National Geographic : 1896 Nov
THE REVOLT OF THE UITLANDERS the English and American residents were attached to the Trans vaal in the sense of regarding it as a permanent home. Most of them meant or hoped to return to Europe or America, and it is probable that even had the full franchise been obtainable after five years' residence, few Anglo-Saxons would have abjured allegiance to England or the United States.* It was for business purposes that they desired a voice in public affairs, and few of them realized that, to the Boers, granting the franchise seemed equivalent to self-destruction. So far as I can learn, the great mistake of the Boers was in giving the Uitlanders grave cause for desiring to control the legislation affecting them and the industry they had built up. The Uitlanders could have been quieted by judicious consid eration for their convenience, without the franchise and with out danger to the independence or the national character of the republic. A prosperous community like that of the Rand would bear extremely heavy taxation with little murmuring; but a prosperous and energetic community is the very last to submit patiently to discomfort, favoritism, and maladministration be yond its own control. The grievances of the Uitlanders have been very real indeed, and the foreigner on the Rand has not been allowed to forget for an hour at a time that he was a member of an ill-governed corn munity. A few facts will illustrate this condition. The town of Johannesburg, though containing over 50,000 white inhabitants, has no perfected system of lighting, no system of drainage, and no general water supply. There is abundance of water in the neighborhood, but the law of riparian rights, being framed for a purely agricultural population, is such that no water rights can be acquired if a single affected landowner objects. The town has no general municipal government, though there is a board of health. The state has refused until lately to aid education, except when conducted in Dutch. Public meetings of more than six persons may be dispersed at the discretion of the police. The charges of the Netherlands Railway Company are entirely un controlled by law, and on a portion of its line its tariff reaches the utterly exorbitant rate of six cents per ton per mile on coal. The company makes profits of 100 per cent, and yet it is not taken over by the state, which has the legal right to assume its ownership. No dynamite is made in the Transvaal, yet a mo * It is probable that a considerable number of Africanders would naturalize if the conditions were not too onerous. The Burghers, however, dread the influence of the " English-minded" Africander.