Walter H Wills.

The Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book online

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The Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa, w r hose destinies are presided over
by Lord Harris, controls one of the biggest groups of companies on the Rand. Its
chief claim holdings and share interests are confined to the central section of the Rand,
where it has very extensive claim areas, or controls the companies which have been
formed for the purpose of working them, and other important interests are
held on the West Rand and in the Nigel district. The Gold Fields combination is
a most influential one, and when the whole of its deep-level ground has been developed,
and all its companies have reached the producing stage, it will, if possible, be a much
more important factor in connection with the exploitation of Rand mining industry
than it now is. Like all the other groups operating in the Transvaal, the Consolidated
Gold Fields has suffered very severely owing to the scarcity of unskilled labour for the

Amongst those who are mainly concerned in the direction of this group may be
mentioned Messrs. E. S. Birkenruth, S. Christopherson, H. W. H. Dunsmure, J. J.
Hamilton, Leigh Hoskyns, R. G. Fricker, Col. Ed. Frewen and Major H. L. Sapte,
Mr. H. H. Webb is their consulting engineer, and the permanent engineering staff
includes Mr. H. C. Behr and Dr. G. S. Corstorphine. The chief companies in the group
are the Simmer and Jack Proprietary, Robinson Deep, Knights Deep, Central Nigel
Deep,Luipaard's Vlei Deep, Nigel Deep, Rand Mines Deep, Robinson Deep, Rand Victoria
Mines, Rand Victoria East, Simmer and Jack East, South Geldenhuis Deep, South


Rose^Deep, Sub-Nigel, Simmer and Jack West, Jupiter, Knights Deep, and Turffontein
Estate, Ltd., and when it is remembered that the dividends estimated to accrue
to jthe Consolidated Goldfields on its share holdings in the three companies first named
should amount to some 400,000 per annum, when normal times arrive, some idea of the
magnitude of the share assets of the Consolidated Goldfields may be arrived at. The
company has also a considerable number of claims along the main reef, mainly on the
central and eastern sections.


The group of companies under the control of the house of Barnato is very large,
and includes several powerful concerns, some of which are producing gold and earning
considerable profits, while others that have not yet reached that much-desired goal
are possessed of great potentialities. The firm of Barnato Brothers wields a powerful
influence on the Rand, where it has vast holdings and interests ; and, in the future,
besides maintaining the efficiency of the properties under its control on the developed
portion of the Main Reef, it seems destined to take a leading part in opening up what
may be described as another Rand on the long line of country in which the Coronation
Syndicate one of the firm's creations is operating.

The most prominent members of the Barnato group are Messrs. S. B. Joel, J. Joel,
Henry Barnato, Carl Hanau, H. S. Caldecott, H. A. Rogers, J. A. Hamilton, Harold F.
Strange, E. B. Gardiner and Thomas Honey, whilst the companies which come under
their direction are the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Co., Barnato Consolidated
Mines, Consolidated Langlaagte Mines, Balmoral Main Reef, Buffelsdoorn " A " G.M.
Co., Buffelsdoorn Estate, Coronation Syndicate, Rand Central Gold Mines, Ginsberg,
Glencairn Main Reef, New Primrose, New Rietfontem, New Unified Main Reef, Rand-
fontein Deep, Rietfontein "A," Rietfontem " B," South Cinderella Deep, and Roode-
poort G.M. Co.'s, the Johannesburg Waterworks, Estate and Exploration Co., and the
Johannesburg Estate Co., Ltd.

All things considered, the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company,
Limited, is doing remarkably well, and Mr. Hanau, who took the chair at the last meeting
held at Johannesburg, presented a highly encouraging statement for the financial year
ended June 30, 1903. He stated that the reserve remained at 1,000,000, the total
indebtedness amounted to 946,000, cash in hand loans 1,074,000, and stocks and shares
3,000,000. The total assets of the company amounted to 5,310,000, and Mr. Hanau
remarked that, according to his own personal valuation, they were over 10,000,000.
Investments in real estate amounted to 591,414, the Johannesburg properties being
worth 284,000, with an annual rent roll of 34,800. An imposing block of new offices
was being built, a view of which is given on another page ; and the Carlton Hotel,
whiclr, would be one of the finest structures in the country, was making progress. This
demonstrated the board's confidence in the future of the municipality. Mr. Hanau
went on to say that the estimated value of the company's suburban properties was
1,100,000. He gave a glowing description of the condition of the company's gold


mines, and referred in the highest terms to the company's interest of 85 per cent, in
the Leeuwpoort. The Delagoa Bay Lands Syndicate's title had been settled, and,
owing to the authorities' liberal policy, the town must progress rapidly. The Johannes-
burg Waterworks Company's financial position was satisfactory. The company had
paid 10 per cent, dividend, and would continue to pay good dividends. The net profits
of the Consolidated Company for the year amounted to 278,316, and the credit balance
carried forward at the close of the year amounted to 665,470, out of which a dividend
of 10 per cent, had been recommended and confirmed. After the payment of the
dividend, the amount carried forward was 394,480, which was equal to another 15
per cent.


What is known as the Farrar Group that is, the large aggregation of companies
with which Sir George Farrar, D.S.O., arid his brother, Mr. Sidney H. Farrar, are con-
nected is one of the most powerful and important on the Rand. Sir George is one
of the best trusted and most highly respected men in South Africa, and it is freely said
of him that under conceivable circumstances if a great change or governmental up-
heaval in South Africa should ever come about he would most likely be chosen as
the first President of the United States of South Africa. The operations of the Farrar
group are mainly confined to the East Rand, chiefly in the district of which the town
of Boksburg is the centre, and it has done more to exploit and develop that section of
the Witwatersrand goldfields than any other corporation. The principal undertaking
of the group is the East Rand Proprietary Mines, Limited, with the fortunes of which
Sir George Farrar and Mr. Sidney Farrar have been prominently identified from its
inception, and it is to their administrative ability and untiring energy that the enormous
success of the company and its numerous subsidiaries is largely due. The producing
companies of the East Rand Proprietary Mines contain ore of higher value than the
average for the Rand, and the whole of this corporation's subsidiaries are so well laid
out and developed that, under normal conditions, they cannot fail to yield large profits.

The companies controlled, or partly controlled, by the group are the Driefontein
Consolidated, Angelo, New Comet, Cason, Cinderella, New Blue Sky, H. F. Co., Anglo-
French Exploration, Kleinfontein Estates, Boksburg Gold, Rand Klipfontein, New
Kleinfontein, Anglo-French Land Co., Anglo-French (Transvaal) Navigation Coal
Estates, Chimes West, Apex, Klipfontein Estate, Anglo-French Matabeleland, and
Penhalonga Proprietary Mines, the two last being, of course, Rhodesian properties.


The old-established and well-known South African firm of Messrs. Lewis and
Marks, of Threadneedle House, Bishopsgate Street, Within, London, has been the
means of founding several prosperous industries in the Transvaal, and has materially


assisted in developing the various resources of that colony. To-day Messrs. Lewis
and Marks are as active as ever in exploiting the unbounded resources of the Transvaal,
including mining and agriculture, and they are also building up several important
industries, which are none the less necessary because they have none of the glamour
of gold-seeking about them. Through the group of companies with which they are asso-
ciated Messrs. Lewis and Marks control enormous land and mining interests, and a
prosperous Transvaal will bring them and their co-shareholders profits such as are little
dreamt of to-day. There is hardly any interest or branch of industry in the Transvaal
that can have prosperity without some measure of it falling to the lot of Messrs. Lewis
and Marks' group, and this fact, taken in conjunction with the recently disclosed
possibilities of the firm's holdings on the eastern extension of the Rand, augurs well for
the future of this comprehensive combination. This is, without doubt, one of the best
of the groups operating in the Transvaal, and when the unfavourable labour conditions
have passed away from the Rand, great progress will be made with the mining portion
of its holdings, and the interests and influence of Messrs. Lewis and Marks will be con-
siderably extended.

The property with which Messrs. Lewis and Marks are prominently identified,
which is engaging the greatest attention at present, is that of the East Rand Mining
Estates, Limited, which has a very large holding on the eastern extension on the Main
Reef, including the farms Grootvlei and Palmietkuil, situated east of Geduld and south
of Welgedacht, and which is taking a leading part in proving the continuation of the
Main Reef series eastwards, and the results it has so far achieved lead to the conclusion
that it will eventually develop into a huge undertaking and the parent of many flourishing
subsidiary companies.

The Vereeniging Estates is an undertaking of vast extent, of great potentialities,
and one that is full of promise. There are on the company's estates valuable collieries,
the coal in which it is well-nigh impossible to estimate ; a recent geological survey has
revealed possibilities in regard to the existence of other minerals and metals which
cannot fail to have an important bearing on the future of this great enterprise, and the
farming and kindred operations, to say nothing of the company's interest in the town-
ship of Vereeniging, amounting to over three-fourths of the erven, are no mean sources
of revenue. With regard to the coal mines, the New Cornelia and the Central are well
developed, and are producing satisfactorily.

Coming to the question of the possible existence on the Vereeniging Estates of
other minerals and metals, it must be conceded that the geological survey, made some
time ago by Dr. Hatch, has yielded important results. This survey was carried out
most carefully by the eminent geologist referred to, and it may be gathered therefrom
that the value of several of the company's farms, and notably Schaapplaats, is likely
to be very considerably enhanced. Without going into details, it may be stated that
there are several other profitable industries carried on by the Vereeniging Estates,
and that the position and prospects of the company are unquestionably of the brightest
description. Another big coal undertaking with which Messrs. Lewis and Marks are
associated is the Great Eastern Collieries.

Of the landed interests with which Messrs. Lewis and Marks are mainly identified
we must refer to the Transvaal Estates and Development, which owns about 2,000,000


acres of land, twenty-three mining claims, stands and buildings in Johannesburg, and
various investments. Messrs. Lewis and Marks, together with Messrs. Barnato Brothers,
John Ballott and others,are greatly interested in the coal mining industry of the Belfast
Carolina districts on the main railroad to Delagoa, in the development of which port
their enterprising firm is taking a premier place. The Great Sheba Mine, the pioneer
gold-producer of the De Kaap-Barberton fields, along with other local properties,
is under the control of the Threadneedle House financiers, whose industrial and mining
ramifications literally extend from the Gape to Central Africa.


Outside those who are intimately acquainted with the subject, perhaps the active
part played by the firm of Messrs.'S. Neumann and Co., in the development of the Trans-
vaal gold mining industry, is not generally recognized. Almost from the early days the
firm of Neumann and Co., in which Messrs. H. J. King and C. S. Goldmann until recently
played a prominent part as partners, has been largely interested in the Rand, and has
materially aided in the exploitation of the world-famous goldfield ; but of late years the
firm's holdings have been enormously increased, with the result that to-day it occupies
An influential position in the ranks of the powerful financial groups whose names are
synonymous with Rand development and progress. The more important of the Neu-
mann group of producing companies include the Treasury Gold Mines, a steady dividend
payer, which has done, and is still doing, well for its shareholders ; the Wolhuter Gold
Mines, which, after experiencing a number of vicissitudes, appears to be on the thres-
hold of a period of regular profit-earning ; the New Modderf ontein, which has excellent
prospects, and to which belongs the distinction of possessing a larger claim area than
any other purely mining company on the Rand ; the Consolidated Main Reef Mines and
Estate, which will, when normal conditions have been restored to the mining industry,
reward the shareholders for the patience they have exhibited tinder trying circum-
stances ; and the Witwatersrand Deep, which is earning profits and appears to have a
bright future before it. Among the developing mines of the group, Knight Central
and Driefontein Deep are splendid properties ; whilst the African Farms, Limited, and
Cloverfield Mines, Limited, have excellent prospects.


The group of companies associated with A. Goerz and Co., Limited, which the late
Mr. Adolf Goerz successfully founded and established on a sound basis, includes several
well-known and very profitable mining undertakings, as well as a number of mines still
In the developing stage, and extensive properties on the East and West Rand, the
possibilities of which, owing to their contiguity to proved areas, are enormous. The
controlling company of the group is A. Goerz and Co., Limited, which has done and is
still doing an immense amount of work in extending our knowledge of, and developing,


neglected sections of the Rand, and which has been the means of adding very consider-
ably to the workable areas of that celebrated goldfield.

Messrs. A. Goerz and Co., Limited, of which Messrs. Amandus Brakhan and
Henry Strakosch are the managing directors, has an issued capital of 1,325,000, and
large share interests in the companies included in the Goerz Group, and holdings in
many other concerns. At the end of 1903, the company held 512 claims, most of them
being well-situated deep-level blocks in the western district of the Rand, and its land
holdings consisted of 7,480 acres of unproclaimed deep-level ground in the Western
and Eastern Rand districts, including the western half of the farm Witpoort, upon which
five bore-holes have cut the main reef. There are also other important interests on
the Rand.

Other well known companies in the group are the Geduld Proprietary Mines,
Lancaster West, May Consolidated, Roodepoort Central Deep, Tudor, Modderfontein
Deep, Princess Estate, and Lancaster Gold Mining Companies, the Klerksdorp Explora-
tion Land and Estate Co., and the Rand Central Electric Works, Limited.


The enormous interests and holdings of Henderson's Transvaal Estates, Limited, in
the Transvaal and other parts of South Africa, place it in the front rank of land and
mining corporations in that country. Henderson's Transvaal Estates, besides carrying
on operations on some of its own properties in various parts of the Transvaal for the
purpose of proving the existence of and developing gold or other ore bodies, controls
several companies, and, generally speaking, as far as present conditions will allow, it is
doing its share to advance the material interests of the country. The capital of the
company is 2,000,000, and the directors include Messrs. J. C. A. Henderson (chairman),
W. Bryson Butler (general manager), Alfred Gaussen, E. J. Halsey, Geo. Lawson
Johnston, and Roger C. Richards. The local committee at Johannesburg is composed
of Messrs. T. W. G. Moir, Emrys Evans, C.M.G., Samuel Thomson, G. W. Cooke, and
William Pott.

The companies under the control of Henderson's Transvaal Estates are : Con-
solidated South Rand Mines Deep, Limited ; Daggafontein Gold Mining Co., Limited ;
Tyne Valley Colliery, Limited ; and the Delagoa Bay Development Corporation,


What are known as the Albu Group of companies, under the control of the General
Mining and Finance Corporation, Limited, which was founded by Messrs. George and
Leopold Albu, the managing directors, form one of the most progressive combinations
operating on the Rand. The group, as a whole, is managed on up-to-date lines, and a
feature in the working of the mines is the introduction of labour-saving and other


appliances, with a view to economizing expenditure. That the controlling company,
the General Mining and Finance Corporation, is well managed is evident from the
success which has hitherto attended its operations. In addition to the General Mining
and Finance Corporation, the group consists of the Meyer and Charlton, Roodepoort
United Main Reef, New Goch, Cinderella Deep, Van Ryn, Aurora West, New Steyn
Estate, West Rand Mines, Sacke Estates, Violet Consolidated, and the Midas East
Estate G.M. Co., Limited.


There are very few firms who are identified with a greater variety of, or with more
substantial, interests in Africa than are the well-known financiers of Clements Lane,
London, E.C., and of Paris. The firm, consisting of Mr. Albert Lionel Ochs, Mr. T. F.
Dalglish, and Mr. Louis Ochs, has interests, of one description or another, in every
quarter of Africa, and it would be impossible for prosperity to come to any part of that
continent without benefiting one or other of the important enterprises in which they
are engaged. This will in a measure indicate how far-reaching is the firm's influence
in the development of Africa, but it will, perhaps, be more readily understood when we
state that Messrs. Ochs Brothers are largely identified with the Mozambique Company,
which, under a Portuguese Royal Charter, is governing and developing a vast territory
in East Africa, and that they are interested in the Oceana Consolidated, New African
Company, New Egyptian Company, the International Ethiopian Railway Trust and
Construction Company (which has undertaken important railway work in connection
with the opening up of Abyssinia), the Soudan Development and Exploration Company,
the London and South African Agency Limited, the Van Ryn Gold Mines, and the
Welgedacht Exploration Company, Limited. As these companies, with one or two
exceptions, are associated with each other, their interests are practically identical, and
it requires but very little perception to enable one to realize that such a powerful com-
bination must exercise a great influence in the development of Africa.


Although one of the youngest of the financial firms whose operations are chiefly
connected with the South African mining industry, Messrs. L. Ehrlich and F. H. Hamil-
ton have associated themselves with an important group of companies, many of which
are under their direction and control. This firm first came into prominence through
the H. E. Proprietary, Limited, a company brought out under its auspices for the
purpose of acquiring and developing several blocks of claims on the Murohison Range
gold belt in the Northern Transvaal. In all, the company has over 1,600 claims in
blocks of varying sizes, and extending over about sixty miles. On some of these
blocks shafts have been sunk, and the existence of a series of well-defined reefs has been
established for a distance of forty miles. Other companies corning within the scope
of this group are the Piggs Peak Development Co., the Frank Smith Diamond Co.,
the East Rand Deep, and the Midas Deep.



The chief properties of the Transvaal Exploring Land and Minerals Company are
the proclaimed gold farm Tweefontein in the Heidelberg district, producing a consider-
able income from licenses ; gold farm, Eersteling, in the Pietersburg district ; Excelsior
Coal property, Middelburg ; Southern Rand Mynpachts ; Barberton Gold properties ;
and extensive areas in the Carolina, Potchefstroom, Bloemhof, Lichtenburg, Lydenburg
and other districts. It also holds nearly 40 per cent, of the capital of the West Rand
Central Mine, which is making large profits, and building stands in Johannesburg pro-
ducing regular revenue. These properties comprise gold, coal, diamond, and landed
interests in all the districts of repute in the Transvaal of to-day, from Ventersdorp in
the west to Ermelo in the east, and from " Tweefontein " on the line of the Coronation
Reef to " Eersteling " in the northern gold-zone, where in these days the " big houses "
are increasingly in evidence.

The result of sound judgment in a long process of acquisition, and of very consider-
able foresight in the matter of land-futures, the Transvaal Exploring Company of to-day
makes substantial testimony to the pluck, tenacity of purpose, and consistent faith of
Mr. Henry Samuel, the managing director of the company and the moving spirit in its
affairs. v i' Himself a poineer of the Rand, who saw Johannesburg's first beginnings ere
its name was inscribed in the Book of Gold, or even on maps of the period, and who " in
the early days " had not a little to do with the big propositions which form the basis of
the great and representative concerns on the Rand of to-day, Mr. Samuel has ever been
among the few who, possessing the habit of the " long view," saw a future for South
African land, and who also insisted and predicted that the " outside districts " or
*' remoter rands " would, all in good time, come to the front and contribute substantially
to the country's gold-yield as conditions became more favourable.


The success which has been achieved by the Transvaal Gold Fields, Limited, is
admittedly due to the unremitting attention which Mr. Julius Berlein and Mr. W.
Dettelbach, the managing directors, devote to its business. The company's principal
holdings 'are in the Transvaal and Delagoa Bay Investment Company, Limited, the
Windsor Gold Mines, Limited, on whose property a large amount of development work
has been done, the ore assays giving every promise of good results being achieved ; the
West Rand Mines, Limited, the Tudor Gold Mining Company, the Roodepoort Gold
Mining Company (446 claims), and the Pretoria Tramway Company. In addition, the
company owns farms and options on farms in different parts of the Transvaal, and has
interests in mining claims, all of which will at the earliest opportunity be turned to
profitable account.



A company which has done, and is still doing, important work in proving the
continuation of the Main Reef, or Randfontein series, in the extreme western section
of the Witwatersrand Goldfields in the Western Rand Estates. This company owes its
inception largely to the energy of Mi'. D. J. Pullinger, the pioneer of the district, who has
thrown himself so thoroughly into the work of proving the western extension of the
Main Reef on the properties belonging to the Western Rand Estates, that locally, at
Johannesburg and elsewhere along the Reef, the companies boring and prospecting on
the Far Western Rand are generally described as working on the " Pullinger line."
Originally the capital of the company was 108,000, in 432,000 shares of the value of
5s. each, fully paid up, of which 50,000 was for working capital. Subsequently, how-
ever, the capital was increased to 135,000, in 540,000 5s. shares, Mr. Pullinger pur-
chasing 81,000 of the new shares at 20s., and having an option over the remaining
27,000 shares at 30s. for one year, which has been exercised. The company purchased

Online LibraryWalter H WillsThe Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch-book → online text (page 47 of 49)