oa Historia - Die vestiging van die Voortrekkers noord van die Vaalrivier tot 1840

Volume 37 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



It took a relatively long time before the Voortrekkers settled permanently in the country north of the Vaal River. This was due to the threat posed by the Ndebele of Mzilikazi as well as to the initial preference which most Voortrekkers held for Natal. After they had driven Mzilikazi out, the country which had constituted his sphere of influence was claimed by the Voortrekkers. By 1837 this area included most of the present-day western, northwestern and central Transvaal and smaller parts of modern Botswana and approximately corresponded with that which the Voortrekkers defined in October 1840 as their territory north of the Vaal. Through a careful analysis of the applications for farms made by the new settlers since 1839, together with the descriptionptions of the location of these farms, which were kept in a register, it was possible to identify a large number of these farms on modern topo-cadastral maps. In this way it was possible to obtain a clearer picture of the extent and nature of Voortrekker settlement in this area until 1840. Applications for farms during this period extend to lands as far to the west as Makwassiespruit, in the northwest to Molopo-oog, in the north to the north of the Magaliesberg, in the northeast to the Magaliesberg just north of Pretoria and to the Bronberg and in the east to the vicinity of the Suikerboschrant.

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