1887

oa Civil Engineer in South Africa - A new history of South Africa from a water resources viewpoint

 

Abstract

The settlement at the Cape was originally established to safeguard for the Dutch East India Company supplies of fresh water, meat, and vegetables. Subsequent migration into the interior was the result of the evolution of a class of wandering cattle-farmers, extensive rather than intensive users of land, in search of grazing. This trekking was first checked when the vanguard of the black tribes, also pastoralists, were met in the Fish River area.


As population increased and land became in short supply, the trek started afresh, this time across the Orange River. Boer troubles with Moshesh and other chiefs were due to differences in black and white law with respect to land ownership, and to rivalries for the maize-lands in the best rainfall areas. Preferred settlement elsewhere on the Highveld was near reliable water supplies, usually springs.
Before the turn of the nineteenth century the country once again began to run out of readily available agricultural land; this was the basic cause of the 'poor white' problem. Droughts ruined many farmers and contributed to the increasing numbers of white unemployed. This period is seen as the end of the 'low pressure stage' in the development of water resources.
Mining, industrial, and commercial development have since those days absorbed all of the former 'poor whites' and their descendants. At the same time, assisted by the revised irrigation laws of 1912, the country had intensified its use of the land in the 'transition stage'.
The arrival of the final 'multipurpose' stage of water exploitation was made possible by the legislative reforms of 1956, which introduced a more flexible approach to allocation of water between rural and industrial users, and made provision for the transfer of water from one catchment area to another.

Die nedersetting aan die Kaap is oorspronklik gestig om voorrade vars water, vleis en groente vir die Hollandse 0os-lndiese Kompanjie te beveilig. Latere migrasie na die binneland was die gevolg van die ontwikkeling van 'n klas swerwende veeboere, ekstensiewe eerder as intensiewe verbruikers van die grond, op soek na weiding. Hierdie uitbreiding is vir die eerste keer gestuit toe hulle die voorhoede van die swart stamme, wat ook veeboere was, in die omgewing van die Visrivier ontmoet het.


Namate die bevolking gegroei het en grond skaarser geword het, het die trek opnuut begin, hierdie keer oor die Oranjerivier. Die Boere se probleme met Mosjesj en ander hoofde het gespruit uit verskille tussen die swart en blanke regstelsels ten opsigte van grondbesit, en uit mededinging om besit van die mielielande in die beste reënvalgebiede. Voorkeurgebiede vir nedersetting op die Hoëveld was naby betroubare waterbronne, meestal fonteine.
Voor die einde van die 19de eeu het daar weereens 'n tekort aan geredelik beskikbare landbougrond in die land ontstaan; dit was die grondliggende oorsaak van die armblanke-probleem. Droogtes het verskeie boere geruïneer en het bygedra tot die groeiende getal werklose blankes. Hierdie tydperk word beskou as die einde van die 'laedrukstadium' in die ontwikkeling van waterbronne. Mynbou-, nywerheids- en handelsontwikkeling het sedertdien al die vroeëre 'armblankes' en hul afstammelinge opgeneem. Terselfdertyd, aangehelp deur die hersiene besproeiingswette van 1912, het die land sy gebruik van die grond verskerp in die 'oorgangstadium'.
Die aanbreek van die finale, dws die 'meerdoelige', stadium van waterbenutting, is moontlik gemaak deur die wetgewende hervorminge van 1956. Hierdie hervorminge het 'n meer buigsame benadering tot die toewysing van water tussen landelike en nywerheidsverbruikers ingelei, en het voorsiening gemaak vir die verplasing van water van een opvanggebied na 'n ander.

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/content/civeng1/25/5/EJC24913
1983-05-01
2016-12-03
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