The mining industry was a fundamental part of the economy of South Africa in the late nineteenth century, and control of the region's gold mines was a significant factor in the tension between Dutch and English settlers that led to the Second Boer War in 1899. In 1889 the Witwatersrand Chamber of Mines had been formed to promote the industry's development. Economic problems in the region led the Volksraad of the South African Republic to set up a Commission of Enquiry in 1897 to investigate high tariffs, labour and transport costs which were adversely affecting the mining industry. The 1897 report reissued here was not that of the commission itself, but contains much of the evidence and statistical material presented to it, in the hope that the mining industry would adopt its recommendations. As such, this detailed resource remains relevant to economic historians of South Africa and the British Empire.
Table of Contents
1. Evidence given before the industrial commission of enquiry and the report of the commissioners; 2. Appendix.