No department has yet been created; but a chief has been appointed at a good salary, and the Pass Law has been proclaimed in one district of the Witwatersrand out of several; so that a measure which was designed to effect an immense saving in expense and convenience to the mining industry was by the appointment of an improper man and the neglect to organize a department rendered quite useless, and by partial promulgation it was made even detrimental.
I accordingly set it alight, and very soon the country behind was black. We hurried on until we reached Mr. Smit's farm, which is one hour on horseback from the southern slopes of the Witwatersrand the great dividing chain of mountains that runs in the direction of Marico.
The shareholders in the mines soon found it necessary to have some organization to protect their interests and give unison to their policy, and to preserve the records and collect information for the industry. The Witwatersrand Chamber of Mines was then formed, a voluntary business association of unique interest and efficiency.
G. Piggott Moodie when he was Surveyor-General, in lieu of salary which the Republic was unable to pay. This was the beginning of the prospecting era which opened up De Kaap, Witwatersrand, and other fields; but it was a small beginning, and for some time nothing worth mentioning was discovered. The Republic was again in a bad way, and drifting backwards after its first spurt.
This invasion, which was synchronous with an armed rebellion at Johannesburg, was followed by the arrest and imprisonment of the so-called gold magnates of the Witwatersrand. Whether these exceedingly wealthy but extremely degenerate sons of Albion and Germania deserved the death sentence pronounced upon their leaders at Pretoria for high treason it is not for me to judge.
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 Witwatersrand Mines alone amounts to £600,000 per annum, and is, of course, daily increasing.
They were almost invariably situated on the south side of the Witwatersrand Main Reef, for the reason that, as the ground sloped to the south, the water was found there, the mills would naturally be erected there, and the inclination of the ground offered tempting facilities for the disposal of residues.
Commandant Kemp, with his men, was at the south on the foot of the ridge, and Veld-Kornet van Tender, with a small troop of Zoutpansbergers, was on the first kopje, while General Beyers, with the Waterbergers and Zoutpansbergers held the right wing to the west of Hekpoort, in Witwatersrand. The whole of that forenoon the enemy were ready to attack us, and we waited calmly.
The Government are further willing to recommend to the Volksraad that 8 new seats in the First Volksraad, and, if necessary, also in the Second Volksraad, be given to the population of the Witwatersrand, thus with the 2 sitting members for the Goldfields, giving to the population thereof 10 representatives in a Raad of 36, and in future the representation of the Goldfields of this Republic shall not fall below the proportion of one-fourth of the total.
I think it is necessary to do so before allocating the Members amongst them. In all the discussions in South Africa these have been divided into three areas the Witwatersrand, Pretoria, and the "Rest of the Transvaal." Pretoria is the metropolis of the Transvaal. It has a very independent public opinion of its own; it is strongly British, and it is rapidly increasing.