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History of the Western Cape P2

The Colonists, after a long struggle, were successful in having Willem Adriaan van der Stel recalled to Holland. The strong animosity between the French and Dutch colonists dissolved in the wake of the hardships equally endured under Willem's rule.

On 21 May, nine ships were wrecked in a gale in Table Bay. 208 Lives were lost.

The Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Von Imhoff, visited the Cape. A site at Simon's Bay was chosen to be used as a harbour between mid-May and mid-August. This would reduce damage in Table Bay caused by the winter storms.

There were 5 510 Europeans and 6 279 slaves in the Cape.

England and France were at war, with the Netherlands on the French side. French troops were therefore sent to the Cape to guard it against the English. The French troops held a series of pomaded parties.

The French troops departed once again for home.

The start of the French Revolution. The Dutch East India Company, filled with corruption, was financially unstable.

War was declared by the victorious French revolutionaries against the Dutch Prince of Orange. Britain went to war against France.

The Dutch East India Company was in financial ruins. The Netherlands was invaded by the French, and a republic was declared by Dutch revolutionaires. The Prince of Orange fled to England, and the way was cleared for the establishment of the Dutch Batavian Republic. The French and Dutch were united against Britain. The Cape Commissioner at the time, Sluysken, as a result of the long time it took to send news from Europe to the Cape, only knew that the French had been making headway into the Netherlands but the Dutch could at any moment change sides. News hadn't yet reached him of the latest events. British forces arrived at the Cape bringing with them a letter from the Prince of Orange asking Sluysken to allow the Cape to be protected from the French by the British until the war was over, and the British informed him that the Prince had fled to England, thus misrepresenting him to the Dutch. The Cape Council was Orangist but recognised its allegiance belonged with the mother country, and Sluysken thus procrastinated. The British won the battle upon landing at Simon's Bay, taking the Cape. The start of free trade was announced.

The first British Governor, Earl Macartney, arrived at the Cape. As his wife stayed behind in England, Lady Anne Barnard, his secretary's wife, did his entertaining and started a social whirl in the Cape.

A fragile peace was concluded between England and France. The Cape was handed back to the Dutch. Jan Willem Janssens, the new Governor, ruled the Cape for three years.

France and Britain at war again, and the British once again set sail for the Cape as the Batavians were still allied with France.

The British landed at Losperds Bay, between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand. Governor Jan Willem Janssens capitulated.

The British Governor, Caledon, declared that the Hottentots had to have a fixed residence and could not migrate between regions without written authority.


Taps and iron pipes were installed along the Cape's main streets. Water was still provided from wells or the Parade fountain.

Holland had reverted to a monarchy and the French had been defeated by the British. Britain engineered a complex peace treaty, whereby various pieces of real estate and amounts of money were exchanged for various countries. The Cape was permanently taken from the Dutch by the British in return for a large sum of money. The British saw the Cape as a key to India. The Dutch were too impoverished and depleted and agreed to be allowed to continue to use the Cape for repairs and refreshment. The new governor was Lord Charles Somerset.

A programme was inaugurated by Somerset to abolish Dutch, and make English the only official language.

The first newspaper was published - The South African Commercial Advertiser - and Somerset became involved in tussles with the paper about freedom of the press and clashed with missionary Dr Philip, who preached freedom for the Hottentots.

Governor Somerset left the Cape under a cloud of bad feelings.

The vagrancy and pass laws were abolished. The Hottentots, in theory, shared equality with the Europeans.

The emancipation of the slaves, estimated to be in the region of 39 000. This led to the establishment of Bo-Kaap, or 'upper city', by a Muslim community after being freed from slavery. This year also saw the start of a Legislative Council.


The start of the Great Trek. About 10 000 Dutch families, unable to adapt to the progressive changes brought about by the freedom of the slaves and the new authority, went north in search of new land, thereby opening up the interior. Elected municipal councils was provided for by the Legislative Council.

A municipality was formed covering the Green Point-Sea Point area.

The Cape Town Municipality was formed. The population stood at 20 016, of which 10 560 were Whites.

The road to Stellenbosch through the Maitland area was completed.

The proposal by the British to send a ship of convicts to the Colony was strongly objected to by the Cape population. The shipment was successfully stopped and the name of the Heerengracht was changed to Adderley Street, after a British MP who had supported their cause.

The first railway was started. It's route was from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington.

Construction of the first of the Table Bay docks, Alfred Dock, was started.

1 April - the first tramway company in Cape Town, the 'Cape Town and Green Point Tramway Company', commenced operations with a horse-drawn service running on rails from the foot of Adderley Street and out along Somerset Road to Green Point.

The Cape Town Municipality Amendment Act, granting full municipal government, was enacted by the Cape Colonial Parliament. It made provision for 18 town councillors and a council chairman, elected by the Council as Mayor.

Completion of Alfred Dock.

The Cape Town City Council authorised a second tramways company, the 'City Tramways Company Limited', to operate a similar horse-drawn service, initially out to Green Point and Sea Point, and later to the Gardens and the southern suburbs.

Cape Town was linked telegraphically to Europe by means of an overseas cable.

The Dutch language was once again admitted as an official language alongside English.

The official inauguration of the Houses of Parliament, designed by Charles Freeman.

Victoria Road to Hout Bay was completed. A toll-house was erected where Victoria Road joined up with Kloof Road from Sea Point. Toll was collected until about 1900.

The ambitious project of paving the streets of Cape Town was started.

24 October - The Cape Town City Council granted the right to a local businessman, Henry Butters, to build and operate the first electric tramway company through the city.

The Metropolitan Tramways Company was formed. On 13 April the Inauguration Ceremony of the Graaff Electric Lighting Works at the Molteno reservoir was held, followed by the official switching on of the street lights at the Town House, Greenmarket Square.

6 August - The first electric tram service in Cape Town was officially inaugurated by Lady Sivewright, when she started the first tram on its maiden run through a flag-bedecked Adderley Street to Mowbray Hill.

The outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War. Green Point Common was established as a military camp.