Walter H Wills.

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as did Col. Beal's column of the R.H.V., which was then at Bulawayo. These
latter were accompanied by 100 men under Maj. Watts, D.A.A.G., and 75 men of
Grey's Scouts, under Capt. White.

Large patrols were now sent out to commence offensive operations against the
natives, pending the arrival of 380 regular troops under Col. Aldersoii, which had
been sent through Beira from Natal. They reached Salisbury on August 9, having
relieved Umtali en route. Col. Alderson remained five months in the country,
and, although much hampered by shortness of supplies, he effected the capture of the
important chief Makoni, and attacked and defeated Matshayangombi, who may be
said to have been the leader of this rebellion.

The Imperial troops left Rhodesia on November 29, 1896, but the trouble was
not vet over. After the rainy season Col. de Moleyns commenced vigorous opera-
tions" with a successful attack on the Magwendi rebels, followed up by the defeat of
Kunzi and Mashanganyika. The Mashonalaiid forces having been strengthened by
a detachment of Hussars and police from Matabeleland, the country about Salisbury,
Umtali and Charter was cleared of rebels, and a well organized attack made on Mat-
shayangombi (July 24, 1897), when the latter was shot. It was decided to be unneces-
sary to retain the services of the Hussars after September. This date practically marks
the close of the campaign, and the police having reached their full complement, the
volunteers were disbanded and returned, some to their farms and others to the mining
centres. The energetic and self-reliant conduct of the settlers during the war, and
many instances of bravery, individual and general, form a record in the history of
the new country of which it may well be proud.

The Chartered Company generously paid out compensation to settlers for direct
losses incurred during the rebellion. The Compensation Courts paid out 253,500 in
Matabeleland, and the awards in Mashonaland brought up the sum to 360,000.


During the period occupied by the war, the attention of the Government was
not only devoted to meeting questions of defence and transport. It was felt neces-
sary to reorganize the Civil Service of the country and to establish it on a permanent
basis. This work was carried out by Mr. W. H. Milton, who was transferred to Rho-
desia from the Cape Colony Civil Service in July, 1896, as Chief Secretary to the
Administrator (Earl Grey), whom he succeeded in July, 1897.

The native problem was next tackled by the Company, who successfully adopted
a system of governing the natives through the medium of native salaried indunas.
Large reserves were set aside for the natives, amounting to 12,114 square miles in
Matabeleland, and 26,757 square miles in Mashonaland. A period of native pros-
perity followed, as may be gathered from the following figures for 1903-4, when in
Southern Rhodesia the natives possessed nearly 100,000 head of cattle and 416,000
sheep and goats, while they also had over half a million acres under cultivation.

In 1899 a Legislative Council was established for Southern Rhodesia, which


now consists of the Administrator, Resident Commissioner, seven elected and seven
members nominated by the Company, so as to ensure it a majority so long as it remains
responsible for the finances of the country. The names of the members are given

Early in 1891 the Imperial Government extended the field of the Company's
operations so as to include [the whole of the British sphere north of the Zambesi,
except Nyasaland, now known as the British Central African Protectorate.
Northern Rhodesia is now divided into North-Eastern and North-Western Rhodesia,
and each is under an Administrator appointed by the British South Africa Company.


Notwithstanding the natural difficulties of developing a new country, so large
and remote, the progress accomplished during the thirteen years of the history of
Rhodesia has been very considerable.

Two railway systems have been constructed.

The main trunk line (3 ft. 6 in. gauge) has been continued via Mafeking north-
ward through Bechuanaland into Rhodesia. This forms part of the Cape to Cairo
Railway, which was completed as far as Bulawayo in October, 1897. The further
construction of the line proceeded uninterruptedly, with the result that the Wankie
coalfields were reached on September 21, 1903, and the Victoria Falls on April 25,
1904. The whole line from Bulawayo to the Victoria Falls was opened for traffic
on June 20. The river Zambesi is to be spanned by a railway bridge thrown across
the gorge in the immediate neighbourhood of the Victoria Falls ; construction being
carried on from both ends. The materials are already on the spot, and the founda-
tions have been laid in the solid rock that flanks the river on both sides. The con-
struction of a further 100 miles of line north of the Zambesi is being proceeded with,
having as its immediate objective Kalomo, the present seat of the Administration of
North-Western Rhodesia, and arrangements are being made for the extension of the
line to the mining districts of the Kafue, and thence to the Rhodesia Broken Hill Mine.

A branch line, leaving the main line at Heany Junction, seventeen miles north
of Bulawayo, for the Gwanda district, has been opened for traffic as far as Gwanda
Township, seventy-four miles from the Junction. A further twenty-nine miles, now
practically finished, will complete this branch line. Other lines completed are the
Gwelo to Selukwe, twenty-two miles long, opened in August, 1903 ; and the short
line to the Matoppos, built by the trustees of the late Mr. Rhodes, and opened in
November, 1903. There are still further lines which have been decided upon by the
directors of railway enterprises in Rhodesia, amongst which may be mentioned the
extension of the Gwelo line past Selukwe to the Victoria district.

The East Coast line, originally a light railway from Beira to Umtali, was opened
in February, 1898, and was widened to the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge in August, 1900, in order
to complete a uniform line between Salisbury and the coast, a 3 ft. 6 in. line having
already been opened between Salisbury and Umtali in May, 1899.


In addition to these lines a 3 ft. 6 in. line has been constructed from Umtali to
Gwelo to meet a line 100 miles long from Bulawayo, a continuous overland route
being thus established between Beira and Gape Town. Of this line, 2,000 miles long,
the construction of over 1,400 is directly due to the British South Africa Company.



In the current year, as has been stated, the Victoria Falls have been reached by
the Cape-to-Cairo Railway. That fact is fraught with vast possibilities for Rhodesian
enterprise. That railway is already stimulating the development of Rhodesia, and
the transformation now quickly coming to pass is one of the most impressive in the
history of colonization. In the near future, however, there looms the most momentous
achievement of all namely, the harnessing of the Victoria Falls. When that comes
to pass hastened by the facilities which the railway can already afford it will be
possible to proceed with the biggest enterprise the world is ever likely to see in the
way of power generation and transmission. The Victoria Falls are about two and a-
half times as high as those of Niagara, and they are approximately twice as wide.
If, therefore, Niagara power transmission be revolutionizing industrial development
in America, the proportionately greater importance of the Victoria Falls to the future
of South Africa is obvious. English newspaper readers have, by this time, gained
some inkling of the project ; but it is safe to say that comparatively few quite
realize its import to South Africa, and, perhaps, to the Empire. Indeed, it seems
necessary to dispel mis-apprehension on the subject. It has been argued that the
success of the Niagara enterprise is no guarantee of like success for the Victoria Falls
scheme, inasmuch as the former serves old-established industrial centres in the United
States and Canada, whereas the harnessing of the latter looks like being in advance
of population.

It is true that old centres like Buffalo are being served with power transmitted
from Niagara, but it is equally certain that new local development has been encouraged
in the course of a few years by the Niagara Falls operation, which has already brought
together a population of half a million a population which is reasonably expected
to be doubled before long. The natural inference is that wherever abundance of
electrical power is available and cheap, capital and population are bound to be
attracted. Indeed, if the Victoria Falls be harnessed in advance of local settlement
it may be a positive advantage, for, in that case, industry will be adopted from the
first to the most modern conditions, and costly complications will be avoided,
needs to be pointed out also that scientific and mechanical skill has made very great
progress since the harnessing of Niagara, so that very much more remarkable results
are now practicable than were deemed possible in the infancy of electrical power trans-
mission. This is a highly important consideration, for even prior to the growth of
industrial communities, there is adjacent to the Victoria Falls an assured demand for
power within the enlarged radius of up-to-date transmission. Within that radius are


some of the finest mineral areas of Rhodesia and the township of Bulawayo, where
the power may be used for the needs of tramways, electric lighting, telegraphs,
telephones and a number of local industries. It is also anticipated that the railways
for a considerable distance on each side of the Zambesi may be most cheaply worked
with electricity from the Falls.

Far, therefore, from offering vague promise in the remote future, the harnessing
of the Victoria Falls looks like being an assured success from the start. And in
years to come, when industrial cities spring up north and south of the present township
at the Falls, the fruits of the undertaking may be colossal. It was stated recently
by Sir Charles Metcalfe, at a meeting of the Rhodesian Railways, that Messrs. Thomas
Gook and Sons have already established a tour to South Africa, including a journey
to the Victoria Falls. All things considered, it is not surprising that the scheme is
one having a peculiar fascination for men of large prevision like the late Mr. Cecil
Rhodes, and that engineers and other practical men have become enthusiastic since
their interest was aroused.

Ever since the scheme commended itself to expert judgment, the British South
Africa Company has been keenly interested, and is represented in the management
of the African Concessions Syndicate. That syndicate holds the sole concession for
developing electrical power at the Falls for a period of seventy-five years. That may
seem to imply a huge monopoly of a natural boon to civilization, but the pioneers of
such an enterprise as the one under consideration deserve generous treatment. The
original syndicate was an amalgamation, at the late Mr. Cecil Rhodes' suggestion, of
two propositions, namely, those of the Africa Trust, Limited, of London, and of Mr.
H. B. Marshall, of Johannesburg. Under the auspices of Mr. Rhodes, the small capital
of the syndicate was doubled ; and the new issue taken by the Chartered Company,
whose Directors having already done so much for Rhodesia, naturally desire to reap
where they have sown, and to share in the great benefits which are expected to accrue
from the exploitation of Victoria Falls. The Africa Trust participation at a later
stage was acquired by the Rand-Rhodesia Trust and General Exploration Company,
Ltd. The financial position of the African Concessions Syndicate is exceedingly
strong, its unissued capital and readily realizable investments representing nearly
four-fifths of the authorized capital of the Syndicate.


North of the Zambesi there is practically only one group systematically developing
the country. This group includes the Tanganyika Concessions, Limited ; the Zam-
besia Exploring Company, Limited ; and the Katanga Railway Company ; while the
country coming under the sphere of operations of the group spreads from Lobito Bay
on the west coast to Lake Tanganyika far away in the east. It is mainly due to the
initiative and enterprise of Mr. Robert Williams, the Managing Director of the above-
named Companies, that this huge tract has been thrown open to the pioneers of


The Katanga Railway Company, in which the Tanganyika Concessions Company
has an interest of two-fifths, is a concession obtained some time ago by Mr. Williams
in Brussels for the purpose of surveying a railway in the neighbourhood of the mines
of Katanga, in order to make connection with other lines now constructed or in course
of construction. A survey party has been sent out with the object of finding out
which is the best route to follow so as to determine the best means of communication
with the coast. Satisfactory arrangements have been made for the commencement
of the Lobito Bay Railway, and it is expected that a start will be made early in
November, 1904. Men are already at work at Lobito Bay erecting the bridge over
the Catumbella River, which has been sent out from England, and it is expected that
this bridge, which is 219 feet in length, 25 feet high, and 18 feet wide, will be open
for traffic before the end of 1904. There is little doubt that this line when completed
will, besides developing local trade, absorb a large proportion of the carrying traffic
to and from Northern, and possibly Southern, Rhodesia, the distances to be saved
both by sea and land being very considerable.

The last Directors' Report of the Tanganyika Concessions states that prospecting
is being actively carried on in the area of the Congo and Benguella Concessions, with
the object of proving the existence of minerals in the countries in which the Company
have rights. Several important discoveries have been made, and although the work
done is small, in comparison with the vast extent of territory involved, exploration
has revealed such a variety of mineral resources as to place the success of Tanganyika
Concessions beyond doubt. In the Ruwe Mine, for instance, the further testing of
which for some months past has given very favourable results, although the testing
is being done by the somewhat primitive system of treating the ore by means of sluice
boxes, the operations result in a large profit each month, and indicates that, worked
on an appropriate scale and with modern appliances, the mine would make a handsome
return to the shareholders. The output of gold from the sluice up to date was 2,030
ozs., and an endeavour was being made to increase the present monthly returns. The
expense of carrying on this work by present methods was only about 250. This
cannot be considered otherwise than satisfactory, when it is stated that the output
from the sluice boxes alone for August, 1904, was 512 ozs., which will be materially
augmented when the amount recovered by amalgamation is made known. The output
for July, including the amount recovered by amalgamation, was 544 ozs. These
returns suffice to show that, even were the expenses doubled, the Ruwe Mine is yielding
a handsome profit. Mr. George R. Adams, the company's resident engineer in the
Congo Free State, reports that the shafts, drifts, and cross-cuts on the mine have
developed a large reef of ore, showing all through, for a distance of 1,200 ft. along its
strike, some values in platinum, gold, and silver. Above the water level there is
estimated to be 102,143 tons of ore, the body of ore so far developed being 1,200 ft.
long and 150 ft. deep, with an average width of 8 ft., a width which augurs well for
economic working.

Similar good progress has been made in the work of opening the company's copper
mines, and the reports from the properties continue to point to the enormous wealth
contained in these areas. During the year over 3,000 ft. of underground work has
been carried out, and since the date of the last report a considerable amount of work


has been done on the properties situated west of the Lualaba River. The engineer
estimates the practically proved tonnage of ore above the depths attained in the three
mines (Dikurwe, Musonoi, and Kolwazi) to be nearly one and a-half million tons, the
average value of which, according to the assays, is about 13 per cent, copper.

The discovery of tin in the Busanga mine is an important one, both as regards
the value of the metal itself and the facilities for mining it, as well as for the fact that
it extends over a large area. Mr. George Grey, the company's manager in Africa,
reports : " The discoveries of tin are of great interest, and I consider of great probable
value. The existence of stream tin and cassiterite in quartz reefs is now proved at
intervals for a distance of fifty miles." Mr. Adams estimates that 9,324 tons of
cassiterite in the area would give a value of 5,920 tons of tin, with a value of 781,440.
To demonstrate the reduction of the ore Mr. Adams satisfactorily smelted a small
bar, which he forwarded to London. This was sent to a firm of metal brokers of
standing, who have examined it, and they state that they find the metal to be of very
good quality, and consider it equal to " Straits " tin.


Most people are aware that the control of the mining industry of the Transvaal is
for the most part centred in various influential financial firms who are chiefly interested
in South Africa, and who hold enormous blocks of shares in, and direct the manage-
ment of, groups of companies with which they are identified. There are certain com-
panies that do not come within the influence of either of the groups. These are few in
number, but for all practical purposes the Transvaal gold mining industry may be said
to be controlled by a dozen of the leading financial houses. The greatest of these is the
firm of Wernher, Beit and Co., with which are associated the firm of Messrs. H. Eck-
stein and Co. and the Rand Mines, Limited. Then come the Consolidated Gold Fields
of South Africa ; Messrs. Farrar Bros, and the Anglo-French Exploration Company ;
Mr. J. B. Robinson ; General Mining and Finance Corporation (Messrs. G. and L. Albu) ;
Messrs. A. Goerz and Co., Limited ; the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Com-
pany (Messrs. Barnato Bros.) ; Messrs. S. Neumann and Co. ; Messrs. Lewis and Marks ;
and the Transvaal Goldfields, Limited. According to an estimate carefully compiled
recently by " The African World " a journal to which the public is constantly indebted
for accurate and up-to-date information regarding the African continent, and to which
we are particularly indebted for much detail in the following articles these firms are
responsible for a capital expenditure on the Rand alone of a sum considerably in excess
of 30,000,000, and the estimated capital expenditure for projected development
during the next ten years is put down at not less than 50,423,000, of which 13,000,000,
it is calculated, will be spent by the Consolidated Gold Fields, 7,700,000 by the
Robinson group, 6,960,000 by H. Eckstein and Co., 4,900,000 by A. Goerz and Co.,
Limited, 4,040,000 by the General Mining and Finance Corporation, 3,955,000 by
the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company, 3,450,000 by S. Neumann
and Co., 3,283,000 by Farrar Bros, and Anglo-French Exploration, and 2,680,000 by the
Rand Mines, Limited. It may, therefore, be taken for granted that when the Rand


is once more working under normal conditions there will be such a period of activity
as was never before known there, and, seeing the developments that are taking place
east and west on the extension of the Main Reef series, and north and south on what
is generally believed to be the Rand formation, it is safe to predict that, instead of
50,000,000 being spent on development during the next decade, there is likely to be
an expenditure of more than double that sum. Although the rate of recovery made
by the mining industry has been necessarily slow, the value of the gold output for the
whole of the Transvaal has steadily increased since the war until it reached in August,
1904, a total value for the month of 1,326,468, the total for the eight months up to the
end of August, 1904, being considerably over ten and a-quarter millions sterling.


Foremost among the Transvaal financial houses is that of Messrs. Wernher, Beit
and Co., with whom are associated the well-known firm of H. Eckstein and Co., and the
Rand Mines, Limited. This powerful combination has unquestionably done more
than any other to open up the resources of the Rand, especially the deep-level areas,
and it has enormous interests in other properties the development of which will be pro-
ceeded with whenever the conditions are favourable. This group includes a consider-
able number of important Rand outcrop mines, but their deep-level holdings are by
far the most important. The parent company of the producing deep-levels belonging
to the Wernher-Beit group is the Rand Mines, Limited, which has numerous sub-
sidiary companies in which its share holdings are enormous, ranging from 20% to 80%.
These subsidiary companies are the Glen Deep, Ltd., Rose Deep, Ltd., Geldenhuis
Deep, Ltd., Jumpers Deep, Ltd., Nourse Deep, Ltd., South Nourse, Ltd., Ferreira
Deep, Ltd., Crown Deep, Ltd., Langlaagte Deep, Ltd., Durban Roodepoort G.M., Ltd.,
South Rand G.M. Co., Ltd., Simmer and Jack West, Ltd., Wolhuter G.M., Ltd.,
Wolhuter Deep, Ltd., City Deep, Ltd., Village Main Reef G.M. Co., Ltd., Village Deep,
Ltd., Robinson Central Deep, Ltd., Paarl Central G.M. and Exploration Co., Ltd.


The group of companies with which Mr. J. B. Robinson is so prominently identified
is probably the largest individual control on the Rand. Some of the larger groups
associated with the mining industry of the Transvaal, although nominally under the
control of one firm or corporation, are really subject to a combination of influences,
whereas the Robinson group stands alone, there being no divided interests in the man-
agement of the various companies included in it. Of the several companies comprising
the group, it may be stated without fear of contradiction, so far as those that are pro-
ducing and developing are concerned, that their prospects are exceedingly bright,
and promise well from a shareholder's point of view. The management is of the best,
the producing mines are equipped with up-to-date machinery and plant, and the assay


values of the ore that is being mined and developed are above the average of the Rand.
To Mr. J. B. Robinson, together with the late Mr. Herman Eckstein, is due the credit
of having laid the solid foundations of that vast and truly Imperial asset known as the
Rand mining industry of the Transvaal. From the days in 1886, when Mr. Robinson
prophetically named the first stone -built residence in Johannesburg " Langlaagte
Restante," until now, he has stood, with indomitable trust in the future, at the helm
of his enormous mining and financial ventures as one of the old " pilots of the Rand,"
whose name will live in the history of the greatest goldfields the world has known.
Mr. J. W. S. Langerman is Mr. Robinson's principal representative in South Africa,
and associated with him are Messrs. J. Watson, R. Lilienfield, Jas. Ferguson and F. S.
Tudhope. The principal companies controlled by this group are the Langlaagte Estate,
the Randfontein Estates, the Block " B " Langlaagte Estate, the Block " A " Rand-
fontein, the Mynpacht Randfontein, West Randfontein, East Randfontein, Ferguson
Randfontein, Van Hulsteyn Randfontein. Johnstone Randfontein, South Randfontein,
North Randfontein, Robinson Randfontein, and Forges Randfontein Gold Mining
Companies ; the Robinson South African Bank, the Orange Free State and Transvaal
Diamond Mines, and the Langlaate Exploration and Building Company, Ltd. When
it is remembered that the total nominal capital of the above companies is well over
twelve millions sterling, some idea of the enormous extent of Mr. Robinson's interests
in South Africa alone may be obtained.

Online LibraryWalter H WillsThe Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book → online text (page 46 of 49)