‘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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Who were wealthy white farmers in Transvaal post Anglo-Boer War

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Who were wealthy white farmers in Transvaal post Anglo-Boer War?

*Following the Anglo-Boer War, demands for the implementation of anti-squatter laws increased as the price of land soared and as the labour needs of wealthy white farmers rose with their transition from stock to arable farming. These farmers were opposed to the existence of government reserves which provided Africans with valuable farm land and which pushed up the cost of farm labour by providing Africans with an independent means of existence. At best, government and private reserves were viewed by white farmers as labour pools for mining capitalists.

*But the British administration in the Transvaal, in its support for mining capital, extended the reserves and made little attempt to evict ‘squatters’ who paid taxes and rents and who sold a considerable amount of both food and labour to the mines. By 1906 in the Spelonken alone there were over 40, 000 Africans living on land that was owned but not occupied by whites.

*In 1908 the first post-war Responsible Government, which represented wealthy farming interests, moved a year after its election to force African peasants into relationships of labour tenancy on white-occupied farms. A bill was tabled in the legislative assembly with the express purpose of removing up to 300,000 squatters throughout the Transvaal. According to the founder of the Swiss mission in the Spelonken this was ‘the most tyrannical law that has ever existed in a Republican [sic ] country, a law that would dismember tribes and clans and disperse thousands of families’.

Kaalvoet Comment:

The wealthy white farmer in the Transvaal after the Anglo-Boer War, were those wealthy families who bought large tracts of land after the discovery of gold, to secure our mineral rights.

As per the pervious blog;

*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. 

Where black farmers were successful, they were welcome to farm on white land, provided they paid their 50% crop share, those who were not farming commercially, were deemed to be squatters, and  the 300 000 removed from the land owned by the wealthy whites.

And this was prior to the 1913 Native Land Act.

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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 …

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Africans and the Land the 1870 old Transvaal

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

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

Patrick Harries

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.

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1913 Native Land Act the black farmers status

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

1913 Native Land Act the black farmers status

“During the period 1910 to 1913 the blacks purchased 78 farms, 300 000 ha. and paid 95 000 pounds, triggering another threat of the economic invasion of the white economy, triggering the 1913 Native Land Act.”

“Sirs, thanks to Sol Plaatje writings, extracts submitted in Die Kis, I quote a few comments made during the debate on the motion for the second reading of the 1913 Native Land Bill.”

But if we are to understand what is proposed, we would have to consider the position in the sub-continent under different heads: 

I.  Urban Areas, inhabited by 660,000 whites and 800,000 blacks:
 3,703,935 acres

II. The remaining 298,961,303 acres which the Commission would divide as follows: —

NATIVE AREAS, for the Bantu and such other coloured races as are classed along with them numbering just about 4,000,000 SOULS:
38,626,858 acres or 18,246,451 morgen (SA).

EUROPEAN AREAS, or nearly the whole of Rural South Africa, for the occupation of 660,000 RURAL WHITES (mainly Boers):
260,334,444 acres

“My research surprised me when I discovered that 1,200,000 blacks were living and farming on what we consider ‘white farms’ today. This is twenty-five percent of the black population, and at this stage we only had 1,200,000 whites, 600,000 Afrikaans, 600,000 English and other.”

“By 1913, twenty-five percent of the Afrikaans population were in the urban areas.”

“At this stage the black farmer was earning 100 to 500 pounds per annum, after paying their rent, a few years earlier you could buy a stand in Eloff Street at 5 pounds.”

“The black farmers were the main provider of maize in the country, the Afrikaans farmer considering this crop to be a ‘Kaffir Crop’.”

“After the Frontier War, and the establishment of Transkei, there were 450,000 blacks in the Transkei, and 1,000,000 still in the Eastern Province.”

“In 1913, 300,000 blacks farmed in the Northern Transvaal.”

“In 1913 300,000 blacks farmed in Natal.”

“In 1913, 2.5% of the Orange Free State was under maize, mainly farmed by black share-crop farmers.”

“Members of the Jury, the complainants invite you to read the Sol Plaatje writings, they believe he reflects the circumstances accurately, his reflections are confirmed by other publications, but they will be prepared to entertain other research that counters this evidence, when you have your opportunity.”

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Stolen Land and Land Reform is it possible

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

Stolen Land and Land Reform is it possible, this blog looks at the involvement of the African in agriculture pre 1936, and the Afrikaner / Boer, establishment as the power that they are today.

Land

“Sirs, the complainants would like us to believe that they were the population that fed the nation in 1913. Today, this claim sounds crazy, giving our perceptions of the inability of the black person to achieve.”

“In 2013, when I was first introduced to the complainants’ questions around their economic segregation through the removal of them from their land, I was referred to ‘MAIZE, a TEXT-BOOK’.”

“Members of the Jury, the Maize Book, (1914) clearly indicates the influence to develop our Maize Crop as an export crop, aimed at encouraging the white farmer to start planting maize, and every effort is made to convince them that it is not a Kaffir Crop, and that they can make money.”

“We include a web link to the archive material. The complainants, acknowledging their bias, have asked me to quote from this book, reading it into evidence.”

“Between 1910 and 1914, the system wrote a book, MAIZE, a TEXT-BOOK, aimed at encouraging the Boer to start planting Maize, A few relevant pages are included in Die Kis.”

https://archive.org/stream/maizeitshistoryc00burt#page/808/mode/2up

Chapter 1, Page 2.

Maize is one of the easiest crops to grow, standing more rough usage than perhaps any other; a favourite Kaffir method of planting is to scatter the seed broadcast over the unbroken veldt and then plough the ground; even with this crude treatment crops of 1,5 to 2 muids of grain per acre obtained.

Chapter 1, Page 3-4

We still hear South African farmers say that maize is a Kaffir crop, and that maize-growing does not pay the more ambitious white farmer. We hope to show in the following pages that, except where abnormal economic or unfavourable climatic conditions prevail, this is not the case when the crop is grown properly.

What the American Farmer Thinks of It. – In view of the fact that the United States produces 820,000,000 muids of maize per annum – three quarters of the world’s crop, and that this is not grown with cheap “native” labour, it may be well to look for a moment at the attitude of the American farmers towards the maize crop.

In the United States it is a common saying that “Corn is King”. “Corn” in America is maize.

Chapter 1, Page 5.

Maize is a White Man’s Crop. – Maize is essentially a white man’s crop, and Prof. Carver (1) doubts whether it “could be grown at all, as it is grown in the Corn-belt, if dependence had to be placed upon Negro labour”. The labour employed in that part of the country is entirely white, earning about £5 per month and board the year round. Yet ……….

Chapter 1, Page 7.

Future Possibilities of Development in South Africa, – European corn brokers have recently referred to South Africa as the future maize granary of Europe. Maize will always be the staple cash crop of South Africa. As its value for stock food becomes better appreciated, the local demand will increase, and in this connection Earl Grey’s recent prophecy of a shortage in the world’s beef supply is suggestive. At the present time the country has only begun to show that it is possible to produce good maize. The traveller is impressed with the enormous areas of fertile land, suitable for growing maize, which are at present untouched by the plough, virgin sod like the American prairies. ………..

“Sirs, driving this initiative is the Export market and the perceived unreliability of our black farmers.”

“Sirs, this book was published in 1914, it would have been prepared before 1913, nowhere in this publication do the writers allow for black participation in the agricultural economy, even though the 1913 Native Land Act was only just promulgated.”

*******

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Labour supply part 3 reflections on South Africa History

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

Labour supply part 3 reflections on South Africa History, the Gold Mining Industry extracts wealth from South Africa, through exclusion, creating migrant labour supply, and suppresses the value of the black person.

Labour Supply part 3.

“Let us just divert to why I accuse the mines of using controlled slave labour to ensure profits.”

“During 1921, the daily mine wage was 26.1 penny per shift.”

“During 1930, the daily mine wage was 25.7 penny per shift.”

“During 1936, the daily mine wage was 27.0 penny per shift.”

“Over fifteen years, the annual wage increased from £30.08.00 per annum, to £31.12.00s per annum, an increase of 4.160%, or 0,027% per annum.”

“The Municipalities in Transvaal, Orange Free State, and Natal were paying £32.10.00, only 4% more than the mines.”

“Using the cheapest labour that could be sourced in Southern and Central Africa, the mining industry and their investors not only exploited the mineral wealth of the country, but, through the lack of allowing open, free participation, they have severely impacted on our still disadvantaged communities in 2015.”

“The English, through their colonisation process, achieved their local South African labour supply, through the emancipation of the Mfengu, May 14, 1835. Were they slaves, or were they just controlled? Whichever, they became the profit base. Why did we not develop a labour supply from the Transvaal area?”

“Punishment, and the threat of extermination, shaped our nation; how many of our indigenous people died during protests, and how many of the ‘shooters’ were tried, how many of the ‘shooters’ controllers were ever tried?”

“None, because the world accepts that a certain class of people are allowed to die, if they do not listen.”

“Sirs, our local labour supply was considered too expensive for the profits that the mining investors and shareholders wish to achieve. So we elected to bring labour supplies in through foreign nationals, at the expense of the income that our local labour could have accumulated, off what was ‘their’ mineral wealth.”

“Sirs, how does this economic segregation impact on our still disadvantaged community today, how does this economic apartheid impact on our ‘white’ economy today?”

“Sirs, fifty-four percent of the gold mining industry labour supply originated from outside South Africa, imagine a South Africa where this economic segregation did not take place, where our Governments did not allow it; this is ‘grand theft economy’.

*******

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Labour supply part 2 Reflections on South Africa History

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

Labour supply part 2 reflections on South Africa history, shows that the South African black labourer, valued himself nearly 3 times more than the white labourers in England.

Labour Supply part 2.

“John Dunn the Zulu Chief, was supplying the white farmers with Mozambican indentured labourers on the Sugar farms before the ‘Coolies’ were brought in. Why would the Mozambican work on a Sugar farm, if a South African did not want to, is the question that we should ask, that we should answer?”

“The local clans, the local families, had a structure where the father would send his son off to provide work, whether for the light-skins, or another clan. This labour supply was charged at the value of the son’s labour, to what the family could achieve, whether through the family activity, or provided into the other economic activities.”

“In the 1800s, our capitalist society made a decision that our black labour supply was too expensive, we could achieve greater profits but importing controlled labour, ‘slave labour’, and in the generating of profits, we excluded the majority of our black population from the economy.”

“Crazy?”

“No.”

“During the 1870s, according to Lieutenant Cunynghame, in his book, ‘My Command in South Africa’, our labour were charging 7 shillings per day for their labour, our woman 5 shillings per day.”

“According to Cunynghame, in Suffolk, a white labourer would be locked out if he even thought about asking for more than 13 shillings per week. The 7 shillings per day rate would be about £6 pound per month, £72 per annum.”

“The indentured Indian labour was only paid £2 per month, £24 per annum. This was far more than they were able to earn in India, so there was no shortage of supply.”

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Labour supply part 1 reflection on South Africa History

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

Labour supply part 1 reflection on South Africa History, a look at how economics benefitted from the abolishment of the slave trade.

Labour Supply part 1.

“Members of the Jury, ‘Economics 101’ teaches us that your employee is the asset to treasure.  Hidden in that economic concept is the cost of your employee, how hard you can make them work, how productive they are, how much profit you can make per cost of labour.”

“Since early 1990, as the political changes came into our country, and we seem to discover that our labour is no longer ‘as productive’ as we would like. I have written pages attributing this to lack of Key Social Skills, including ‘entitlement attitude’, we hear that our labour laws are too lenient, so foreign nationals seem to find preference.”

“Sirs, the white capitalist economy is responsible, it did not integrate our local indigenous clans, a nation of entrepreneurs, a nation that was sustainable when we arrived.”

“From our earliest arrival, we introduced the concept that the Khoikhoi and San did not want to work for the light-skins; we ignore the fact that those locals that they came into contact with were already participating in the economy that they boats brought to our country.

“Slaves, as any asset, was easily saleable, but more importantly, controllable. Controllable through the punishment that could be meted out, from lashing to death, a norm accepted internationally.”

“During the 1830s slavery was abolished, abolished in the interests of profits, wealth. We discovered that it was more profitable to provide the slave with a fenced off area, and require them to provide for their own accommodation and food requirements.”

“We discovered that it was more profitable to contract ‘virtual slaves’ from other slave masters, like the Portuguese, or to bring indentured labour in from other poverty areas, like China and India, rather than use the labour resources, that were locally available.”

“The Portuguese control over their labour supply in South Africa stimulated the establishment of a local ‘controlled labour supply’ in the Eastern Frontier, first to build roads and Government buildings, but following the discovery of minerals, to generate profits for the mining investors.”

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White Capitalist Economy reflection on South Africa history

Reflections on South Africa history, extracts from Consider the Verdict.

White Capitalist Economy reflection on South Africa history, the origins of how the White Wealth, extracted from the black people’s land, is protected,

White Capitalist Economy

“Sirs, our New Democracy supports the defence in that it would like us to believe that there is no such thing as economic segregation. Our New Democracy would like us to believe that there is no such thing as a white economy, no such thing as a black economy, ‘there is only one economy’, we are all equal, we are all one.”

“There was a time when we were one economy, everyone was allowed to participate, but then the whites decided that they had the intelligence, the brains, the capitalist superiority, to own the economy, to protect our economy, and they defined the white economy.”

“We quote from ‘Capital & Labour in South Africa’ – By Du Toit;”

The Council of SABRA noted with concern the large measure of the integration of natives into the white economy, and is convinced that if this situation is allowed to continue, and develop further, it must necessarily have disastrous consequences for the whites, as well as the natives.

The council therefore pleads for the consistent application of the policy of separate development as the only satisfactory measure.

“The large measure of the integration of natives into the white economy, will cause disastrous consequences, this perception remains with us in our New Democracy, establishing controls to ensure that the uncontrolled influxes are controlled, to abide with our norms and standards.”

“The 1913 Native Land Act formalised the two economies, the capitalist economy requires access to ownership of land; the lack thereof results in a socialist economy.”

“Sirs, there was a time in our country when, although we were completely different, through very different eyes, we competed with one another for space, for the economy, a time when there was only one economy, a time where the market was restricted to the export market.”

“Minerals were always part of the world economy, agricultural needs always existed. Shooting animals for profit always existed, whether it was Rhino, Hippo, Elephant, they were hunted. Our indigenous black clans participated in this economy, even if we do not necessarily give them credit for participating.”

“Often social media will throw the perception that black chiefs are guilty of having sold their people into the slave market. Why should the huge profits have been restricted to the whites? The white slave trade identified the potential of buying from some black Chiefs, an asset that they owned through their culture. A debate that is maybe not important here is whether the white slave traders gave the Chiefs a false impression of how these slaves were going to be used. It was an evil business that brought great wealth to the slave traders, and represented great wealth to those who owned the slaves; this wealth would encourage the sale of slaves by some Chiefs.”

“However, these ‘slaves’ sold by the Chiefs, were, in terms of the African culture, ‘dogs of war’, prisoners taken in conflict. Baba Credo Mutwa tells that these ‘dogs of war’ as an asset to a Chief, could have been transferred, culturally, but always on the understanding that they would be returned to their original home when the dispute was settled.”

“This did not happen in the case of slaves that left our African shores.”

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