surrounding veld, with a mixture of arsenic and molasses, a plan
devised by a Natal farmer. This method proved so effective that in
1918-20 no swarms of locusts were reported in the Union.
New crops and plants were introduced, among them teg grass from
Abyssinia, very valuable for hay, which in 1920 was grown on 234,000
acres. The general result of the Agricultural Department's work,
backed by the rise in prices during the World War, was to make
S. Africa almost self-supporting as regards food-stuffs, while in 1919
agricultural and pastoral exports were valued at 33,000,000, and
in 1920, a year of depression especially in the ostrich feathers trade
at 27,000,000. In the back-veld farming had been " transformed
from what was little more than nomadic grazing to an organized
industry and throughout had been placed on a higher plane." 1
Of pastoral industries the breeding of woolled sheep is the oldest
and most important. The number of woolled sheep in the Union
was 21,842,000 in 1911, 26,490,000 in 1916 and 23,548,000 in 1919.
The number of other sheep, 8,814,000 in 191 1 had, however, declined
to 4,943,000 in 1919. These figures did not include sheep in native
locations, which in 1919 numbered about 2,250,000. The wool
exported from the Union reached 176,971,000 Ib. in 1913 and was
115,634,000 Ib. in 1918. The World War sent up prices, the average
price per Ib. in 1913-4 being 7'95d. and in 1917-8 2O-78d. In 1918-9
when the average price was 2O-o8d. the value of the wool exported
was 14,648,000. Wool worth 5,678,000 went to the United
Kingdom, 5,209,000 to the United States and 2,786,000 to Japan.
France and Canada were the next largest customers. There is also
a considerable trade in sheepskins; the value of the skins exported
was 594,000 in 1911 and 1,329,000 in 1918.
South Africa produces more than half the world's supply of mohair.
The Angora goats in the Union in 1918 numbered 5,278,000, mohair
exported that year was 19,645,000 Ib., valued at 1,641,000. The
trade in mohair is subject to wide variations, and the limit of pro-
duction in S. Africa is that of successful competition with Turkey
for the supply of the Bradford market. In 1920 the value of mohair
exported fell below 500,000, chiefly owing to lessened demand for
yarn from Bradford by Poland and Germany.
The number of cattle in the Union rose from 5,796,000 in 1911 to
7.255. 000 in I 9 I 9- The steady progress of the cattle industry is seen
in the figures of imports and exports of meat. 2 Up to and including
1913 imports greatly exceeded exports. Thus in 1913 the quantity of
meat imported was over 1 1,000,000 Ib., and that exported but 1,387,-
ooo Ib. In 1917 the imports had fallen to 23,000 Ib., while the
exports had leapt to 47,250,000 Ib. (valued at 1,043,000). This
was an exceptional war-time condition, but in 1919 while there were
no imports the exports reached 44,408,000 Ib. In 1916, for the first
time, sufficient butter and cheese were made in the Union for all
local requirements and something left over for export. The total
export of butter in 1918 was 1,316,000 Ib., of cheese 424,000 Ib. In
1919 butter exports fell to 452,000 Ib., but that of cheese increased
to 1,546,000 pounds.
Large areas of S. Africa are well adapted to horse-breeding; in
general, horses do well wherever conditions are best suited for sheep.
The numbers of horses in the Union in 1919 was 695,000, of mules
81,000, of asses 498,000. These figures do not include horses, etc.,
in native locations.
Ostrich-farming suffered severely through the World War. In
1913 the industry had attained unprecedented success, when
feathers weighing 1,023,000 Ib. valued at 2,953,000 (an average
value of 2 173. gd. per Ib.) were exported. In that year there were
776,000 ostriches in the Union (757,000 of them in the Cape prov-
ince). Over-production and the effects of the war in five years
brought about an almost total collapse of the feather trade; the
export fell by three-fourths and prices to 153. a Ib. Many breeders
took up other branches of farming and by 1920 few persons were
wholly dependent on ostriches for their living. The stock of birds
was greatly reduced (it was 314,000 in 1918), only those of finest
plumage being retained.
The pig and bacon industry is a development wholly post-Union.
Pedigree animals were imported but the industry had barely got
beyond infancy in 1920. The total production of bacon in the
Union in 19178 was slightly over 7,000,000 pounds.
Among cereals the most important crop is maize. The maize
belt covers a large area in the eastern portion of the Union, chiefly
in the Transvaal and Orange Free State. There is an expanding
home market for maize and an assured overseas market. The
quantity of maize exported was 356,000,000 Ib. in 1910 valued at
693,000 and 509,000,000 Ib. in 1918, valued at 1,600,000. Kaffir
corn, grown chiefly by natives, specially valuable for fodder in
1 Consult a paper on S.A. Agriculture by F. B. Smith, sometime
secretary of the S.A. Agricultural Department, read at a meeting of
the Colonial Institute, May 31 1921.
2 The figures relate to beef and mutton but the quantity of mut-
ton exported is small, 62,000 Ib. in 1910 and 46,000 Ib. in 1919.
regions too dry for maize, was also an increasingly valuable crop.
The area under wheat is mainly in the western part of Cape prov-
ince; the production, 362,000,000 Ib. in 1911, rose to 608,000,000
in 1917-8, but fell the next year to 478,000,000 Ib. Of oats 48,454,000
Ib. were exported in 1919.
Sugar plantations are confined to Natal and Zululand. The area
under sugar in 1916-7 was 163,000 ac., the production that year
being 114,000 tons and the value 3,134,000. In 1919-20 the output
was approximately 180,000 tons, of which over 30,000 tons were
exported. The cultivation of tea declined, sugar yielding greater
profits; the yield for 1916-7 was 1,747,000 Ib., compared with
2,681,000 in 1903, the year of highest production. Tobacco produc-
tion did not show great variation in quantity during 1910-20, the
yield being 15,000,000 to 17,000,000 Ib. yearly, but there was con-
siderable alteration in the class of tobacco grown, due to the increased
demand for light and medium varieties. Cigarettes from locally
grown Turkish tobacco became very popular.
Fruits of many varieties are produced for which there is a very
large home demand, especially in the mining areas. The export trade,
in fresh, bottled, canned and dried fruit and in jams showed a fair
amount of extension and in 1919 was valued at 125,000.
Plantations of black wattle for the production of tan-bark cover
about 250,000 ac., of which 160,000 are in Natal. Before the World
War the bark was taken by Germany; factories for the production
of the extract were erected in Natal in 1919 and the extract sent to
Great Britain. The value of the exports increased from 269,000 in
1916 to 412,000 in 1918.
Irrigation. Considerable progress was made in local irrigation
schemes, but no great project had been undertaken by the Union
Government up to 1922. The opposition of vested interests stood in
the way of an adequate water law for the whole country, but in
1912 an Irrigation and Conservation of Waters Act was passed and
an Irrigation Department created. Provision was made for irrigation
loans to private persons and to irrigation boards, and for hydro-
graphic surveys, etc. The government expenditure on irrigation
increased from 276,000 in 1912-3 to 573,000 in 1917-8. By 1920
schemes involving an expenditure of 2,500,000 had been approved.
The Sunday river, Cape province, irrigation works were the largest
then under construction and were designed to bring 42,000 ac. under
Mining. Despite appearances the most valuable mineral in S.
Africa is coal. The position was put succinctly in 1920 by Mr. U. P.
Swinburne, Chief Inspector of Mines, when he wrote in the Official
Year Book of the Union " S. Africa has made its name through the
production of gold and diamonds, but it is mainly due to the existence
of cheap coal that the large output of gold and diamonds has been
made possible. On the Witwatersrand proper only a few mines would
be working at the present time if a plentiful supply of cheap steam
coal was not available." Opinions of experts on the life of the gold
mines on the Rand differ; the report of the Union Economic Com-
mission, presented early in 1914, estimated that 550,000,000 tons of
payable ore remained in the mines then working. This figure was
very much less than had been expected. Since that year new mines
on the Far Eastern Rand have been developed. Mr. P. A. Wagner,
in his presidential address in 1918 to the S.A. Association for the
Advancement of Science, hazarded the conjecture that 1,200,000,000
worth of gold remained to be extracted and that 50 years ahead some
of the mines might still be profitably worked. But gold production
on the Rand is so costly that a slight rise in costs has on many mines
a disastrous effect.
With regard to diamonds their abundance is unquestioned, and a
policy of limiting supplies to keep up prices is adopted. Even so
most of the diamond mines were shut down in 1920-1, a striking
example of the economic depression prevailing, S.A. being the only
considerable source of the supply of diamonds in the world. De-
pression in prices led also in 1918 to the closing of the copper mines
in Namaqualand, Cape province.
Since 1912 the gold industry has become increasingly dependent
on the development of the Far East Rand. Thus in 1918 the divi-
dends paid from the Far East Rand mines amounted to 3,344,000,
compared with 1,929,000 from all other Rand mines. The value in
sterling of the gold output from the Transvaal mines rose from
3 I .973i o in I9 IQ to 39,489,000 in 1916. This was considered the
high water mark. 1 The value in 1917 was 38,306,000, in 1918
35,758,000, in 1919 35,389,000 and in 1920 34,652,000 (for the
first half of 1921 the output was 16,671,000).
The statistics of the output of diamonds reflect the purchasing
power of the public. The market is strictly controlled by the pro-
ducers and the only diamond field of importance which was outside
the Union that of ex-German S.W. Africa as a result of the
World War came into line with the other S.A. mines. In 1914,
shortly before the war began, a conference of representatives of the
diamond industry was held in London with the object of regulating
the output from each mine. Though no binding agreement was then
made such an arrangement is virtually in force. The value of the
1 The total value of gold mined in British S.Africa in 1916 was
43,416,047: of this total 3,859,111 came from Rhodesian mines,
31,726 from the Tati goldfields, 1,336 from Natal and 132 from
Cape province. The Natal mines in 1915 had yielded over 10,000.
diamonds extracted in 1910 was 8,746,000, in 1913, the last full
year before the war, 11,389,000. In 1915 diamond mining almost
ceased, the total output that year being valued at 399,000. The
mines restarted in 1916, when the value of the output was 5,728,000.
In 1918 the figure was 7,114,000 and in 1919 had risen to 11,734,-
ooo, thus exceeding the record of 1913. The year 1920 began well
and ended badly; the market was overstocked and purchasers few.
The overstocking of the market was attributed by the De Beers Co.
to the sale of diamonds by the Russians by the Soviet Government
to obtain goods and by private individuals who had lost other
means of subsistence. The Rhodesian output of diamonds is very
small ; the De Beers Co. has the right to dispose of all diamonds
found in the territory. In the Premier mine, Transvaal, the system
of open working still prevailed in 1921. In Sept. 1917 a fine stone
of 442 carats was found in the Dutoitspan mine, Kimberley.
A very marked development of coal mining took place between
1910 and 1921. The mines of the Cape province, which yield only
poor quality coal, were nearly all abandoned as the richer deposits
in Natal and the Transvaal were opened up. The output from the
Cape exceeded 100,000 tons for the last time in 1909, in which year
the Natal fields first yielded over 200,000 tons. The total output
from the Union rose from 7,112,000 tons valued at 1,869,000 in
1910 to 10,382,000 tons valued at 3,275,000 in 1917 and was 10,266,-
ooo tons in 1919. Besides supplying cheap fuel for the gold and
diamond mines and other purposes, the coal is in great demand for
bunkering ships and for export to India, E. Africa and S.A. ports.
In 1919 Union coal bunkered was 1,427,000 tons; coal exported
1,092,000 tons (half of these exports going via Delagoa Bay).
The output of tin, mined almost entirely in the Waterberg and
Olifants river districts, Transvaal (3,672 tons in 1913 valued at
436,000), had dropped in 1918 to 1,900 tons valued at 277,000.
Copper output increased with the opening of the railway in 1913
to the Messina mines on the Limpopo. These with the Namaqualand
mines represented the copper output of the Union, which in 1916
with 22,800 tons reached a value of 1,137,000. In 1919 the output
sunk to 4,900 tons valued at 208,000.
Trade and Shipping. The following table gives the total of
imports and exports to and from the Union for 1911, the first com-
plete year after the Union had been established, for 1915, the year of
the greatest restrictions of trade owing to war conditions, and for
1919. The exports include diamonds and gold, the imports govern-
ment stores and specie:
Trade in 1920 was conditioned by the world depression, which did
not become marked till the second half of the year. Imports in the
first six months showed a large increase, being 48,000,000 against
28,000,000 in the corresponding period of 1919, and for the whole
year exceeded 90,000,000. Exports for the first six months of 1920
showed a comparatively small decline, being 51,000,000 as against
58,000,000 for Jan.-June 1919, but for the whole of 1920 the total
was only 72,000,000.
The distribution of trade by countries was as follows in 1910 and
1919: Imports (1910) United Kingdom 59%, (1919) 46%; other
British lands (1910) II %, (1919) 17%; United States (1910) 8%
(1919) 24%; other countries (1910) 22%, (1919) 13%. Exports
(excluding gold) United Kingdom (1910) 80%, (1919) 61 %; other
British lands (1910) I % (1919) 8%; United States (1910) 17%
(1919) 24%; other countries (1910) 17%, (1919) 15 %
Nearly all the external trade of the Union passed through Durban,
Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London. The only non-
British port which had a share in the trade of the Union was Delagoa
Bay. In 1913 Delagoa Bay had 12 % of the trade, in 1918 only 8%
(see DELAGOA BAY). Of neighbouring countries the chief trade was
with Rhodesia, Portuguese E. Africa and the Belgian Congo. The
exports to British E. Africa (Kenya Colony) increased from 19,000
in 1913 to 396,000 in 1918; in the same period the imports from
British E. Africa rose from 16,000 to 139,000. Of foreign coun-
tries outside Africa and excluding the British Empire and the United
States, France and the Argentine were the chief traders with the
the American 9-43 %.
The value of the preferential treatment accorded certain articles of
merchandise imported into the Union from the United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia and New Zealand is shown by the following
figures: In 1913 on imports valued at 22,498,000 the amount
rebated was 628,000; in 1918 on merchandise worth 25,158,000 the
rebate was 698,000.
The number and tonnage of vessels entered at Union ports (includ-
ing the coastwise trade) was as follows in the years named. The
figures represent the gross number of vessels using the Union ports,
i.e. the same vessel, if it called and cleared at Cape Town, Port
Elizabeth and Durban, would be entered three times. The tonnage
of vessels cleared is not given, it corresponds closely to the figures
of tonnage entered. ,
No. of vessels
The number of German ships entering Union ports in 1913 was 230,
of 723,000 net tonnage.
Communications. Nearly all the railways in the Union are state
owned. Railways and harbours are under the control of a Board,
whose finances are independent of the other revenue departments.
The mileage of railways open in 1910 was 7,586, of which privately
owned lines had a mileage of 545. In 1919 the mileage open was
10,049, of which government lines had 9,542 mileage. It will be seen
that development was rather slow, an average of 246 m. a year in a
period of 10 years. The total expenditure on new lines in these 10
years was 9,113,000. The principal new line, that from Prieska to
Kalkfontein connecting the Cape and S.W. Protectorate systems,
was built for military purposes. The extension in 1913 of the railway
from Krugersdorp via Zeerust to Mafeking brought Johannesburg
and Bulawayo within 680 m. of one another (instead of 975 m. via
Fourteen Streams) and made Mafeking the business centre for the
western Transvaal. The opening, also in 1903, of the Messina rail-
way, afforded the opportunity, by the building of a connecting line to
W. Nicholson in S. Rhodesia of putting Bulawayo in direct com-
munication with Delagoa Bay. But, up to 1921, the needed link had
not been built (see RHODESIA). In the Cape province the completion
of the Mossel-Bay-George-Oudtshoorn line gave a much more direct
connexion between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth reducing the
distance from 910 m. (via de Aar) to 684 m. (the distance by sea
between the two ports is 436 nautical miles). The adoption of elec-
tricity on a number of lines, including the main line from Durban to
Glencoe was recommended in 1920 by the government's consulting
engineer. The scheme was adopted by the ministry for the Cape
Town-Simon's Bay line and for the Natal main line trom Durban as
far as Maritzburg. With the electrification of the Durban-Maritz-
burg line a new alignment was undertaken as part of a scheme for
rebuilding the whole line from Durban to the Rand.
The Railways and Harbour Board after the World War took over
control of the railways in the S.W. Protectorate. The total railway
mileage in the Union and Protectorate at the beginning of 1920 was
II ,334- .Up to March 31 1920 the capital expenditure on Govern-
ment railways was 96,408,000. The gross earnings in 1919-20 were
19,169,000 and working expenses 78-9% of the gross earnings.
The use of motor vehicles greatly increased from 1913 onwards
(when over 4,000 cars were imported), farmers having by then
learned their value. In 1919 over 16,000 vehicles were licensed.
Nearly all the cars came from America (United States and Canada),
but heavy motor lorries were imported from England. Notwith-
standing this development of motor traction the trek ox was still
employed though in decreased numbers.
The extension of the telegraph system kept fair pace with the
needs of the community, and wireless stations were erected at
Durban, Cape Town and (in 1921) at Port Elizabeth. These were
not of high power, the guaranteed range (at night only) not exceed-
ing 1,500 miles. Wireless telephonic stations were added in 1921.
With respect to the mail service to England no improvement in
speed was made. A contract to run for 10 years from Oct. I 1912
was entered into with the Union Castle Co. for a weekly service to
and from Southampton, the duration of the voyage to be 16 days
15 hours. The subsidy paid was 171,000 yearly, of which 21,000
was in consideration of the mail steamers beginning and ending
their voyages at Durban instead of Cape Town. The contracting
parties were on the one hand the steamship company and on the
other hand Great Britain, the Union, Southern Rhodesia and the
Bechuanaland Protectorate. Postal communication with Australia,
India and the Far East was maintained by private ships as oppor-
tunity offered. A steamship service between Holland and S. Africa,
subsidized by the Netherlands Government, was established in 1920,
and in 1921 a direct service between S. Africa and Vancouver was
started by the Canadian Government. While some 10,000,000 or
more a year was spent on harbour works except at Durban (see
DURBAN) the facilities for shipping were not greatly extended, and
Cape Town suffered from lack of adequate dock accommodation.
Air travel developed slowly. The first aeroplane flight was made
in 1910 in a Voisin biplane. Little progress was made in civil avia-
tion until after the World War, when, in 1919, aerodromes were
laid out at Wynberg, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and other places
as stages on the cross-Africa route. The first flight from Cairo to
Cape Town was made in 1920 by two S.A. military pilots. In the
same year an Aero Club for S.A. was formed at Cape Town.
Education. "Education, other than higher education," which
definition in practice was held to include all education other than
university, is controlled by the provincial councils. The standards
and methods differ in each of the four provinces but in general
provision is made for a sound training of white and coloured (as
distinct from native) children. A matter which aroused acute
dissensions before and in the two years immediately following the
establishment of the Union was the question of the medium of
instruction. By law the English and Dutch languages were in a
position of equality. An attempt to favour Dutch was made in the
Transvaal schools, while in the Free State the education authorities
tried to enforce bi-lingualism, insisting that English-speaking children
should be taught in the medium of Dutch. Eventually all four
provinces adopted the principle recommended by the Union Parlia-
ment in 1911, namely that the medium of instruction up to standard
IV. should be in the " home " language of the scholar, and that above
that standard freedom of choice should be left to the parents. The
compromise worked and in June 1912 the private schools which had
been opened by the English speaking residents in the Free State in
1910 as a protest against compulsory bi-lingualism were handed over
to the provincial administration. The subject of religious instruction
presented little difficulty. The practice in each province in all public
schools is for school to be opened with prayer and a reading from the
Bible. Scripture teaching, subject to a conscience clause, is generally
provided; sectarian teaching under certain conditions is allowed in
the Cape province by an ordinance passed in 1913. The number of
schools in the Union for white children increased from 3,873 in
1910 to 4,846 in 1918; in the same period the schools for coloured
children increased from 1,999 to 2,877. The number of white
scholars in 1910 was 163,200, in 1918 the number was 283,100. The
coloured scholars had increased in the same period from 136,000 to
220,100. The teachers had increased from 10,912 to 18,301, and the
expenditure from government funds had grown from 1,597,000 to
3,631,000. Private schools were not numerous: there were 270 in
the Union in 1918, of which 96, the oldest dating from 1880, were in
the Cape province. There were then in the Union 135 private schools
founded since 1910.
State and state-aided schools for natives are provided in all the
provinces, and in Natal and the Transvaal there are special schools
for Indians. The expenditure on native schools rose from 81,000
in 1911 to 137,000 in 1918. In Natal in 1918 the government estab-
lished an institution for training the sons of chiefs and indunas in
the special duties they are called upon to perform. The education of
the natives remained, however, very largely in the hands of mis-
sionary societies, though there was a growing inclination, among
the natives, particularly in the Transkeian territories, to secularize
education and to obtain a larger direct share in its management. Of
the 23 principal institutions which in 1919 provided higher educa-
tion for natives literary, commercial, industrial, agricultural and
training for the ministry 12 were in Cape province, the largest and
most comprehensive being the famous Lovedale College. The most
important step in regard to higher education of natives was the
establishment in 1914 of the S.A. Native College on a site at Fort
Hare, Cape province, given by the United Free Church of Scotland.