This is another carefully designed burden upon the mines and country. The issued capital and loans of the Netherlands Company now total about £7,000,000, upon which an average interest of about 5¥? per cent.-
"The revenue of the company is now considerably over £3,000,000 per annum. The management
claim that their expenses amount to but forty per cent of revenue, and this is regarded
by them as a matter for general congratulation. The Uitlanders contend that the
concern is grossly mismanaged, and that the low cost of working is a fiction. It
only appears low by contrast with a revenue swollen by preposterously heavy rates
and protected by a monopoly. The tariff could be reduced by one-
Perhaps the dynamite monopoly was even more aggravating than the railway one. Mr. Fitzpatrick says it has always been "a very burning question with the Uitlanders. This concession was granted soon after the Barberton Fields were discovered, when the prospects of an industry in the manufacture of explosives were not really very great. The concessionaire himself has admitted that, had he foreseen to what proportions this monopoly would eventually grow, he would not have had the audacity to apply for it. Of course, this is merely a personal question. The fact which concerned the industry was that the right was granted to one man to manufacture explosives and to sell them at a price nearly 200 per cent over that at which they could be imported. It was found, upon investigation after some years of agitation, that the factory at which this 'manufacture' took place was in reality merely a depot in which the already manufactured article was manipulated to a moderate extent, so as to lend colour to the President's statement that a local industry was being fostered. An investigation, held by order of the Volksraad, exposed the imposition. The President himself stated that he found he had been deceived, and that the terms of the concession had been broken, and he urged the Raad to cancel it, which the Raad did. The triumph was considerable for the mining industry, and it was the more appreciated in that it was the solitary success to which the Uitlanders could point in their long series of agitations for reform. But the triumph was not destined to be a lasting one. Within a few months the monopoly was revived in an infinitely more obnoxious form. It was now called a Government monopoly, but 'the agency' was bestowed upon a partner of the gentleman who had formerly owned the concession, the President himself vigorously defending this course, and ignoring his own judgment on the case uttered a few months previously. Land en Vo/k, the Pretoria Dutch newspaper, exposed the whole of this transaction, including the system of bribery by which the concessionaires secured their renewal, and among other things made the charge which it has continued to repeat ever since, that Mr. J. M. A. Wolmarans, member of the Executive, received a commission of one shilling per case on every case sold during the continuance of the agency as a consideration for his support in the Executive Council, and that he continues to enjoy this remuneration, which is estimated now to be not far short of £10,000 a year. Mr. Wolmarans, for reasons of pride or discretion, has declined to take any notice of the charge, although frequently pressed to take action in the matter. It is calculated that the burden imposed upon the Witwatersrandt mines alone amounts to £6oo,ooo per annum, and is, of course, daily increasing."
Between the years 1890 and 1895 there were many negotiations over Swaziland. The South African Republic, ever anxious to extend its borders, longed to advance eastward to the sea. Negotiations were started in regard to this arrangement. The Transvaal had recognised the British occupation of Rhodesia, and the British in return agreed to allow the Transvaal to make a railway through Amatongaland to Kosi Bay, and acquire a seaport, if; within three years, it joined the South African Customs Union.
But Mr. Kruger, luckily for imperial interests, would not entertain the idea. He did not want to come into confederation with the Cape. The Orange Free State, however, joined the Cape system, and the South African Customs Union was started. The advantages to the Free State of this arrangement, though unforeseen, were many; the principal being the privilege of importing, unmolested, arms and ammunition over the Cape Government railway lines. Finally, in 1895, the administration of Swaziland was transferred to the South African Republic on certain conditions. It was not to be incorporated with the Republic, European settlers were to have full burgher rights, monopolies were forbidden, English and Dutch languages were to be on an equal footing, and no duties higher than the maximum tariff rates imposed by the South African Republic or by the Customs Union were to be allowed. The territory of Amatongaland was annexed by the British in 1895, and the Transvaal thus lost its one chance of an outlet towards the sea.
|The Growth of the Transvaal|
|The Web Thickens|
|The Zulu War|
|Isandlwana, an hour by hour account|
|Affairs at Home|
|The First Anglo Boer War|
|Between the Wars|
|The Fate of SGT Elliot|
|The Siege of Pretoria|
|The Reform Movement|
|The Critical Moment|
|The Fate of the Raiders|