DAILY CONSULAR AND TRADE REPORTS
ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMER"
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Annual Series No. 66c December 18, 1918
BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA.
By Vice Consul Samuel 'W. Honaker.
The vast expanse of territory in inland Africa, lying between 206
30' south latitude and the Belgian Ko!ngo on the north and Lake Tan-
ganyika and German East Africa on the northeast, constitutes the
Johannesburg consular district. A great part of this immense area
is situated upon broad plateaus ranging from 4,000 to (3,000 feet in
height. The highest point of this table-land is near the world's
greatest gold-mining district, known as the Witwatersrand.
In the southernmost part of this coinsul._1r district is the Orange
Free State. This great plain, more than 50,000 square miles in ex-
tent, and rising to 4,000 and 5.,000 feet above sea level, is alinmot en-
tirely destitute of trees except along the river banks, which are fre-
ouently covered with willow and mimosa. The rainfall is moderate,
occurring principally during the late summer months, at wrhch period
the water is usually carried off rapidly by the deep-cut river beds.
l-opulation Chiefly Native.
On the north the Orange Free State is separated from tlie
Transvaal by the Vaanl Rie From this dividing" polt the ground
rises to the Witwater-rand Range, which formsn the \watershld be-
tween the tributaries of the Vaal and Limpopo Rivers, about 1,000
feet above sea level. Still farther to tile north ti e altitude decreases
until the vegetable and animal life are semitropical and tropical.
Although this section of Africa has great natural resources tlhe
population is comparatively small, and consequently, a great part of
the land is still the range of the native and his cattle. Though the
white man's influence has grown stronger year by year and has
spread in all directions, and his resouricefulness has been the means
of quickening the industrial life of the country, his productive
powers have been limited by his number and insufficient capital.
The center of the population of this consular district is located at
Johannesburg, which, although it is the largest city in South Africa. /
contains more native than white people. In 1911, the ransvaal /
had a white population of 420,5U2, or 24.04 per cent of the total num-
ber of inhabitants. In the same vear the Orange Free State had
175,189 whites. or 33.19 per cent of the persons resident within its
limits at that time. In 1918, the white population of the former
Province had increased to 497,220. or 18.23 per cent, and that of the
Orange Free State to 181,292, or 3.5 per cent.
SUPPLEMENT TO COMMERCE REPORTS.
Trade ofthe Orange Free State and Transvaal.
Wllerens. tlie Orninge Free State is essentially an agricultural and
pastoral Pro virI-L. tile principal industry of the Transvaal is mining.
The former r territory alo possesses rich diamond mines, and mining
is. therfore, cilo-'el related to its commercial and economic life.
In either Provice haI s manufacturing reached a high stage of
development. The co-t of labor and the scarcity of skilled work-
men iha, mrilit:ted strongly against the establishment of factories
notw itlstatdiling the presence of coal and raw material near the
chief citie-. As tlis district is dependent upon foreign markets for
all kinds of Ijlanunfactullred goods, the shortage of ships, as well as
export restrictions. greatly influenced its commerce during 1917.
Inup(rts declined in volume and value, while exports increased
appreciably. South African products became more generally known
to British importers and. in various instances, secured footholds on
the English market during 1917 which could have only been gained
in ordinary times. by the adoption of a well-organized plan to pro-
mote ,sales. With unprecedented prices prevailing for all kinds of
raw materials and agricultural products, local production was
greatly stinl, ldated. aind the volume of the combined foreign and
dome,-tic trade indicate-, that 19i17 was a commercially prosperous
Causes of Decreased Import Trade.
-le;ivy il(crie:.- ill imports. inolve1 a gradlml sing 1!l) of mer-
ch:tnIli ,e. lPrir to 1917 importers and merchants had been inclined
to nccuiiulllatke lt;ire (1lintitites of stock, but the difficulties attending
replenish )enilet :oltsed tiiit dr to dNw to :i greater degree upon their slr-
pll supplies, fur llurreFi-i uie, and, at thle ame time, to modify their
policy. The idc;i .-Lti, ,.-d to( prevail during 1917 that stocks should
not be ,ovrbllrdelnt.. and.l tl.,'l large stuns of money should not be
tied up in purcha'-ing .uppl ies. at unusually high prices. On the other
hinl. the mining cmllpa;nies, extended the period of absorption of
stoniks. fromti one and oine-half to two years, and, as they continued to
buy from ,To.ea l importers, tlie policy of financing by merchants has
been partly reveled.
M;iny classes of good.-, which were l)urchased and forwarded to
thi, co'unsular district with ,ncmplarative freedom during 1916, could
only ic obtained in 1917 w\ith tlie greatest difficulty, and this resulted
in c-ian d in ethods of lulrctalse. The advantage of buying mer-
ciiantli::lt oIf the Ibest (qa iitv instead of the cheap and inferior grade
;wal realized lb nmanyl importers. Formerly charges on imported
goods wtre calcithltedtl on a ad valorem basis, and as long as freight
v;I, nIormil1 there w\;s :wliiprently a saving in buying cheap goods.
IHol evt'r, the rise in freight was more than the difference in value,
andi importerU.- a;iid retaileTrs began to )purchase thle better class of
good., Ino i( freflqentljy.
American Good; Suitable for South African Market.
The change, iln radle reflect the influence of the European war.
Tlie restriction upn exports from tle United Kingdom and the in-
fri-'anency of '-ealn t mmlllllinic'ti-on between British and South Afri-
can ports haid direct bearing) upon commercial intercourse in general.
Trade rela;tiniis with tine I'nited States increased notably, imports
BRITTSII SOUTH AFRIC.A--JOHANNESBU1RG,
into the Union of South Africa rising from $14,645,717 in 1914 to
,30,310,139 in 1917. This expansion of trade may be attributed
not only to the difficulty of obtaining goods from other sources. but
also to the suitability of the American article to this market and the
increased attention which the exporter directed toward this field.
In consequence a relatively large number of merchants, importers,
and manufacturers' representatives endeavored to obtain the 'agen-
cies of American houses, and some journeyed to the United Stites.
either to arrange more satisfactory representations or to obtain new
lines of merchandise.
The encouraging feature of the improved trade relations with
America is that they may prove to be reciprocal. A large demand
already exists in the United States for many of the raw products of
South Africa, such as hides, skins, wool, and chrome ore, and with
the reopening of more favorable trade conditions the export of cop-
per, tin, corundum, asbestos, and various products native to the
country should increase appreciably.
Payments were generally made by sight drafts upon banks in
New York City or ports of shipmiient, and the favorable rates of
exchange, which were maintained in the United States during 1917,
were instrumental in promoting trade. Although the South African
importers know that abllnoniral conditions influence the present
method of cash payments, they do, as a whole,-insist strongly that
the maintenance and future development of commercial relations
depend to a great extent upon the readjustment of the present credit
system, and that longer terms will be necessary.
Development of American Trade.
Although the United States has long held a prominent rank in the
list of countries from.which South Africa draws its manufactured
goods, the basis of trade has reAted largely upon the gold-lminin-
industry, and it is within recent years that a more general stuldy
of this field has been made by American manufacturers with a view
of branching out in other directions. Though business methods are
now better understood, there has been a noticeable lack of coopera-
tion on the part of some Amierican manufacturers in so far as direct.
aid to the agent, is concerned. It is by forming close relationships
that the best. results can be expected, and American firms lihould
direct their energies with a view of accomplishing this end.
Articles of American manufacture for which there is, or might be,
a demand in this market, are numerous, but some of the most iml
portant are: Agricultutral machinery, accessories, inmple-iients, and
tools; bicycle and accessories; bolts and nuts; boots, shoes, and
slippers; mining buckets; chinaware; cranes, elevators, and lifts;
electrical material, including all kinds of apparatus, equiplment,
cable, wire, and fittings; fencing wire, standards, and :mterial;
fertilizers; flour; glass and glassware; haberldashery; hardware;
hosiery; instruments, mathematical, scientific, and surgical; iron and
steel products; kerosene; lamps and lampware; leather and leather
manufactures; locomotives; machinery, electrical, manufacturing,
mining, and water-boring; condensed milk; motor cars, motor cycles,
and accessories; musical instruments; oils; paints and kindred arti-
cles, including white lead and linseed oil; pine timber; pipes, piping,
and fittings; presses, hay and wool; printed matter; pumps and
SUPPLEMENT TO COMMERCE REPORTS.
pumping equipment; rails, railway material, and rolling stock; steel
plates; stoves; tanks and vats; tar and substitutes; telephone ap-
paratus; tramway material and equipment; windmills; wire netting;
and wire rope.
Purchases of Motor Cars and Accessories.
Shortage of shipping and the difficulties of obtaining cargo space
hampered the automobile trade during 1917, but, notwithstanding
the obstacle- against which it had to contend, it was fairly well
maintained. This is important from the viewpoint of the American
manu1i1facturer, for South Africa has now become an outlet of conse-
quence for this export trade.
The gross value of the imports of motor vehicles, accessories, tires,
gasoline, etc., increased from $8.594,200, in 1916. to $9.948,080, in
1017, or about 152 per cent. However, the advanced prices of all
the-e goods indicate a higher aggregate cost rather than a larger
volume of business. Imports from the United States amounted to
$5,279.043, or 53 per cent of the total: and the United Kingdom fur-
nished $1.872.639. or 19 per cent. In 1916 the percentages were as
follows: United States, 55 per cent: United Kingdom. 24 per cent;
and other countries- 21 per cent.
The average declared value of the English automobile amounted
to $1,144, while the approximate value for custoni purposes of the
American and Canadian car was $779 and $438, respectively. The
latter has go gown greatly in popularity in recent years, and imports
from Canada rose 71 per cent compared with those for 1916. On
the other hand, imports of automobiles from the United Kingdom
decreased 15 per cent, or from $325,218 to $178.805; and the figures
for the United States fell from $2.717,051 to $2.525,881 for the same
Future Market Promising for Motor Trade.
A decrease of 16 per cent was noted in the gross value of motor
cycles and parts imported into this district in 1917, compared with
the preceding year. The United Kingdom lost its supremacy in this
market to the United States, imports from which were valued at
$352,865, or 53 per cent of the total.
Tires were supplied to the value of $1,374,227 by the United
Kingdom, which still continued to be the principal source of supply
with 53 per cent of the total imports to its credit. Imports from the
United States increased from $692,114, in 1916, to $705,681. in 1917,
and a material gain resulted to French and Italian manufacturers,
imports of their goods increasing by 71 per cent compared with the
figures for 1916.
The motor trade of the Union has now reached such a stable state
that it is capable of absorbing annually imports of considerable
value. It will no doubt grow in volume and importance because the
isolation of certain districts can not be eliminated altogether by
railroad-. Heretofore, railway facilities have been practically the
only means of conllnunication between distant settlements, and regu-
lar motor traffic would tend greatly to hasten the industrial develop-
rment of districts wlhose progress has been retarded in the past.
Machinery, Tools, and Electrical Goods.
American machinery, tools, materials, and supplies have been in
demand in the Transvnal ever since the opening up of the mining
BRITISI SOUTH AFRIC.A-JOIANNESBLUEG.
industry on the Witwatesrand. and since the elimintlion of Ger-
niany from this market new calls have been made upon the Ainrriran
manufacturer of these good. The imposition by the United King-
dom of more rigid export ren-trictions during 1917 nece-.itated
conserving supplies and manufacturing articles which could not be
obtained with any degree of rea:liess from abroad. Notwitlhtan d-
ing the sulcces which attended these etfort-, mining material and
supplies- found ready purchasers at unprecedented prices.
The United Kiniigdom continued to be the chief source of supply
for electrical material, although Japan made relatively small strides
in this direction by incr'a.isng its exports from $891 in 1914 to
$35,C,628 in 1917. The position with respect to these go-odls was greatly
helped by shipments from that country, but accessories were not ob-
fainable in sufficient quantities to lower prices miteri;illy. The
United States exported goods of this kind to the value of 8,"731,492,
but American trade was somewhat handicapped by the difference in
standards and specifications in use here.
Timber and Building Material.
Construction work has been re-tricted since 1914 owing to the
high cost of material and the tendency to limit expendlitlure-. In
the meantime, the need of additi inal struct ure.- has grown and build-
ing operations took place upon a larger scale in 1917 than at any
time in the last four years. Maker- of building bricks \were unable
to meet the local demand, and manufacturers of cement were so suc-
cessful in disposing of their output that one hi- company ]as under
contemplation the extension of its plant. The .hortage and high
.price of corrugated iron, which has heletktre been the favorite
roofing material, gave a decided impetus to the manufacture of tiles.
Banking Operations-Increased Deposits.
Banking operations during 1917 were marked by the in're:sed
circulation of notes. Although this iimant an addition to the total
currency, new issues were restricted so as not to stimulate prices, not-
withstanding the economy in the use of gold which was urgently re-
quired for purposes of exchange, The Standard Bank of South
Africa added approximately $2.919,900 to its note issue, while the
National Bank of South Africa incre:aed its outstanding circulation
of notes to a total of $12,5S84,282, or by $:.878,000.
The banks as a whole enjoyed unusual prosperity and it appears
from bank statement- that deposits were on a higher level than in any
previous year, reaching nearly $3t10.3"2:',00, as cuompa red with $267,-
(t57,500 at the end of 1916. The increase in depo-its is probably the
best reflex of the country's prosperity, but at the same time it indi-
cates timidity with respect to investments, as well as a falling off in
the demand for capital for coniiiercial and industrial enterpri-e-.
With the return of normal conditions the increa-ed deposits will most
likely be taken advantage of to purchase new supplies and equipment,
and to extend building operations. which have been greatly handi-
capped by the hiilg price of material and the diffi.-ulty of obtaining
goods with any degree of certainty.
South African Railways.
At the close of 1917 there were 3,991 miles of railway in operation
in the Transvaal and Orange Free State, affording direct conimuni-
SUPPLEMENT TO COMMERCE REPORTS.
cation with the ports of the Union and with Delagoa Bay, in Portu-
guese East Africa. They also connect, through Southern and North-
ern Rhodesia, with the main railroad of the Belgian Kongo, where
the trains now run 200 miles beyond Elizabethville.
The South Africnn railways had to meet unusual conditions dur-
ing 1917. They had to cope with an unusually heavy demand for the
transport of (cal and agricultural products, but fairly good service
wa- maintained. However, at one period of the year the lack of
trucks and locomotives to move grain caused considerable loss to
farmers. To meet the extraordinary conditions at certain periods
the Railway AdmIini.-:tration was forced to curtail passenger traffic.
Though this pro:.edure resulted in the saving of 800.000 train miles,
a total of 49,699.;379 passengers were carried during 1917, as com-
pared with 43,20S ,'2:2 in 1913.
The gross earnings of the South African railways amounted to
$69j.40li,44i, an increase of $5,109,922.) compared with the figures for
191G. This increase was due largely to the volume of coal and maize
transported, the former having increased from 6c,9s.832 tons in 1913
to 7.!982,6;24 in 1917, or 14.3 per cent. Working expenses, including
depreciation of permanent. way and rolling ftock, were $6.671.412
more than in 1916.
The Mining Industry.
This consular district is noted for the laundance and variety of
its mineral resources. Besides being the world's greatest gold-pro-
ducing country it posesses antimony, asbestos, coal, cobalt, copper,
corundum, diamond, lead. magnesite, silver, tin, and other deposits,
and mining is therefore the paramount industry.
The importance of the gold-mining indulltry to the whole of South
Africa can hardly be overemphasized. Every branch of productive
enterprise is closely related to it. a high percentage of the entire
population is directly or indi rectly dependent upon it, and it creates
demands which are felt abroad as well as within the country. It
makes la-rge purclha-e- of supplies, and distributes lucrative dividends
to domestic and foreign :shareholders. Practically all of the wages
and salaries paid out are -lpent or invested locally.
Although gold is found in other di-tricts of the Transvaal-for
instance, in the Barberton, Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom, Venter-
skroon, and other areas-the principal bearing reefs are along the
Rand. The reef, continuously traced, measures about 62 miles and
runs east and west. The gold is found in minute particles and in
the richest ores, but rarely in visible quantities before treatment. On
some of the minm-. shafts are sunk to depths ranging from 3,000 to
During 1917 the output, of gold in the Union of South Africa
amoulnted to 9.019,38!.) fine ounces, with a value of $186,424,1296. Of
this, the Tran'vaal alone contributed 9,018,08"2 fine ounce-, worth
$1.6.414.110, or $10.186 less than the total. As compared with the
preceding year, tlIh return of this Province dt-creased by 277.4-. fine
ounces, which in Imoetary terms is equivalent to $5,738,183. The
Transvaal's import:ahi ;i- a gold-producing center is shown by its
totti production, which since 1SS4 ha- amounted to 130,227,748 fine
ounces, witl a valuation of. $2.6S6,350.041.
The amount of ore milled on the Witwatersrand during 1917 was
27251.!),0 tons,. a decrease of 1,273.292.,tons compared with the crush-
BRITISH SOUTII AFRICA-JOHANNESBURG.
in of 1916. There were 29,,54".949 tons of ore hoisted and taken fromn
surface dinumps as contrasted Nwith 31,312.":,72 tons for the plreclli(ng
year. The actual number of rc.k drills in co'mininsiun was ..'..
and of this number the average in operation wiis 9,029.
Working Costs and Dividends.
The total working costs of mines on the Witwatersrand for 1917
amounted to $127,157,53,s as against $125,376,953 for 1l'.. By
adding $3..54'.12(' the working coi-ts of all of tllh Transvaal gold mines
are obtained. 'The average working cost rose from $1.40 in 1916 to
$4.66 per ton milled in 1917 on the Witwatcrsrand. and decreased
from $6.34 to 1;.19 in the outside districts. The total working profits
of the Rand mines amounted to $49J ,3,067, compared w ith S;.9. 7,-
400 in 191f;. anl those of the ouwtide areas increased 1>y $4..512. Con-
sequ ently the working profit fell from $1.98 in 1916 to $1.S2 in 1917
per ton milled.
Dividendls paidl by tie Witwvatersrand gold nmines in 1914 aimunited
to a;pproXil:ately $3s. .:;.,i00; in 1916 they decreased to $34.). _l"',,
and in 1917 to $.1.9('.3'!.,, This fall is attributed in great part to the
increased cost of production, and has taken p1ace despite the fact
that the gold oh-utl)it actually increa -ed ldring the same period from
$li(..41;1.000 to $179,"20() ,.0(. Excluding the Far East Rand mines,
the dividends for the remnainiing Wit watVtr-rand aniounted to unly
Difficulties of the Industry.
T'he year 1917 was probably the mniut trying in the history of miining
in the Transvaal. All of the mines were affecr,'d to ,ome extentt,
but at least 14 had difficulty in meeting the existing economic condi-
tions. The increased ,uo.,ts of the industry, as complnlred with the pre-
war period. were'- 4,819,150. Of this :iimunt $15,816.12. is attrib-
uted to iincrea c-d cost of -upplies; $1.>4(i).;00 to advanced gold realiza-
tion c-harges; $l2.919.9010 to war bonuses antd increal-,* in wages;
.l.7'03.27. to allowances to em-plloyees on active service; and $2.-13,-
250 to war levy.
According to the president of the Transv\anl Chaimber of Minels,
the three main factors that seriously threatened the maintenance of
the gold-minilng industry during 1917 were the heavy 1iurdlen of adIli-
tional costs, the in:i-letr;ate supply of native labor, and the reducti, n
of glycerin supplies allocated to the Union by the British Govern-
ment. Tllis industry has reduled its consumption of glycerin by 25
per cent since the Ieguinning of the war, and any further reduction
of consequence would have a serious effect.
Certificates of Importation-Diamond Production.
Since the outbreak of war it has become increasingly necessary for
all essential supplies required by the gold-mininl. indtltry to be im-
porte(d under priority certificates issued l1y the Chamber of Mines on
the authority of the Briti-h Government. However, with the excep-
tion of ryanide. mnercuiry, and zinc, no steps had been taken to pool
the supplies held ib the various minez- until July, 1917. In that
month a Technical Advi.ory Committee, con-i.ting of consulting
mechanical engineers and buyers of the various groups. was ap-
pointed to work in conjunction with representatives of the coal and
diamond industries of the Transvaal and a Government agent for the
SUPPLEMENT TO COMMERCE REPORTS.
purpose of -upervising the pooling arrangements. At a later period
-pecial London and New York representatives were aso appointed
in connection with this work.
The total value of the output of diamonds in the Union of South
Africa, amounted to $37.539,250 in 1917. Although the largest mines
are at Kimberley, Cape Province, this consular district embraces 13
of the 21 producing areas, and of the 1917 production the Transvaal
and Orange Free State contributed 1,251,519 carats, valued at $13,-
15S.4-!2. and effect ted sales to the value of $12,940,739. The diamond
inidu-ir wa-, more active than at any time since 1913. In fact, the
Preilmier' (Transvaal) Dianiiond Mining Co. reported that it had been
able to dispose of its entire 1917 output at the highest prices obtained
for ii:nny years. and that the mining profit had seldom been exceeded
du ring the history of the company.
Output of Copper, Tin, and Silver-The Coal Industry.
Tlh total oluput of copper in the Union amounted to 22.%62 tons
in 1916 and -20,174 tons in 1917, valued at 35,509,5359 and $5,38-2.C60,
respectively. The Transvaal yiehled 12.2,N tons, worth 3.03i6.07T3.
in 1916 and 9,:3,1 tons, worth $2,673,593. in 1917.
Of the Union production of tin, amounting in 1917 to 2,<87 tons,
of a value of $1,8 7,'-.0, the Tranv;aaIl alone produced 2.('4,( tons,
worth $1, ,70 Although the 1910 output exceededl that of 1917
1)' 615 tons the lattvri was sold for $;5,119 more.
The output of silver in gold bullion and of corundum, which are
at lprsent produced only in the Transvaal, was valued at $359s,311
and $73,37s, respectively, in 1917. The total value of all other min-
erals in the Transvaal -was estimated to be $A770,264.
The Transvaal is the lending coal-producing Province of the
Union. It possesses extensive hed-, including thick seams of steam
coal, which are favorably situated near tle Rand and other gold
fields. The principal collieries are those at Witbank and Middel-
burg. Considerale development is expected in the coal trade, and
an endeavor is being made to build up an export business with the
ea-tern coast of South Africa.
During 1917 the coal output of the Union of South Africa was
10,3S4,)8(6 short tons, valued at $15.822,91 at the pit's mouth. Of
the total the Transvaal produced 6,641,229 tons, worth $7,718,570.
In December the South African railways raised the rate on bunker
coal to the ports by $0.97, and it is anticipated that an additional
revenue of $1.916.;0(00 will result therefrom.
Health Conditions at the Mines.
Three main cases of death among the natives employed on the
mines are pineiionii. ~t belrrulois. and accident. To lower the mor-
tality rate systematic researches have been made in recent years and
great progress has taken place in the prevention of sickness. The
work of dust sampling increased very greatly during 1917, and no
fewer than '22,;002 sanipling surveys were made, as compared with
11,72(; in 1916. Improvenient in the pneumonia and tubercular
death rate uvas also made, the latter having fallen as low as 1.97 per
thousainl, as against 5.83 in 1916.
In fact, mortality among native laborers for 1917 was the lowest
on record, the death rate per 1,000 from disease having been 10.75, as
BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA-JOHANNESBL'IG.
compared with 13.00 in 1916 and 16.38 in 1915. T'I ; :i,.-ident il:Aith
rate, which was 3.27 per 1,000 in 1916, fell to 2.87 per 1.l)int in 1917,
and is also a record. The combined death rite frmi di.-at and niri-
dent was therefore 13.62 per 1,000, ill ciiipalrio)li will 17.17 in 1916.
Purchases by the Mines.
The total purchases of stores bt, the mines of the Union alimllntedl
to $7i,624.00(9 in 1917, as compared with $4;.:,l:l).9 in 1916. Of the
former sumn $6,463,163 and $93,!76 w\ere( eendlCled 1iv the iniil- of
the Transvaal and Orange Free State. During 1917 tile mine.- sur-
roiunding Jlohlannhesbuirg alone purchased good, to lhe v;llte of
The follow ing is the official list of store-, nd their value <,'( i.li.nid
by the mines during 1916 and 1917:
Ba s .......................
Brit in. .. ................
rl ic-.. .....................
Brush vare ..............
Iron ......... ..... .. .
In c (a s .................
In bas .................
Chemical assay and smelt-
ing, retiust irs ..............
Cloth i'hrli.ticr anl filter
and niilting ... .....
Coal ei!trini machines and
Compressed air (pulrchasrd .
Diisinfectant1. and liospital
Electrical machinery and
Elctiric power and light
I p Irchas dCi ...............
Bla ing gelat in .......
Gelignite and gelatin
Dvnamite and lidyvn....
Electric detonators or
Lighting torches tLtisa
sticks .... .........
Fencing and wire netting....
Fodder (bran, haff, mealies,
Foodst'llls and supplies ifor
Malt and cereals for beer.
Salt .. ................
Groceries: Coffee, sugar,
oil, ghee, molasses, etc.
1916 1917 Articles.
,.' ,, 2
2.020' "i 2
1, 799, .5.
2, 467,. rn
Food tuffT- and supplies (for
r'indrv food, including
bread.................. -. i '. 409
Vcg.r il ................ .17, 368
cloi hin ................. 120,4 95
Ml.*'ii :t 1u lL. t ........... 1 .,' I
IFouicirv rq.',i.i .e .......... 5,26
llaud toois pitk,. shovels,
hammr .............. 521,353
HoW- littin. ................ 121,449
ITo. ing.z .svam, suction, and
ri k -drill .................. .1'.,,i949
ii ir n:- i an .!c .......... 7
Salvanied ............ .. i ;, 7,7,9
Sheet.................. 11 Inq;
Pig..... ............... I
iulit, nuts, washers,
an.] I '.ts ............. A1li. r,
Screws, ulil-, etc........ ;
Locks, hinges, staples,
chains, etc............. ?3,320
Other .................. 1,3 8
Lamps, and parts of ......... '-;. ,
Pig ...................... 9,20
Sh l ................. 3,452
'lihit, .. .. ..... ..... 59, '
Oils ................... 507.952
Grease and i 1alow ...... 383, 719
Machine aiait other than
elec ri .'................... l,'7 3. 1I
Maf hinerv and m..'hinmcto...1 2, -4,1-:.
Mercury..................... 2'.1~ 9 9
Metals, antifriction.......... 1,2. 72
M ill SLrt-erIn'L g-............... 1234 ,47',
Mut or .Irs n, : o1.Ariie... 1 ', l4
OiLs, other than lulb: iCfli rng:
Truntlonrime....... ... 11,768
Other. ................ 9802
Oilskin suits and gum boots. ;..".i
Packing................... I'7. 11, .
Paints, tar, driers, etc....... l). 1
P arallin ..................... 121
Pipes and pipe fittings ...... ?,i.'; ,.- <
Rails, cIro.: i-'. I.-ce Pr:-, etc. 1 : l. ..
Rock drill-, undl piari of. .... 1.?47.79!
Vegetable fiber......... C5, 60)
qr re nin.... ............... ;_ .', 7
Shoe n and dies.............. 907.27
Skip. i ages, ,ibl.ls.. and
.art. .. .................... 73,372
1. ; 5 19
J ii2 :',',2
1 C. -'i3
SUPPLEMENT TO COMMERCE REPORTS.
Article. 191G 1917 Articles. 1016 1917
Su, p............... ... 24 5. 40.1 Timber-Conlinued.
Soda. ride ............... 11,774 94.131 MIning polesand lagging. S2,105, 127 12,160,449
Statiurnery and pritling t ...... 35 26,5 3 Olher ................... 7,772 614,313
ricel' I Tujie- ill requisites:
Bar. tool, ca t. etc .... 1. 7. ; 197 161.996 Liners.................. 267,741 321,019
Sh t...................... t,.'0..2 53) .115 P'ebbleP and fint ....... 03 2,973
Hand drills. .......... .. .. n 421 306.774 Other requiites ......... f4. 4S6 74,91.3
Hock drills............ .. t,i, 722 f3 G Trucks, and parts of......... 618,l 0. 697,2b2
Other................... 4-2,173 75 ,_ 1 W a\'stle ... ....... .... 9.9,542 71,500
Timber- Waler purchasedd). :......... 851,21 825,102
Bniilding material (ceil- W\ood lu .. ............. 23,721 73,722
in ., flooring,- doors, Zinc and zinc diiks......... 1.8~0,7i:i 1.51.1,559
etc.)................... 121. A2 ,4.694 All other articles........... 936,722 1,.11,047
Deals............ 5* i..ti.9 511.121 --- -
Orfgui pitch pine, etc... 1.334,307 1,567,90. Tol ................. 2,900,35 72,21,b9
Although labor unrest was evident. at certain periods of 1917, a
spirit of con'iliiation w-as shown by both employer and employee.
There was a niutuni endeavor on the part of the mine managements
;ind the worklmen to create a proper industrial atmosphere. The
employment of standing joint-reference boards was greatly extended,
and it was agreed between the mining companies and their em-
ployees that no hasty or precipitate action should take place without
the points of differences being submitted to the board.
During 1917 the chamber r of Mines consented to the )bnaic wage
of 12s. 6d. (.3.04) per shift for all underground employees and a
large number of surface workmen, and agreed to the institution of
a minimum rate of pay for underground laborers according to
length of service. Arrangements tending to reduce the working
Hours of ulndergrouind men to 48- were also effected.
There wa:s a noticeabl le shortage of both skilled and unsklilled
labor throughout 1917. The natives available for the gold mines
were reduced to some extent by recruiting for war purposes, but
chiefly by the inii1reaed demand of farming and local industries.
The opening up of the Far East Rand areas also accentuated the
native-labor question. At one period of the year there was a short-
age of 40,000 natives on the mines alone, and in Decem.ber only 73
per cent of the full complement of labor was available.
Increased Agricultural Production.
Agriculture and stock raising were the riost important industries
of this c(i.,i-ular district until the discovery of gold on the Rainl and
diamlionid in the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Since the begin-
ning of the present century Jmining has been the preeminent industry
because of the opportunities afforded by it of acquiring wealth t a
more rapid rate. However, with the development of well-organized
irrigation schenm~c to relieve the dependence upon rainfall, which is
eitherr uncertain or excessive, agriculture may assume its former po-
sition, especially in view of the world's shortage of foodstuffs.
The soil is fertile and yields fairly good crops. An increased for-
c.ign demand for the agricultural products of South Africa stinll-
lated production during 1917, but after the produce had been grown
and transported to.the stations it was detained in many instances on
account of the heavy demand for trucks. Consequently, much grain
was spoiled, and the earning power of the farmer and the country
as a whole was diminished.
BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA-JOHANNESBUL';. 11
The chief agricultural products are wheat. maize. and K;iffir (corn.
Maize is the staple food of the native population. ;ind a ,on.-Jidlrable
quantity is exported. ()ats and barley arV grown irg-ly f,,r f, ',,rage
purposee. Tobacco is also extensively cultivatiel. tlle 'hif lprod,,iri
districts of the Uniun of South Africa ibing ii-teiihiig and Kru-
gersdorp in the Transvaal, and Vredefort in the Ora)ing F'ee S1;itte.
Crop Estimates for 1917.
It. appears from a recently revised report of the Depiarliil nt of
Agricultiire that. the nilze crops of the Union for 1911; a d 1917 were
at first underestimated, and exact statistics for the Transv;:i..l and
Orange Free State :are unavailable. However, the r.'i.-.1 -diimnte
for all of the Provines places the reproductions at 5.i'iu..iiji1 and
36.22i6.000 bushels, respectively, for the two year-,.
The wheat crop of the Union was estimated at '.5;l.tI19 bushels in
1917. However, the normal consumption was estimated at 11.:~9t,0i.>
bushels, and as the 1916 crop was consumed in the following year,
the shortage between the yield and the UnioJn's requirements w;as
placed ;at 3.797,OS1 bushels. As the iiport-, of wheat and wheat
flour totaled only 3,4-S2.074 bushel-, there was a shortage of 2,315,007
Weather conditions adversely affected the ,ot :nd barley crops of
the Transvaal and Orange Free State. and the Department of Agri-
culture 'estimited the yields at 10 per cent and 1 per cent below nor-
The Tobacco Crop.
The total acreage of tobacco under cultivation in the Transva u in
1917 was 3 per cent less than in 1916. Heavy floods interfered seri-
ous-ly with the -ea-son's crop, and the yield is estimated to be 15 per
cent below nornimal. Three classes of tobacco are grown, namely, leaves
foi the nianufacture of cigarettes, cigar, and pipe tobacco. The
prices range from 6 cent. to 30 cents per pound for the leaf, with the
exception of the Turkish toban co, which is grown in the western
part of the Province and wliclh has an average selling price of 54
cents per pound. The average price of the other types is approxi-
mately 11 cents.
The (quantity of tobacco grown does not -ati-fy the local demand,
and in order to promote its production the Government now has a
staff of experts who devote their attention to plant culture. A
number of experts are .-pce'ially detailed to conduct experiment
stations, and others are employed upon itinerant work, which con-
sists of visiting plantations and advising farmers with re-pect to
cultural method,. -Variety tests and fertilizer experiments were also
carried out at some of the farms. The Government al-o as-isted in
the organization of tobacco cooperative societies, to which the farm-
ers now bring their output for disposal.
Cotton Growing in South Africa.
Revised estimates of the cotton crop for the 1916-17 ,eason were
disappointing, the production of lint in the Rustenburg district, the
chief producing area, having fallen to approximate ely 120.000 pounds.
The decrease is attril:buted to late ra'ins ad a prolonged drought
which began just as the plants were setting bolls. Insect pests, par-
ticularly the bollworn, were prevalent ; and a very early frost killed
the plants in certain sections. However, the average yield in this
12 SUPPLEMENT TO COMMERCE REPORTS.
consular district exceeded 100 pounds of lint per acre, and good
prices were obtained. The first part of the crop was disposed of at
2:8 cents f. o. r., and the remainder was sold to English buyers at
30 cents pIr pound f. o. b. docks, Durban.
The 191t-18 crop is reported to be making steady and satisfactory
pro.grir-. Exceptionally good results are expected in the Trans-
a:al, where. in addition to the principal growing areas of Rusten-
Ibuir, Waterberg, and Piet.erbuIrg, cotton is being cultivated in the
Lvdnllburg, IBarberton, Marico, and Middelburg districts. A large
inuiiber of farriers have also taken up Government farms this year,
with the expres- purpose of growing cotton.
Planting iethods-Disposal of Seeds.
Cotton is planted during October and November; the picking be-
gins in April and continues until June or July. In some sections in
whlic(-h very light frosts occur the growers practice ratooning; that is,
they permit the plants to stand for two or more years instead of
plowing the land each year and planting again. The yields are, as a
rule. better from the ratooned fields and the lint does not appear to
1), of a lower quality. In any event, this method of cultivation mate-
rially dccreases the cost of production, but it can only be practiced
under favorable conditions.
The ginning of cotton was carried on during 1917 in the Rusten-
nurg, Pretoria, and Lydenburg districts and also upon the Maboki
estates and at Tzaneen. The gin at Rustenburg has a capacity of
approximately 8,000 pounds of lint per day and those at Pretoria
and MaIloki can handle 3,000 pounds per day.
The surplus cotton seed is delinted, ground into meal without being
decorticated, and used as food for cattle. Last season the Coopera-
tive Soiety of Rustenburg received $38.93 per ton, f. o. r. Rusten-
burg, for this prodiluct, but the demand for seeds was so great that
all orders could not be filled. Seeds for planting purposes were sup-
plied to the farmer at 2 cents per pound.
During 1917 the Government assisted farmers by placing experts
at their disposal, who visited growers and advised them with respect
to the selection of suitable soils and seeds, method of cultivation, etc.
Experiments pertaining to cotton cultivation were albo carried out in
1917 at the Government stations and farniers were acquainted with
Progress of Meat Industry.
Thi cattle and stock raising industries progressed favorably during
1917. Although export- of beef were larger than heretofore, they
were somewhat restricted owing to the infrequency of ocean sailings
:i!l the scarcity of ships properly equipped for this trade. As there
Ere at present no serious obltacles to overcome, it is most probable that
the i(icat industry will make great strides, in view of the country's
di-tinct geographical advantage in comparison to Sydney, Welling-
ton, and Buenos Aires. In any event, the purely experimental stage
of the export trade has already passed. and the Union is now in a,
position to produce meat which should hold its own in competition
with that forwarded from other parts of the world.
Since South Afri a is practically dependent upon imports the lack
of ocean transportation during 1917 strongly impressed upon the
people the necessity of developing manufacturing industries and
BRITISH SOTUTII AH\IICA-JOH.ANNESBUL'Hi.
natural resolures. The ineed of a definite plan to stimulate and or-
galnize industrial iindei takini- was so evident that a Si-.i.tilic and
Technic:-il Conimllittee. was f'ormid an and att:li.-h to the bld iit-ies .1d-
One of the filrt results of this organized, effort \\as the il nn- i iail
census of 1917, \wlhihli is hlenie forth to Ie, taken aInnually. Definite
figures iandl ilnfi'imation of the iiniidtriits will no,\ 11e available. and
co mplete and a;. irate In.in -ii res, vyea by year will be at the conlmand
of the inv-eti:ator. Tlhe steps 'which the Government li:u. tiak,-n
towadl tlh en 'li Ir)1 'eiClent and ilrtlopilniet of the c',, 'titrv\ are Iii-,
op)oirtulne. for d' ring 1917 this ('(n-IIl;Ir' dlit-iet \\; thrown 1ij Iiip
its own resource to a degree heretofore unknown. The prices of
imported cniiumodities rose in proportion to the dilhffilty with lhih.l
they were obtained, and local manufacturing made greater priulre.-.
than in p1revioii- years.
Utilization of Old laterial-Manufactures of Iron and Steel.
M:Rltevial which had )previou-ly been th11irowni away was turnedll over
to the foulndries to b1 niiitnded or utilized in another dire tion durin-,
1917, and the fioundries which had formerly beenv accustoeiiidil to s:.ek
orders found that they were overburdenii ed with repairs or the manu-
facture of- goo~, which had previously been imported. In a few
instance- mining companies disnuintled old work to employ the
material in better-paying propositions.
The manufacture of iron and steel goods in South Africa is till
very limited, and, in the past. was largely confined to the repay irin.g
and replacing of goods. However, light rails and castings for the
mines, for which there is a large demand, were Iu'anutfa.tured upon
an in-reasid scale during g 1917, and bars, angles, iringot-, steel gird-
ers. bolts, nuts, rivets, spare parts for ag2ri'iltural machinery, -ioes,
dies, etc., were turned uiit in larger quantities.
Annual Declared Export Return.
The following table shows the declared value of articles invoic.ed
at the Aiiericaji .(onsuilate at Johanne-lhurg for the United States in
1916 and 1917:
Q uii.i IIy. Value. QI Ini v. Value
Diamonds............................... ............. ......... $232,873 .......... ...
Household .fec I ................ .....................61,2 ...... 2, 2 .......... $833
M enelitle ............................... .. ..... .. ..poun .. 1),1J. 2, 131 ......... .
Minn rm chiner. part. ............... ........................ .............. .......... 319
Chrome............................................tons.. 59,450 782, 174 34,300 513,566
Corundum..................................... 13 1,056 .........
Sheelie ... .................. ...................[. oLI. 2, 1 ) .......... .....
Sheepskino ........ ......... ............. .. .. .- 47,087
Talc ..................................... ........... p l .. I b0 271 .......... .........
Total............................................................ ........ ....... 561,805
Returned American goods, chiefly machine an(] parts, were valued
at $2.307 in 1910 and $;i.014; in 1917. There were no shliplents from
this consular di-trict to Porto Rico. Hawaii. or the Philippine
Islands; nor were there any declared exports from-, th. consular
agency at Bloemfontein for the United States or these islands.
WASHINGTON : GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1913
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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