Africans and the Land the 1870 old Transvaal, a look at how the Colonisation Process first used the Black Farmers, and then, sixty years later, would exclude them from the economy;
“Sirs, I have just been requested to read extracts from one of Die Kis documents into evidence before we move onto the Mine topic. We believe it will add impetus to our claim that the Transvaal consisted of a productive community that could have supplied a large portion of the country’s needs.”
Exclusion, Classification and Internal Colonialism:
The Emergence of Ethnicity Among the Tsonga-Speakers of South Africa
Africans and the Land
*The ………, such as the Spelonken, Africans could live and grow crops almost wherever they wished, including on white-occupied land. At the end of the 1870s some of the larger white landowners in the Spelonken shared their farms with several thousand Africans. By 1888 it was estimated that some 12, 500 East Coast immigrant families lived on ten white farms in the Spelonken.
*It was only in the late 1880s that white settlers started to arrive in the northern Transvaal in appreciable numbers. These were largely landless bywoners who, in exchange for military service, were provided with small ‘occupation farms’. ……..
*This was so because, as the Witwatersrand gold discoveries pushed up the price of land and drew Africans more deeply into the money economy, landowners started to turn off their estates, bywoners who had been occupying large tracts of land and began to levy direct cash rents from the resident African population.
*Most Tsonga-speakers lived on land that had not been inspected or surveyed for private farms and hence was termed ‘state land’. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, Africans were steadily drifting on to white-owned farms. This movement was encouraged by a discriminatory tax system which penalized Africans living in rural locations or on government land with heavy taxes relative to those living as tenants on white-owned land, while those in active service on white-occupied farms paid least. The sale of state land also caused many Africans to settle on white-owned land. Many were drawn by the fertility and better access to markets of European-owned farms. This movement was facilitated by the large scale sale of occupation farms to land companies and local speculators.