British Empire
Living in the British empire - Africa
British Empire logo
   
  full transcript - source1  
Government figures on the economy of South Africa, 1845
(Catalogue ref: CO 386/155)
Source 1a

1. The following Statistics of the CAPE of GOOD HOPE are extracted from Official Statements transmitted from the Colony to Her Majesty's Colonial Secretary of State.

2. Wages of Labour.-These vary materially, in different parts of the Colony, which is of very considerable extent, and are paid for the most part in Money, Food, Lodging, and Clothes, the latter being generally given as the reward and stimulus of steady and useful service.

3. In the district of ALBANY, in which ALGOA BAY is situated, and which is the chief Agricultural part of the Colony, with GRAHAM'S TOWN for its local capital, Farm Servants, such as

Overseers of Farms, Head Shepherds, &c.
obtain from about 30 to 50 a year wages, and in addition are provided with Lodging and Board for themselves and their families, with the liberty of grazing a certain number of Cattle and Sheep, and of cultivating a portion of ground on their own account. This important privilege obviously adds considerably to the comfort and prosperity of every class of the working population in the Colony; it places more than essential comforts within their reach and contributes, in union with frugality, to their future advancement in life.

4. Shepherds, Agricultural Labourers, and other Farm Servants
receive wages varying from 1 to 3 per month, according to their character and usefulness, and are also allowed Lodgings and Food for themselves and their families, and liberty to graze any Cattle, Horses, or Sheep which they may acquire, and to cultivate small plots of ground.

5. Domestic Servants obtain wages also according to the district in which they may locate, and their general usefulness. At CAPE TOWN they get from 10 to 36 a year, with board and lodging, and often also clothes. At GRAHAM'S TOWN the wages of FEMALE SERVANTS vary from 10 to 25 a year, with, of course, board and lodging, and frequently clothing as a reward of good conduct. In some Districts the wages range from 12 to 27 a year; of course, in a Colony so extensive and various in its occupations, the rates of wages must vary with reference to its actual supply.

6. Mechanics and Artizans obtain from 4s. to 7s. 6d. a day. CARPENTERS, MASONS, BRICKLAYERS, SMITHS, &c., receive wages varying from 5s. to 7s. 6d. a day, and really good hands often obtain considerable higher rates.

Source 1b

7. GENERAL PRICES OF CATTLE, HORSES, SHEEP, and AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE in the Colony; these must obviously vary from time to time, and in different parts of the Colony:-

    £ s. d.   £ s. d.
Horned Cattle per head 3 0 0 to 3 15 0
Horses   6 0 0   30 0 0
Sheep   0 6 6   0 7 6
Goats   0 3 9   0 6 0
      s. d. to   s. d.
Bread per lb.   0 3     0 0
Beef     0 2     0 4
Mutton     0 2     0


8. AGRICULTURE.-Every branch of this great pursuit is in a flourishing condition, except the Wine Trade; and the staple commodities, forming the real wealth of the Colony, are steadily and rapidly increasing.

9. The quantity of WHEAT produced was in 1841, 471,804 bushels; in 1832, 592,054 bushels; in 1843, 706,647 bushels.

10. The STOCK of the Colony consisted of

  In 1841 In 1843
Sheep 3,008,613 3,949,354
Horned Cattle 377,803 452,886
Horses 64,104 83,169
Goats 587,705 836,656


11. The POPULATION is stated to have reached in 1840, 150,255; in 1843, 160,196; and is progressively increasing.

12. The GROSS REVENUE of the Colony was, in 1843, £221,721.

13. EXPORTS OF THE PRODUCE OF THE COLONY.-The general trade of the Colony was considered to be on a most satisfactory footing.
In 1841, £236,670; in 1832, £250,206; in 1842, £265,891.

14. Of the above aggregate value of the exports of the Colony in the years referred to, the article of WOOL amounted to
In 1841 to 51,606; in 1842, 72,497; in 1843, 83,612. Hides exported in 1841, 37,406.

15. The Eastern Province (ALBANY or ALGOA BAY district) has made very rapid progress in Agricultural pursuits, and was in a highly advancing and promising state; the aggregate exports from that district in 1841 amounted to 51,143; in 1842, to 94,528; of which Wool alone comprised one half; in 1843 the total exports from that part of the Colony amounted to 110,952
Top of page | Close