The 1924 civilised labour policy

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The 1924 civilised labour policy, in theory giving preference to the white, was aimed at ‘not requiring’ the local blacks within the mining, railway, and municipality ‘imported migrant labour pool’.

“The 1924 ‘civilised labour policy’, coincided with the government talking nationalising businesses, giving preferences to white employment, while at the same time restricting these poor whites progress through the same policy. Through till the 1930s large numbers of poor whites were employed by government, increasing their ratio from 45 to 64 percent of the working force.”

“By 1940, the mining industry reached a new high, employing three hundred and sixty-thousand labourers, with South Africa Eastern Cape, the Mfengu / Thembu base, providing their complement with one hundred and twenty-thousand; only thirty percent of the total labour complement.”

“The mining industry, other than having made many people extremely rich through controlling the cost of labour, did this country the greatest disservice, by employing more than fifty-four percent of foreign nationals in their labour force historically. This has drained money out of our country, while giving skills to other groups, non-South African peoples, all in the interest of making higher profits.”

“The recruitment agents were linked to authorities in the other countries that had the power to instruct the labour to go and work on the mines; they were sorted, contracted and sent to the mines. The authority was compensated for the labour provided, but only when they received the labourer back at the end of the contract period.”

“The South African labour force only comes from the Eastern Cape. This area was defeated by the English, in conjunction with their allies the Mfengu group, off which colonial leadership structures were put in place, those who were Christian and civilised were educated and favourably considered for employment, and, off this basis, the recruitment took place for the mines and municipalities, the educated and the leaders, influencing the ‘recruitment’ for the system.

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1903 Apartheid installed thanks to the mining industry

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1903 Apartheid installed thanks to the mining industry, following the Anglo-Boer War, the English used many ‘unemployed’ military personnel to install structures of registration of the African Male in the old Transvaal and OFS.

“Then, in 1911, a Labour Act was passed to make it impossible for the blacks, who were considered uncivilised, to do certain work on the mines. Much of this was the joint work of landowners, the mines and industry, manipulating the available labour.”

“Labour recruitment became part of a joint mining and government initiative, as they struggled to establish a system where wages of the labourer was kept to a minimum. By 1903 pass offices existed in all major mining towns with four in Johannesburg. Finger printing was started in Johannesburg and spread to all offices. In 1908, a new office in Driehoek was opened, and all migrants were processed there. When the workers arrived by train from Mozambique, Lesotho, and the Eastern Cape, they were shepherded there, driven in like cattle. Here a ‘senior white official’ through a translator would ask if the worker accepted the terms of the contract, the official’s signature was used as confirmation should there be any dispute later.”

“Sirs, some of you will know, in 1921 two thousand whites were to be retrenched, following the economy down-turn after the world war. The whites believed that they were going to be replaced by blacks, so they protested, causing a war in Johannesburg, where seven thousand government troops reclaimed Johannesburg, and two hundred and fifty died. At this stage the English had no sympathy for the Afrikaner; the leaders of the strike were hanged, with hardly a trial. Strangely these poor whites were very socialist, yet linked to the capitalist by the colour of their skin. In 1924 the Smuts government was removed, mainly by the white unionists who blamed him for being a tool of the big business.”

“Despite all the rhetoric of what the intentions were, on the side the government admitted its intention to ‘counteract the force of economic advantages at present enjoyed by the ‘civilised’ native. Ever since the early 1900s, the manipulation of Land, the usage of Labour on the mines, was driven by the removal of the development being achieved by what they called the ‘civilised native’.”

“The ‘civilised native that was invading the ‘white economy’.”

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Land Dispossession jury please Consider the Verdict

Consider the Verdict

Land Dispossession jury please Consider the Verdict, 

Kaalvoet Comment:

Dispossession:  The Action of depriving someone on land, property, or other possessions.

Few South African elite, seem to understand the concept of dispossession, we talk about who was in South Africa first, as the rightful owners of the land. Conveniently divide the black groups into Koi, Khoisan, and other blacks, attributing the original occupancy to the Koi and Khoisan, and claim that other blacks came from the North.

We ignore the fact that the Dutch, arrived as the Dutch East Indies Company, a chartered Dutch Company, and that the Netherlands never officially attached South Africa, the English East Indies Company overpowered the Dutch East Indies Company, and took control of their possessions.

What did the Dutch, and what did the English annexe by 1835, and had they in nearly 200 years, achieve fair dispossession of the entire South Africa, and was this dispossession, in the name of every white that would settle in South Africa?

The Portuguese, Italians, Germans, French, Swiss, many of these communities, will be heard to support that the Koisan comment on who beat the white to their possession.

By 1900, in the ‘colonised Africa’ the old Free State and Transvaal, were ZAR Republics, officially in the hands of the Boer.

In the comment below, a quote from the Library of US Congress, by the time the white arrived in the Eastern Frontier, the Nguni densely occupied the Eastern Cape.

The Kaalvoet Comment reflects that none of the ‘control’ structures, by the various Country powers, has any relevance to where our black people were fairly dispossessed, our black people were dispossessed through the 1913 Native Land Act, they should have had the same rights as the white foreigners, the Portuguese, Italians, Germans, French, Swiss, and other groups, to purchase and possess land.

Land Dispossession took place through until the 1990s, and all whites benefitted from this Land Dispossession, if it were not for this land dispossession, as a result of the 1913 Native Land Act, today Rosebank and Sandton, would have been owned by black people, off the Alexandra residential  development, and the Sandton and Rosebank areas, would be Alexandra Extensions 10 to 25.

Let us not say it happened 100 years ago, 200 years ago, 300 years ago, and there is nothing that can be done.

It happened 30 years ago, and there is something that should be done.

Walk the streets of the Townships, talk to the people, and we will find solutions.

Kaalvoet de la Harpe

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From the U.S. Library of Congress:

The British adopted contradictory policies in ruling their newly acquired Cape Colony in the first three decades of the nineteenth century. Having seized the Cape from the VOC in 1795, the British returned the colony to the Dutch government in 1803 when peace had been concluded with the French. In 1806, however, with the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, the British again took the Cape in order to protect the sea route to their Asian empire. Like the VOC before them, the British tried to keep the costs low and the settlement small. Local officials continued the policy of relying on imported slave labor rather than encouraging European immigration with the latter’s implication of permanent and expanding settlement. They also introduced racially discriminatory legislation to force Khoikhoi and other so-called “free” blacks to work for as little as possible. The Hottentot Code of 1809 required that all Khoikhoi and other free blacks carry passes stating where they lived and who their employers were. Persons without such passes could be forced into employment by white masters.

The British attempted to alleviate the land problems of Boers in the eastern Cape by sending imperial armies against the Xhosa of the Zuurveld (literally, “sour grassland,” the southernmost area of Bantu-speaking settlement, located between the Sundays River and the Great Fish River). They attacked the Xhosa from 1799 to 1803, from 1811 to 1812, and again from 1818 to 1819, when at last, through ruthless warfare, they succeeded in expelling the Africans into the area north of the Great Fish River. Thereafter, the British sought to create a fixed frontier by settling 5,000 British-assisted immigrants on smallholder farms created out of land seized from the Xhosa south of the Great Fish River and by clearing all lands between the Great Fish River and the Keiskama River of all forms of African settlement.

But other policies and developments worked against these measures. In 1807 Parliament in London ordered an end to British participation in the slave trade everywhere in the world. This decision threatened the basis of the Cape’s labor supply, for farmers in the eastern areas as well as in the west.

British missionaries, who were active in South Africa for the first time in the 1810s and who had a sympathetic audience in Britain, condemned the cruel labor practices often adopted by Trekboers against their slave and Khoikhoi workers and decried the discriminatory provisions of the Hottentot Code. Although British officials did not rescind the legislation, they did respond to this criticism by establishing a circuit court to monitor conditions in the western Cape. This court offended many Boer sensibilities by giving equal weight to the evidence of “servants” and “masters,” black and white alike. The British also raised a force of colonial police, including Khoikhoi regulars, to enforce the court’s authority. In 1815 a Dutch-speaking Afrikaner farmer who refused to answer a court summons for mistreating a Khoikhoi employee was shot dead while resisting arrest. Relatives and neighbors rose in what became known as the Slachter’s Nek Rebellion, but their resistance was soon crushed, and the British hanged five of the rebels.

British policies on the eastern frontier also engendered growing Boer hostility. The attempt to close the frontier in 1819-20 following the defeat of the Xhosa and the importation of British immigrants only exacerbated land shortages. British settlers found that they could not make a living from small farms, and they competed with the Dutch pastoralists for the limited arable land available, thereby intensifying Boer-British tensions.

The British government, acting largely at the behest of the missionaries and their supporters in Britain in the 1820s, abolished the Hottentot Code. Ordinance 50 of 1828 stated that no Khoikhoi or free black had to carry a pass or could be forced to enter a labor contract. Five years later, the British Parliament decreed that slavery would no longer be permitted in any part of the empire. After a four-year period of “apprenticeship,” all slaves would become free persons, able, because of Ordinance 50, to sell their labor for whatever the market would bear. Moreover, slaveowners were to receive no more than one-third of the value of their slaves in official compensation for the loss of this property. The Boers felt further threatened when, in 1834 and 1835, British forces, attempting to put a final stop to Boer-Xhosa frontier conflict, swept across the Keiskama River into Xhosa territory and annexed all the land up to the Keiskama River for white settlement. In 1836, however, the British government, partly in response to missionary criticism of the invasion, returned the newly annexed lands to the Xhosa and sought a peace treaty with their chiefs.

 

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Animal before human lets think human before animal

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Animal before human lets think human before animal, today the Save the Rhino campaigns, is supported by every person, let us give some of our Save the Rhino empathy, to the blacks, dispossessed on the land, and to other groups today, who are suffering from the crime in our country.

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“Sirs, as we look at Sol Plaatje’s comments in his submission to the Crown, he comments on the conservation of wild animals, something so close to all our hearts, and as ardent supporter of our National Parks, I ask myself how we could have set aside 2,292,167 morgen for the Kruger National Park, and not care whether the black populations’ livestock starved, and in turn, whether we intended taking the conservation of the black development out of the spectrum of the ‘white world’?

“In 1913 the black population of 4,000,000 souls, were only allocated eight times the land that the Kruger National Park was allocated since 1926. Since then, we have extended the Nature Reserve areas. In order to maintain the balance in the Nature Reserves, we have needed to cull animals regularly.”

“Sirs, we have not extended the land available to our black population that in now ten times greater than one hundred years back.”

“Sirs, do we have a secret formula for maintaining the balance between the black population and their available land? Or, have we just relied on the tenacity and survival ability of our black population?”

“Was it natural that their cattle should be subjected to the starvation process, while the grassy tracts of their God-given territories are mainly untenanted and preserved as breeding grounds for venomous snakes and scorpions?”

“Sirs, the Commission forced them to give up their agrarian occupation, by Acts of Parliament, driven by the profitable industries of our country.”

“Today we will hear claims that the land was dispossessed through fair power invasion, and a little negotiation with Chief Shaka, and many of us believe that. Black and white. Yet peace can only be achieved if land dispossession through conflict allows for the conquered to participate fully in the ‘new world’, failing this, the conqueror will need to maintain control over the conquered, in such a manner that they are unable to rise.”

“This leaves us in great conflict, as we all quote historical dispossession, we ask this forum to give consideration to matters that are hidden by this conflict, over whether it was Jan van Riebeek, or another who stole the land. Let us assume that all the land was annexed, stolen, by the various governments, that did not have the majority support, till 1994. But now our land rests in the hands of a majority government. Those who dispossessed the control of the land from the majority, and how they did it, is no longer important.”

“What is important, is how those ‘non democratic’ governments, excluded certain groups from owning land, buying land, renting land, and participating in the white economy?”

“The fair dispossession is not a defence.”

“The economic segregation is the crime that we are presenting.”

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Final years of Black Freedom 1930 to 1936

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Final years of Black Freedom 1930 to 1936, and here central government is given credit to solving the ‘poor white’ problem, what is reported here, does not fully understand the motivation of the demise of the blacks, or why the central government found it in their interest to switch the poor white, with the African Farmers. Kaalvoet explains his theory below;

Final years of Black Freedom 1930 to 1936  

*It was only in the 1930s, as Afrikaner nationalist politicians under the leadership of D.F. Malan sought to mobilize political support along ethnic lines through the building of new class alliances, that the central government took steps to solve the poor white problem in the rural northern Transvaal.

*In the early 1930s, when depression and drought threatened to overwhelm the farming sector, the government supplied white farmers with cattle feed and financial aid. Similar aid was not extended to African farmers whose ability to market their grain crops was severely impaired by the high mortality amongst draught oxen and donkeys. Most importantly, large-scale government-sponsored land settlement schemes were introduced to relieve the pressure on the overgrazed northern cattle farms.

*But the settlement of poor whites on over 36,000 morgen of irrigable land, particularly along the upper Levubu, required the removal of thousands of African tenant farmers. At the same time tenancy relations started to turn against African squatters as the price of land climbed, from an average of 27s per morgen in 1918 to 34s in 1933 with the government paying as much as 180s for irrigable land on the upper Levubu. As the price of land rose, white farmers decreased the amount of land available to tenants and limited their rights to graze livestock.

*The transformation in the 1930s of a large part of the African peasantry into a landless proletariat was movingly captured by a mission-supported African newspaper published in the Spelonken whose editors remarked in 1932:

*We are gradually being dispossessed of the land which we and our ancestors, from time immemorial, occupied. Daily we see big parties emigrating from their old homes (because the farmer has bought the farms and requires them to work) to places they might live in security and with freedom. But alas! such a place is nowhere! They may perhaps go to the locations but they will experience in the course of time that they are in no better position as the locations are congested and barren of vegetation.

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Kaalvoet Theory on the Global Market;

What we see as the global market today, finally took control of the South African market during the period 1930 to 1936.

The origins of what Kaalvoet refers to as the Global Market, alternatively the “Importers and Exporters”, are the wealthy families of the Western Capitalist World.

During the early 15th Century, the world wealth, was dominated by the Asian / Muslim groups, off the Spice trade into Europe, they linked the mineral and animal products and wealth of Africa.

The Age of Discovery was born, the Western Capitalist World, under the banner of Christianity, the ventured to fond access into this wealth, by rounding the Cape, discovering the New World, the Caribbean and Americas in the process.

These investors, importers / exporters, the Dutch East Indies Company, English East Indies Company, accessed the Spice Trade, Silk Trade, and as the New World was developed, these importers / exporters, developed a very lucrative business model, their ships moving Slaves from Africa on one leg of the triangle, then Agricultural Products from the New World, to Europe on the second leg, and then building material and equipment on the third leg of the triangle, from Europe to Africa.

Spice, Silk, Cocaine, Slaves, Ivory, Sugar, Tobacco, Coco-Cola, Cotton, Gold, Diamonds, brought these investors, importers / exporters great wealth, wealth that still resides with them today, plus the control of the production and distribution, of virtually all our consumption requirements.

During the 1870s, land in the Transvaal and OFS, had not been surveyed and then, following the Discovery of Diamonds and Gold, during the 1880s these importers / exporters purchased large tracts of land in these Boer Republics, and they became the wealthy #LandOwners, extracting wealth through rental and sharecropping, or as was commonly referred to as “Kaffir Farming”.

What brought the  Final years of Black Freedom 1930 to 1936, quite simply, the depression, triggered by the collapse of Wall Street, October 1929, which caused the collapse of the New World Agricultural sector, unable to continue the supply of Agricultural Products on the second leg of the Triangle to Europe.

The Importers and Exporters, the Global market, already owned the agricultural land in the Transvaal and OFS, and switched their supply chain for Europe to South Africa.

Agriculture in the USA was mechanised in order that the need to Negro labour was totally excluded, so the importers / exporters already had a biased against the black, added to this, they could not trust the black to produce their business needs, if they did succeed, they would be inclined to sell their crop for a ‘hand full of beads’, or, if they did earn money, they would go and sit under a tree, drinking beer till they were hungry again,

From the back point of view, what now takes place is described above, I repeat:

 *In the early 1930s, when depression and drought threatened to overwhelm the farming sector, the government supplied white farmers with cattle feed and financial aid. Similar aid was not extended to African farmers whose ability to market their grain crops was severely impaired by the high mortality amongst draught oxen and donkeys. Most importantly, large-scale government-sponsored land settlement schemes were introduced to relieve the pressure on the overgrazed northern cattle farms. 

What takes place between 1930 to 1936, is a business model where the importers / exporters are selling off portions of land, without the mineral rights, to young Afrikaners under ‘contract’, funded by the new banking system that bring with it the bond system, compound interest system, financing their equipment, seed, fertiliser, and teaching them to farm.

Kaalvoet Comment on Black Farmer failure since 1994:

Sixty years earlier, black farmers controlled the food chain for the majority of our population, since 1994, it is accepted that the majority of emerging farmers have not been successful.

Why did the Boer, established during 1930 to 1936 succeed? 

The Importer / Exporter, required them for their business interests and for this reason, the ‘contract’ that was entered into with the young Afrikaner farmer, included the importer / exporter purchasing all the crops produced by the Afrikaner farmer, already controlling the railways, the ports, they established ‘co-operative facilities’ in the farming areas, purchased all the produce, exported to best quality, sold the 2nd grade to South African whites, and the lower grades were sold / fed to the blacks.

This ensured the success of the emerging young Afrikaner farmers, a system that should have been introduced to our black emerging farmers in 1994.

Kaalvoet attributes the removal of blacks from their farms, to the importer / exporter, and not the Government, why?

As South Africa’s industry and mining started to develop, slave labour was needed to produce, but more importantly, the importers / exporters, having invested in the young Afrikaner farmer, needed to remove the competition by the black farmer who till 1930, had controlled the cereal market, and ensure profits.

This is what has taken place in Townships and Rural areas as the Global Market has invaded the ‘black economy’.

South Africa’s young Afrikaner farmers success causes the development of the Corn Flake as our must have breakfast: 

As the world slowly recovers from the depression, America agriculture recovers, with South Africa producing maize, the importers ‘ exporters need to find a market for corn, and although WWII takes its toll, the woman entering the workforce, brings opportunity.

After vitamins were discovered, it did not take long before, in the 1940s, breakfast cereals were fortified and heralded as a source of every vitamin under the sun, making breakfast that much more important, according to advertisements at the time.

The cliche that breakfast is the most important meal developed from those early days of cereal.

It was also around that time that women were entering the workforce in droves during the war, and needed something quick yet nutritious to feed the kids in the morning. Maternal guilt was used to market cereal as the best food to give to children, and underline the importance of eating breakfast.

As we enter the 1950s, so the importer / exporter, the global market, controls everything think we eat or drink, all in the interests of their profit.

Kaalvoet has a theory that land reform, is impossible in Africa, but you will need to comment and ask for information, should you wish the theory, before the Reflections on South Africa history gets there.

Cedric de la Harpe

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After #AngloBoerWar bywooner existence

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After #AngloBoerWar bywooner existence, In Consider the Verdict, I have been quoting from -The Emergence of Ethnicity Among the Tsonga-Speakers of South Africa -Patrick Harries, and before I continue, I need Kaalvoet to comment on what is taking place in 1930.

Kaalvoet Comment;

Here I introduce the concept of the Anglicised Afrikaner, and what we will eventually identify as the Anglicised Africanist, those who move into the “Queen’s Court’, to administer the Colony and protect the wealth.

Although it is only 1930, the Afrikaner, National Party, in coalition with the Labour Party,  (Arbeidersparty) was governing the country.

The Arbeidersparty was formed in 1910, the party received support mostly from urban white workers and for most of its existence sought to protect them from competition from black and other non-white workers.

In 1930, as the world depression takes root, the government moves to intervene on the growing poor white problem?

We first look at the government’s attitude, represented by the wealthier Afrikaner and the Arbeidersparty, quoted from the extract below:

*The destruction of northern Transvaal farms by the British during the Anglo-Boer War had pushed increasing numbers of already poor Afrikaans farmers into a marginal existence. In many instances landowners found it more profitable to enter into tenancy relationships with Africans rather than politically more powerful Afrikaner peasants or bywoners. Although large numbers of whites lived in conditions of extreme poverty in the northern Transvaal, they received little sympathy from the government and, considered ‘indolent, lazy and indigent’, were treated as a social rather than an economic problem. 

Kaalvoet will make a comment on the following quote, as we reach 1936, suffice to say that, the Government will during the next few years, be manipulated by the wealth of the world, to remove the blacks from the land, and develop those the considered ‘indolent, lazy, and indigent’ into the powerful Afrikaner Farmers, Boers, that they are today.

But the growth of this African petty bourgeoisie was abruptly truncated in the 1930s as the government intervened in the northern Transvaal to halt the growing poor white problem.

We return to Consider the Verdict and the Erosion of the African

*In evidence given to the Natives Economic Commission of that year, (1930) it was stated that in the northern Transvaal over the previous forty years, ‘. . . [African] marketed produce has increased. This increase is considerably greater than the increase in population. According to another witness, ‘You will find to-day that [the Africans] have raised tens of thousands of bags of Kaffir corn purely for market purposes and the greater portion of that money which they get for their corn is to pay for land and to buy land. But the growth of this African petty bourgeoisie was abruptly truncated in the 1930s as the government intervened in the northern Transvaal to halt the growing poor white problem.

*The destruction of northern Transvaal farms by the British during the Anglo-Boer War had pushed increasing numbers of already poor Afrikaans farmers into a marginal existence. In many instances landowners found it more profitable to enter into tenancy relationships with Africans rather than politically more powerful Afrikaner peasants or bywoners. Although large numbers of whites lived in conditions of extreme poverty in the northern Transvaal, they received little sympathy from the government and, considered ‘indolent, lazy and indigent’, were treated as a social rather than an economic problem.

*The government did however make available a large number of small farms on long lease and with the option of easy purchase in the poorly watered northern districts. But this merely compounded the problem, for by the early 1930s these uneconomic cattle farms had become desperately overgrazed and were occupied by large numbers of settlers subsisting largely on game and maize meal.

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#Initiation must stay and be respected

#Initiation must stay and be respected, this call, supported by the video to the right, is a call to those Western Influenced people, who call for #InitiationMustFall.

INITIATION, essential, any call for #InitiationMustFall is condemned. 

African culture for cultivation of child, from child to adult, part of the Initiation process, the preparation part, the essential part, and Initiation must never fall, it must stay and be respected.

As a white exposed to the initiation process, or rather, the many successes of black adults who have been through the initiation process, I have been to advocate that young whites should be processed through the African culture of ‘child to adult’ development.

A recent call for #InitiationMustFall, caused me to cringe, this call is typical of the Western Culture attack on African Culture and that Culture is archaic, cruel, abusive, and should be changed.

All these calls exclude the all embracing aspects, of part of the condemned culture.

For years I have listened to my black friends describe the process that the entire extended family, participate in, as the cultivate a child, from very young, to adulthood.

Nettie and I are exposed to many rural communities, and we are very aware of the numerous children that are involved in daily chores, and yet, there a numerous children that do not participate.

Then, during a visit to our Zulu Village in 2016, while casually chatting to an elder, we are attracted to a young child, four or five years-old, chasing the goats around the yard.

My first reaction is to suggest to the elder that he should stop him, he continues watching him, and as we relax, we become aware of a slightly older brother, maybe eight years-old, watching, seemingly intent on getting involved in the mischief.

Only when the elder child moves into a position and changes direction of the goats, do we become aware that they are herding the goats.

I use my cell phone to take a few pictures, and watch how the eight year-old allows the four year-old to chase the goats on his own, only getting involved when his assistance was needed.

Then, to our surprise, as the goats are moving into the goat-pen, the eight year-old stands far back, the four year-old continues moving them slowly forward, and then, an older brother, not seen before, moves closer to assist the child, and when complete, he helps to close the gate of the goat-pen.

Not sure what was said between them, but the child walks proudly, a slight smile when he passes us.

These children, even if they are not necessarily scheduled to go to the mountain, would graduate, if ever the decision was made to send them to the mountain.

Any call for #InitiationMustFall, will negatively impact on the traditional cultivation of our children.

Cedric de la Harpe

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The Erosion of the African Position

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The Erosion of the African Position during the period 1902 to 1930.

*As early as the turn of the century, it was noted that African producers in the northern Transvaal annually supplied Pietersburg and Pretoria with ‘thousands of bags’ of grain and that African maize production in the Zoutpansberg exceeded production in other areas of the Transvaal where Africans dominated the cereals market. The local newspapers frequently reported in the following vein:

*The Kafirs grow enormous and increasing quantities of mealies [maize]; quantities so much in excess of their own requirements that the district supplies more of this indispensable article of food for native labourers on the Rand fields than any other part of South Africa.

*African production of cereals for the market was encouraged by both traders and the mines. Nor was the state willing to act against Africans who provided an important source of government revenue; in the years immediately following the Anglo-Boer War the direct taxes paid by northern Transvaal Africans to the government more than quintupled to £140,000

*It is clear that a relatively prosperous, if small, class of African farmers was emerging at the expense of their peers. Evidence for this lies in the purchase of land by individuals who themselves took on rent-paying tenants. In 1911 there were 2000 ‘Shangaans’ living on an African-owned farm in the eastern Transvaal and, five years later, there were some 10,500 Africans living on land held in freehold by Africans in the northern Transvaal. Some of these farmers commanded an annual income of £500 and virtually all had adopted the plough which, together with draught oxen and wagons used for marketing purposes, required a considerable capital investment. Some market-orientated cattle farmers had herds of up to 300 head. Thus by 1930 a number of African farmers had emerged who were able to rent out land and annually market several hundred bags of grain as well as fairly substantial numbers of cattle. 

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‘Kaffir farming’ wealthy white landlords use of black

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‘Kaffir farming’ wealthy white landlords use of black farmers, to make profit, changing cash rentals or sharecrop compensation, not only the income, but the black farmer was tilling the soil,

*………………. Between 1908 and 1910 the number of Africans in northern Transvaal locations almost doubled from 52,500 to 101,700; those living on un-surveyed Crown land dropped from 109,000 to 90,000; and those on white-owned land, although still the majority, decreased from 175,800 to 168,000.

*A common African reaction to the anti-squatter laws and the increasingly overcrowded locations was for families to club together and purchase land, initially held in ‘trust’ but after 1905 in freehold. Between 1910 and 1912 Africans in the northern Transvaal purchased more than 16,000 morgen of land worth over £15,000 and by 1913 they held a total of 71,500 morgen in freehold.

*The Natives Land Act of that year was a compromise between mining and landed capitalist interests. It promised on the one hand to extend the rural locations as labour reserves for the mines, while on the other hand it promised, first, to provide farmers with labour, by acting against rent tenancies and, second, to prohibit Africans from owning land outside areas ‘scheduled’ for their occupation. Land bought by a combination of more than six Africans had to be purchased on a tribal basis and held by the Minister of Native Affairs for the tribe concerned. In later years, the term ‘tribe’ became a synonym for African purchasers of land in scheduled areas; as one northern Transvaal attorney stated in 1930, ‘a Tribe is a syndicate of ten to fifteen families which buys land and elects a chief and petty chief. The Land Act also encouraged labour tenancy by proposing a graduated tax, in effect an annually increasing fine, on those landowners who accepted rents from Africans in cash or kind. But this section of the act could not be implemented until sufficient land had been released to cater for those rent paying ‘squatters’ who refused to become labour tenants. For two decades after the Land Act Africans were to retain a precarious hold on their land through the rent tenancy or ‘Kaffir farming’ system.

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African sharecropper Boer Bywooner 1870 to 1897

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African sharecropper Boer Bywooner 1870 to 1897, we need to reflect on this period, and ask ourselves what our country would have been like if the English Coloniser had not attacked and defeated the Boer.

African sharecropper Boer Bywooner 1870 to 1897

*The undercapitalized, if not impoverished, occupation farmers were unable to raise capital because the terms of their tenancies precluded the mortgaging of their farms, and they typically lived in ‘mud cabins that would disgrace a Connemara squatter or a Skye crofter’. They were broken by the almost continual commando service demanded by a decade of wars mounted by Pretoria against the northern Transvaal chiefdoms. With their capital invested in livestock and without government aid, they were unable to withstand the effects of the extended drought and the Rinderpest epizootic infection of the mid-1890s. Many abandoned their lands and turned to transport-riding, hunting, woodcutting and salt-extraction, although even these traditional resorts of the poor had been made increasingly difficult by government concessions and regulations. In 1896 it was estimated that 29 out of the 30 white families in the Lowveld were starving and had been reduced to living off locusts and honey. The slide of the white community of the northern Transvaal into impoverishment was to continue well into the twentieth century.

*Absentee landlords, often mining companies prospecting for minerals, were only too willing to encourage the settlement on their lands of Africans who would undertake bush clearance and pay them rent and grazing fees. Many Africans preferred to live on land owned by the state or absentee landlords, where taxes were lower than in the reserves where, if they paid rent, it was in cash rather than labour and where existing forms of social control and production could be maintained. 

*Others moved from chief to chief or farm to farm in an attempt to better their living conditions. This meant that white farmers had to compete for labour not only with each other and with land companies but also with chiefs living on state and private land and in the reserves. Because of this competition, the labour extracted by white farmers from their tenants could not exceed the combined monetary value of the rents and taxes paid by tenants living beyond the borders of white-occupied farms. Similarly, because of the private reserves that existed on estates owned by land speculators and the state, white farmers were obliged to reserve large parts of their farms for tenants who paid them rents in both labour and money.

*The Republican anti-squatter laws of 1887 and 1895 were legislated in order to force African tenants off ‘private reserves’ so as to spread the labour more equitably and control competition between white farmers. But these laws had the opposite effect for they caused large numbers of Africans in the north-eastern Transvaal to move into the Zoutpansberg mountains, which remained largely independent of white rule until 1898, or on to the malarial lands of the Lowveld. Until southern Mozambique was finally conquered by the Portuguese in 1897 …

Consider the Verdict

Soweto Tour

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