CAPE COLONY (officially, “Province of the Cape of Good Hope”), the most southern part of Africa, a British possession since 1806. It was named from the promontory on its south-west coast discovered in 1488 by the Portuguese navigator Diaz, and near which the first settlement of Europeans (Dutch) was made in 1652. From 1872 to 1910 a self-governing colony, in the last-named year it entered the Union of South Africa as an original province. Cape Colony as such then ceased to exist. In the present article, however, the word “colony” is retained. The “provinces” referred to are the colonial divisions existing before the passing of the South Africa Act 1909, except in the sections Constitution and Government and Law and Justice, where the changes made by the establishment of the Union are set forth. (See also South Africa.)
Boundaries and Area.—The coast-line extends from the mouth of the Orange (28° 38′ S. 16° 27′ E.) on the W. to the mouth of the Umtamvuna river (31° 4′ S. 30° 12′ E.) on the E., a distance of over 1300 m. Inland the Cape is bounded E. and N.E. by Natal, Basutoland, Orange Free State and the Transvaal; N. by the Bechuanaland Protectorate and N.W. by Great Namaqualand (German S.W. Africa). From N.W. to S.E. the colony has a breadth of 800 m., from S.W. to N.E. 750 m. Its area is 276,995 sq. m.—more than five times the size of England. Walfish Bay (q.v.) on the west coast north of the Orange river is a detached part of Cape Colony.
Physical Features.—The outstanding orographic feature of the country is the terrace-formation of the land, which rises from sea-level by well-marked steps to the immense plateau which forms seven-eighths of South Africa. The coast region varies in width from a few miles to as many as fifty, being narrowest on the south-east side. The western coast line, from the mouth of the Orange to the Cape peninsula, runs in a general south-east direction with no deep indentations save just south of 33° S. where, in Saldanha Bay, is spacious and sheltered anchorage. The shore is barren, consisting largely of stretches of white sand or thin soil sparsely covered with scrub. The Cape peninsula, which forms Table Bay on the north and False Bay on the south, juts pendant beyond the normal coast line and consists of an isolated range of hills. The scenery here becomes bold and picturesque. Dominating Table Bay is the well-known Table Mountain (3549 ft.), flat-topped and often covered with a “tablecloth” of cloud. On its lower slopes and around Table Bay is built Cape Town, capital of the colony. Rounding the storm-vexed Cape of Good Hope the shore trends south-east in a series of curves, forming shallow bays, until at the saw-edged reefs of Cape Agulhas (Portuguese, Needles) in 34° 51′ 15″ S. 20° E. the southernmost point of the African continent is reached. Hence the coast, now very slightly indented, runs north by east until at Algoa Bay (25° 45′ E.) it takes a distinct north-east bend, and so continues beyond the confines of the colony. Along the southern and eastern shore the country is better watered, more fertile and more picturesque than along the western seaboard. Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope) stands 840 ft. above the sea; Cape Agulhas 455 ft. Farther on the green-clad sides of the Uiteniquas Mountains are plainly visible from the sea, and as the traveller by boat proceeds eastward, stretches of forest are seen and numbers of mountain streams carrying their waters to the ocean. In this part of the coast the only good natural harbour is the spacious estuary of the Knysna river in 23° 5′ E. The entrance, which is over a bar with 14 ft. minimum depth of water, is between two bold sandstone cliffs, called the Heads.
Off the coast are a few small islands, mainly mere rocks within the bay. None is far from the mainland. The largest are Dassen Island, 20 m. S. of Saldanha Bay, and Robben Island, at the entrance to Table Bay. St Croix is a rock in Algoa Bay, upon which Diaz is stated to have erected a cross. A number of small islands off the coast of German South-West Africa, chiefly valuable for their guano deposits, also belong to Cape Colony (see Angra Pequena).
Ocean Currents.—Off the east and south shores of the colony the Mozambique or Agulhas current sweeps south-westward with force sufficient to set up a back drift. This back drift or counter current flowing north-east is close in shore and is taken advantage of by vessels going from Cape Town to Natal. On the west coast the current runs northwards. It is a deflected stream from the west drift of the “roaring forties” and coming from Antarctic regions is much colder than the Agulhas current. Off the southern point of the continent the Agulhas current meets the west drift, giving rise to alternate streams of warm and cold water. This part of the coast, subject alike to strong westerly and south-easterly winds, is often tempestuous, as is witnessed by the name, Cabo Tormentoso, given to the Cape of Good Hope, and to the many wrecks off the coast. The most famous was that of the British troopship “Birkenhead,” on the 26th of February 1852, off Danger Point, midway between Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas.
Mountains and Tablelands.—It has been stated that the land rises by well-marked steps to a vast central plateau. Beyond the coast plain, which here and there attains a height of 600 ft., are mountain ranges running parallel to the shore. These mountains are the supporting walls of successive terraces. When the steep southern sides of the ranges nearest the sea are ascended the hills are often found to be flat-topped with a gentle slope northward giving on to a plateau rarely more than 40 m. wide. This plateau is called the Southern or Little Karroo, Karroo being a corruption of a Hottentot word meaning dry, arid. Having crossed the Little Karroo, from which rise minor mountain chains, a second high range has to be climbed. This done the traveller finds himself on another tableland—the Great Karroo. It has an average width of 80 m. and is about 350 m. long. Northwards the Karroo (q.v.) is bounded by the ramparts of the great inner tableland, of which only a comparatively small portion is in Cape Colony. This sequence of hill and plain—namely (1) the coast plain, (2) first range of hills, (3) first plateau (Little Karroo), (4) second range of hills, (5) second plateau (the Great Karroo), (6) main chain of mountains guarding, (7) the vast interior tableland—is characteristic of the greater part of the colony but is not clearly marked in the south-east and north-west borders. The innermost, and most lofty, chain of mountains follows a curve almost identical with that of the coast at a general distance of 120 m. from the ocean. It is known in different places under different names, and the same name being also often given to one or more of the coast ranges the nomenclature of the mountains is confusing (see the map). The most elevated portion of the innermost range, the Drakensberg (q.v.) follows the curve of the coast from south to north-east. Only the southern slopes of the range are in Cape Colony, the highest peaks—over 10,000 ft.—being in Basutoland and Natal. Going westward from the Drakensberg the rampart is known successively as the Stormberg, Zuurberg, Sneeuwberg and Nieuwveld mountains. These four ranges face directly south. In the Sneeuwberg range is Compass Berg, 8500 ft. above the sea, the highest point in the colony. In the Nieuwveld are heights of over 6000 ft. The Komsberg range, which joins the Nieuwveld on the east, sweeps from the south to the north-west and is followed by the Roggeveld mountains, which face the western seaboard. North of the Roggeveld the interior plateau approaches closer to the sea than in southern Cape Colony. The slope of the plateau being also westward, the mountain rampart is less elevated, and north of 32° S. few points attain 5000 ft. The coast ranges are here, in Namaqualand and the district of Van Rhyns Dorp, but the outer edges of the inner range. They attain their highest point in the Kamies Berg, 5511 ft. above the sea. Northward the Orange river, marking the frontier of the colony, cuts its way through the hills to the Atlantic.
From the Olifants river on the west to the Kei river on the east the series of parallel ranges, which are the walls of the terraces between the inner tableland and the sea, are clearly traceable. Their general direction is always that of the coast, and they are cut across by rugged gorges or kloofs, through which the mountain streams make their way towards the sea. The two chief chains, to distinguish them from the inner chain already described, may be called the coast and central chains. Each has many local names. West to east the central chain is known as the Cedarberg, Groote Zwarteberg (highest point 6988 ft.), Groote river, Winterhoek (with Cockscomb mountain 5773 ft. high) and Zuurberg ranges. The Zuurberg, owing to the north-east trend of the shore, becomes, east of Port Elizabeth, a coast range, and the central chain is represented by a more northerly line of hills, with a dozen different names, which are a south-easterly spur of the Sneeuwberg. In this range the Great Winter Berg attains a height of 7800 ft.
The coast chain is represented west to east by the Olifants mountains (with Great Winterhoek, 6618 ft. high), Drakenstein, Zonder Einde, Langeberg (highest point 5614 ft.), Attaquas, Uiteniquas and various other ranges. In consequence of the north-east trend of the coast, already noted, several of these ranges end in the sea in bold bluffs. From the coast plain rise many short ranges of considerable elevation, and on the east side of False Bay parallel to Table Bay range is a mountain chain with heights of 4000 and 5000 ft. East of the Kei river the whole of the country within Cape Colony, save the narrow seaboard, is mountainous. The southern part is largely occupied with spurs of the Stormberg; the northern portion, Griqualand East and Pondoland, with the flanks of the Drakensberg. Several peaks exceed 7000 ft. in height. Zwart Berg, near the Basuto-Natal frontier, rises 7615 ft. above the sea. Mount Currie, farther south, is 7296 ft. high. The Witte Bergen (over 5000 ft. high) are an inner spur of the Drakensberg running through the Herschel district.
That part of the inner tableland of South Africa which is in the colony has an average elevation of 3000 ft., being higher in the eastern than in the western districts. It consists of wide rolling treeless plains scarred by the beds of many rivers, often dry for a great part of the year. The tableland is broken by the Orange river, which traverses its whole length. North of the river the plateau slopes northward to a level sometimes as low as 2000 ft. The country is of an even more desolate character than south of the Orange (see Bechuanaland). Rising from the plains are chains of isolated flat-topped hills such as the Karree Bergen, the Asbestos mountains and Kuruman hills, comparatively unimportant ranges.
Although the mountains present bold and picturesque outlines on their outward faces, the general aspect of the country north of the coast-lands, except in its south-eastern corner, is bare and monotonous. The flat and round-topped hills (kopjes), which are very numerous on the various plateaus, scarcely afford relief to the eye, which searches the sun-scorched landscape, usually in vain, for running water. The absence of water and of large trees is one of the most abiding impressions of the traveller. Yet the vast arid plains are covered with shallow beds of the richest soil, which only require the fertilizing power of water to render them available for pasture or agriculture. After the periodical rains, the Karroo and the great plains of Bushmanland are converted into vast fields of grass and flowering shrubs, but the summer sun reduces them again to a barren and burnt-up aspect. The pastoral lands or velds are distinguished according to the nature of their herbage as “sweet” or “sour.” Shallow sheets of water termed vleis, usually brackish, accumulate after heavy rain at many places in the plateaus; in the dry seasons these spots, where the soil is not excessively saline, are covered with rich grass and afford favourite grazing land for cattle. Only in the southern coast-land of the colony is there a soil and moisture supply suited to forest growth.
Rivers.—The inner chain of mountains forms the watershed of the colony. North of this great rampart the country drains to the Orange (q.v.), which flows from east to west nearly across the continent. For a considerable distance, both in its upper and lower courses, the river forms the northern frontier of Cape Colony. In the middle section, where both banks are in the colony, the Orange receives from the north-east its greatest tributary, the Vaal (q.v.). The Vaal, within the boundaries of the colony, is increased by the Harts river from the north-east and the Riet river from the south-east, whilst just within the colony the Riet is joined by the Modder. All these tributaries of the Orange flow, in their lower courses, through the eastern part of Griqualand West, the only well-watered portion of the colony north of the mountains. From the north, below the Vaal confluence, the Nosob, Molopo and Kuruman, intermittent streams which traverse Bechuanaland, send their occasional surplus waters to the Orange. In general these rivers lose themselves in some vlei in the desert land. The Molopo and Nosob mark the frontier between the Bechuanaland Protectorate and the Cape; the Kuruman lies wholly within the colony. From the south a number of streams, the Brak and Ongers, the Zak and Olifants Vlei (the two last uniting to form the Hartebeest), flow north towards the Orange in its middle course. Dry for a great part of the year, these streams rarely add anything to the volume of the Orange.
South of the inner chain the drainage is direct to the Atlantic or Indian Oceans. Rising at considerable elevations, the coast rivers fall thousands of feet in comparatively short courses, and many are little else than mountain torrents. They make their way down the mountain sides through great gorges, and are noted in the eastern part of the country for their extremely sinuous course. Impetuous and magnificent streams after heavy rain, they become in the summer mere rivulets, or even dry up altogether. In almost every instance the mouths of the rivers are obstructed by sand bars. Thus, as is the case of the Orange river also, they are, with rare exceptions, unnavigable.
Omitting small streams, the coast rivers running to the Atlantic are the Buffalo, Olifants and Berg. It may be pointed out here that the same name is repeatedly applied throughout South Africa to different streams, Buffalo, Olifants (elephants’) and Groote (great) being favourite designations. They all occur more than once in Cape Colony. Of the west coast rivers, the Buffalo, about 125 m. long, the most northern and least important, flows through Little Namaqualand. The Olifants (150 m.), which generally contains a fair depth of water, rises in the Winterhoek mountains and flows north between the Cedarberg and Olifants ranges. The Doorn, a stream with a somewhat parallel but more easterly course, joins the Olifants about 50 m. above its mouth, the Atlantic being reached by a semicircular sweep to the south-west. The Berg river (125 m.) rises in the district of French Hoek and flows through fertile country, in a north-westerly direction, to the sea at St Helena Bay. It is navigable for a few miles from its mouth.
On the south coast the most westerly stream of any size is the Breede (about 165 m. long), so named from its low banks and broad channel. Rising in the Warm Bokkeveld, it pierces the mountains by Mitchell’s Pass, flows by the picturesque towns of Ceres and Worcester, and receives, beyond the last-named place, the waters which descend from the famous Hex River Pass. The Breede thence follows the line of the Langeberg mountains as far as Swellendam, where it turns south, and traversing the coast plain, reaches the sea in St Sebastian Bay. From its mouth the river is navigable by small vessels for from 30 to 40 m. East of the Breede the following rivers, all having their rise on the inner mountain chain, are passed in the order named:—Gouritz (200 m.), Gamtoos (290 m.), Sunday (190 m.), Great Salt (230 m.), Kei (150 m.), Bashee (90 m.) and Umzimvuba or St John’s (140 m.).
The Gouritz is formed by the junction of two streams, the Gamka and the Olifants. The Gamka rises in the Nieuwveld not far from Beaufort West, traverses the Great Karroo from north to south, and forces a passage through the Zwarteberg. Crossing the Little Karroo, it is joined from the east by the Olifants (115 m.), a stream which rises in the Great Karroo, being known in its upper course as the Traka, and pierces the Zwarteberg near its eastern end. Thence it flows west across the Little Karroo past Oudtshoorn to its junction with the Gamka. The united stream, which takes the name of Gouritz, flows south, and receives from the west, a few miles above the point where it breaks through the coast range, a tributary (125 m.) bearing the common name Groote, but known in its upper course as the Buffels. Its headwaters are in the Komsberg. The Touws (90 m.), which rises in the Great Karroo not far from the sources of the Hex river, is a tributary of the Groote river. Below the Groote the Gouritz receives no important tributaries and enters the Indian Ocean at a point 20 m. south-west of Mossel Bay.
The Gamtoos is also formed by the junction of two streams, the Kouga, an unimportant river which rises in the coast hills, and the Groote river. This, the Groote river of Cape Colony, has its rise in the Nieuwveld near Nels Poort, being known in its upper course as the Salt river. Flowing south-east, it is joined by the Kariega on the left, and breaking through the escarpment of the Great Karroo, on the lower level changes its name to the Groote, the hills which overhang it to the north-east being known as Groote River Heights. Bending south, the Groote river passes through the coast chain by Cockscomb mountain, and being joined by the Kouga, flows on as the Gamtoos to the sea at St Francis Bay.
Sunday river does not, like so many of the Cape streams, change its name on passing from the Great to the Little Karroo and again on reaching the coast plain. It rises in the Sneeuwberg north-west of Graaff Reinet, flows south-east through one of the most fertile districts of the Great Karroo, which it pierces at the western end of the Zuurberg (of the coast chain), and reaches the ocean in Algoa Bay.
Great Salt river is formed by the junction of the Kat with the Great Fish river, which is the main stream. Several small streams rising in the Zuurberg (of the inner chain) unite to form the Great Fish river which passes through Cradock, and crossing the Karroo, changes its general direction from south to east, and is joined by the Kooner (or Koonap) and Kat, both of which rise in the Winterberg. Thence, as the Great Salt river, it winds south to the sea. Great Fish river is distinguished for the sudden and great rise of its waters after heavy rain and for its exceedingly sinuous course. Thus near Cookhouse railway station it makes an almost circular bend of 20 m., the ends being scarcely 2 m. apart, in which distance it falls 200 ft. Although, like the other streams which cross the Karroo, the river is sometimes dry in its upper course, it has an estimated annual discharge of 51,724,000,000 cubic ft.
The head-streams of the Kei, often called the Great Kei, rise in the Stormberg, and the river, which resembles the Great Fish in its many twists, flows in a general south-east direction through mountainous country until it reaches the coast plain. Its mouth is 40 m. in a direct line north-east of East London. In the history of the Cape the Kei plays an important part as long marking the boundary between the colony and the independent Kaffir tribes. (For the Umzimvuba and other Transkei rivers see Kaffraria.)
Of the rivers rising in the coast chain the Knysna (30 m.), Kowie (40 m.), Keiskama (75 m.) and Buffalo (45 m.) may be mentioned. The Knysna rises in the Uiteniquas hills and is of importance as a feeder of the lagoon or estuary of the same name, one of the few good harbours on the coast. The banks of the Knysna are very picturesque. Kowie river, which rises in the Zuurberg mountains near Graham’s Town, is also noted for the beauty of its banks. At its mouth is Port Alfred. The water over the bar permits the entrance of vessels of 10 to 12 ft. draught. The Buffalo river rises in the hilly country north of King William’s Town, past which it flows. At the mouth of the river, where the scenery is very fine, is East London, third in importance of the ports of Cape Colony.
The frequency of “fontein” among the place names of the colony bears evidence of the number of springs in the country. They are often found on the flat-topped hills which dot the Karroo. Besides the ordinary springs, mineral and thermal springs are found in several places.
Lakes and Caves.—Cape Colony does not possess any lakes properly so called. There are, however, numerous natural basins which, filled after heavy rain, rapidly dry up, leaving an incrustation of salt on the ground, whence their name of salt pans. The largest, Commissioner’s Salt Pan, in the arid north-west district, is 18 to 20 m. in circumference. Besides these pans there are in the interior plateaus many shallow pools or vleis whose extent varies according to the dryness or moisture of the climate. West of Knysna, and separated from the seashore by a sandbank only, are a series of five vleis, turned in flood times into one sheet of water and sending occasional spills to the ocean. These vleis are known collectively as “the lakes.” In the Zwarteberg of the central chain are the Cango Caves, a remarkable series of caverns containing many thousand of stalactites and stalagmites. These caves, distant 20 m. from Oudtshoorn, have been formed in a dolomite limestone bed about 800 ft. thick. There are over 120 separate chambers, the caverns extending nearly a mile in a straight line.
Climate.—The climate of Cape Colony is noted for its healthiness. Its chief characteristics are the dryness and clearness of the atmosphere and the considerable daily range in temperature; whilst nevertheless the extremes of heat and cold are rarely encountered. The mean annual temperature over the greater part of the country is under 65° F. The chief agents in determining the climate are the vast masses of water in the southern hemisphere and the elevation of the land. The large extent of ocean is primarily responsible for the lower temperature of the air in places south of the tropics compared with that experienced in countries in the same latitude north of the equator. Thus Cape Town, about 34° S., has a mean temperature, 63° F., which corresponds with that of the French and Italian Riviera, in 41° to 43° N. For the dryness of the atmosphere the elevation of the country is responsible. The east and south-east winds, which contain most moisture, dissipate their strength against the Drakensberg and other mountain ranges which guard the interior. Thus while the coast-lands, especially in the south-east, enjoy an ample rainfall, the winds as they advance west and north contain less and less moisture, so that over the larger part of the country drought is common and severe. Along the valley of the lower Orange rain does not fall for years together. The drought is increased in intensity by the occasional hot dry wind from the desert region in the north, though this wind is usually followed by violent thunderstorms.
Whilst the general characteristics of the climate are as here outlined, in a country of so large an area as Cape Colony there are many variations in different districts. In the coast-lands the daily range of the thermometer is less marked than in the interior and the humidity of the atmosphere is much greater. Nevertheless, the west coast north of the Olifants river is practically rainless and there is great difference between day and night temperatures, this part of the coast sharing the characteristics of the interior plateau. The division of the year into four seasons is not clearly marked save in the Cape peninsula, where exceptional conditions prevail. In general the seasons are but two—summer and winter, summer lasting from September to April and winter filling up the rest of the year. The greatest heat is experienced in December, January and February, whilst June and July are the coldest months. In the western part of the colony the winter is the rainy season, in the eastern part the chief rains come summer. A line drawn from Port Elizabeth north-west across the Karroo in the direction of Walfish Bay roughly divides the regions of the winter and summer rains. All the country north of the central mountain chain and west of 23° E., including the western part of the Great Karroo, has a mean annual rainfall of under 12 in. East of the 23° E. the plateaus have a mean annual rainfall ranging from 12 to 25 in. The western coast-lands and the Little Karroo have a rainfall of from 10 to 20 in.; the Cape peninsula by exception having an average yearly rainfall of 40 in. (see Cape Town). Along the south coast and in the south-east the mean annual rainfall exceeds 25 in., and is over 50 in. at some stations. The rain falls, generally, in heavy and sudden storms, and frequently washes away the surface soil. The mean annual temperature of the coast region, which, as stated, is 63° F. at Cape Town, increases to the east, the coast not only trending north towards the equator but feeling the effect of the warm Mozambique or Agulhas current.
On the Karroo the mean maximum temperature is 77° F., the mean minimum 49°, the mean daily range about 27°. In summer the drought is severe, the heat during the day great, the nights cool and clear. In winter frost at night is not uncommon. The climate of the northern plains is similar to that of the Karroo, but the extremes of cold and heat are greater. In the summer the shade temperature reaches 110° F., whilst in winter nights 12° of frost have been registered. The hot westerly winds of summer make the air oppressive, though violent thunderstorms, in which form the northern districts receive most of their scanty rainfall, occasionally clear the atmosphere. Mirages are occasionally seen. The keen air, accompanied by the brilliant sunshine, renders the winter climate very enjoyable. Snow seldom falls in the coast region, but it lies on the higher mountains for three or four months in the year, and for as many days on the Karroo. Violent hailstorms, which do great damage, sometimes follow periods of drought. The most disagreeable feature of the climate of the colony is the abundance of dust, which seems to be blown by every wind, and is especially prevalent in the rainy season.
That white men can thrive and work in Cape Colony the history of South Africa amply demonstrates. Ten generations of settlers from northern Europe have been born, lived and died there, and the race is as strong and vigorous as that from which it sprang. Malarial fever is practically non-existent in Cape Colony, and diseases of the chest are rare. (F. R. C.)
Geology.—The colony affords the typical development of the geological succession south of the Zambezi. The following general arrangement has been determined:—
|Table of Formations.|
Post-Cretaceous and Recent.
|Cretaceous System||Pondoland Cretaceous Series||Cretaceous|
|Karroo System||Stormberg Series||Carboniferous to Jurassic|
|Cape System||Witteberg Series||Devonian|
|Table Mountain Sandstone Series|
|Pre-Cape Rocks||Includes several independent
unfossiliferous formations of
|Archaean to Silurian(?)|
The general structure of the colony is simple. It may be regarded as a shallow basin occupied by the almost horizontal rocks of the Karroo. These form the plains and plateaus of the interior. Rocks of pre-Cape age rise from beneath them on the north and west; on the south and east the Lower Karroo and Cape systems are bent up into sharp folds, beneath which, but in quite limited areas, the pre-Cape rocks emerge. In the folded regions the strike conforms to the coastal outline on the south and east.
Pre-Cape rocks occur in three regions, presenting a different development in each:—
|Matsap Series||Nieuwerust Beds||Cango Beds|
|Ongeluk Volcanic Series|
|Griquatown Series||Ibiquas Beds|
|Campbell Rand Series|
|Black Reef Series|
|Pniel Volcanic Series|
|Namaqualand Schists||Namaqualand Schists and Malmesbury Beds||Malmesbury Beds|
The pre-Cape rocks are but little understood. They no doubt represent formations of widely different ages, but all that can be said is that they are greatly older than the Cape System. The hope that they will yield fossils has been held out but not yet fulfilled. Their total thickness amounts to several thousand feet. The rocks have been greatly changed by pressure in most cases and by the intrusion of great masses of igneous material, the Namaqualand schists and Malmesbury beds being most altered.
The most prominent member of the Cango series is a coarse conglomerate; the other rocks include slates, limestone and porphyroids. The Ibiquas beds consist of conglomerates and grits. Both the Cango and Ibiquas series have been invaded by granite of older date than the Table Mountain series. The Nieuwerust beds contain quartzite, arkose and shales. They rest indifferently on the Ibiquas series or Malmesbury beds.
The pre-Cape rocks of the northern region occur in the Campbell Rand, Asbestos mountains, Matsap and Langebergen, and in the Schuftebergen. They contain a great variety of sediments and igneous rocks. The oldest, or Keis, series consists of quartzites, quartz-schists, phyllites and conglomerates. These are overlain, perhaps unconformably, by a great thickness of lavas and volcanic breccias (Pniel volcanic series, Beer Vley and Zeekoe Baard amygdaloids), and these in turn by the quartzites, grits and shales of the Black Reef series. The chief rocks of the Campbell Rand series are limestones and dolomites, with some interbedded quartzites. Among the Griquatown series of quartzites, limestones and shales are numerous bands of jasper and large quantities of crocidolite (a fibrous amphibole); while at Blink Klip a curious breccia, over 200 ft. thick, is locally developed. Evidences of one of the oldest known glaciations have been found near the summit in the district of Hay. The Ongeluk volcanic series, consisting of lavas and breccias, conformably overlies the Griquatown series; while the grits, quartzites and conglomerates of the Matsap series rest on them with a great discordance.
Rocks of the Cape System have only been met with in the southern and eastern parts of South Africa. The lowest member (Table Mountain Sandstone) consists of sandstones with subordinate bands of shale. It forms the upper part of Table Mountain and enters largely into the formation of the southern mountainous folded belt. It is unfossiliferous except for a few obscureobtained near the base. A bed of conglomerate is regarded as of glacial origin.
The Table Mountain Sandstone passes up conformably into a sequence of sandstones and shales (Bokkeveld Beds), well exposed in the Cold and Warm Bokkevelds. The lowest beds contain many fossils, including Phacops, Homalonotus, Leptocoelia, Spirifer, Chonetes, Orthothetes, Orthoceras, Bellerophon. Many of the species are common to the Devonian rocks of the Falkland Islands, North and South America and Europe, with perhaps a closer resemblance to the Devonian fauna of South America than to that of any other country.
The Bokkeveld beds are conformably succeeded by the sandstones, quartzites and shales of the Witteberg series. So far imperfect remains of plants (Spirophyton) are the only fossils, and these are not sufficient to determine if the beds belong to the Devonian or Carboniferous System.
The thickness of the rocks of the Cape System exceeds 5000 ft.
The Karroo System is par excellence the geological formation of South Africa. The greater part of the colony belongs to it, as do large tracts in the Orange Free State and Transvaal. It includes the following well-defined subdivisions:—
|Stormberg Series||Volcanic Beds||4000||Jurassic|
|Beaufort Series||Burghersdorp Beds||5000|
|Ecca Series||Shales and Sandstones||2600|
|Dwyka Series||Upper Shales||600|
In the southern areas the Karroo formation follows the Cape System conformably; in the north it rests unconformably on very much older rocks. The most remarkable deposits are the conglomerates of the Dwyka series. These afford the clearest evidences of glaciation on a great scale in early Carboniferous times. The deposit strictly resembles a consolidated modern boulder clay. It is full of huge glaciated blocks, and in different regions (Prieska chiefly) the underlying pavement is remarkably striated and shows that the ice was moving southward. The upper shales contain the small reptile Mesosaurus tenuidens.
Plants constitute the chief fossils of the Ecca series; among others they include Glossopteris, Gangamopteris, Phyllotheca. The Beaufort series is noted for the numerous remains of remarkable and often gigantic reptiles it contains. The genera and species are numerous, Dicynodon, Oudenodon, Pareiasaurus being the best known. Among plants Glossopteris occurs for the last time. The Stormberg series occurs in the mountainous regions of the Stormberg and Drakensberg. The Molteno beds contain several workable seams of coal. The most remarkable feature of the series is the evidence of volcanic activity on an extensive scale. The greater part of the volcanic series is formed by lava streams of great thickness. Dykes and intrusive sheets, most of which end at the folded belt, are also numerous. The age of the intrusive sheets met with in the Beaufort series is usually attributed to the Stormberg period. They form the kopjes, or characteristic flat-topped hills of the Great Karroo. The Stormberg series contains the remains of numerous reptiles. A true crocodile, Notochampsa, has been discovered in the Red Beds and Cave Sandstone. Among the plants, Thinnfeldia and Taeniopteris are common. Three genera of fossil fishes, Cleithrolepis, Semionotus and Ceratodus, ascend from the Beaufort series into the Cave Sandstone.
Cretaceous rocks occur only near the coast. The plants of the Uitenhage beds bear a close resemblance to those of the Wealden. The marine fauna of Sunday river indicates a Neocomian age. The chief genera are Hamites, Baculites, Crioceras, Olcostephanus and certain Trigoniae.
The superficial post-Cretaceous and Recent deposits are widely spread. High-level gravels occur from 600 to 2000 ft. above the sea. The remains of a gigantic ox, Bubalus Baini, have been obtained from the alluvium near the Modder river. The recent deposits indicate that the land has risen for a long period. (W. G.*)
Fauna.—The fauna is very varied, but some of the wild animals common in the early days of the colony have been exterminated (e.g. quagga and blaauwbok), and others (e.g. the lion, rhinoceros, giraffe) driven beyond the confines of the Cape. Other game have been so reduced in numbers as to require special protection. This class includes the elephant (now found only in the Knysna and neighbouring forest regions), buffalo and zebra (strictly preserved, and confined to much the same regions as the elephant), eland, oribi, koodoo, haartebeest and other kinds of antelope and gnu. The leopard is not protected, but lingers in the mountainous districts. Cheetahs are also found, including a rare woolly variety peculiar to the Karroo. Both the leopards and cheetahs are commonly spoken of in South Africa as tigers. Other carnivora more or less common to the colony are the spotted hyena, aard-wolf (or Proteles), silver jackal, the Otocyon or Cape wild dog, and various kinds of wild cats. Of ungulata, besides a few hundreds of rare varieties, there are the springbuck, of which great herds still wander on the open veld, the steinbok, a small and beautiful animal which is sometimes coursed like a hare, the klipspringer or “chamois of South Africa,” common in the mountains, the wart-hog and the dassie or rock rabbit. There are two or three varieties of hares, and a species of jerboa and several genera of mongooses. The English rabbit has been introduced into Robben Island, but is excluded from the mainland. The ant-bear, with very long snout, tongue and ears, is found on the Karroo, where it makes inroads on the ant-heaps which dot the plain. There is also a scaly ant-eater and various species of pangolins, of arboreal habit, which live on ants. Baboons are found in the mountains and forests, otters in the rivers. Of reptiles there are the crocodile, confined to the Transkei rivers, several kinds of snakes, including the cobra di capello and puff adder, numerous lizards and various tortoises, including the leopard tortoise, the largest of the continental land forms. Of birds the ostrich may still be found wild in some regions. The great kori bustard is sometimes as much as 5 ft. high. Other game birds include the francolin, quail, guinea-fowl, sand-grouse, snipe, wild duck, wild goose, widgeon, teal, plover and rail. Birds of prey include the bearded vulture, aasvogel and several varieties of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Cranes, storks, flamingoes and pelicans are found in large variety.
Parrots are rarely seen. The greater number of birds belong to the order Passeres; starlings, weavers and larks are very common, the Cape canary, long-tailed sugar bird, pipits and wagtails are fairly numerous. The English starling is stated to be the only European bird to have thoroughly established itself in the colony. The Cape sparrow has completely acclimatized itself to town life and prevented the English sparrow obtaining a footing.
Large toads and frogs are common, as are scorpions, tarantula spiders, butterflies, hornets and stinging ants. In some districts the tsetse fly causes great havoc. The most interesting of the endemic insectivora is the Chrysochloris or “golden mole,” so called from the brilliant yellow lustre of its fur. There are not many varieties of freshwater fish, the commonest being the baba or cat-fish and the yellow fish. Both are of large size, the baba weighing as much as 70 ℔. The smallest variety is the culper or burrowing perch. In some of the vleis and streams in which the water is intermittent the fish preserve life by burrowing into the ooze. Trout have been introduced into several rivers and have become acclimatized. Of sea fish there are more than forty edible varieties. The snock, the steenbrass and geelbeck are common in the estuaries and bays. Seals and sharks are also common in the waters of the Cape. Whales visit the coast for the purpose of calving.
Of the domestic animals, sheep, cattle and dogs were possessed by the natives when the country was discovered by Europeans. The various farm animals introduced by the whites have thriven well (see below, Agriculture).
Flora.—The flora is rich and remarkably varied in the coast districts. On the Karroo and the interior plateau there is less variety. In all, some 10,000 different species have been noted in the colony, about 450 genera being peculiar to the Cape. The bush of the coast districts and lower hills consists largely of heaths, of which there are over 400 species. The heaths and the rhenoster or rhinoceros wood, a plant 1 to 2 ft. high resembling heather, form the characteristic features of the flora of the districts indicated. The prevailing bloom is pink coloured. The deciduous plants lose their foliage in the dry season but revive with the winter rains. Notable among the flowers are the arum lily and the iris. The pelargonium group, including many varieties of geranium, is widely represented. In the eastern coast-lands the vegetation becomes distinctly subtropical. Of pod-bearing plants there are upwards of eighty genera: Cape “everlasting” flowers (generally species of Helichrysum) are in great numbers. Several species of aloe are indigenous to the Cape. The so-called American aloe has also been naturalized. The castor-oil plant and many other plants of great value in medicine are indigenous in great abundance. Among plants remarkable in their appearance and structure may be noted the cactus-like Euphorbiae or spurge plants, the Stapelia or carrion flower, and the elephant’s foot or Hottentots’ bread, a plant of the same order as the yam. Hooks, thorns and prickles are characteristic of many South African plants.
Forests are confined to the seaward slopes of the coast ranges facing south. They cover between 500 and 600 sq. m. The forests contain a great variety of useful woods, affording excellent timber; among the commonest trees are the yellow wood, which is also one of the largest, belonging to the yew species; black iron wood; heavy, close-grained and durable stinkhout; melkhout, a white wood used for wheel work; nieshout; and the assegai or Cape lancewood. Forest trees rarely exceed 30 ft. in height and scarcely any attain a greater height than 60 ft. A characteristic Cape tree is Leucadendron argenteum or silver tree, so named from the silver-like lustre of stem and leaves. The so-called cedars, whence the Cedarberg got its name, exist no longer. Among trees introduced by the Dutch or British colonists the oak, poplar, various pines, the Australian blue-gum (eucalyptus) and wattle flourish. The silver wattle grows freely in shifting sands and by its means waste lands, e.g. the Cape Flats, have been reclaimed. The oak grows more rapidly and more luxuriantly than in Europe. There are few indigenous fruits; the kei apple is the fruit of a small tree or shrub found in Kaffraria and the eastern districts, where also the wild and Kaffir plums are common; hard pears, gourds, water melons and species of almond, chestnut and lemon are also native. Almost all the fruits of other countries have been introduced and flourish. On the Karroo the bush consists of dwarf mimosas, wax-heaths and other shrubs, which after the spring rains are gorgeous in blossom (see Karroo). The grass of the interior plains is of a coarse character and yellowish colour, very different from the meadow grasses of England. The “Indian” doab grass is also indigenous.
With regard to mountain flora arborescent shrubs do not reach beyond about 4000 ft. Higher up the slopes are covered with small heath, Bruniaceae, Rutaceae, &c. All plants with permanent foliage are thickly covered with hair. Above 6000 ft. over seventy species of plants of Alpine character have been found.
Races and Population.—The first inhabitants of Cape Colony of whom there is any record were Bushmen and Hottentots (q.v.). The last-named were originally called Quaequaes, and received the name Hottentots from the Dutch. They dwelt chiefly in the south-west and north-west parts of the country; elsewhere the inhabitants were of Bantu negroid stock, and to them was applied the name Kaffir. When the Cape was discovered by Europeans, the population, except along the coast, was very scanty and it is so still. The advent of Dutch settlers and a few Huguenot families in the 17th century was followed in the 19th century by that of English and German immigrants. The Bushmen retreated before the white races and now few are to be found in the colony. These live chiefly in the districts bordering the Orange river. The tribal organization of the Hottentots has been broken up, and probably no pure bred representatives of the race survive in the colony.
Half-breeds of mixed Hottentot, Dutch and Kaffir blood now form the bulk of the native population west of the Great Fish river. Of Kaffir tribes the most important living north of the Orange river are the Bechuanas, whilst in the eastern province and Kaffraria live the Fingoes, Tembus and Pondos. The Amaxosa are the principal Kaffir tribe in Cape Colony proper. The Griquas (or Bastaards) are descendants of Dutch-Hottentot half-castes. They give their name to two tracts of country. During the slavery period many thousands of negroes were imported, chiefly from the Guinea coast. The negroes have been largely assimilated by the Kaffir tribes. (For particulars of the native races see their separate articles.) Of the white races in the Colony the French element has been completely absorbed in the Dutch. They and the German settlers are mainly pastoral people. The Dutch, who have retained in a debased form their own language, also engage largely in agriculture and viticulture. Of fine physique and hardy constitution, they are of strongly independent character; patriarchal in their family life; shrewd, slim and courageous; in religion Protestants of a somewhat austere type. Education is somewhat neglected by them, and the percentage of illiteracy among adults is high. They are firm believers in the inferiority of the black races and regard servitude as their natural lot. The British settlers have developed few characteristics differing from the home type. The British element of the community is largely resident in the towns, and is generally engaged in trade or in professional pursuits; but in the eastern provinces the bulk of the farmers are English or German; the German farmers being found in the district between King William’s Town and East London, and on the Cape Peninsula. Numbers of them retain their own language. The term “Africander” is sometimes applied to all white residents in Cape Colony and throughout British South Africa, but is often restricted to the Dutch-speaking colonists. “Boer,” i.e. farmer, as a synonym for “Dutch,” is not in general use in Cape Colony.
Besides the black and white races there is a large colony of Malays in Cape Town and district, originally introduced by the Dutch as slaves. These people are largely leavened with foreign elements and, professing Mahommedanism, religion rather than race is their bond of union. They add greatly by their picturesque dress to the gaiety of the street scenes. They are generally small traders, but many are wealthy. There are also a number of Indians in the colony. English is the language of the towns; elsewhere, except in the eastern provinces, the taal or vernacular Dutch is the tongue of the majority of the whites, as it is of the natives in the western provinces.
The first census was taken in 1865 when the population of the colony, which then had an area of 195,000 sq. m., and did not include the comparatively densely-populated Native Territories, was 566,158. Of these the Europeans numbered 187,400 or about 33% of the whole. Of the coloured races the Hottentots and Bushmen were estimated at 82,000, whilst the Kaffirs formed about 50% of the population. Since 1865 censuses have been taken—in 1875, 1891 and 1904. In 1875 Basutoland formed part of the colony; in 1891 Transkei, Tembuland, Griqualand East, Griqualand West and Walfish Bay had been incorporated, and Basutoland had been disannexed; and in 1904 Pondoland and British Bechuanaland had been added. The following table gives the area and population at each of the three periods.
|Area. sq. m.||Pop.||Area. sq. m.||Pop.||Area. sq. m.||Pop.|
The 1875 census gave the population of the colony proper at 720,984, and that of Basutoland at 128,176. The colony is officially divided into nine provinces, but is more conveniently treated as consisting of three regions, to which may be added the detached area of Walfish Bay and the islands along the coast of Namaqualand. The table on the next page shows the distribution of population in the various areas.
The white population, which as stated was 187,400 in 1865 and 579,741 in 1904, was at the intermediate censuses 236,783 in 1875 and 376,987 in 1891. The proportion of Dutch descended whites to those of British origin is about 3 to 2. No exact comparison can be made showing the increase in the native population owing to the varying areas of the colony, but the natives have multiplied more rapidly than the whites; the increase in the numbers of the last-named being due, in considerable measure, to immigration. The whites who form about 25% of the total population are in the proportion of 4 to 6 in the colony proper. The great bulk of the people inhabit the coast region. The population is densest in the south-west corner (which includes Cape Town, the capital) where the white outnumbers of the total population are in the proportion of 4 to 6 in the colony proper. The great bulk of the people inhabit the coast region. The population is densest in the south-west corner (which includes Cape Town, the capital) where the white outnumbers the coloured population.
|Area in sq. m.||White.||Coloured.||Total.||Per sq. m.|
|Cape Colony Proper||206,613||553,452||936,239||1,489,691||7.21|
|Walfish Bay and Islands||648||144||853||997||1.50|
Here in an area of 1711 sq. m. the inhabitants exceed 264,000, being 154 to the sq. m. The urban population, reckoning as such dwellers in the nine largest towns and their suburbs, exceeds 331,000, being nearly 25% of the total population of the colony proper. Of the coloured inhabitants at the 1904 census 15,682 were returned as Malay, 8489 as Indians, 85,892 as Hottentots, 4168 as Bushmen and 6289 as Griquas. The Kaffir and Bechuana tribes numbered 1,114,067 individuals, besides 310,720 Fingoes separately classified, while 279,662 persons were described as of mixed race. Divided by sex (including white and black) the males numbered (1904) 1,218,940, the females 1,190,864, females being in the proportion of 97.70 to 100 males. By race the proportion is:—whites, 82.16 females to every 100 males (a decrease of 10% compared with 1891); coloured, 103.22 females to every 100 males. Of the total population over 14 years old—1,409,975—the number married was 738,563 or over 50%. Among the white population this percentage was only reached in adults over 17.
The professional, commercial and industrial occupations employ about 1th of the white population. In 1904 whites engaged in such pursuits numbered respectively only 32,202, 46,750 and 67,278, whereas 99,319 were engaged in domestic employment, and 111,175 in agricultural employment, while 214,982 (mostly children) were dependants. The natives follow domestic and agricultural pursuits almost exclusively.
Registration of births and deaths did not become compulsory till 1895. Among the European population the birth-rate is about 33.00 per thousand, and the death-rate 14.00 per thousand. The birth-rate among the coloured inhabitants is about the same as with the whites, but the death-rate is higher—about 25.00 per thousand.
Immigration and Emigration.—From 1873 to 1884 only 23,337 persons availed themselves of the government aid to immigrants from England to the Cape, and in 1886 this aid was stopped. The total number of adult immigrants by sea, however, steadily increased from 11,559 in 1891 to 38,669 in 1896, while during the same period the number of departures by sea only increased from 8415 to 17,695, and most of this increase took place in the last year. But from 1896 onwards the uncertainty of the political position caused a falling off in the number of immigrants, while the emigration figures still continued to grow; thus in 1900 there were 29,848 adult arrivals by sea, as compared with 21,163 departures. Following the close of the Anglo-Boer War the immigration figures rose in 1903 to 61,870, whereas the departures numbered 29,615. This great increase proved transitory; in 1904 and 1905 the immigrants numbered 32,282 and 33,775 respectively, while in the same years the emigrants numbered 33,651 and 34,533. At the census of 1904, 21.68% of the European population was born outside Africa, persons of Russian extraction constituting the strongest foreign element.
Provinces.—The first division of the colony for the purposes of administration and election of members for the legislative council was into two provinces, a western and an eastern, the western being largely Dutch in sentiment, the eastern chiefly British. With the growth of the colony these provinces were found to be inconveniently large, and by an act of government, which became law in 1874, the country was portioned out into seven provinces; about the same time new fiscal divisions were formed within them by the reduction of those already existing. The seven provinces are named from their geographical position: western, north-western, south-western, eastern, north-eastern, south-eastern and midland. In general usage the distinction made is into western and eastern provinces, according to the area of the primary division. Griqualand West on its incorporation with the colony in 1880 became a separate province, and when the crown colony of British Bechuanaland was taken over by the Cape in 1895 it also became a separate province (see Griqualand and Bechuanaland). For electoral purposes the Native Territories (see Kaffraria) are included in the eastern province.
Chief Towns.—With the exception of Kimberley the principal towns (see separate notices) are on the coast. The capital, Cape Town, had a population (1904) of 77,668, or including the suburbs, 169,641. The most important of these suburbs, which form separate municipalities, are Woodstock (28,990), Wynberg (18,477), and Claremont (14,972). Kimberley, the centre of the diamond mining industry, 647 m. up country from Cape Town, had a pop. of 34,331, exclusive of the adjoining municipality of Beaconsfield (9378). Port Elizabeth, in Algoa Bay, had 32,959 inhabitants, East London, at the mouth of the Buffalo river, 25,220. Cambridge (pop. 3480) is a suburb of East London. Uitenhage (pop. 12,193) is 21 m. N.N.W. of Port Elizabeth. Of the other towns Somerset West (2613), Somerset West Strand (3059), Stellenbosch (4969), Paarl (11,293), Wellington (4881), Ceres (2410), Malmesbury (3811), Caledon (3508), Worcester (7885), Robertson (3244) and Swellendam (2406) are named in the order of proximity to Cape Town, from which Swellendam is distant 134 m. Other towns in the western half of the colony are Riversdale (2643), Oudtshoorn (8849), Beaufort West (5478), Victoria West (2762), De Aar (3271), and the ports of Mossel Bay (4206) and George (3506). Graaff Reinet (10,083), Middleburg (6137), Cradock (7762), Aberdeen (2553), Steynsburg (2250) and Colesberg (2668) are more centrally situated, while in the east are Graham’s Town (13,887), King William’s Town (9506), Queenstown (9616), Molteno (2725), Burghersdorp (2894), Tarkastad (2270), Dordrecht (2052), Aliwal North (5566), the largest town on the banks of the Orange, and Somerset East (5216). Simon’s Town (6643) in False Bay is a station of the British navy. Mafeking (2713), in the extreme north of the colony near the Transvaal frontier, Taungs (2715) and Vryburg (2985) are in Bechuanaland. Kokstad (2903) is the capital of Griqualand East, Umtata (2342) the capital of Tembuland.
Port Nolloth is the seaport for the Namaqualand copper mines, whose headquarters are at O’okiep (2106). Knysna, Port Alfred and Port St Johns are minor seaports. Barkly East and Barkly West are two widely separated towns, the first being E.S.E. of Aliwal North and Barkly West in Griqualand West. Hopetown and Prieska are on the south side of the middle course of the Orange river. Upington (2508) lies further west on the north bank of the Orange and is the largest town in the western part of Bechuanaland. Indwe (2608) is the centre of the coal-mining region in the east of the colony. The general plan of the small country towns is that of streets laid out at right angles, and a large central market square near which are the chief church, town hall and other public buildings. In several of the towns, notably those founded by the early Dutch settlers, the streets are tree-lined. Those towns for which no population figures are given had at the 1904 census fewer than 2000 inhabitants.
Agriculture and Allied.—Owing to the scarcity of water over a large part of the country the area of land under cultivation is restricted. The farmers, in many instances, are pastoralists, whose wealth consists in their stock of cattle, sheep and goats, horses, and, in some cases, ostriches. In the lack of adequate irrigation much fertile soil is left untouched.
The principal cereal crops are wheat, with a yield of 1,701,000 bushels in 1904, oats, barley, rye, mealies (Indian corn) and Kaffir corn (a kind of millet). The principal wheat-growing districts are in the south-western and eastern provinces. The yield per acre is fully up to the average of the world’s yield, computed at twelve bushels to the acre. The quality of Cape wheat is stated to be unsurpassed. Rye gives its name to the Roggeveld, and is chiefly grown there and in the lower hills of Namaqualand. Mealies (extensively used as food for cattle and horses) are very largely grown by the coloured population and Kaffir corn almost exclusively so. Oats are grown over a wider area than any other crop, and next to mealies are the heaviest crop grown. They are often cut whilst still tender, dried and used as forage being known as oat hay (67,742,000 bundles of about 51 ℔ each were produced in 1904). The principal vegetables cultivated are potatoes, onions, mangold and beet, beans and peas. Farms in tillage are comparatively small, whilst those devoted to the rearing of sheep are very large, ranging from 3000 acres to 15,000 acres and more. For the most part the graziers own the farms they occupy.
The rearing of sheep and other live-stock is one of the chief occupations followed. At the census of 1904 over 8,465,000 woolled and 3,353,000 other sheep were enumerated. There were 2,775,000 angora and 4,386,000 other goats, some 2,000,000 cattle, 250,000 horses and 100,000 asses. These figures showed in most cases a large decrease compared with those obtained in 1891, the cause being largely the ravages of rinderpest. Lucerne and clover are extensively grown for fodder. Ostrich farms are maintained in the Karroo and in other parts of the country, young birds having been first enclosed in 1857. A farm of 6000 acres supports about 300 ostriches. The number of domesticated ostriches in 1904 was 357,000, showing an increase of over 200,000 since 1891. There are large mule-breeding establishments on the veld.
Viticulture plays an important part in the life of the colony. It is doubtful whether or not a species of vine is indigenous to the Cape. The first Dutch settlers planted small vineyards, while the cuttings of French vines introduced by the Huguenots about 1688 have given rise to an extensive culture in the south-western districts of the colony. The grapes are among the finest in the world, whilst the fruit is produced in almost unrivalled abundance. It is computed that over 600 gallons of wine are produced from 1000 vines. The vines number about 80,000,000, and the annual output of wine is about 6,000,000 gallons, besides 1,500,000 gallons of brandy. The Cape wines are chiefly those known as Hermitage, Muscadel, Pontac, Stein and Hanepoot. The high reputation which they had in the first half of the 19th century was afterwards lost to a large extent. Owing to greater care on the part of growers, and the introduction of French-American resistant stocks to replace vines attacked by the phylloxera, the wines in the early years of the 20th century again acquired a limited sale in England. By far the greater part of the vintage has been, however, always consumed in the colony. The chief wine-producing districts are those of the Paarl, Worcester, Robertson, Malmesbury, Stellenbosch and the Cape, all in the south-western regions. Beyond the colony proper there are promising vine stocks in the Gordonia division of Bechuanaland and in the Umtata district of Tembuland.
Fruit culture has become an important industry with the facilities afforded by rapid steamers for the sale of produce in Europe. The trees whose fruit reaches the greatest perfection and yield the largest harvest are the apricot, peach, orange and apple. Large quantities of table grapes are also grown. Many millions of each of the fruits named are produced annually. The pear, lemon, plum, fig and other trees likewise flourish. Cherry trees are scarce. The cultivation of the olive was begun in the western provinces, c. 1900. In the Oudtshoorn, Stockenstroom, Uniondale, Piquetberg and other districts tobacco is grown. The output for 1904 was 5,309,000 ℔.
Flour-milling is an industry second only in importance to that of diamond mining (see below). The chief milling centres are Port Elizabeth and the Cape district. In 1904 the output of the mills was valued at over £2,200,000, more than 7,000,000 bushels of wheat being ground.
Forestry is a growing industry. Most of the forests are crown property and are under the care of conservators. Fisheries were little developed before 1897 when government experiments were begun, which proved that large quantities of fish were easily procurable by trawling. Large quantities of soles are obtained from a trawling ground near Cape Agulhas. The collection of guano from the islands near Walfish Bay is under government control.
Mining.—The mineral wealth of the country is very great. The most valuable of the minerals is the diamond, found in Griqualand West and also at Hopetown, and other districts along the Orange river. The diamond-mining industry is almost entirely under the control of the De Beers Mining Company. From the De Beers mines at Kimberley have come larger numbers of diamonds than from all the other diamond mines of the world combined. Basing the calculation on the figures for the ten years 1896–1905, the average annual production is slightly over two and a half million carats, of the average annual value of £4,250,000, the average price per carat being £1 : 13 : 3. From the other districts alluvial diamonds are obtained of the average annual value of £250,000–£400,000. They are finer stones than the Kimberley diamonds, having an average value of £3 :2 : 7 per carat.
Next in importance among mineral products are coal and copper. The collieries are in the Stormberg district and are of considerable extent. The Indwe mines are the most productive. The colonial output increased from 23,000 tons in 1891 to 188,000 tons in 1904. The copper mines are in Namaqualand, an average of 50,000 to 70,000 tons of ore being mined yearly. Copper was the first metal worked by white men in the colony, operations beginning in 1852.
Gold is obtained from mines on the Madibi Reserve, near Mafeking—the outcrop extending about 30 m.—and, in small quantities, from mines in the Knysna district. In the Cape and Paarl districts are valuable stone and granite quarries. Asbestos is mined near Prieska, in which neighbourhood there are also nitrate beds. Salt is produced in several districts, there being large pans in the Prieska, Hopetown and Uitenhage divisions. Tin is obtained from Kuils river, near Cape Town. Many other minerals exist but are not put to industrial purposes.
Trade.—The colony has not only a large trade in its own commodities, but owes much of its commerce to the transit of goods to and from the Transvaal, Orange River Colony and Rhodesia. The staple exports are diamonds, gold (from the Witwatersrand mines), wool, copper ore, ostrich feathers, mohair, hides and skins. The export of wool, over 23,000,000 ℔ in 1860, had doubled by 1871, and was over 63,473,000 ℔ in 1905 when the export was valued at £1,887,459. In the same year (1905) 471,024 ℔ of ostrich feathers were exported valued at £1,081,187. The chief imports are textiles, food stuffs, wines and whisky, timber, hardware and machinery. The value of the total imports rose from £13,612,405 in 1895 to £33,761,831 in 1903, but dropped to £20,000,913 in 1905. The exports in 1895 were valued at £16,798,137 and rose to £23,247,258 in 1899. The dislocation of trade caused by the war with the Boer Republics brought down the exports in 1900 to £7,646,682 (in which year the value of the gold exported was only £336,795). They rose to £10,000,000 and £16,000,000 in 1901 and 1902 respectively, and in 1905 had reached £33,812,210. (This figure included raw gold valued at £20,731,159.) About 75% of the imports come from the United Kingdom or British colonies, and nearly the whole of the exports go to the United Kingdom. The tonnage of ships entered and cleared at colonial ports rose from 10,175,903 in 1895 to 22,518,286 in 1905. In that year 9ths of the tonnage was British. It is interesting to compare the figures already given with those of earlier days, as they illustrate the growth of the colony over a longer period. In 1836 the total trade of the country was under £1,000,000, in 1860 it had risen to over £4,500,000, in 1874 it exceeded £10,500,000. It remained at about this figure until the development of the Witwatersrand gold mines. The consequent great increase in the carrying trade with the Transvaal led to some neglect of the internal resources of the colony. Trade depression following the war of 1899–1902 turned attention to these resources, with satisfactory results. The value of imports for local consumption in 1906 was £12,847,188, the value of exports, the produce of the colony being £15,302,854. A “trade balance-sheet” for 1906 drawn up for the Cape Town chamber of commerce by its president showed, however, a debtor account of £18,751,000 compared with a credit account of £17,931,000, figures representing with fair accuracy the then economic condition of the country.
Cape Colony is a member of the South African Customs Union. The tariff, revised in 1906, is protective with a general ad valorem rate of 15% on goods not specifically enumerated. On machinery generally there is a 3% ad valorem duty. Books, engravings, paintings, sculptures, &c., are on the free list. There is a rebate of 3% on most goods from the United Kingdom, machinery from Great Britain thus entering free.
Communications.—There is regular communication between Europe and the colony by several lines of steamships. The British mails are carried under contract with the colonial government by packets of the Union-Castle Steamship Co., which leave Southampton every Saturday and Cape Town every Wednesday. The distance varies from 5866 m. to 6146 m., according to the route followed, and the mail boats cover the distance in seventeen days. From Cape Town mail steamers sail once a week, or oftener, to Port Elizabeth (436 m., two days) East London (543 m., three days) and Durban (823 m., four or five days); Mossel Bay being called at once a fortnight. Steamers also leave Cape Town at frequent and stated intervals for Port Nolloth.
Steamers of the D.O.A.L. (Deutsche Ost Afrika Linie), starting from Hamburg circumnavigate Africa, touching at the three chief Cape ports. The western route is via Dover to Cape Town, the eastern route is via the Suez Canal and Natal. Several lines of steamers ply between Cape Town and Australian ports, and others between Cape Colony and India.
There are over 8000 m. of roads in the colony proper and rivers crossing main routes are bridged. The finest bridge in the colony is that which spans the Orange at Hopetown. It is 1480 ft. long and cost £114,000. Of the roads in general it may be said that they are merely tracks across the veld made at the pleasure of the traveller. The ox is very generally used as a draught animal in country districts remote from railways; sixteen or eighteen oxen being harnessed to a wagon carrying 3 to 4 tons. Traction-engines have in some places supplanted the ox-wagon for bringing agricultural produce to market. The “Scotch cart,” a light two-wheeled vehicle is also much used.
Railways.—Railway construction began in 1859 when a private company built a line from Cape Town to Wellington. This line, 64 m. long, was the only railway in the colony for nearly fifteen years. In 1871 parliament resolved to build railways at the public expense, and in 1873 (the year following the conferment of responsible government on the colony) a beginning was made with the work, £5,000,000 having been voted for the purpose. In the same year the Cape Town–Wellington line was bought by the state. Subsequently powers were again given to private companies to construct lines, these companies usually receiving subsidies from the government, which owns and works the greater part of the railways in the colony.
The plan adopted in 1873 was to build independent lines from the seaports into the interior, and the great trunk lines then begun determined the development of the whole system. The standard gauge in South Africa is 3 ft., 6 in. and all railways mentioned are of that gauge unless otherwise stated.
The railways, which have a mileage exceeding 4000, are classified under three great systems:—the Western, the Midland and the Eastern.
The Western system—the southern section of the Cape to Cairo route—starts from Cape Town and runs by Kimberley (647 m.) to Vryburg (774 m.), whence it is continued by the Rhodesia Railway Co. to Mafeking (870 m.), Bulawayo (1360 m.), the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi (1623 m.) and the Belgian Congo frontier, whilst a branch from Bulawayo runs via Salisbury to Beira, 2037 m. from Cape Town. From Fourteen Streams, a station 47 m. north of Kimberley, a line goes via Klerksdorp to Johannesburg and Pretoria, this being the most direct route between Cape Town and the Transvaal. (Distance from Cape Town to Johannesburg, 955 m.)
The Midland system starts from Port Elizabeth, and the main line runs by Cradock and Naauwpoort to Norval’s Pont on the Orange river, whence it is continued through the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal by Bloemfontein to Johannesburg (714 m. from Port Elizabeth) and Pretoria (741 m.). From Kroonstad, a station midway between Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, a railway, opened in 1906, goes via Ladysmith to Durban, and provides the shortest railway route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and Natal. From Port Elizabeth a second line (186 m.) runs by Uitenhage and Graaff Reinet, rejoining the main line at Rosmead, from which a junction line (83 m.) runs eastwards, connecting with the Eastern system at Stormberg. From Naauwpoort another junction line (69 m.) runs north-west, connecting the Midland with the Western system at De Aar, and affords an alternative route to that via Kimberley from Cape Town to the Transvaal. (Distance from Cape Town to Johannesburg via Naauwpoort, 1012 m.)
The Eastern system starts from East London, and the principal line runs to Springfontein (314 m.) in the Orange River Colony, where it joins the line to Bloemfontein and the Transvaal. (Distance from East London to Johannesburg, 665 m.) From Albert junction (246 m. from East London) a branch, originally the main line, goes east to Aliwal North (280 m.).
The west to east connexion is made by a series of railways running for the most part parallel with the coast. Starting from Worcester, 109 m. from Cape Town on the western main line a railway runs to Mossel Bay via Swellendam and Riversdale. From Mossel Bay another line runs by George, Oudtshoorn and Willowmore to Klipplaat, a station on the line from Graaff Reinet to Port Elizabeth. (Distance from Cape Town 666 m.) From Somerset East a line (164 m.) goes via King William’s Town to Blaney junction on the eastern main line and 31 m. from East London. The Somerset East line crosses, at Cookhouse station, the Midland main line from Port Elizabeth to the north, and by this route the distance between Port Elizabeth and East London is 307 m. Before the completion in 1905 of the Somerset East–King William’s Town line, the nearest railway connexion between the two seaports was via Rosmead and Stormberg junction—a distance of 547 m. From Sterkstroom junction on the eastern main line a branch railway goes through the Transkei to connect at Riverside, the frontier station, with the Natal railways. It runs via the Indwe coal-mines (66 m. from Sterkstroom), Maclear (173 m.) and Kokstad. From Kokstad to Durban is 232 m. The eastern system is also connected with the Transkei by another railway. From Amabele, a station 51 m. from East London, a line goes east to Umtata (180 m. distant). Thence the line is continued to Port St Johns (307 m. from East London), whence another line 142 m. long goes to Kokstad.
Besides the main lines there are many smaller lines. Thus all the towns within a 50 m. radius of Cape Town are linked to it by railway. Longer branches run from the capital S.E. to Caledon (87 m.) and N.W. via Malmesbury (47 m.), and Piquetberg (107 m.) to Graaf Water (176 m.). A line runs N.W. across the veld from Hutchinson on the western main line via Victoria West to Carnarvon (86 m.). From De Aar junction, a line (111 m.) goes N.W. via Britstown to Prieska on the Orange river. From Port Elizabeth a line (35 m.) runs east to Grahamstown, whence another line (43 m.) goes south-east to Port Alfred at the mouth of the Kowie river. Another line (179 m.) on a two-foot gauge runs N.W. from Port Elizabeth via Humansdorp to Avontuur.
A line, unconnected with any other in the colony, runs from Port Nolloth on the west coast to the O’okiep copper mines (92 m.). It has a gauge of 2 ft. 6 in.
The railways going north have to cross, within a comparatively short distance of the coast, the mountains which lead to the Karroo. The steepest gradient is on the western main line. Having entered the hilly district at Tulbagh Road, where the railway ascends 500 ft. in 9 m., the Hex River Pass is reached soon after leaving Worcester, 794 ft. above the sea. In the next 36 m. the line rises 2400 ft., over 20 m. of that distance being at gradients of 1 in 40 to 1 in 45. The eastern line is the most continuously steep in the colony. In the first 18 m. from East London the railway rises 1000 ft.; at Kei Road, 46 m. from its starting-point, it has reached an altitude of 2332 ft., at Cathcart (109 m.) it is 3906 ft. above the sea, and at Cyphergat, where it pierces the Stormberg, 204 m. from East London, the rails are 5450 ft. above the sea. From Sterkstroom to Cyphergat, 15 m., the line rises 1044 ft. The highest railway station in the colony is Krom Hooghte, 5543 ft., in the Zuurberg, on the branch line connecting the Eastern and Western systems. The capital expended on government railways to the end of 1905 was £29,973,024, showing a cost per mile of £10,034. The gross earnings in 1905 were £4,047,065 (as compared with £3,390,093 in 1895); the expenses £3,076,920 (as compared with £1,596,013 in 1895). Passengers conveyed in 1905 numbered 20,611,384, and the tonnage of goods 1,836,946 (of 2000 ℔).
Posts and Telegraphs.—Direct telegraphic communication between London and Cape Town was established on Christmas day 1879. Cables connect the colony with Europe (1) via Loanda and Bathurst, (2) via St Helena, Ascension and St Vincent; with Europe and Asia (3) via Natal, Zanzibar and Aden, and with Australia (4) via Natal, Mauritius and Cocos.
An overland telegraph wire connects Cape Town and Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika, via Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Other lines connect Cape Town with all other South African states, while within the colony there is a complete system of telegraphic communication, over 8000 m. of lines being open in 1906. The telephone service is largely developed in the chief towns. The telegraph lines are owned and have been almost entirely built, at a cost up to 1906 of £865,670, by the government, which in 1873 took over the then existing lines (781 m.).
The postal service is well organized, and to places beyond the reach of the railway there is a service of mail carts, and in parts of Gordonia (Bechuanaland) camels are used to carry the mails. Since 1890 a yearly average of over 50,000,000 has passed through the post. Of these about four-fifths are letters.
Constitution and Government.—Under the constitution established in 1872 Cape Colony enjoyed self-government. The legislature consisted of two chambers, a Legislative Council and a House of Assembly. Members of the Legislative Council or Upper House represented the provinces into which the colony was divided and were elected for seven years; members of the House of Assembly, a much more numerous body, elected for five years, represented the towns and divisions of the provinces. At the head of the executive was a governor appointed by the crown. By the South Africa Act 1909 this constitution was abolished as from the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Cape Colony entered the Union as an original province, being represented in the Union parliament by eight members in the Senate and fifty-one in the House of Assembly. The qualifications of voters for the election of members of the House of Assembly are the same as those existing in Cape Colony at the establishment of the Union, and are as follows:—Voters must be born or naturalized British subjects residing in the Cape province at least twelve months, must be males aged 21 (no distinction being made as to race or colour), must be in possession of property worth £75, or in receipt of salary or wages of not less than £50 a year. No one not an elector in 1892 can be registered as a voter unless he can sign his name and write his address and occupation. A share in tribal occupancy does not qualify for a vote. A voter of non-European descent is not qualified for election to parliament (see further South Africa). The number of registered electors in 1907 was 152,135, of whom over 20,000 were non-Europeans.
For provincial purposes there is a provincial council consisting of the same number of members as are elected by the province to the House of Assembly. The qualifications of voters for the council are the same as for the House of Assembly. All voters, European and non-European, are eligible for seats on the council, but any councillor who becomes a member of parliament thereupon ceases to be a member of the provincial council. The council passes ordinances dealing with direct taxation within the province for purely local purposes, and generally controls all matters of a merely local or private nature in the province. The council was also given, for five years following the establishment of the Union, control of elementary education. All ordinances passed by the council must have the sanction of the Union government before coming into force. The council is elected for three years and is not subject to dissolution save by effluxion of time. The chief executive officer is an official appointed by the Union government and styled administrator of the province. The administrator holds his post for a period of five years. He is assisted by an executive committee consisting of four persons elected by the provincial council but not necessarily members of that body.
To the provincial council is entrusted the oversight of the divisional and municipal councils of the province, but the powers of such subordinate bodies can also be varied or withdrawn by the Union parliament acting directly. Divisional councils, which are elected triennially, were established in 1855. In 1908 they numbered eighty-one. The councils are presided over by a civil commissioner who is also usually resident magistrate. They have to maintain all roads in the division; can nominate field cornets (magistrates); may borrow money on the security of the rates for public works; and return three members yearly to the district licensing court. Their receipts in 1908 were £269,000; their expenditure in the same period was £283,000. The electors to the divisional councils are the owners or occupiers of immovable property. Members of the councils must be registered voters and owners of immovable property in the division valued at not less than £500.
Municipalities at the Cape date from 1836, and are now, for the most part, subject to the provisions of the General Municipal Act of 1882. Certain municipalities have, however, obtained special acts for their governance. In 1907 there were 119 municipalities in the province. Under the act of 1882 the municipalities were given power to levy annually an owner’s rate assessed upon the capital value of rateable property, and a tenant’s rate assessed upon the annual value of such property. No rate may exceed 2d. in the £ on the capital value or 8d. in the £ on the annual value. The receipts of the municipalities in 1907 amounted to £1,430,000. During the same period the expenditure amounted to £1,539,000.
Law and Justice.—The basis of the judicial system is the Roman-Dutch law, which has been, however, modified by legislation of the Cape parliament. In each division of the province there is a resident magistrate with primary jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters. The South Africa Act 1909 created a Supreme Court of South Africa, the supreme court of the Cape of Good Hope, which sits at Cape Town, becoming a provincial division of the new supreme court, presided over by a judge-president. The two other superior courts of Cape Colony, namely the eastern districts court which sits at Graham’s Town, and the high court of Griqualand which sits at Kimberley, became local divisions of the Supreme Court of South Africa. Each of these courts consists of a judge-president and two puisne judges. The provincial and local courts, besides their original powers, have jurisdiction in all matters in which the government of the Union is a party and in all matters in which the validity of any provincial ordinance shall come into question. From the decisions of these courts appeals may be made to the appellate division of the Supreme Court. The judges of the divisional courts go on circuit twice a year. In addition, since 1888 a special court has been held at Kimberley for trying cases relating to illicit diamond buying (“I.D.B.”). This court consists of two judges of the supreme court and one other member, hitherto the civil commissioner or the resident magistrate of Kimberley. The Transkeian territories, which fall under the jurisdiction of the eastern district court, are subject to a Native Territories Penal Code, which came into force in 1887. Besides the usual magistrates in these territories, there is a chief magistrate, resident at Cape Town, with two assistants in the territories.
Religion.—Up to the year 1876 government provided an annual grant for ecclesiastical purposes which was divided among the various churches, Congregationalists alone declining to receive state aid. From that date, in accordance with the provisions of the Voluntary Act of 1875, grants were only continued to the then holders of office. The Dutch Reformed Church, as might be anticipated from the early history of the country, is by far the most numerous community. Next in number of adherents among the white community come the Anglicans—Cape Colony forming part of the Province of South Africa. In 1847 a bishop of Cape Town was appointed to preside over this church, whose diocese extended not only over Cape Colony and Natal, but also over the island of St Helena. Later, however, separate bishops were appointed for the eastern province (with the seat at Graham’s Town) and for Natal. Subsequently another bishopric, St John’s, Kaffraria, was created and the Cape Town diocesan raised to the rank of archbishop. Of other Protestant bodies the Methodists outnumber the Anglicans, eight-ninths of their members being coloured people. The Roman Catholics have bishops in Cape Town and Graham’s Town, but are comparatively few. There are, besides, several foreign missions in the colony, the most important being the Moravian, London and Rhenish missionary societies. The Moravians have been established since 1732.
The following figures are extracted from the census returns of 1904:—Protestants, 1,305,453; Roman Catholics, 38,118; Jews, 19,537; Mahommedans, 22,623; other sects, 4297; “no religion,” 1,016,255. In this last category are placed the pagan natives. The figures for the chief Protestant sects were:—Dutch Reformed Church, 399,487; Gereformeerde Kerk, 6209; Lutherans, 80,902; Anglicans, 281,433; Presbyterians, 88,660; Congregationalists, 112,202; Wesleyan and other Methodists, 290,264; Baptists, 14,105. Of the Hottentots 77%, of the Fingoes 50%, of the mixed races 89%, and of the Kaffirs and Bechuanas 26% were returned as Christians.
Education.—There is a state system of primary education controlled by a superintendent-general of education and the education department which administers the parliamentary grants. As early as 1839 a scheme of public schools, drawn up by Sir John Herschel, the astronomer, came into operation, and was continued until 1865, when a more comprehensive scheme was adopted. In 1905 an act was passed dividing the colony into school districts under the control of popularly elected school boards, which were established during 1905–1906. These boards levy, through municipal or divisional councils, a rate for school purposes and supervise all public and poor schools. The schools are divided into public undenominational elementary schools; day schools and industrial institutions for the natives; mission schools to which government aid for secular instruction is granted; private farm schools, district boarding schools, training schools for teachers, industrial schools for poor whites, &c. In 1905 2930 primary schools of various classes were open. Education is not compulsory, but at the 1904 census 95% of the white population over fourteen years old could read and write. In the same year 186,000 natives could read and write, and 53,000 could read but not write. There are also numbers of private schools receiving no government aid. These include schools maintained by the German community, in which the medium of instruction is German.
The university of the Cape of Good Hope, modelled on that of London, stands at the head of the educational system of the colony. It arose out of and superseded the board of public examiners (which had been constituted in 1858), was established in 1874 and was granted a royal charter in 1877. It is governed by a chancellor, a vice-chancellor (who is chairman of the university council) and a council consisting (1909) of 38 members, including representatives of Natal. The university is empowered to grant degrees ranking equally with those of any university in Great Britain. Originally only B.A., M.A., LL.B., LL.D., M.B., and M.D. degrees were conferred, but degrees in literature, science and music and (in 1908) in divinity were added. The number of students who matriculated rose from 34 in 1875 to 118 in 1885, 242 in 1895 and 539 in 1905. The examinations are open to candidates irrespective of where they have studied, but under the Higher Education Act grants are paid to seven colleges that specially devote themselves to preparing students for the graduation courses. These are the South African College at Cape Town (founded in 1829), the Victoria College at Stellenbosch, the Diocesan College at Rondebosch, Rhodes University College, Graham’s Town, Gill College at Somerset East, the School of Mines at Kimberley and the Huguenot Ladies’ College at Wellington. Several denominational colleges, receiving no government aid, do the same work in a greater or less degree, the best known being St Aidan’s (Roman Catholic) College and Kingswood (Wesleyan) College, both at Graham’s Town. Graaff Reinet College, Dale College, King William’s Town, and the Grey Institute, Port Elizabeth, occupy the place of high schools under the education department. The Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch prepares theological students for the ministry of the Dutch Church. At Cape Town is a Royal Observatory, founded in 1829, one of the most important institutions of its kind in the world. It is under the control of a royal astronomer and its expenses are defrayed by the British admiralty.
Defence.—The Cape peninsula is fortified with a view to repelling attacks from the sea. Simon’s Town, which is on the east side of the peninsula, is the headquarters of the Cape and West Coast naval squadron. It is strongly fortified, as is also Table Bay. Port Elizabeth is likewise fortified against naval attack. A strong garrison of the British army is stationed in the colony, with headquarters at Cape Town. The cost of this garrison is borne by the imperial government. For purposes of local defence a force named the Frontier Armed and Mounted Police was organized in 1853, and a permanent colonial force has been maintained since that date. It is now known as the Cape Mounted Riflemen and is about 700 strong. Its ordinary duty is to preserve order in the Transkeian territories. The Cape Mounted Police, over 1600 strong, are also available for the defence of the colony and are fully armed. There are numerous volunteer corps, which receive a capitation grant from the government. By a law passed in 1878 every able-bodied man between eighteen and fifty is liable to military service without as well as within the limits of the state. There is also a volunteer naval force.
Revenue, Debt, &c.—The following table shows the total receipts (including loans) and payments (including that under Loan Acts) of the colony in various financial years, from 1880 to 1905:—
(included in total).
The colony had a public debt of £42,109,561 on the 31st of December 1905, including sums raised for corporate bodies, harbour boards, &c., but guaranteed in the general revenue. The greater part of the loans were issued at 31 or 4% interest. Nearly the whole of the loans raised have been spent on railways, harbours, irrigation and other public works. The value of assessed property for divisional council purposes was returned in 1905 at £87,078,268. The total revenue of the divisional councils increased from £160,558 in 1901 to £273,543 in 1905, and the expenditure from £170,892 in 1901 to £243,241 in 1905. The receipts from municipal rates and taxes rose from £520,587 in 1901 to £700,103 in 1905; the total municipal receipts in the same period from £978,867 to £1,752,105. At the end of 1905 the total indebtedness of the municipalities was £5,775,420, and the value of assessed property within the municipal bounds £53,948,224.
Banks.—The following table gives statistics of the banks under trust laws:—
|Including Head Offices.||Circulation,
Standard Time, Money, Weights and Measures.—Since 1903 a standard time has been adopted throughout South Africa, being that of 30° or two hours east of Greenwich. In other words noon in South Africa corresponds to 10.0 A.M. in London. The actual difference between the meridians of Greenwich and Cape Town is one hour fourteen minutes. The monetary system is that of Great Britain and the coins in circulation are exclusively British. Though all the standard weights and measures are British, the following old Dutch measures are still used:—Liquid Measure: Leaguer = about 128 imperial gallons; half aum = 151 imperial gallons; anker = 71 imperial gallons. Capacity: Muid = 3 bushels. The general surface measure is the old Amsterdam Morgen, reckoned equal to 2.11654 acres; 1000 Cape lineal feet are equal to 1033 British imperial feet. The Cape ton is 2000 ℔.
The Press.—The first newspaper of the colony, written in Dutch and English, was published in 1824, and its appearance marked an era not only in the literary but in the political history of the colony, since it drew to a crisis the disputes which had arisen between the colonists and the governor, Lord Charles Somerset, who had issued a decree prohibiting all persons from convening or attending public meetings. Its criticisms on public affairs soon led to its suppression by the governor, and a memorial from the colonists to the king petitioning for a free press was the result. This boon was secured to the colony in 1828, and the press soon became a powerful agent, characterized by public spirit and literary ability. In politics the newspapers are divided, principally on racial lines, appealing either to the British or the Dutch section of the community, rarely to both sides. There are about one hundred newspapers in English or Dutch published in the colony.
The chief papers are the Cape Times, Cape Argus, South African News (Bond), both daily and weekly; the Diamond Fields Advertiser (Kimberley) and the Eastern Province Herald (Port Elizabeth). Ons Land and Het Dagblad are Dutch papers published at Cape Town. (F. R. C.)
Discovery and Settlement.—Bartholomew Diaz, the Portuguese navigator, discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, and Vasco da Gama in 1497 sailed along the whole coast of South Africa on his way to India. The Portuguese, attracted by the riches of the East, made no permanent settlement at the Cape. But the Dutch, who, on the decline of the Portuguese power, established themselves in the East, early saw the importance of the place as a station where their vessels might take in water and provisions. They did not, however, establish any post at the Cape until 1652, when a small garrison under Jan van Riebeek were sent there by the Dutch East India Company. Riebeek landed at Table Bay and founded Cape Town. In 1671 the first purchase of land from the Hottentots beyond the limits of the fort built by Riebeek marked the beginning of the Colony proper. The earliest colonists were for the most part people of low station or indifferent character, but as the result of the investigations of a commissioner sent out in 1685 a better class of immigrants was introduced. About 1686 the European population was increased by a number of the French refugees who left their country on the revocation of the edict of Nantes. The influence of this small body of immigrants on the character of the Dutch settlers was marked. The Huguenots, however, owing to the policy of the Company, which in 1701 directed that Dutch only should be taught in the schools, ceased by the middle of the 18th century to be a distinct body, and the knowledge of French disappeared. Advancing north and east from their base at Cape Town the colonists gradually acquired—partly by so-called contracts, partly by force—all the land of the Hottentots, large numbers of whom they slew. Besides those who died in warfare, whole tribes of Hottentots were destroyed by epidemics of smallpox in 1713 and in 1755. Straggling remnants still maintained their independence, but the mass of the Hottentots took service with the colonists as herdsmen, while others became hangers-on about the company’s posts and grazing-farms or roamed about the country. In 1787 the Dutch government passed a law subjecting these wanderers to certain restrictions. The effect of this law was to place the Hottentots in more immediate dependence upon the farmers, or to compel them to migrate northward beyond the colonial border. Those who chose the latter alternative had to encounter the hostility of their old foes, the Bushmen, who were widely spread over the plains from the Nieuwveld and Sneeuwberg mountains to the Orange river. The colonists also, pressing forward to those territories, came in contact with these Ishmaelites—the farmers’ cattle and sheep, guarded only by a Hottentot herdsman, offering the strongest temptation to the Bushman. Reprisals followed; and the position became so desperate that the extermination of the Bushmen appeared to the government the only safe alternative. “Commandoes” or war-bands were sent out against them, and they were hunted down like wild beasts. Within a period of six years, it is said, upwards of 3000 were either killed or captured. Out of the organization of these commandoes, with their field-commandants and field-cornets, has grown the common system of local government in the Dutch-settled districts of South Africa.
It was not to the hostility of the natives, nor to the hard struggle with nature necessary to make agriculture profitable on Karroo or veld, that the slow progress made by the colonists was due, so much as to the narrow and tyrannical policy adopted by the East India Company, which closed the colony against free immigration, kept the whole of the trade in its own hands, combined the administrative, legislative and judicial powers in one body, prescribed to the farmers the nature of the crops they were to grow, demanded from them a large part of their produce, and harassed them with other exactions tending to discourage industry and enterprise. (See further South Africa, where the methods and results of Dutch colonial government are considered in their broader aspects.) To this mischievous policy is ascribed that dislike to orderly government, and that desire to escape from its control, which characterized for many generations the “boer” or farmer class of Dutch settlers—qualities utterly at variance with the character of the Dutch in their native country. It was largely to escape oppression that the farmers trekked farther and farther from the seat of government. The company, to control the emigrants, established a magistracy at Swellendam in 1745 and another at Graaff Reinet in 1786. The Gamtoos river had been declared, c. 1740, the eastern frontier of the colony, but it was soon passed. In 1780, however, the Dutch, to avoid collision with the warlike Kaffir tribes advancing south and west from east central Africa, agreed with them to make the Great Fish river the common boundary. In 1795 the heavily taxed burghers of the frontier districts, who were afforded no protection against the Kaffirs, expelled the officials of the East India Company, and set up independent governments at Swellendam and Graaff Reinet. In the same year, Holland having fallen under the revolutionary government of France, a British force under General Sir James Craig was sent to Cape Town to secure the colony for the prince of Orange—a refugee in England—against the French. The governor of Cape Town at first refused to obey the instructions from the prince, but on the British proceeding to take forcible possession he capitulated. His action was hastened by the fact that the Hottentots, deserting their former masters, flocked to the British standard. The burghers of Graaff Reinet did not surrender until a force had been sent against them, while in 1799 and again in 1801 they rose in revolt. In February 1803, as a result of the peace of Amiens, the colony was handed over to the Batavian Republic, which introduced many needful reforms, as had the British during their eight years’ rule. (One of the first acts of General Craig had been to abolish torture in the administration of justice.) War having again broken out, a British force was once more sent to the Cape. After an engagement (Jan. 1806) on the shores of Table Bay the Dutch garrison of Cape Castle surrendered to the British under Sir David Baird, and in 1814 the colony was ceded outright by Holland to the British crown. At that time the colony extended to the line of mountains guarding the vast central plateau, then called Bushmansland, and had an area of about 120,000 sq. m. and a population of some 60,000, of whom 27,000 were whites, 17,000 free Hottentots and the rest slaves. These slaves were mostly imported negroes and Malays. Their introduction was the chief cause leading the white settlers to despise manual labour.
The First and Second Kaffir Wars.—At the time of the cession to Great Britain the first of several wars with the Kaffirs had been fought. (The numerous minor conflicts which since 1789 had taken place between the colonists and the Kaffirs—the latter sometimes aided by Hottentot allies—are not reckoned in the usual enumeration of the Kaffir wars.) The Kaffirs, who had crossed the colonial frontier, had been expelled from the district between the Sunday and Great Fish rivers known as the Zuurveld, which became a sort of neutral ground. For some time previous to 1811 the Kaffirs, however, had taken possession of the neutral ground and committed depredations on the colonists. In order to expel them from the Zuurveld, Colonel John Graham took the field with a mixed force in December 1811, and in the end the Kaffirs were driven beyond the Fish river. On the site of Colonel Graham’s headquarters arose the town which bears his name. In 1817 further trouble arose with the Kaffirs, the immediate cause of quarrel being an attempt by the colonial authorities to enforce the restitution of some stolen cattle. Routed in 1818 the Kaffirs rallied, and in the early part of 1819 poured into the colony in vast hordes. Led by a prophet-chief named Makana, they attacked Graham’s Town on the 22nd of April, then held by a handful of white troops. Help arrived in time and the enemy were beaten back. It was then arranged that the land between the Fish and Keiskamma rivers should be neutral territory.
The British Settlers of 1820.—The war of 1817–19 led to the first introduction of English settlers on a considerable scale, an event fraught with far-reaching consequences. The then governor, Lord Charles Somerset, whose treaty arrangements with the Kaffir chiefs had proved unfortunate, desired to erect a barrier against the Kaffirs by settling white colonists in the border district. In 1820, on the advice of Lord Charles, parliament voted £50,000 to promote emigration to the Cape, and 4000 British were sent out. These people formed what was known as the Albany settlement, founding Port Elizabeth and making Graham’s Town their headquarters. Intended primarily as a measure to secure the safety of the frontier, and regarded by the British government chiefly as a better means of affording a livelihood to a few thousands of the surplus population, this emigration scheme accomplished a far greater work than its authors contemplated. The new settlers, drawn from every part of the British Isles and from almost every grade of society, retained, and their descendants retain, strong sympathy with their native land. In course of time they formed a valuable counterpoise to the Dutch colonists, and they now constitute the most progressive element in the colony. The advent of these immigrants was also the means of introducing the English language at the Cape. In 1825, for the first time, ordinances were issued in English, and in 1827 its use was extended to the conduct of judicial proceedings. Dutch was not, however, ousted, the colonists becoming to a large extent bilingual.
Dislike of British Rule.—Although the colony was fairly prosperous, many of the Dutch farmers were as dissatisfied with British rule as they had been with that of the Dutch East India Company, though their ground of complaint was not the same. In 1792 Moravian missions had been established for the benefit of the Hottentots, and in 1799 the London Missionary Society began work among both Hottentots and Kaffirs. The championship of Hottentot grievances by the missionaries caused much dissatisfaction among the majority of the colonists, whose views, it may be noted, temporarily prevailed, for in 1812 an ordinance was issued which empowered magistrates to bind Hottentot children as apprentices under conditions differing little from that of slavery. Meantime, however, the movement for the abolition of slavery was gaining strength in England, and the missionaries at length appealed from the colonists to the mother country. An incident which occurred in 1815–1816 did much to make permanent the hostility of the frontiersmen to the British. A farmer named Bezuidenhout refused to obey a summons issued on the complaint of a Hottentot, and firing on the party sent to arrest him, was himself killed by the return fire. This caused a miniature rebellion, and on its suppression five ringleaders were publicly hanged at the spot—Slachters Nek—where they had sworn to expel “the English tyrants.” The feeling caused by the hanging of these men was deepened by the circumstances of the execution—for the scaffold on which the rebels were simultaneously swung, broke down from their united weight and the men were afterwards hanged one by one. An ordinance passed in 1827, abolishing the old Dutch courts of landroost and heemraden (resident magistrates being substituted) and decreeing that henceforth all legal proceedings should be conducted in English; the granting in 1828, as a result of the representations of the missionaries, of equal rights with whites to the Hottentots and other free coloured people; the imposition (1830) of heavy penalties for harsh treatment of slaves, and finally the emancipation of the slaves in 1834—all these things increased the dislike of the farmers to the government. Moreover, the inadequate compensation awarded to slave-owners, and the suspicions engendered by the method of payment, caused much resentment, and in 1835 the trekking of farmers into unknown country in order to escape from an unloved government, which had characterized the 18th century, recommenced. Emigration beyond the colonial border had in fact been continuous for 150 years, but it now took on larger proportions.
The Third Kaffir War.—On the eastern border further trouble arose with the Kaffirs, towards whom the policy of the Cape government was marked by much vacillation. On the 11th of December 1834 a chief of high rank was killed while resisting a commando party. This set the whole of the Kaffir tribes in a blaze. A force of 10,000 fighting men, led by Macomo, a brother of the chief who was killed, swept across the frontier, pillaged and burned the homesteads and murdered all who dared to resist. Among the worst sufferers were a colony of freed Hottentots who, in 1829, had been settled in the Kat river valley by the British authorities. The fighting power of the colony was scanty, but the governor, Sir Benjamin D'Urban (q.v.), acted with promptitude, and all available forces were mustered under Colonel (afterwards Sir Harry) Smith, who reached Graham’s Town on the 6th of January 1835, six days after news of the rising reached Cape Town. The enemy’s territory was invaded, and after nine months’ fighting the Kaffirs were completely subdued, and a new treaty of peace concluded (on the 17th of September). By this treaty all the country as far as the river Kei was acknowledged to be British, and its inhabitants declared British subjects. A site for the seat of government was selected and named King Wiliam’s Town.
The Great Trek.—The action of Sir Benjamin D’Urban was not approved by the home government, and on the instruction of Lord Glenelg, secretary for the colonies, who declared that “the great evil of the Cape Colony consists in its magnitude,” the colonial boundary was moved back to the Great Fish river, and eventually (in 1837) Sir Benjamin was dismissed from office. “The Kaffirs,” in the opinion of Lord Glenelg, “had an ample justification for war; they had to resent, and endeavoured justly, though impotently, to avenge a series of encroachments” (despatch of the 26th of December 1835). This attitude towards the Kaffirs was one of the many reasons given by the Trek Boers for leaving Cape Colony. The Great Trek, as it is called, lasted from 1836 to 1840, the trekkers, who numbered about 7000, founding communities with a republican form of government beyond the Orange and Vaal rivers, and in Natal, where they had been preceded, however, by British emigrants. From this time Cape Colony ceased to be the only civilized community in South Africa, though for long it maintained its predominance. Up to 1856 Natal was, in fact, a dependency of the Cape (see South Africa). Considerable trouble was caused by the emigrant Boers on either side of the Orange river, where the new comers, the Basutos and other Kaffir tribes, Bushmen and Griquas contended for mastery. The Cape government endeavoured to protect the rights of the natives. On the advice of the missionaries, who exercised great influence with all the non-Dutch races, a number of native states were recognized and subsidized by the Cape government, with the object—not realized—of obtaining peace on this northern frontier. The first of these “Treaty States” recognized was that of the Griquas of Griqualand West. Others were recognized in 1843 and 1844—in the last-named year a treaty was made with the Pondoes on the eastern border. During this period the condition of affairs on the eastern frontier was deplorable, the government being unable or unwilling to afford protection to the farmers from the depredations of the Kaffirs. Elsewhere, however, the colony was making progress. The change from slave to free labour proved to be advantageous to the farmers in the western provinces; an efficient educational system, which owed its initiation to Sir John Herschel, the astronomer (who lived in Cape Colony from 1834 to 1838), was adopted; Road Boards were established and did much good work; to the staple industries—the growing of wheat, the rearing of cattle and the making of wine—was added sheep-raising; and by 1846 wool became the most valuable export from the country. The creation, in 1835, of a legislative council, on which unofficial members had seats, was the first step in giving the colonists a share in the government.
The War of the Axe.—Another war with the Kaffirs broke out in 1846 and was known as the War of the Axe, from the murder of a Hottentot, to whom an old Kaffir thief was manacled, while being conveyed to Graham’s Town for trial for stealing an axe. The escort was attacked by a party of Kaffirs and the Hottentot killed. The surrender of the murderer was refused, and war was declared in March 1846. The Gaikas were the chief tribe engaged in the war, assisted during the course of it by the Tambukies. After some reverses the Kaffirs were signally defeated on the 7th of June by General Somerset on the Gwangu, a few miles from Fort Peddie. Still the war went on, till at length Sandili, the chief of the Gaikas, surrendered, followed gradually by the other chiefs; and by the beginning of 1848 the Kaffirs were again subdued, after twenty-one months’ fighting.
Extension of British Sovereignty.—In the last month of the war (December 1847) Sir Harry Smith reached Cape Town as governor of the colony, and with his arrival the Glenelg policy was reversed. By proclamation, on the 17th of December, he extended the frontier of the colony northward to the Orange river and eastward to the Keiskamma river, and on the 23rd, at a meeting of the Kaffir chiefs, announced the annexation of the country between the Keiskamma and the Kei rivers to the British crown, thus reabsorbing the territory abandoned by order of Lord Glenelg. It was not, however, incorporated with the Cape, but made a crown dependency under the name of British Kaffraria. For a time the Kaffirs accepted quietly the new order of things. The governor had other serious matters to contend with, including the assertion of British authority over the Boers beyond the Orange river, and the establishment of amicable relations with the Transvaal Boers. In the colony itself a crisis arose out of the proposal to make it a convict station.
The Convict Agitation and Granting of a Constitution.—In 1848 a circular was sent by the 3rd Earl Grey, then colonial secretary, to the governor of the Cape (and to other colonial governors), asking him to ascertain the feelings of the colonists regarding the reception of a certain class of convicts, the intention being to send to South Africa Irish peasants who had been driven into crime by the famine of 1845. Owing to some misunderstanding, a vessel, the “Neptune,” was despatched to the Cape before the opinion of the colonists had been received, having on board 289 convicts, among whom were John Mitchell, the Irish rebel, and his colleagues. When the news reached the Cape that this vessel was on her way, the people of the colony became violently excited; and they established an anti-convict association, by which they bound themselves to cease from all intercourse of every kind with persons in any way connected “with the landing, supplying or employing convicts.” On the 19th of September 1849 the “Neptune” arrived in Simon’s Bay. Sir Harry Smith, confronted by a violent public agitation, agreed not to land the convicts, but to keep them on board ship in Simon’s Bay till he received orders to send them elsewhere. When the home government became aware of the state of affairs orders were sent directing the “Neptune” to proceed to Tasmania, and it did so after having been in Simon’s Bay for five months. The agitation did not, however, pass away without other important results, since it led to another movement, the object of which was to obtain a free representative government for the colony. This concession, which had been previously promised by Lord Grey, was granted by the British government, and, in 1854, a constitution was established of almost unprecedented liberality.
The Kaffir War of 1850–1853.—The anti-convict agitation had scarcely ceased when the colony was once again involved in war. The Kaffirs bitterly resented their loss of independence, and ever since the last war had been secretly preparing to renew the struggle. Sir Harry Smith, informed of the threatening attitude of the natives, proceeded to the frontier, and summoned Sandili and the other chiefs to an interview. Sandili refused obedience; upon which, at an assembly of other chiefs (October 1850), the governor declared him deposed from his chiefship, and appointed an Englishman, Mr Brownlee, a magistrate, to be temporary chief of the Gaika tribe. The governor appears to have believed that the measures he took would prevent a war and that Sandili could be arrested without armed resistance. On the 24th of December Col. Geo. Mackinnon, being sent with a small force with the object of securing the chief, was attacked in a narrow defile by a large body of Kaffirs, and compelled to retreat with some loss. This was the signal for a general rising of the Gaika tribe. The settlers in the military villages, which had been established along the frontier, assembled in fancied security to celebrate Christmas Day, were surprised, many of them murdered, and their houses given to the flames. Other disasters followed in quick succession. A small patrol of military was cut off to a man. The greater part of the Kaffir police deserted, many of them carrying off their arms and accoutrements. Emboldened by success, the enemy in immense force surrounded and attacked Fort Cox, where the governor was stationed with an inconsiderable force. More than one unsuccessful attempt was made to relieve Sir Harry; but his dauntless spirit was equal to the occasion. At the head of 150 mounted riflemen, accompanied by Colonel Mackinnon, he dashed out of the fort, and, through a heavy fire of the enemy, rode to King William’s Town—a distance of 12 m. Meantime, a new enemy appeared. Some 900 of the Kat river Hottentots, who had in former wars been firm allies of the British, threw in their lot with their hereditary enemies—the Kaffirs. They were not without excuses. They complained that while doing burgher duty in former wars—the Cape Mounted Rifles consisted largely of Hottentot levies—they had not received the same treatment as others serving in defence of the colony, that they got no compensation for the losses they had sustained, and that they were in various ways made to feel they were a wronged and injured race. A secret combination was formed with the Kaffirs to take up arms to sweep the Europeans away and establish a Hottentot republic. Within a fortnight of the attack on Colonel Mackinnon the Kat river Hottentots were also in arms. Their revolt was followed by that of the Hottentots at other missionary stations; and part of the Hottentots of the Cape Mounted Rifles followed their example, including the very men who had escorted the governor from Fort Cox. But numbers of Hottentots remained loyal and the Fingo Kaffirs likewise sided with the British.
After the confusion caused by the sudden outbreak had subsided, and preparations had been made, Sir Harry Smith and his gallant force turned the tide of war against the Kaffirs. The Amatola mountains were stormed; and the paramount chief Kreli, who all along covertly assisted the Gaikas, was severely punished. In April 1852 Sir Harry Smith was recalled by Earl Grey, who accused him—unjustly, in the opinion of the duke of Wellington—of a want of energy and judgment in conducting the war, and he was succeeded by Lieutenant-General Cathcart. Kreli was again attacked and reduced to submission. The Amatolas were finally cleared of the Kaffirs, and small forts erected among them to prevent their reoccupation. The British commanders were hampered throughout by the insufficiency of their forces, and it was not till March 1853 that this most sanguinary of Kaffir wars was brought to a conclusion, after a loss of many hundred British soldiers. Shortly afterwards, British Kaffraria was made a crown colony. The Hottentot settlement at Kat river remained, but the Hottentot power within the colony was now finally crushed.
The Great Amaxosa Delusion.—From 1853 the Kaffir tribes on the east gave little trouble to the colony. This was due, in large measure, to an extraordinary delusion which arose among the Amaxosa in 1856, and led in 1857 to the death of some 50,000 persons. This incident is one of the most remarkable instances of misplaced faith recorded in history. The Amaxosa had not accepted their defeat in 1853 as decisive and were preparing to renew the struggle with the white men. At this juncture, May 1856, a girl named Nongkwase told her father that on going to draw water from a stream she had met strangers of commanding aspect. The father, Mhlakza, went to see the men, who told him that they were spirits of the dead, who had come, if their behests were obeyed, to aid the Kaffirs with their invincible power to drive the white man from the land. Mhlakza repeated the message to his chief, Sarili, one of the most powerful Kaffir rulers. Sarili ordered the commands of the spirits to be obeyed. These orders were, at first, that the Amaxosa were to destroy their fat cattle. The girl Nongkwase, standing in the river where the spirits had first appeared, heard unearthly noises, interpreted by her father as orders to kill more and more cattle. At length the spirits commanded that not an animal of all their herds was to be left alive, and every grain of corn was to be destroyed. If that were done, on a given date myriads of cattle more beautiful than those destroyed would issue from the earth, while great fields of corn, ripe and ready for harvest, would instantly appear. The dead would rise, trouble and sickness vanish, and youth and beauty come to all alike. Unbelievers and the hated white man would on that day utterly perish. The people heard and obeyed. Sarili is believed by many persons to have been the instigator of the prophecies. Certainly some of the principal chiefs regarded all that was done simply as the preparation for a last struggle with the whites, their plan being to throw the whole Amaxosa nation fully armed and in a famishing condition upon the colony. There were those who neither believed the predictions nor looked for success in war, but destroyed their last particle of food in unquestioning obedience to their chief’s command. Either in faith that reached the sublime, or in obedience equally great, vast numbers of the people acted. Great kraals were also prepared for the promised cattle, and huge skin sacks to hold the milk that was soon to be more plentiful than water. At length the day dawned which, according to the prophecies, was to usher in the terrestrial paradise. The sun rose and sank, but the expected miracle did not come to pass. The chiefs who had planned to hurl the famished warrior host upon the colony had committed an incredible blunder in neglecting to call the nation together under pretext of witnessing the resurrection. This error they realized too late, and endeavoured by fixing the resurrection for another day to gather the clans, but blank despair had taken the place of hope and faith, and it was only as starving suppliants that the Amaxosa sought the British. The colonists did what they could to save life, but thousands perished miserably. In their extremity many of the Kaffirs turned cannibals, and one instance of parents eating their own child is authenticated. Among the survivors was the girl Nongkwase; her father perished. A vivid narrative of the whole incident will be found in G. M. Theal’s History and Geography of South Africa (3rd ed., London, 1878), from which this account is condensed. The country depopulated as the result of this delusion was afterwards peopled by European settlers, among whom were members of the German legion which had served with the British army in the Crimea, and some 2000 industrious North German emigrants, who proved a valuable acquisition to the colony.
Sir George Grey’s Governorship.—In 1854 Sir George Grey became governor of the Cape, and the colony owed much to his wise administration. The policy, imposed by the home government, of abandoning responsibility beyond the Orange river, was, he perceived, a mistaken one, and the scheme he prepared in 1858 for a confederation of all South Africa (q.v.) was rejected by Great Britain. By his energetic action, however, in support of the missionaries Moffat and Livingstone, Sir George kept open for the British the road through Bechuanaland to the far interior. To Sir George was also due the first attempt, missionary effort apart, to educate the Kaffirs and to establish British authority firmly among them, a result which the self-destruction of the Amaxosa rendered easy. Beyond the Kei the natives were left to their own devices. Sir George Grey left the Cape in 1861. During his governorship the resources of the colony had been increased by the opening up of the copper mines in Little Namaqualand, the mohair wool industry had been established and Natal made a separate colony. The opening, in November 1863, of the railway from Cape Town to Wellington, begun in 1859, and the construction in 1860 of the great breakwater in Table Bay, long needed on that perilous coast, marked the beginning in the colony of public works on a large scale. They were the more or less direct result of the granting to the colony of a large share in its own government. In 1865 the province of British Kaffraria was incorporated with the colony, under the title of the Electoral Divisions of King William’s Town and East London. The transfer was marked by the removal of the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic liquors to the natives, and the free trade in intoxicants which followed had most deplorable results among the Kaffir tribes. A severe drought, affecting almost the entire colony for several years, caused great depression of trade, and many farmers suffered severely. It was at this period (1869) that ostrich-farming was successfully established as a separate industry.
Whether by or against the wish of the home government, the limits of British authority continued to extend. The Basutos, who dwelt in the upper valleys of the Orange river, had subsisted under a semi-protectorate of the British government from 1843 to 1854; but having been left to their own resources on the abandonment of the Orange sovereignty, they fell into a long exhaustive warfare with the Boers of the Free State. On the urgent petition of their chief Moshesh, they were proclaimed British subjects in 1868, and their territory became part of the colony in 1871 (see Basutoland). In the same year the south-eastern part of Bechuanaland was annexed to Great Britain under the title of Griqualand West. This annexation was a consequence of the discovery there of rich diamond mines, an event which was destined to have far-reaching results. (F. R. C.)
Development of Modern Conditions.—The year 1870 marks the dawn of a new era in South Africa. From that date the development of modern South Africa may be said to have fairly started, and in spite of political complications, arising from time to time, the progress of Cape Colony down to the outbreak of the Transvaal War of 1899 was steadily forward. The discovery of diamonds on the Orange river in 1867, followed immediately afterwards by the discovery of diamonds on the Vaal river, led to the rapid occupation and development of a tract of country which had hitherto been but sparsely inhabited. In 1870 Dutoitspan and Bultfontein diamond mines were discovered, and in 1871 the still richer mines of Kimberley and De Beers. These four great deposits of mineral wealth are still richly productive, and constitute the greatest industrial asset which the colony possesses. At the time of the beginning of the diamond industry, not only the territory of Cape Colony and the Boer Republics, but all South Africa, was in a very depressed condition. Ostrich-farming was in its infancy, and agriculture but little developed. The Boers, except in the immediate vicinity of Cape Town, were a primitive people. Their wants were few, they lacked enterprise, and the trade of the colony was restricted. Even the British colonists at that time were far from rich. The diamond industry therefore offered considerable attractions, especially to colonists of British origin. It was also the means at length of demonstrating the fact that South Africa, barren and poor on the surface, was rich below the surface. It takes ten acres of Karroo to feed a sheep, but it was now seen that a few square yards of diamondiferous blue ground would feed a dozen families. By the end of 1871 a large population had already gathered at the diamond fields, and immigration continued steadily, bringing new-comers to the rich fields. Among the first to seek a fortune at the diamond fields was Cecil Rhodes.
In 1858 the scheme of Sir George Grey for the federation of the various colonies and states of South Africa had been rejected, as has been stated, by the home authorities. In 1874 the 4th earl of Carnarvon, secretary of state for the colonies, who had been successful in aiding to bring about the federation of Canada, turned his attention to a similar scheme for the confederation of South Africa. The representative government in Cape Colony had been replaced in 1872 by responsible, i.e. self-government, and the new parliament at Cape Town resented the manner in which Lord Carnarvon propounded his suggestions. A resolution was passed (June 11, 1875) stating that any scheme in favour of confederation must in its opinion originate within South Africa itself. James Anthony Froude, the distinguished historian, was sent out by Lord Carnarvon to further his policy in South Africa. As a diplomatist and a representative of the British government, the general opinion in South Africa was that Froude was not a success, and he entirely failed to induce the colonists to adopt Lord Carnarvon’s views. In 1876, Fingoland, the Idutywa reserve, and Noman’s-land, tracts of country on the Kaffir frontier, were annexed by Great Britain, on the understanding that the Cape government should provide for their government. Lord Carnarvon, still bent on confederation, now appointed Sir Bartle Frere governor of Cape Colony and high commissioner of South Africa.
Frere had no sooner taken office as high commissioner than he found himself confronted with serious native troubles in Zululand and on the Kaffir frontier of Cape Colony. In 1877 there occurred an outbreak on the part of the Galekas and the Gaikas. A considerable force of imperial and colonial troops was employed to put down this rising, and the war was subsequently known as the Ninth Kaffir war. It was in this war that the famous Kaffir chief, Sandili, lost his life. At its conclusion the Transkei, the territory of the Galeka tribe, under Kreli, was annexed by the British. In the meantime Lord Carnarvon had resigned his position in the British cabinet, and the scheme for confederation which he had been pushing forward was abandoned. As a matter of fact, at that time Cape Colony was too fully occupied with native troubles to take into consideration very seriously so great a question as confederation. A wave of feeling spread amongst the different Kaffir tribes on the colonial frontier, and after the Gaika-Galeka War there followed in 1879 a rising in Basutoland under Moirosi, whose cattle-raiding had for some time past caused considerable trouble. His stronghold was taken after very severe fighting by a colonial force, but, their defeat notwithstanding, the Basutos remained in a restless and aggressive condition for several years. In 1880 the colonial authorities endeavoured to extend to Basutoland the Peace Preservation Act of 1878, under which a general disarmament of the Basutos was attempted. Further fighting followed on this proclamation, which was by no means successful, and although peace was declared in the country in December 1882, the colonial authorities were very glad in 1884 to be relieved of the administration of a country which had already cost them £3,000,000. The imperial government then took over Basutoland as a crown colony, on the understanding that Cape Colony should contribute for administrative purposes £18,000 annually. In 1880, Sir Bartle Frere, who by his energetic and statesmanlike attitude on the relations with the native states, as well as on all other questions, had won the esteem and regard of loyal South African colonists, was recalled by the 1st earl of Kimberley, the liberal secretary of state for the colonies, and was succeeded by Sir Hercules Robinson. Griqualand West, which included the diamond fields, was now incorporated as a portion of Cape Colony.
Origin of the Afrikander Bond.—The Boer War of 1881, with its disastrous termination, naturally reacted throughout South Africa; and as one of the most important results, in the year 1882 the first Afrikander Bond congress was held at Graaff Reinet. The organization of the Bond developed into one embracing the Transvaal, the Orange Free State and Cape Colony. Each country had a provincial committee with district committees, and branches were distributed throughout the whole of South Africa. At a later date the Bond in the Cape Colony dissociated itself from its Republican branches. The general lines of policy which this organization endeavoured to promote may best be gathered from De Patriot, a paper published in the colony, and an avowed supporter of the organization. The following extracts from articles published in 1882 will illustrate, better than anything else, the ambition entertained by some of the promoters of this remarkable organization.
“The Afrikander Bond has for its object the establishment of a South African nationality by spreading a true love for what is really our fatherland. No better time could be found for establishing the Bond than the present, when the consciousness of nationality has been thoroughly aroused by the Transvaal war.” . . . “The British government keep on talking about a confederation under the British flag, but that will never be brought about. They can be quite certain of that. There is just one obstacle in the way of confederation, and that is the British flag. Let them remove that, and in less than a year the confederation would be established under the Free Afrikander flag.” “After a time the English will realize that the advice given them by Froude was the best—they must just have Simon’s Bay as a naval and military station on the way to India, and give over all the rest of South Africa to the Afrikanders.” . . . “Our principal weapon in the social war must be the destruction of English trade by our establishing trading companies for ourselves.” . . . “It is the duty of each true Afrikander not to spend anything with the English that he can avoid.”
De Patriot afterwards became imperialist, but Ons Land, another Bond organ, continued in much the same strain.
In addition to having its press organs, the Bond from time to time published official utterances less frank in their tone than the statements of its press. Some of the Articles of the Bond’s original manifesto are entirely praiseworthy, e.g. those referring to the administration of justice, the honour of the people, &c.; such clauses as these, however, were meaningless in view of the enlightened government which obtained in Cape Colony, and for the true “inwardness” of this document it is necessary to note Article 3, which distinctly speaks of the promotion of South Africa’s independence (Zelfstandigheid). If the Bond aroused disloyalty and mistaken aspirations in one section of the Cape inhabitants, it is equally certain that it caused a great wave of loyal and patriotic enthusiasm to pass through another and more enlightened section. A pamphlet written in 1885 for an association called the Empire League by Mr Charles Leonard, who afterwards consistently championed the cause of civil equality and impartial justice in South Africa, maintained as follows:—
“(1) That the establishment of the English government here was beneficial to all classes; and (2) that the withdrawal of that government would be disastrous to every one having vested interests in the colony. . . . England never can, never will, give up this colony, and we colonists will never give up England. . . . Let us, the inhabitants of the Cape Colony, be swift to recognize that we are one people, cast together under a glorious flag of liberty, with heads clear enough to appreciate the freedom we enjoy, and hearts resolute to maintain our true privileges; let us desist from reproaching and insulting one another, and, rejoicing that we have this goodly land as a common heritage, remember that by united action only can we realize its grand possibilities. We belong both of us to a home-loving stock, and the peace and prosperity of every home in the land is at stake. On our action now depends the question whether our children shall curse or bless us; whether we shall live in their memory as promoters of civil strife, with all its miserable consequences, or as joint architects of a happy, prosperous and united state. Each of us looks back to a noble past. United, we may ensure to our descendants a not unworthy future. Disunited, we can hope for nothing but stagnation, misery and ruin. Is this a light thing?”
It is probable that many Englishmen reading Mr Leonard’s manifesto at the time regarded it as unduly alarming, but subsequent events proved the soundness of the views it expressed. The fact is that, from 1881 onwards, two great rival ideas came into being, each strongly opposed to the other. One was that of Imperialism—full civil rights for every civilized man, whatever his race might be, under the supremacy and protection of Great Britain. The other was nominally republican, but in fact exclusively oligarchical and Dutch. The policy of the extremists of this last party was summed up in the appeal which President Kruger made to the Free State in February 1881, when he bade them “Come and help us. God is with us. It is his will to unite us as a people”—“to make a united South Africa free from British authority.” The two actual founders of the Bond party were Mr Borckenhagen, a German who was residing in Bloemfontein, and Mr Reitz, afterwards state secretary of the Transvaal. Two interviews have been recorded which show the true aims of these two promoters of the Bond at the outset. One occurred between Mr Borckenhagen and Cecil Rhodes, the other between Mr Reitz and Mr T. Schreiner, whose brother became, at a later date, prime minister of Cape Colony. In the first interview Mr Borckenhagen remarked to Rhodes: “We want a united Africa,” and Rhodes replied: “So do I.” Mr Borckenhagen then continued: “There is nothing in the way; we will take you as our leader. There is only one small thing: we must, of course, be independent of the rest of the world.” Rhodes replied: “You take me either for a rogue or a fool. I should be a rogue to forfeit all my history and my traditions; and I should be a fool, because I should be hated by my own countrymen and mistrusted by yours.” But as Rhodes truly said at Cape Town in 1898, “The only chance of a true union is the overshadowing protection of a supreme power, and any German, Frenchman, or Russian would tell you that the best and most liberal power is that over which Her Majesty reigns.” The other interview took place at the beginning of the Bond’s existence. Being approached by Mr Reitz, Mr T. Schreiner objected that the Bond aimed ultimately at the overthrow of British rule and the expulsion of the British flag from South Africa. To this Mr Reitz replied: “Well, what if it is so?” Mr Schreiner expostulated in the following terms: “You do not suppose that that flag is going to disappear without a tremendous struggle and hard fighting?” “Well, I suppose not, but even so, what of that?” rejoined Mr Reitz. In the face of this testimony with reference to two of the most prominent of the Bond’s promoters, it is impossible to deny that from its beginning the great underlying idea of the Bond was an independent South Africa.
Mr Hofmeyr’s Policy.—In 1882 an act was passed in the Cape legislative assembly, empowering members to speak in the Dutch language on the floor of the House, if they so desired. The intention of this act was a liberal one, but the moment of its introduction was inopportune, and its effect was to give an additional stimulus to the policy of the Bond. It was probably also the means of bringing into the House a number of Dutchmen, by no means well educated, who would not have been returned had they been obliged to speak English. By this act an increase of influence was given to the Dutch leaders. The head of the Afrikander Bond at this time in Cape Colony, and the leader of Dutch opinion, was Mr J. H. Hofmeyr, a man of undoubted ability and astuteness. Although he was recognized leader of the Dutch party in Cape Colony, he consistently refused to take office, preferring to direct the policy and the action of others from an independent position. Mr Hofmeyr sat in the house of assembly as member for Stellenbosch, a strong Dutch constituency. His influence over the Dutch members was supreme, and in addition to directing the policy of the Bond within the Cape Colony, he supported and defended the aggressive expansion policy of President Kruger and the Transvaal Boers. In 1883, during a debate on the Basutoland Dis-annexation Bill, Rhodes openly charged Mr Hofmeyr in the House with a desire to see a “United States of South Africa under its own flag.” In 1884 Mr Hofmeyr led the Bond in strongly supporting the Transvaal Boers who had invaded Bechuanaland (q.v.), proclaiming that if the Bechuanaland freebooters were not permitted to retain the territories they had seized, in total disregard of the terms of the conventions of 1881 and 1884, there would be rebellion among the Dutch of Cape Colony. Fortunately, however, for the peace of Cape Colony at that time, Sir Charles Warren, sent by the imperial government to maintain British rights, removed the invading Boers from Stellaland and Goshen—two so-called republics set up by the Boer freebooters—in March 1885 and no rebellion occurred. Nevertheless the Bond party was so strong in the House that they compelled the ministry under Sir Thomas Scanlen to resign in 1884. The logical and constitutional course for Mr Hofmeyr to have followed in these circumstances would have been to accept office and himself form a government. This he refused to do. He preferred to put in a nominee of his own who should be entirely dependent on him. Mr Upington, a clever Irish barrister, was the man he selected, and under him was formed in 1884 what will always be known in Cape history as the “Warming-pan” ministry. This action was denounced by many British colonists, who were sufficiently loyal, not only to Great Britain, but also to that constitution which had been conferred by Great Britain upon Cape Colony, to desire to see the man who really wielded political power also acting as the responsible head of the party. It was Mr Hofmeyr’s refusal to accept this responsibility, as well as the nature of his Bond policy, which won for him the political sobriquet of the “Mole.” Open and responsible exercise of a power conferred under the constitution of the country, Englishmen and English colonists would have accepted and even welcomed. But that subterranean method of Dutch policy which found its strongest expression in Pretoria, and which operated from Pretoria to Cape Town, could not but be resented by loyal colonists. From 1881 down to 1898, Mr Hofmeyr practically determined how Dutch members should vote, and also what policy the Bond should adopt at every juncture in its history. In 1895 he resigned his seat in parliament—an action which made his political dictatorship still more remarkable. This influence on Cape politics was a demoralizing one. Other well-known politicians at the Cape subsequently found it convenient to adapt their views a good deal too readily to those held by the Bond. In justice to Mr Hofmeyr, however, it is only fair to say that after the Warren expedition in 1885, which was at least evidence that Great Britain did not intend to renounce her supremacy in South Africa altogether, he adopted a less hostile or anti-British attitude. The views and attitude of Mr Hofmeyr between 1881 and 1884—when even loyal British colonists, looking to the events which followed Majuba, had almost come to believe that Great Britain had little desire to maintain her supremacy—can scarcely be wondered at.
Rhodes and Dutch Sentiment.—Recognizing the difficulties of the position, Cecil Rhodes from the outset of his political career showed his desire to conciliate Dutch sentiment by considerate treatment and regard for Dutch prejudices. Rhodes was first returned as member of the House of Assembly for Barkly West in 1880, and in spite of all vicissitudes this constituency remained loyal to him. He supported the bill permitting Dutch to be used in the House of Assembly in 1882, and early in 1884 he first took office, as treasurer-general, under Sir Thomas Scanlen. Rhodes had only held this position for six weeks when Sir Thomas Scanlen resigned, and in August of the same year he was sent by Sir Hercules Robinson to British Bechuanaland as deputy-commissioner in succession to the Rev. John Mackenzie, the London Missionary Society’s representative at Kuruman, who in the previous May had proclaimed the queen’s authority over the district. Rhodes’s efforts to conciliate the Boers failed—hence the necessity for the Warren mission. In 1885 the territories of Cape Colony were farther extended, and Tembuland, Bomvanaland and Galekaland were formally added to the colony. In 1886 Sir Gordon Sprigg succeeded Sir Thomas Upington as prime minister.
South African Customs Union.—The period from 1878 to 1885 in Cape Colony had been one of considerable unrest. In this short time, in addition to the chronic troubles with the Basutos—which led the Cape to hand them over to the imperial authorities—there occurred a series of native disturbances which were followed by the Boer War of 1881, and the Bechuanaland disturbances of 1884. In spite, however, of these drawbacks, the development of the country proceeded. The diamond industry was flourishing. In 1887 a conference was held in London for “promoting a closer union between the various parts of the British empire by means of an imperial tariff of customs.” At this conference it is worthy of note that Mr Hofmeyr propounded a sort of “Zollverein” scheme, in which imperial customs were to be levied independently of the duties payable on all goods entering the empire from abroad. In making the proposition he stated that his objects were “to promote the union of the empire, and at the same time to obtain revenue for the purposes of general defence.” The scheme was not at the time found practicable. But its authorship, as well as the sentiments accompanying it, created a favourable view of Mr Hofmeyr’s attitude. In the year 1888, in spite of the failure of statesmen and high commissioners to bring about political confederation, the members of the Cape parliament set about the establishment of a South African Customs Union. A Customs Union Bill was passed, and this in itself constituted a considerable development of the idea of federation. Shortly after the passing of the bill the Orange Free State entered the union. An endeavour was also made then, and for many years afterwards, to get the Transvaal to join. But President Kruger, consistently pursuing his own policy, hoped through the Delagoa Bay railway to make the South African Republic entirely independent of Cape Colony. The endeavour to bring about a customs union which would embrace the Transvaal was also little to the taste of President Kruger’s Hollander advisers, interested as they were in the schemes of the Netherlands Railway Company, who owned the railways of the Transvaal.
Diamonds and Railways.—Another event of considerable commercial importance to the Cape Colony, and indeed to South Africa, was the amalgamation of the diamond-mining companies, chiefly brought about by Cecil Rhodes, Alfred Beit and “Barney” Barnato, in 1889. One of the principal and most beneficent results of the discovery and development of the diamond mines was the great impetus which it gave to railway extension. Lines were opened up to Worcester and Beaufort West, to Graham’s Town, Graaff Reinet and Queenstown. Kimberley was reached in 1885. In 1890 the line was extended northwards on the western frontier of the Transvaal as far as Vryburg in Bechuanaland. In 1889 the Free State entered into an arrangement with the Cape Colony whereby the main trunk railway was extended to Bloemfontein, the Free State receiving half the profits. Subsequently the Free State bought at cost price the portion of the railway in its own territory. In 1891 the Free State railway was still farther extended to Viljoen’s Drift on the Vaal river, and in 1892 it reached Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Rhodes as Prime Minister: Native Policy.—In 1889 Sir Henry Loch was appointed high commissioner and governor of Cape Colony in succession to Sir Hercules Robinson. In 1890 Sir Gordon Sprigg, the premier of the colony, resigned, and a Rhodes government was formed. Prior to the formation of this ministry (see table at end of article), and while Sir Gordon Sprigg was still in office, Mr Hofmeyr approached Rhodes and offered to put him in office as a Bond nominee. This offer was declined. When, however, Rhodes was invited to take office after the downfall of the Sprigg ministry, he asked the Bond leaders to meet him and discuss the situation. His policy of customs and railway unions between the various states, added to the personal esteem in which he was at this time held by many of the Dutchmen, enabled him to undertake and to carry on successfully the business of government.
The colonies of British Bechuanaland and Basutoland were now taken into the customs union existing between the Orange Free State and Cape Colony. Pondoland, another native territory, was added to the colony in 1894, and the year was marked by the Glen Grey Act, a departure in native policy for which Rhodes was chiefly responsible. It dealt with the natives residing in certain native reserves, and in addition to providing for their interests and holdings, and in other ways protecting the privileges accorded to them, the principle of the duty of some degree of labour devolving upon every able-bodied native enjoying these privileges was asserted, and a small labour tax was levied. This is in many respects the most statesmanlike act dealing with natives on the statute-book; and in the session of 1895 Rhodes was able to report to the Cape parliament that the act then applied to 160,000 natives. In 1905 the labour clauses of this act, which had fallen into desuetude, were repealed. The clauses had, however, achieved success, in that they had caused many thousands of natives to fulfil the conditions requisite to claim exemption.
In other respects Rhodes’s native policy was marked by combined consideration and firmness. Ever since the granting of self-government the natives had enjoyed the franchise. An act passed in 1892, at the instance of Rhodes, imposed an educational test on applicants for registration, and made other provisions, all tending to restrict the acquisition of the franchise by “tribal” natives, the possible danger arising from a large native vote being already obvious (see section Constitution).
Rhodes opposed the native liquor traffic, and at the risk of offending some of his supporters among the brandy-farmers of the western provinces, he suppressed it entirely on the diamond mines, and restricted it as far as he was able in the native reserves and territories. Nevertheless the continuance of this traffic on colonial farms, as well as to some extent in the native territories and reserves, is a black spot in the annals of the Cape Colony. The Hottentots have been terribly demoralized, and even partially destroyed by it in the western province.
Another and little-known instance of Rhodes’s keen insight in dealing with native affairs—an action which had lasting results on the history of the colony—may be given. After the native territories east of the Kei had been added to Cape Colony, a case of claim to inheritance came up for trial, and in accordance with the law of the colony, the court held that the eldest son of a native was his heir. This decision created the strongest resentment among the people of the territory, as it was in distinct contradiction to native tribal law, which recognized the great son, or son of the chief wife, as heir. The government were threatened with a native disturbance, when Rhodes telegraphed his assurance that compensation should be granted, and that such a decision should never be given again. This assurance was accepted and tranquillity restored. At the close of the next session (that of 1894), after this incident had occurred, Rhodes laid on the table a bill drafted by himself, the shortest the House had ever seen. It provided that all civil cases were to be tried by magistrates, an appeal to lie only to the chief magistrate of the territory with an assessor. Criminal cases were to be tried before the judges of supreme court on circuit. The bill was passed, and the effect of it was, inasmuch as the magistrates administered according to native law, that native marriage customs and laws (including polygamy) were legalized in these territories. Rhodes had retrieved his promise, and no one who has studied and lived amongst the Bantu will question that the action taken was both beneficent and wise.
During 1895 Sir Hercules Robinson was reappointed governor and high commissioner of South Africa in succession to Sir Henry Loch, and in the same year Mr Chamberlain became secretary of state for the colonies.
Movement for Commercial Federation.—With the development of railways, and the extension of trade between Cape Colony and the Transvaal, there had grown up a closer relationship on political questions. Whilst premier of Cape Colony, by means of the customs union and in every other way, Rhodes endeavoured to bring about a friendly measure of at least commercial federation among the states and colonies of South Africa. He hoped to establish both a commercial and a railway union, and a speech which he made in 1894 at Cape Town admirably describes this policy:—
“With full affection for the flag which I have been born under, and the flag I represent, I can understand the sentiment and feeling of a republican who has created his independence, and values that before all; but I can say fairly that I believe in the future that I can assimilate the system, which I have been connected with, with the Cape Colony, and it is not an impossible idea that the neighbouring republics, retaining their independence, should share with us as to certain general principles. If I might put it to you, I would say the principles of tariffs, the principle of railway connexion, the principle of appeal in law, the principle of coinage, and in fact all those principles which exist at the present moment in the United States, irrespective of the local assemblies which exist in each separate state in that country.”
To this policy President Kruger and the Transvaal government offered every possible opposition. Their action in what is known as the Vaal River Drift question will best illustrate the line of action which the Transvaal government believed it expedient to adopt. A difficulty arose at the termination of the agreement in 1894 between the Cape government railway and the Netherlands railway. The Cape government, for the purposes of carrying the railway from the Vaal river to Johannesburg, had advanced the sum of £600,000 to the Netherlands railway and the Transvaal government conjointly; at the same time it was stipulated that the Cape government should have the right to fix the traffic rate until the end of 1894, or until such time as the Delagoa Bay–Pretoria line was completed. These rates were fixed by the Cape government at 2d. per ton per mile, but at the beginning of 1895 the rate for the 52 m. of railway from the Vaal river to Johannesburg was raised by the Netherlands railway to no less a sum than 8d. per ton per mile. It is quite evident from the action which President Kruger subsequently took in the matter that this charge was put on with his approval, and with the object of compelling traffic to be brought to the Transvaal by the Delagoa route, instead of as heretofore by the colonial railway. In order to compete against this very high rate, the merchants of Johannesburg began removing their goods from the Vaal river by waggon. Thereupon President Kruger arbitrarily closed the drifts (fords) on the Vaal river, and thus prevented through waggon traffic, causing an enormous block of waggons on the banks of the Vaal. A protest was then made by the Cape government against the action of the Transvaal, on the ground that it was a breach of the London Convention. President Kruger took no notice of this remonstrance, and an appeal was made to the imperial government; whereupon the latter entered into an agreement with the Cape government, to the effect that if the Cape would bear half the cost of any expedition which should be necessary, assist with troops, and give full use of the Cape railway for military purposes if required, a protest should be sent to President Kruger on the subject. These terms were accepted by Rhodes and his colleagues, of whom Mr W. P. Schreiner was one, and a protest was then sent by Mr Chamberlain stating that the government would regard the closing of the drifts as a breach of the London Convention, and as an unfriendly action calling for the gravest remonstrance. President Kruger at once reopened the drifts, and undertook that he would issue no further proclamation on the subject except after consultation with the imperial government.
On the 29th of December 1895 Dr Jameson (q.v.) made his famous raid into the Transvaal, and Rhodes’s complicity in this movement compelled him to resign the premiership of Cape Colony in January 1896, the vacant post being taken by Sir Gordon Sprigg. As Rhodes’s complicity in the raid became known, there naturally arose a strong feeling of resentment and astonishment among his colleagues in the Cape ministry, who had been kept in complete ignorance of his connexion with any such scheme. Mr Hofmeyr and the Bond were loud in their denunciation of him, nor can it be denied that the circumstances of the raid greatly embittered against England the Dutch element in Cape Colony, and influenced their subsequent attitude towards the Transvaal Boers.
In 1897 a native rising occurred under Galeshwe, a Bantu chief, in Griqualand West. Galeshwe was arrested and the rebellion repressed. On cross-examination Galeshwe stated that Bosman, a magistrate of the Transvaal, had supplied ammunition to him, and urged him to rebel against the government of Cape Colony. There is every reason to suppose that this charge was true, and it is consistent with the intrigues which the Boers from time to time practised among the natives.
In 1897 Sir Alfred Milner was appointed high commissioner of South Africa and governor of Cape Colony, in succession to Sir Hercules Robinson, who had been created a peer under the title of Baron Rosmead in August 1896.
Mr Schreiner’s Policy.—In 1898 commercial federation in South Africa advanced another stage, Natal entering the customs union. A fresh convention was drafted at this time, and under it “a uniform tariff on all imported goods consumed within such union, and an equitable distribution of the duties collected on such goods amongst the parties to such union, and free trade between the colonies and state in respect of all South African products,” was arranged. In the same year, too, the Cape parliamentary election occurred, and the result was the return to power of a Bond ministry under Mr W. P. Schreiner. From this time, until June 1900, Mr Schreiner remained in office as head of the Cape government. During the negotiations (see Transvaal) which preceded the war in 1899, feeling at the Cape ran very high, and Mr Schreiner’s attitude was very freely discussed. As head of a party, dependent for its position in power on the Bond’s support, his position was undoubtedly a trying one. At the same time, as prime minister of a British colony, it was strongly felt by loyal colonists that he should at least have refrained from openly interfering between the Transvaal and the imperial government during the course of most difficult negotiations. His public expressions of opinion were hostile in tone to the policy pursued by Mr Chamberlain and Sir Alfred Milner. The effect of them, it was believed, might conceivably be to encourage President Kruger in persisting in his rejection of the British terms. Mr Schreiner, it is true, used directly what influence he possessed to induce President Kruger to adopt a reasonable course. But however excellent his intentions, his publicly expressed disapproval of the Chamberlain-Milner policy probably did more harm than his private influence with Mr Kruger could possibly do good. On the 11th of June 1899, shortly after the Bloemfontein conference, from which Sir Alfred Milner had just returned, Mr Schreiner asked the high commissioner to inform Mr Chamberlain that he and his colleagues agreed in regarding President Kruger’s Bloemfontein proposals as “practical, reasonable and a considerable step in the right direction.” Early in June, however, the Cape Dutch politicians began to realize that President Kruger’s attitude was not so reasonable as they had endeavoured to persuade themselves, and Mr Hofmeyr, accompanied by Mr Herholdt, the Cape minister of agriculture, visited Pretoria. On arrival, they found that the Transvaal Volksraad, in a spirit of defiance and even levity, had just passed a resolution offering four new seats in the Volksraad to the mining districts, and fifteen to exclusively burgher districts. Mr Hofmeyr, on meeting the executive, freely expressed indignation at these proceedings. Unfortunately, Mr Hofmeyr’s influence was more than counterbalanced by an emissary from the Free State, Mr Abraham Fischer, who, while purporting to be a peacemaker, practically encouraged the Boer executive to take extreme measures. Mr Hofmeyr’s established reputation as an astute diplomatist, and as the trusted leader for years of the Cape Dutch party, made him as powerful a delegate as it was possible to find. If any emissary could accomplish anything in the way of persuading Mr Kruger, it was assuredly Mr Hofmeyr. Much was looked for from his mission by moderate men of all parties, and by none more so, it is fair to believe, than by Mr Schreiner. But Mr Hofmeyr’s mission, like every other mission to Mr Kruger to induce him to take a reasonable and equitable course, proved entirely fruitless. He returned to Cape Town disappointed, but probably not altogether surprised at the failure of his mission. Meanwhile a new proposal was drafted by the Boer executive, which, before it was received in its entirety, or at least before it was clearly understood, elicited from Mr Schreiner a letter on the 7th of July to the South African News, in which, referring to his government, he said:—
“While anxious and continually active with good hope in the cause of securing reasonable modifications of the existing representative system of the South African Republic, this government is convinced that no ground whatever exists for active interference in the internal affairs of that republic.”
This letter was precipitate and unfortunate. On the 11th of July, after seeing Mr Hofmeyr on his return, Mr Schreiner made a personal appeal to President Kruger to approach the imperial government in a friendly spirit. At this time an incident occurred which raised the feeling against Mr Schreiner to a very high pitch. On the 7th of July 500 rifles and 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition were landed at Port Elizabeth, consigned to the Free State government, and forwarded to Bloemfontein. Mr Schreiner’s attention was called to this consignment at the time, but he refused to stop it, alleging as his reason that, inasmuch as Great Britain was at peace with the Free State, he had no right to interdict the passage of arms through the Cape Colony. The British colonist is as capable of a grim jest as the Transvaal Boer, and this action of Mr Schreiner’s won for him the nickname “Ammunition Bill.” At a later date he was accused of delay in forwarding artillery and rifles for the defence of Kimberley, Mafeking and other towns of the colony. The reason he gave for delay was that he did not anticipate war; and that he did not wish to excite unwarrantable suspicions in the minds of the Free State. His conduct in both instances was perhaps technically correct, but it was much resented by loyal colonists.
On the 28th of July Mr Chamberlain sent a conciliatory despatch to President Kruger, suggesting a meeting of delegates to consider and report on his last franchise proposals, which were complex to a degree. Mr Schreiner, on the 3rd of August, telegraphed to Mr Fischer begging the Transvaal to welcome Mr Chamberlain’s proposal. At a later date, on receiving an inquiry from the Free State as to the movements of British troops, Mr Schreiner curtly refused any information, and referred the Free State to the high commissioner. On the 28th of August Sir Gordon Sprigg in the House of Assembly moved the adjournment of the debate, to discuss the removal of arms to the Free State. Mr Schreiner, in reply, used expressions which called down upon him the severest censure and indignation, both in the colony and in Great Britain. He stated that, should the storm burst, he would keep the colony aloof with regard both to its forces and its people. In the course of the speech he also read a telegram from President Steyn, in which the president repudiated all contemplated aggressive action on the part of the Free State as absurd. The speech created a great sensation in the British press. It was probably forgotten at the time (though Lord Kimberley afterwards publicly stated it) that one of the chief reasons why the Gladstone government had granted the retrocession of the Transvaal after Majuba, was the fear that the Cape Colonial Dutch would join their kinsmen if the war continued. What was a danger in 1881, Mr Schreiner knew to be a still greater danger in 1899. At the same time it is quite obvious, from a review of Mr Schreiner’s conduct through the latter half of 1899, that he took an entirely mistaken view of the Transvaal situation. He evinced, as premier of the Cape Colony, the same inability to understand the Uitlanders’ grievances, the same futile belief in the eventual fairness of President Kruger, as he had shown when giving evidence before the British South Africa Select Committee into the causes of the Jameson Raid. Actual experience taught him that President Kruger was beyond an appeal to reason, and that the protestations of President Steyn were insincere. War had no sooner commenced with the ultimatum of the Transvaal Republic on the 9th of October 1899, than Mr Schreiner found himself called upon to deal with the conduct of Cape rebels. The rebels joined the invading forces of President Steyn, whose false assurances Mr Schreiner had offered to an indignant House of Assembly only a few weeks before. The war on the part of the Republics was evidently not to be merely one of self-defence. It was one of aggression and aggrandisement. Mr Schreiner ultimately addressed, as prime minister, a sharp remonstrance to President Steyn for allowing his burghers to invade the colony. He also co-operated with Sir Alfred Milner, and used his influence to restrain the Bond.
The War of 1899–1902.—The first shot actually fired in the war was at Kraipan, a small railway station within the colony, 40 m. south of Mafeking, a train being derailed, and ammunition intended for Colonel Baden-Powell seized. The effect of this was entirely to cut off Mafeking, the northernmost town in Cape Colony, and it remained in a state of siege for over seven months. On the 16th of October Kimberley was also isolated. Proclamations by the Transvaal and Free State annexing portions of Cape Colony were actually issued on the 18th of October, and included British Bechuanaland and Griqualand West, with the diamond fields. On the 28th of October Mr Schreiner signed a proclamation issued by Sir Alfred Milner as high commissioner, declaring the Boer annexations of territory within Cape Colony to be null and void.
Then came the British reverses at Magersfontein (on the 11th of December) and Stormberg (on the 10th of December). The effect of these engagements at the very outset of the war, occurring as they did within Cape Colony, was to offer every inducement to a number of the frontier colonial Boers to join their kinsmen of the republics. The Boers were prolific, and their families large. Many younger sons from the colony, with nothing to lose, left their homes with horse and rifle to join the republican forces.
Meanwhile the loyal Cape colonists were chafing at the tardy manner in which they were enrolled by the imperial authorities. It was not until after the arrival of Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener at Cape Town on the 10th of January 1900 that these invaluable, and many of them experienced, men were freely invited to come forward. So strongly did Lord Roberts feel on the subject, that he at once made Colonel Brabant, a well-known and respected colonial veteran and member of the House of Assembly, a brigadier-general, and started recruiting loyal colonists in earnest. On the 15th of February Kimberley was relieved by General French, and the Boer general, Cronje, evacuated Magersfontein, and retreated towards Bloemfontein. Cecil Rhodes was shut up in Kimberley during the whole of the siege, and his presence there undoubtedly offered an additional incentive to the Boers to endeavour to capture the town, but his unique position and influence with the De Beers workmen enabled him to render yeoman service, and infused enthusiasm and courage into the inhabitants. The manufacture of a big gun, which was able to compete with the Boer “Long Tom,” at the De Beers workshops, under Rhodes’s orders, and by the ingenuity of an American, Mr. Labram, who was killed a few days after its completion, forms one of the most striking incidents of the period.
With the relief of Mafeking on the 17th of May, the Cape rebellion ended, and the colony was, at least for a time, delivered of the presence of hostile forces.
On the 20th of March Mr (afterwards Sir James) Rose-Innes, a prominent member of the House of Assembly, who for several years had held aloof from either party, and who also had defended Mr Schreiner’s action with regard to the passage of arms to the Free State, addressed his constituents at Claremont in support of the annexation of both republics; and in the course of an eloquent speech he stated that in Canada, in spite of rebellions, loyalty had been secured from the French Canadians by free institutions. In South Africa they might hope that a similar policy would attain a similar result with the Boers. In June, Mr Schreiner, whose recent support of Sir Alfred Milner had incensed many of his Bond followers, resigned in consequence of the refusal of some of his colleagues to support the disfranchisement bill which he was prepared, in accordance with the views of the home government, to introduce for the punishment of Cape rebels. The bill certainly did not err on the side of severity, but disfranchisement for their supporters in large numbers was more distasteful to the Bond extremists than any stringency towards individuals. Sir Gordon Sprigg, who after a political crisis of considerable delicacy, succeeded Mr Schreiner and for the fourth time became prime minister, was able to pass the Bill with the co-operation of Mr Schreiner and his section. Towards the end of the year 1900 the war entered on a new phase, and took the form of guerilla skirmishes with scattered forces of marauding Boers. In December some of these bands entered the Cape Colony and endeavoured to induce colonial Boers to join them. In this endeavour they met at first with little or no success; but as the year 1901 progressed and the Boers still managed to keep the various districts in a ferment, it was deemed necessary by the authorities to proclaim martial law over the whole colony, and this was done on the 9th of October 1901.
On the 4th of January 1901 Sir Alfred Milner was gazetted governor of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, being shortly afterwards created a peer as Lord Milner, and Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson, governor of Natal, was appointed his successor as governor of the Cape Colony. The office of high commissioner in South Africa was now separated from the governorship of the Cape and associated with that of the Transvaal—an indication of the changed conditions in South Africa. The division of the colonists into those who favoured the Boer states and those firmly attached to the British connexion was reflected, to the detriment of the public weal, in the parties in the Cape parliament. Proposals were made to suspend the constitution, but this drastic course was not adopted. The Progressive party, the name taken by those who sought a permanent settlement under the British flag, lost their leader, and South Africa its foremost statesman by the death, in May 1902, of Cecil Rhodes, a few weeks before the end of the war.
After the War.—The acknowledgment of defeat by the Boers in the field, and the surrender of some 10,000 rebels, did not weaken the endeavours of the Dutch to obtain political supremacy in the colony. Moreover, in the autumn of 1902 Sir Gordon Sprigg, the prime minister, nominally the leader of the Progressives, sought to maintain his position by securing the support of the Bond party in parliament. In the early part of 1903 Mr Chamberlain included Cape Town in his visit to South Africa, and had conferences with the political leaders of all parties. Reconciliation between the Bond and British elements in the colony was, however, still impossible, and the two parties concentrated their efforts in a struggle for victory at the coming election. Mr Hofmeyr, who had chosen to spend the greater part of the war period in Europe, returned to the Cape to reorganize the Bond. On the other side Dr Jameson came forward as the leader of the Progressives. Parliament was dissolved in September 1903. It had passed, since the war, two measures of importance—one (1902) restricting alien immigration, the other (1903) ratifying the first customs convention between all the South African colonies. This convention was notable for its grant of preferential treatment (in general, a rebate of 25% on the customs already levied) to imports from the United Kingdom.
The election turned on the issue of British or Bond supremacy. It was fought on a register purged of the rebel voters, many of whom, besides being disfranchised, were in prison. The issue was doubtful, and each side sought to secure the support of the native voters, who in several constituencies held the balance of power. The Bondsmen were more lavish than their opponents in their promises to the natives and even invited a Kaffir journalist (who declined) to stand for a seat in the Assembly. In view of the agitation then proceeding for the introduction of Chinese coolies to work the mines on the Rand, the Progressives declared their intention, if returned, to exclude them from the colony, and this declaration gained them some native votes. The polling (in January and February 1904) resulted in a Progressive majority of five in a house of 95 members. The rejected candidates included prominent Bond supporters like Mr Merriman and Mr Sauer, and also Sir Gordon Sprigg and Mr A. Douglass, another member of the cabinet. Mr W. P. Schreiner, the ex-premier, who stood as an Independent, was also rejected.
The Jameson Ministry.—On the 18th of February Sir Gordon Sprigg resigned and was succeeded by Dr L. S. Jameson, who formed a ministry wholly British in character. The first task of the new government was to introduce (on the 4th of March) an Additional Representation Bill, to rectify—in part—the disparity in electoral power of the rural and urban districts. Twelve new seats in the House of Assembly were divided among the larger towns, and three members were added to the legislative council. The town voter being mainly British, the bill met with the bitter opposition of the Bond members, who declared that its object was the extinction of their parliamentary power. In fact, the bill was called for by the glaring anomalies in the distribution of seats by which a minority of voters in the country districts returned a majority of members, and it left the towns still inadequately represented. The bill was supported by two or three Dutch members, who were the object of violent attack by the Bondsmen. It became law, and the elections for the additional seats were held in July, after the close of the session. They resulted in strengthening the Progressive majority both in the House of Assembly and in the legislative council—where the Progressives previously had a majority of one only.
At the outset of its career the Jameson ministry had to face a serious financial situation. During the war the supplying of the army in the field had caused an artificial inflation of trade, and the Sprigg ministry had pursued a policy of extravagant expenditure not warranted by the finances of the colony. The slow recovery of the gold-mining and other industries in the Transvaal after the war was reflected in a great decline in trade in Cape Colony during the last half of 1903, the distress being aggravated by severe drought. When Dr Jameson assumed office he found an empty treasury, and considerable temporary loans had to be raised. Throughout 1904, moreover, revenue continued to shrink—compared with 1903 receipts dropped from £11,701,000 to £9,913,000. The government, besides cutting down official salaries and exercising strict economy, contracted (July 1904) a loan for £3,000,000. It also passed a bill imposing a graduated tax (6d. to 1s. in the £) on all incomes over £1000. A substantial excise duty was placed on spirits and beer, measures of relief for the brandy-farmers being taken at the same time. The result was that while there was a deficit on the budget of 1904–1905 of £731,000, the budget of 1905–1906 showed a surplus of £5161. This small surplus was obtained notwithstanding a further shrinkage in revenue.
Dr Jameson’s programme was largely one of material development. In the words of the speech opening the 1905 session of parliament, “without a considerable development of our agricultural and pastoral resources our position as a self-sustaining colony cannot be assured.” This reliance on its own resources was the more necessary for the Cape because of the keen rivalry of Natal and Delagoa Bay for the carrying trade of the Transvaal. The opening up of backward districts by railways was vigorously pursued, and in other ways great efforts were made to assist agriculture. These efforts to help the country districts met with cordial recognition from the Dutch farmers, and the release, in May 1904, of all rebel prisoners was another step towards reconciliation. On the exclusion of Chinese from the colony the Bond party were also in agreement with the ministry. An education act passed in 1905 established school boards on a popular franchise and provided for the gradual introduction of compulsory education. The cultivation of friendly relations with the neighbouring colonies was also one of the leading objects of Dr Jameson’s policy. The Bond, on its side, sought to draw closer to Het Volk, the Boer organization in the Transvaal, and similar bodies, and at its 1906 congress, held in March that year at Ceres, a resolution with that aim was passed, the design being to unify, in accordance with the original conception of the Bond, Dutch sentiment and action throughout South Africa.
Native affairs proved a source of considerable anxiety. In January 1905 an inter-colonial native affairs commission reported on the native question as it affected South Africa as a whole, proposals being made for an alteration of the laws in Cape Colony respecting the franchise exercised by natives. In the opinion of the commission the possession of the franchise by the Cape natives under existing conditions was sure to create in time an intolerable situation, and was an unwise and dangerous thing. (The registration of 1905 showed that there were over 23,000 coloured voters in the colony.) The commission proposed separate voting by natives only for a fixed number of members of the legislature—the plan adopted in New Zealand with the Maori voters. The privileged position of the Cape native was seen to be an obstacle to the federation of South Africa. The discussion which followed, based partly on the reports that the ministry contemplated disfranchising the natives, led, however, to no immediate results.
Another disturbing factor in connexion with native affairs was the revolt of the Hottentots and Hereros in German South-West Africa (q.v.). In 1904 and the following years large numbers of refugees, including some of the most important chiefs, fled into British territory, and charges were made in Germany that sufficient control over these refugees was not exercised by the Cape government. This trouble, however, came to an end in September 1907. In that month Morenga, a chief who had been interned by the colonial authorities, but had escaped and recommenced hostilities against the Germans, was once more on the British side of the frontier and, refusing to surrender, was pursued by the Cape Mounted Police and killed after a smart action. The revolt in the German protectorate had been, nearly a year before the death of Morenga, the indirect occasion of a “Boer raid” into Cape Colony. In November 1906 a small party of Transvaal Boers, who had been employed by the Germans against the Hottentots, entered the colony under the leadership of a man named Ferreira, and began raiding farms and forcibly enrolling recruits. Within a week the filibusters were all captured. Ferreira and four companions were tried for murder and convicted, February 1907, the death sentences being commuted to terms of penal servitude.
As the result of an inter-colonial conference held in Pietermaritzburg in the early months of 1906, a new customs convention of a strongly protective character came into force on the 1st of June of that year. At the same time the rebate on goods from Great Britain and reciprocating colonies was increased. The session of parliament which sanctioned this change was notable for the attention devoted to irrigation and railway schemes. But one important measure of a political character was passed in 1906, namely an amnesty act. Under its provisions over 7000 ex-rebels, who would otherwise have had no vote at the ensuing general election, were readmitted to the franchise in 1907.
While the efforts made to develop the agricultural and mineral resources of the country proved successful, the towns continued to suffer from the inflation—over-buying, over-building and over-speculation—which marked the war period. As a consequence, imports further declined during 1906–1907, and receipts being largely dependent on customs the result was a considerably diminished revenue. The accounts for the year ending 30th of June 1907 showed a deficit of £640,455. The decline in revenue, £4,000,000 in four years, while not a true reflection of the economic condition of the country—yearly becoming more self-supporting by the increase in home produce—caused general disquietude and injuriously affected the position of the ministry. In the session of 1907 the Opposition in the legislative council brought on a crisis by refusing to grant supplies voted by the lower chamber. Dr Jameson contested the constitutional right of the council so to act, and on his advice the governor dissolved parliament in September. Before its dissolution parliament passed an act imposing a profit tax of 10% on diamond- and copper-mining companies earning over £50,000 per annum, and another act establishing an agricultural credit bank.
Mr Merriman, Premier.—The elections for the legislative council were held in January 1908 and resulted in a Bond victory. Its supporters, who called themselves the South African party, the Progressives being renamed Unionists, obtained 17 seats out of a total of 26. Dr Jameson thereupon resigned (31st of January), and a ministry was formed with Mr J. X. Merriman as premier and treasurer, and Mr J. W. Sauer as minister of public works. Neither of these politicians was a member of the Bond, and both had held office under Cecil Rhodes and W. P. Schreiner. They had, however, been the leading parliamentary exponents of Bond policy for a considerable time. The elections for the legislative assembly followed in April and, partly in consequence of the reinfranchisement of the ex-rebels, resulted in a decisive majority for the Merriman ministry. There were returned 69 members of the South African party, 33 Unionists and 5 Independents, among them the ex-premiers Sir Gordon Sprigg and Mr Schreiner. The change of ministry was not accompanied by any relief in the financial situation. While the country districts remained fairly prosperous (agricultural and pastoral products increasing), the transit trade and the urban industries continued to decline. The depression was accentuated by the financial crisis in America, which affected adversely the wool trade, and in a more marked degree the diamond trade, leading to the partial stoppage of the Kimberley mines. (The “slump” in the diamond trade is shown by a comparison of the value of diamonds exported from the Cape in the years 1907 and 1908; in 1907 they were valued at £8,973,148, in 1908 at £4,796,655.) This seriously diminished the revenue returns, and the public accounts for the year 1907–1908 showed a deficit of £996,000, and a prospective deficit for the ensuing year of an almost equal amount. To balance the budget, Mr Merriman proposed drastic remedies, including the suspension of the sinking fund, the reduction of salaries of all civil servants, and taxes on incomes of £50 per annum. Partly in consequence of the serious economic situation the renewed movement for the closer union of the various South African colonies, formally initiated by Dr Jameson in 1907, received the support of the Cape parliament. During 1907–1908 a national convention decided upon unification, and in 1910 the Union of South Africa was established (see South Africa: History).
Leading Personalities.—The public life of Cape Colony has produced many men of singular ability and accomplishments. The careers of Cecil Rhodes, of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, and of Dr L. S. Jameson have been sufficiently indicated (see also their separate biographies). Sir Gordon Sprigg, four times premier, was associated with the Cape parliament from 1873 to 1904, and was once more elected to that assembly in 1908. In and out of office his zeal was unflagging, and if he lacked those qualities which inspire enthusiasm and are requisite in a great leader, he was at least a model of industry. Among other prominent politicians were Sir James Rose-Innes, Mr J. X. Merriman and Mr W. P. Schreiner. The two last named both held the premiership; their attitude and views have been indicated in the historical sketch. Sir James Rose-Innes, a lawyer whose intellectual gifts and patriotism have never been impugned, was not a “party man,” and this made him, on more than one occasion, a somewhat difficult political ally. On the native question he held a consistently strong attitude, defending their rights, and uncompromisingly opposing the native liquor traffic. In 1901 he went to the Transvaal as chief justice of that colony. Sir Thomas Fuller, a Cape Town representative, though he remained outside office, gave staunch support to every enlightened liberal and progressive measure which was brought forward. A man of exceptional culture and eloquence, he made his influence felt, not only in politics, but in journalism and the best social life of the Cape peninsula. From 1902 to 1908 he held the office of agent-general of the colony in London.
In literature, the colony has produced at least two authors whose works have taken their place among those of the best English writers of their day. The History of South Africa, by Mr G. McCall Theal, will remain a classic work of reference. The careful industry and the lucidity which characterize Mr Theal’s work stamp him as a historian of whom South Africa may well be proud. In fiction, Olive Schreiner (Mrs Cronwright-Schreiner) produced, while still in her teens, the Story of an African Farm, a work which gave great promise of original literary genius. Unfortunately, she, in common with the rest of South Africa, was subsequently swept into the seething vortex of contemporary politics and controversy. In music and painting there have been artists of talent in the Cape Colony, but the country is still too young, and the conditions of life too disturbed, to allow such a development as has already occurred in Australia.
Governors at the Cape since Introduction of Responsible Government
|1870. Sir Henry Barkly.|
|1877. Sir Bartle Frere.|
|1880. Sir Hercules Robinson.|
|1889. Sir Henry Loch.|
|1895. Sir Hercules Robinson (Lord Rosmead).|
|1897. Sir Alfred Milner.|
|1901. Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson.|
|1872. Mr J. C. Molteno.||1890. Mr C. J. Rhodes.|
|1878. Mr J. Gordon Sprigg.||1896. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg.|
|1881. Mr T. C. Scanlen.||1898. Mr W. P. Schreiner.|
|1884. Mr Upington.||1900. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg.|
|1886. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg.||1904. Dr L. S. Jameson.|
|1908. Mr J. X. Merriman.|
Bibliography.—The majority of the books concerning Cape Colony deal also with South Africa as a whole (see South Africa: Bibliography). The following list gives books specially relating to the Cape. For ethnography see the works mentioned under Bushmen, Hottentots, Kaffirs and Bechuana.
(a) Descriptive accounts, geography, commerce and economics:—The best early accounts of the colony are found in de la Caille’s Journal historique du voyage fait au Cap de Bonne Espérance (Paris, 1763), the Nouvelle Description du Cap de Bonne Espérance (Amsterdam, 1778); F. le Vaillant’s Voyage dans l’intérieur de l’Afrique (Paris, 1790), and Second Voyage (Paris, an III. [1794–1795]); C. P. Thunberg’s “Account of the Cape of Good Hope” in vol. xvi. of Pinkerton’s Travels (London, 1814); A. Sparman’s Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope . . . 1772–1776 (translated into English from the Swedish, London, 1785)—an excellent work; and W. Paterson’s A Narrative of Four Journeys . . . 1777–1779 (London, 1789). P. Kolbe or Kolben’s Present State of the Cape of Good Hope (English translation from the German, London, 1731) is less trustworthy. Sir J. Barrow’s Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa in 1797–1798 (2 vols., London, 1801–1804); H. Lichtenstein’s Travels in Southern Africa in 1803–1806 (translated from the German, 2 vols., London, 1812–1815), and W. J. Burchell’s Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa (2 vols., London, 1822–1824) are standard works. Burchell’s book contains the best map of the Cape published up to that time. W. P. Greswell’s Geography of Africa south of the Zambesi (Oxford, 1892) deals specially with Cape Colony; the Illustrated Official Handbook of the Cape and South Africa (Cape Town, 1893) includes chapters on the zoology, flora, productions and resources of the colony. A. R. E. Burton, Cape Colony To-day (Cape Town, 1907), a useful guide to the country and its resources. A Statistical Register is issued yearly by the Cape government. The Census of the Colony, 1904: General Report (Cape Town, 1905) and previous census reports contain much valuable matter.
(b) Special subjects:—For detailed information on special subjects consult The Natives of South Africa (London, 1901); R. Wallace, Farming Industries of Cape Colony (London, 1896); A. R. E. Burton, Cape Colony for the Settler (London, 1903); The Agricultural Journal of the Cape of Good Hope; Gardner F. Williams, The Diamond Mines of South Africa, revised ed. (New York, 1905), an authoritative work by a former manager of the De Beers mine; A. W. Rogers, An Introduction to the Geology of Cape Colony (London, 1905) and “The Campbell Rand and Griquatown Series in Hay,” Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa, vol. ix. (1906); Reports, Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope (1896 et seq.); Science in South Africa (Cape Town, 1905); H. A. Bryden, Kloof and Karoo; sport, legend and natural history in Cape Colony (London, 1889); South African Education Yearbook (Cape Colony edition, Cape Town, 1906 et seq.). For books dealing with Roman-Dutch law, see South Africa.
(c) History:—H. C. V. Leibbrandt, Précis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope (15 vols., vols. v.-vii. contain van Riebeek’s Journal, Cape Town, 1896—1902); The Rebellion of 1815, generally known as Slachter’s Nek (Cape Town, 1902); G. M. Theal, Chronicles of Cape Commanders . . . 1651–1691 . . . (Cape Town, 1882), and Records of the Cape Colony from February 1793 to April 1831, from MS. in the Record Office, London (36 vols., Cape Town, 1897–1905); History of South Africa under the Administration of the Dutch East India Company, 1652 to 1795 (2 vols., London, 1897); History of South Africa from 1795 to 1834 (London, 1891); E. B. Watermeyer, Three Lectures on the Cape . . . under the . . . Dutch East India Company (Cape Town, 1857); A. Wilmot and J. C. Chase, History of the . . . Cape . . . from its Discovery to . . . 1868 (Cape Town, 1869); Lady Anne Barnard, South Africa a Hundred Years Ago: Letters-written from the Cape, 1797–1801 (London, 1901), a vivid picture of social life, &c.; Mrs A. F. Trotter, Old Cape Colony . . . Her Men and Houses from 1652 to 1806 (London, 1903); C. T. Campbell, British South Africa, 1795–1825 (London, 1897), the story of the British settlers of 1820. Consult also J. Martineau’s Life of Sir Bartle Frere; the Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith; P. A. Molteno’s Life and Times of Sir John Charles Molteno (first premier of Cape Colony) (2 vols., London, 1900); A. Wilmot’s Life of Sir Richard Southey (London, 1904), and G. C. Henderson’s Sir George Grey (London, 1907). B. Worsfold’s Lord Milner’s Work in South Africa, 1897–1902 (London, 1906), is largely concerned with Cape politics. For Blue-books, &c., relating to the colony published by the British parliament, see the Colonial Office List (London, yearly) (F. R. C.)
- The distances given after the names of rivers indicate the length of the river valleys, including those of the main upper branch. In nearly all instances the rivers, owing to their sinuous course, are much longer.
- This is an overstatement. The director of the census estimated the true number of Hottentots at about 56,000.
- It is stated that Colonel R. J. Gordon (the explorer of the Orange river), who commanded the Dutch forces at the Cape, chagrined by the occupation of the country by the British, committed suicide.
- From 1737 to 1744 George Schmidt, “The apostle to the Hottentots,” had a mission at Genadendal—“The Vale of Grace.”
- Masters were allowed to keep their ex-slaves as “apprentices” until the 1st of December 1838.
- The act enjoined that “every male native residing in the district, exclusive of natives in possession of lands under ordinary quit-rent titles, or in freehold, who, in the judgment of the resident magistrate, is fit for and capable of labour, shall pay to the public revenue a tax of ten shillings per annum unless he can show to the satisfaction of the magistrate that he has been in service beyond the borders of the district for at least three months out of the previous twelve, when he will be exempt from the tax for that year, or unless he can show that he has been employed for a total period of three years, when he will be exempt altogether.”
- See also Transvaal.