railway Kitchener concentrated sufficient troops in the colony to cope with the attempt, and, after being hunted for eighteen days, De Wet escaped back into the Orange River Colony with the loss of all his guns, munitions of war and half his force. In the northern Transvaal a force under Sir Bindon Blood cleared the country, but could not prevent Viljoen from escaping eastward to join Botha. Botha’s activity in the south-east caused Kitchener to despatch a large force under French thither. This swept the country up to the Swaziland border. But Botha escaped. On the 3rd of March, after various raids and adventures in company with Smuts and Kemp, De la Rey, the lion of the western Transvaal, essayed an attack upon Lichtenburg, in which he was heavily repulsed. Signs of weakness were now apparent, and as a result Louis Botha, acting with the authority of Schalk Burger, the representative of President Kruger, opened negotiations with Kitchener. A meeting took place at Middelburg, Transvaal, on the 28th of February. These negotiations, however, broke down mainly over the treatment to be awarded to Cape rebels.
The hostilities now entered upon a new phase. Blockhouse Policy.The establishment of a line of defensive posts between Bloemfontein and Ladybrand, though De Wet had three times traversed it, had given Kitchener an idea, and he resolved upon the scheme of fencing in areas by chains of blockhouses such as those already constructed for the protection of the railways. In the meantime, while these posts were under construction, the harrying of the commandos by mobile columns was continued. In March Babington, pursuing De la Rey after the latter’s Lichtenburg misadventure, captured three guns and six maxims near Ventersdorp. In April Plumer occupied Pietersburg, the last remaining seat of government open to the enemy. Rawlinson captured a laager and guns at Klerksdorp, and, though neither De Wet nor De la Rey had been brought to book, matters had so far improved in May that municipal government was given to Johannesburg, and a certain number of mines were allowed to recommence working. Kemp was defeated by Dixon at Vlakfontein, after a desperate encounter. June brought little of moment, though the Boers scored two minor successes, Kritzinger capturing the village of Jamestown in Cape Colony, and Müller reducing a force of Victorians at Wilmansrust, south of Middelburg. In July there were further evidences of weakness on the part of the Boers, and Botha applied for permission to communicate with Kruger. This was allowed, but, as Kruger advised a continuance of the struggle, the slow course of the war continued. In the meantime, the concentration camps were becoming filled to overflowing, and a steady stream of captures and surrenders were reducing the hostile power of the republics.
In August a proclamation was promulgated formally threatening the Boer leaders who should not surrender with permanent banishment from South Africa, but this proclamation had very little effect. Smuts, with a small force from the Magaliesberg, traversed Orange River Colony and stimulated the Cape rebels afresh. But September showed some slight improvement in the situation in Cape Colony, where French was in supreme command. On the 5th Scobell captured Lotter, who was subsequently executed for murder: though this was balanced a few days later by Smuts’s successful attack on the 17th Lancers at Tarkastad. In the south-eastern Transvaal Botha made a new effort to invade Natal, but, although he captured 300 men and three guns in an action on the 17th of September at Blood River Poort near Vryheid, his. plans were rendered abortive by his failure to reduce the posts of Mount Prospect and Fort Itala in Zululand, which he attacked on the 26th, and he only escaped with difficulty from the converging columns sent against him. Desultory fighting continued till the close of the year, the balance of success being with the British, though on the 30th of October Botha, returning from the south-east towards Pretoria, defeated Colonel Benson’s column at Bakenlaagte, Benson being killed. About the same time, the force in front of De la Rey and Kemp in the west being depleted to find the troops for larger operations, the Boers made a fierce surprise attack on Colonel Kekewich’s column at Moedville, in which Kekewich was wounded and his troops hard pressed for a time. De la Rey next attacked part of Methuen’s column near Zeerust, but was repulsed (Oct. 24). Affairs again took an unsatisfactory turn in Cape Colony, and on the 8th of October the whole colony was placed under martial law. In November an unsuccessful attempt was made by several columns to run De Wet to earth in the Lindley district, whither, after his second raid on Cape Colony, he had returned. But in December matters improved. The reverse at Bakenlaagte was repaired by a force under Bruce Hamilton. This swept the south-eastern Transvaal as French had done, and with no better effect, for Botha escaped. But the British commander thereupon began a constant succession of night marches and raids which practically blotted out the resistance in the eastern Transvaal. The corps of National Scouts (formed of burghers who had taken the oath of allegiance) was inaugurated and the Johannesburg stock exchange reopened. By the end of the year the blockhouse system was complete, but this phase of the war was destined to close badly as De Wet on Christmas Eve captured a large force of Yeomanry at Tweefontein, west of Harrismith.
With 1902 the last phase of this protracted struggle commenced. The blockhouse system was practically finished, and Kitchener determined upon a new means of harassing the enemy, who still had a total of about 25,000 men in the field. The “Drives.”But the blockhouses had already begun to serve the purpose for which they were designed. In the past the mobile columns, of which there were over sixty in the field, had always been bound to the railway for supply; now convoys could be pushed out to them along whatever blockhouse line they touched. In January Bruce Hamilton continued his successful night marches, and late in the month General Ben Viljoen was captured in the Leydenburg district. The only set-back was the descent which Beyers made upon Pietersburg, breaking into the concentration camp and carrying off a number of able-bodied refugees. Early in February Lord Kitchener commenced his first drive, and it was so successful that it was evident that the key to the situation had been found. First the country east of the line Bloemfontein–Vereeniging was swept four times over, then the method was employed in the Transvaal, east and west, and finally against the Cape rebels. There were a few small reverses, of which De la Rey’s successful rush upon Paris’s column and capture of Lord Methuen was the most important, but when some initial mistakes in the composition of the driving lines, which robbed the earlier drives of part of their effect, were made good, the system worked like a machine. The Boers were at last convinced of the futility of any attempt to prolong the struggle, and on the 23rd of March the representatives of the Boer governments came into Pretoria. Six weeks were spent in negotiation, and then a meeting of delegates, under the presidency of General Kemp, was held at Vereeniging.
As a result of this conference articles of peace were signed at Pretoria on the 31st of May, and the South African war was a history of the past. Peace of Vereeniging.The terms of peace may be condensed into the following points: (1) Surrender of all burghers in the field, with all arms and munitions of war; (2) all burghers duly declaring themselves subjects of King Edward VII. to be repatriated; (3) no burghers who should surrender to be deprived of either their liberty or property; (4) no proceedings to be taken against burghers for any legitimate acts of war during the period of hostilities; (5) the Dutch language to be taught in public schools on the request of parents, and to be allowed in courts of law; (6) sporting rifles to be allowed upon the taking out of licences; (7) the military administration to be superseded by civil administration as soon as possible, the civil administration to lead up to self-government; (8) the question of the native franchise not to be considered until after the introduction of self-government; (9) landed property not to be subjected to any special tax to defray the cost of the war; (10) a commission to be formed to facilitate the repatriation of the burghers, a grant of £3,000,000 being given as compensation for the destruction of farms.
In the whole war the British lost 5774 killed and 22,829 wounded, while the Boers lost about 4000 killed. The number of Boer prisoners in the hands of the British at the end of the war was about 40,000.
F. From the Annexation to 1911.—On the 4th of July 1900, a month after the occupation of Pretoria, a commission was issued to Lord Roberts authorizing him to annex the Transvaal. The proclamation of annexation was dated the 1st of September. Lord Roberts held the post of administrator of the colony until his departure for England in December following, when he was succeeded by Sir Alfred Milner, the high commissioner. It was not, however, until March 1901 that Milner, who resigned his governorship of Cape Colony, arrived at Pretoria to inaugurate a civil administration. Hostilities were still proceeding, but in the areas under control Lord Milner (who was raised to the peerage in May) speedily set the machinery of government in motion. The civil administration of justice began in April; in October a reformed judicial system, with Sir J. Rose Innes as chief justice, was put into operation; in 1902 this was followed by the establishment of a supreme court. Besides law, the important departments of finance and mines were organized, and steps taken to remedy the grievances of the commercial and mining classes. Sir David Barbour, who had presided over a commission to inquire into the concessions granted by the late republic, presented a valuable report in June, and suggested a tax of 10% on the profits of the gold mining industry, a suggestion carried out a year later (June 1902). Meantime Johannesburg had been given a town council, and some of the gold mines permitted to restart crushing (May 1901). In November of 1901 the main body of the Uitlanders were allowed to return to the Rand. They had fled the country immediately before the outbreak of war and had been living at the seaports. The Work of Reconstruction.While thus caring for the urban areas the administration was equally alive to the needs of the country districts. A commission which had been appointed to inquire into schemes of land settlement reported in June, and this was followed by the creation of a land board in December 1901. Lord Milner cherished the ideal of racial fusion by the establishment of British settlers on a large scale. He also recognized the necessity, if agriculture was to be developed, of an extensive system of irrigation, and Sir William Willcocks, formerly of the Egyptian Irrigation Department, was engaged to draw up a comprehensive scheme, having in view also the needs of the gold mines. Another department taken in hand was that of education; and the success which attended the opening of schools in the refugee camps was most striking. At the time the articles of peace were signed at Pretoria, more than 17,000 Boer children were being educated in these camps under the supervision of Mr E. B. Sargant.
This work of reconstruction was carried out in face of many difficulties other than those inherent to the undertaking. More than one plot on the part of Boers who had taken the oath of allegiance was hatched in Johannesburg, the most serious, perhaps, being that of Brocksma, formerly third public prosecutor under the republic. On the 15th of September 1901 Brocksma and several others were arrested as spies and conspirators. Letters to Dr Leyds and to Dr Krause of a treasonable character were found in Brocksma’s possession, and being found guilty of high treason he was shot (30th of September). Krause, who was then in London, was arrested, tried and convicted for attempting to incite to murder, and sentenced to imprisonment. In November another conspiracy, to seize Johannesburg with the help of General De la Rey, was discovered and frustrated. More injurious than plots of this nature was the political agitation carried on in Cape Colony and in Great Britain. This agitation was directed with particular virulence against the high commissioner, whose recall, it was asserted, would remove the chief obstacle to peace. Mr J. X. Merriman and Mr J. W. Sauer came to England in the summer of 1901 on a mission from the Cape Africanders, and received much encouragement from Radical politicians. Nevertheless, much had been done to establish order and restart commerce by the time peace was made.
After the signature of the articles of peace the work of reconstruction was accelerated. The end of the military government was signalled by the assumption (on the 21st of June) by Lord Milner of the title of governor of the Transvaal and by the creation of an executive council. The Boer leaders unreservedly accepted British sovereignty. Generals Botha, De Wet and De la Rey, however, paid a visit to England (August–September, 1902) in an unsuccessful endeavour to get the terms of peace modified in their favour; they received little encouragement from a tour they made on the continent of Europe. On their return to South Africa the Boer generals and their colleagues aided to some extent in the work of resettlement, but the seats offered to the Boers on the executive council were declined. The work of repatriation and resettlement was carried out by commissioners acting in conjunction with a central advisory committee at Pretoria. These supplied the people with food, shelter, stock and implements. The burgher and native concentration camps were rapidly broken up; by December 1902 only 7600 out of 70,000 were left in the burgher camps.
At this period Mr Chamberlain determined to visit South Africa and use his personal influence to help forward the settlement of the country. After the almost total cessation of commerce during the war, there was in the last half of 1902 and the beginning of 1903 a great impetus to trade. When Mr Chamberlain reached the Transvaal in January 1903 the feeling among the British section of the community was optimistic. Mr Chamberlain was well received by the Boer leaders; it was, however, to the Rand magnates that he turned for financial help. That large sums were imperatively needed to accomplish the work of reconstruction was apparent. An agreement was reached whereby a loan of £35,000,000, guaranteed by the imperial government, was to be raised for the benefit of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony; a further loan of £30,000,000 was to be issued in instalments of £10,000,000 and paid into the British exchequer as the Transvaal’s contribution towards the cost of the war. The first instalment of this loan, to be issued in 1904, was guaranteed by the great mining firms of Johannesburg. With the proceeds of the first loan the debt of the South African Republic was paid off, the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony railways were bought by the state, and new railways and other public works were undertaken. The £3,000,000 granted by the articles of peace, and other considerable sums, besides £7,000,000 from the loan, were expended on repatriation and compensation.
The efforts made by the administration to restore the Boers to the land, to develop the material resources of the country, and to remove all barriers to the intellectual and moral development of the people, were soon, however, hampered by severe commercial depression. Economic Depression and Chinese Labour.One of the least results of this depression was that the second war loan arranged by Mr Chamberlain was never issued, Great Britain finally (in 1906) abandoning all her claims. The commercial depression was due to many causes; of these the most apparent was the shortage of labour at the Rand mines. When work restarted after the war, the mine owners offered the Kaffir workmen little more than half the wages paid in 1898; but this effort at economy was abandoned, and the old rates of pay were restored in January 1903. Nevertheless, the labour available continued to be very much below the needs of the mines. The consequent small gold output meant a serious decrease of revenue, which was not compensated for by the heavy tax levied on the output of the Premier diamond mine, where operations began in 1903. Finally, to enable them to work their mines to their full capacity, the Rand houses asked for leave to import Chinese labourers. Milner, anxious above everything else to obtain sufficient revenue to carry on his work of reconstruction, gave his consent to the experiment. The home government concurred, and during 1904–1906 over 50,000 Chinese were brought to the Rand on three-years’ indentures. The objections to the introduction of the Chinese, urged in South Africa, in Great Britain and in other parts of the British Empire, are discussed under South Africa: History, § D.; here it need only be added that in the Transvaal the point upon which all parties were agreed was that no new racial or economic complications should be permitted; and these were guarded against by the restriction of the coolies to unskilled labour in the gold mines and by their compulsory repatriation. By the introduction of the Chinese the gold output from the mines was greatly increased, with the result that the Transvaal suffered less than any other part of South Africa from the restriction of commerce, which lasted for several years.
The discussions in the legislative council on the Chinese coolie question had been accompanied by a demand on the part of the Boers that such an important step should not be taken “without the constitutional approval of the white people of the Transvaal”; and after the importation of the coolies had begun, the agitation for the grant of representative institutions grew in volume. The British government was also of opinion that the time was near for the setting up of such institutions, and the pending grant of a constitution to the Transvaal was announced in parliament in July 1904. Meantime the existing (nominated) legislative council was dealing with another and a vital phase of the Asiatic question. There were in the Transvaal some 10,000 British Indians, whose right to “enter, travel or reside” in the country was secured by the London convention of 1884. Under republican rule these Indians—who were mainly small shopkeepers, but included some professional men of high standing—had suffered many restrictions, and their cause had been espoused by the British government. Position of British Indians.Nevertheless, under British rule their situation was in no way improved, and a determination was shown by the European inhabitants of the Transvaal further to restrict their privileges and at the same time to stop the immigration of other Indians. In this matter the Boer and British sections of the community were in agreement, and they had the support of the Transvaal government and of the other South African colonies. The problem was both economic and racial, and on both grounds South Africans showed a determination to exclude the competition of Indians and other Asiatics. Mr Alfred Lyttelton (who had succeeded Mr Chamberlain as secretary of state for the colonies) endeavoured to meet the wishes of the Transvaal by sanctioning legislation which would greatly restrict the immigration of Indians, but he would allow no tampering with the rights of Indians already in the colony. In 1907 the royal assent was given to bills restricting the immigration of Asiatics and providing for the registration of all Asiatics in the country.
Self-Government—the Botha Ministry.In accordance with the promise made in 1904 a constitution for the Transvaal on representative lines was promulgated by letters patent on the 31st of March 1905; but there was already an agitation for the immediate grant of full self-government, and on the accession to office of the Campbell-Bannerman administration in December 1905 it was decided to accede to it. New letters patent were issued (December 12, 1906), and the first general election (February 1907) resulted in the return of a majority belonging to Het Volk, a Boer organization formed for political purposes. (See further, South Africa: History, § D.) Sir Richard Solomon, it was thought, might have formed a coalition cabinet, but he was among the defeated candidates. Lord Selborne, who had during 1905 succeeded Lord Milner as high commissioner and governor of the Transvaal, entrusted General Botha with the formation of a ministry. Botha chose as his colleagues Messrs J. C. Smuts (colonial secretary), Jacob de Villiers (attorney-general), H. C. Hull (colonial treasurer), J. F. B. Rissik (minister of lands and native affairs) and E. P. Solomon (minister of public works). These were all men of progressive, in some respects democratic, views, and in thus forming his cabinet General Botha showed his determination not to be dominated by the “back veld” Boers. Botha was strengthened in his attitude by the firm action of the Progressive (i.e. the ex-Uitlander) party, which secured 21 seats (out of a total of 69) in the legislative chamber, entirely in the Rand and Pretoria districts, and was led by Sir George Farrar and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. The government, which obtained an imperial guarantee for a loan of £5,000,000, announced that while there would be no wholesale repatriation of Chinese, the labour ordinance under which they were recruited would not be renewed, and by February 1910 all the Chinese coolies had returned home. At the same time successful efforts were made by the ministry to increase the supply of Kaffir labour for the mines. In the re-establishment of the field cornets and in other directions a return was made to the republican forms of administration, and on the education question an agreement satisfactory to both the British and Dutch-speaking communities was reached. Ample facilities were given for the teaching of Dutch, but it was provided that no pupil should be promoted to a higher standard unless he (or she) was making satisfactory progress in the knowledge of English.
One of the first problems which confronted the Botha ministry was the attitude to be adopted towards the other British colonies in South Africa. The Union Movement.Lord Milner, by the creation of an inter-colonial board—which administered the railways of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony and controlled the constabulary of both colonies—and in other ways (e.g. the inclusion of the Transvaal in the South Africa customs union), had endeavoured to pave the way for federation. Mr Chamberlain when in South Africa in 1903 had also put forward federation as the desired goal. The existence of the inter-colonial council hampered, however, the freedom of the Transvaal government, and steps were taken to determine it. Nevertheless, on economic as well as political grounds, the leaders of both parties in the Transvaal were prepared to consider favourably the proposals put forward by Dr Jameson at the close of 1906 for a closer union of all the self-governing colonies, and the first direct step to that end was taken at an inter-colonial conference held in May 1908. The history of this movement, which resulted in the establishment of the Union of South Africa on the 31st of May 1910, is given under South Africa: History, § D. Apart from this movement the most notable events in the Transvaal at this period were the development of agriculture, the gradual revival of trade (the output of the gold mines in 1909 totalled £30,925,000, and at the end of the year 156,000 native labourers were employed), and the continued difficulty with regard to British Indians. Ministers declared their determination to keep the Transvaal a white man’s country. With the example of Natal before them as a warning, it was (they argued) to the whites a question of life and death, and unless registration were enforced they could not prevent the surreptitious entry of new-comers. Attempts at compromise made in 1908 ended in failure. For failing to register Mr M. V. Gandhi and other leaders were imprisoned; and large numbers of Indians were deported. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of the Indian government, the imperial authorities could not effectively intervene; a self-governing colony (in which whites alone possessed the franchise) must be allowed to take its own course. By the end of 1909 it was stated that 8000 Indians—most of whom claimed the right of domicile—had been compelled to leave the country, while 2500 had been imprisoned for failure to comply with the Registration Act. The establishment of the Union of South Africa removed from the competence of the Transvaal provincial council all legislation specially or differentially affecting Asiatics. Thereupon the Union ministry was urged by the British government to effect a permanent settlement acceptable to all parties. The ministry replied (July 23, 1910) that whatever policy might be adopted regarding Indians legitimately resident in South Africa, unrestricted Indian immigration into the Transvaal would not be permitted (see Blue-book Cd. 5363).
When the Union was established General Botha became prime minister, two of his colleagues, Messrs Smuts and Hull, also joining the Union ministry. A fourth minister—Mr Rissik—was appointed first administrator of the Transvaal province, while a fifth minister, Mr E. P. Solomon, became a senator of the Union parliament. The elections to the Union House of Assembly, held in September, were notable as showing the strength of the Progressive (or Unionist) party. General Botha was defeated at Pretoria East by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, and at Georgetown—a Rand constituency—Mr Hull was beaten by Sir George Farrar. Both ministers, however, subsequently secured seats elsewhere.
Bibliography.—(1) General descriptions, zoology, ethnology, economics, &c.: A. H. Keane, The Boer States, Land and People (1900); Harriet A. Roche, On Trek in the Transvaal (1878); Mrs Carey-Hobson, At Home in the Transvaal (2 vols., 1884); H. L. Tangye, In New South Africa (1896); J. Æ. C. A. Timmerman, “Eenige opgaven betreffende de Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek” (valuable bibliographies), Tijds. k. ned. Aarde. Genoots. (Leiden, 1896); H. Hettema, jun., “Geschiedenis van het grondgebied der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek,” Tijds k. ned. Aarde. Genoots. (1901), xviii.; T. G. Trevor, “The Physical Features of the Transvaal,” Geog. Journ. (July, 1906); W. L. Distant, A Naturalist in the Transvaal (1892), and Insecta transvaaliensia (1900 seq.); M. R. Collins, “Irrigation in the Transvaal,” Minutes of P. I. Civil Engineers (1906); R. T. A. Innes, “Meteorology in the Transvaal,” Journ. Scottish Met. Soc. (1909), xv.; D. E. Hutchins, Transvaal Forest Report (Pretoria, 1904); Transvaal Dept. of Agriculture, Annual Reports (Pretoria); Transvaal Agricultural Journal (Pretoria, monthly); British War Office, The Native Tribes of the Transvaal (1905); Short History of the Native Tribes of the Transvaal (Native Affairs dept., Pretoria, 1905); E. Gottschling, “The Bawenda,” Journ. Anthrop. Inst, (1905), xxxv.; R. Wessman (trans. Leo Weinthal), The Bawenda of the Spelonken (1908); Report on the Census of 1904 (Pretoria, 1906); Reports of the South African Assoc.; Annual Reports of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines (Johannesburg): L. V. Praagh, The Transvaal and its Mines (1907); W. Bleloch, The New South Africa (1901); J. Buchan, The African Colony (Edinburgh, 1903); L. E. Neame, The Asiatic Danger in the Colonies (1907); J. Leclercq, Les Boers et leur état social (Paris, 1900).
History.—For the period from the foundation of the Transvaal to 1872 see G. McCall Theal, History of South Africa since 1795 (5 vols., 1908 ed.); for general summaries consult Sir C. P. Lucas, History of South Africa to the Jameson Raid (Oxford, 1899), and F. R. Cana, South Africa from the Great Trek to the Union (1909). Also H. Kloessel, Die südafrikanischen Republiken (Leipzig, 1888); D. Postma, Eenige schetsen voor eene geschiedenis van der Trekboeren (Amsterdam, 1897); A. Siedel, Transvaal (Berlin, 1900); J. F. v. Oordt, P. Kruger en de opkomst der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Amsterdam, 1898); C. J. van der Loo, De Transvaal en Engeland (Zwolle, 1898 ed.); J. Poirier, Le Transvaal 1852–1899 (Paris, 1900); G. Demanche, “La Formation de la nation Boer,” Rev. française (1906), xxxi. For more detailed study, besides the Transvaal and British official publications (cf. Williams and Hicks, Selected Official Documents, 1900), see Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, The Transvaal from Within (1899); A. Aylward, The Transvaal of To-day (Edinburgh, 1878); R. J. Mann, The Zulus and Boers of South Africa (1879); H. Rider Haggard, Cetywayo and his White Neighbours (1882); W. J. Leyds, The First Annexation of the Transvaal (1906); A. P. Hillier, Raid and Reform (1898) and South African Studies (1900); Report of the Trial of the (Johannesburg) Reform Prisoners (1896); Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Jameson Raid, Blue-book (165) of 1897; Report of the Select Committee of the Cape Parliament on the Jameson Raid (Cape Town, 1896); Jameson Trial, Transcript from Shorthand Writers’ Notes and Copies of Exhibits (2 vols., 1896); E. T. Cook, Rights and Wrongs of the Transvaal War (1901); Lionel Phillips, Transvaal Problems (1905).
For the Majuba campaign, see Sir Wm. Butler, Life of Sir George Pomeroy Colley (1899), and the British Blue Books C. 2783, 2837, C. 2966 and C. 2950 of 1881. For the war of 1899–1902, see the British official History of the War in South Africa (4 vols., 1906–1910); “The Times” History of the War in South Africa (7 vols., 1900–1909); C. R. de Wet, Three Years’ War (1902); Sir A. Conan Doyle, The Great Boer War (1902); German army staff, The War in South Africa, trans. by Colonel W. H. H. Waters (1904); L. Penning, De Oorlog in Zuid-Afrika (Rotterdam, 1899–1903); G. Gilbert, Guerre sud-africaine; H. Langlois, Lessons of Two Recent Wars (Eng. trans., 1910); Handbook of the Boer War (1910).) (F. R. C.)
- By the Boers the western and less elevated part of the plateau is known as the middle veld.
- At the Standerton gauge on the Vaal in 1905–1906, a year of extreme drought, the total flow was 8,017,000,000 cub. ft., of which 7,102,000,000 was storm water.
- For geology see: F. H. Hatch and G. S. Corstorphine, The Geology of South Africa (London, 2nd ed., 1909); G. A. F. Molengraaff, Géologie de la République Sud-africaine du Transvaal, Bull. de la Soc. Géol. de France, 4 série, tome i., pp. 13–92 (1901). (Translation by J. H. Ronaldson, Edinburgh and Johannesburg, 1904); Reports and Memoirs, Geol. Survey (Transvaal, 1903, et seq.); H. Kynaston, The Geology of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony, Handbook, British Association (Cape Town, 1905); Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa (Johannesburg).
- Exceptionally very heavy rain is experienced on the Rand. In January 1907 seven inches of rain fell in 24 hours.
- For most purposes this military element is omitted in the census returns.
- For projected routes, shortening the journey between Europe and Johannesburg, see the Geog. Journ., Dec. 1910.
- The number of electors at the first registration (1907) was 105,368.
- Besides this £5,000,000 an additional sum of £9,500,000 was spent by the imperial government in relieving the necessities of those who had suffered during the war, but of this £9,500,000 the sum of £2,500,000 was in payment for goods received.
- Two small children were spared and brought up as Kaffirs. In 1867 they were given over to the Boer government by the Swazis, who had acquired them from their captors.
- Jameson, speaking at Durban on the 9th of August 1910, declared that the raid was not racial in the sense usually understood, but an effort towards federation. During the raid he carried a letter containing the names of the proposed new executive, and had the raid succeeded it was proposed to make General Lukas Meyer (d. 1902) president. Jameson subsequently explained that Rhodes and he in designating “an eminent Dutchman” as president of “the new provincial republic” had had no communication with Meyer on the subject. Neither he (Jameson) nor Rhodes had any knowledge of a proposal, to which General Botha had publicly referred. that Charles Leonard should be president. (See the Cape Times Weekly Edition, Sept. 7, 1910, p. 15.)
- Dr W. J. Leyds, a Hollander born in Java in 1859, went out to the Transvaal in 1884 as attorney-general and was, in 1887, made government commissioner for the Netherlands (S. A.) railway. In 1890 he became state secretary and in that position was regarded as Kruger’s right-hand man.
- Lord Wolseley foresaw the strength of the Boers. Writing on the 12th of September 1899 he said, “If this war comes off it will be the most serious war England has ever had” (see Military Life of the Duke of Cambridge, ii. 421).
- Milner became at the same time administrator of Orange River Colony. Several of the reforms adopted for the Transvaal applied to or affected the sister colony. (See Orange Free State.)
- A careful summary of the facts regarding the shortage of labour and of the economic situation in the Transvaal at that time, together with the debates in the legislative council, will be found in The Annual Register for 1903, from the pen of Mr H. Whates.
- The letters patent provided, as to the Chinese coolies, that no further licences be issued for the introduction of indentured labour, and that none of the contracts be renewed.
- Sir Richard Solomon (b. 1850) was attorney-general of Cape Colony 1898–1900, attorney-general of the Transvaal 1902, and acting lieutenant-governor of the Transvaal 1905. He resigned office to contest a seat for the Transvaal parliament. Subsequently he was agent-general for the Transvaal in London, and (1910) agent-general for the Union of South Africa.
- Sir George Herbert Farrar (b. 1859) was a son of Charles Farrar, M.D., of Chatteris, England, and was a member of the Johannesburg Reform committee at the time of the Jameson Raid. He served in the war of 1899–1902, and was knighted in the last-named year. Sir James Percy Fitzpatrick (b. 1862) was a native of Cape Colony. He went to the Transvaal in 1884 and became honorary secretary to the Johannesburg Reform committee. He was the author of The Transvaal from Within; Jock of the Bushveld, &c.
- The government expended over £1,000,000 on a land and agriculture bank and in 1910 made a grant of £100,000 towards the establishment of a college of agriculture at Pretoria.