Brief about South Africa

Updated July 26, 2021

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Brief about South Africa essay

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My time and place is South Africa in the 1850’s. South Africa is at the bottom of Africa. In South Africa there are five countries like the following: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The country that is right next to Africa is Madagascar. There are twelve languages in South Africa. The languages are English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Northern Sotho, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele, and South African English. In South Africa there are five known religions. The religions are Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, African Traditional religion, and Judaism. Fun fact: In 1852 Sir George Cathcart became governor of the Cape Colony.

The different types of transportation in South Africa in the 1850’s were walking, bikes, and trains. All these different kinds of transportation helped the people of South Africa get around. The bikes and trains helped them get to the places they wanted to go faster than walking. These are the only types of transportation I have found.

My chosen transportation is the train or railroad. In 1859 they built a railway going through South Africa. The construction of the railroad was initiated in both Durban and Cape Town. The first railway was between the Point and Durban. South Africa’s first locomotives had to be imported from Britain. The first steam locomotive to be imported was a 0-4-0 well-tank engine. They eventually named this locomotive Blackie.

It was built in Leith, Scotland, by R&W Hawthorn. It is one of Britain’s most prominent steam locomotive manufacturers of the nineteenth century. This locomotive was imported by Messrs E&J Pickering. They were appointed by the Cape Town railway and Dock Company as the main contractor for the Cape Town/ Wellington railway line. It arrived in Cape Town on September 8,1859. Blackie was mostly used to assist in construction.

The clothing for the time period was way different than the clothing today. The women wore long white dresses with black outlining. Most couldn’t show much skin because of their religion. Men wore long pants with a jacket. The women usually did house work so they just wore dresses all the time. Girls loved their dresses. They never wore anything that would show their legs. Men worked in the field so they usually wore long pants with a white shirt.

In conclusion South Africa changed dramatically in the ten years. They went from walking everywhere to having a train to take them to place that would take days on foot. In my drawing you can see how the train looked in that time period. Even though it might not be the greatest pictures it still shows you what trains looked like in that time period. Also the people and what they wore from that time period. This project was really interesting because I have never thought about what types of transportation these countries had a long time ago.


  1. South African History Online. January 2016 https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/1800s
  2. Jade Davenport. South Africa’s first locomotives. July 2016 http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/south-africas-first-locomotives-2016-07-22
Brief about South Africa essay

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