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(trănzväl`), former province, NE South Africa. With the new constitution of 1994, it was divided into Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga), Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo), Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Veereeniging (now Gauteng), and part of North West prov. The Transvaal was bounded on the N and W by the Limpopo River, which forms the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana, on the E by Mozambique and Swaziland (now Eswatini), and on the S by the Vaal River, the border with Orange Free State (now Free State). It was mainly situated in the highveld, at an altitude of 3,000 to 6,000 ft (910–1,830 m). PretoriaPretoria
, city, Gauteng prov., administrative capital of South Africa and formerly capital of Transvaal. Pretoria is now part and seatof the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality, and in 2005 the metropolitan council voted to rename Pretoria Tshwane, an action not yet
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 and JohannesburgJohannesburg
, city, now part and seat of City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa, on the southern slopes of the Witwatersrand at an altitude of 5,750 ft (1,753 m).
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 (both now in Gauteng) were the capital and the largest city, respectively. Other leading cities (all also now in Gauteng) included BrakpanBrakpan
, city, now part of Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa. It is a gold- and coal-mining center and has an ironworks. There is also a technical college in the city.
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, GermistonGermiston
, city, now part and seat of Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa, on the Witwatersrand. The chief industries are gold mining and processing and the manufacture of liquid oxygen; other chemicals, machinery, textiles, and clothing are
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, KrugersdorpKrugersdorp
, city, part and seat of Mogale City local municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa. The chief industrial city of the W Witwatersrand, Krugersdorp is the center for a region where gold, manganese, lime, and uranium are mined.
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, SpringsSprings,
city, now part of Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa. It is an industrial center of the Witwatersrand, a gold- and uranium-mining region.
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, and VereenigingVereeniging
[Afrik.,=union], city, now part of the Enfuleni local municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa, on the Vaal River. An industrial center, its chief products are iron, steel, pipes, bricks and tiles, and processed lime and coal.
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The Sotho and Venda peoples (both Bantu-speaking peoples) are thought to have settled in the Transvaal as early as the 8th cent. In the mid-1830s Afrikaner farmers (BoersBoer
[Du.,=farmer], inhabitant of South Africa of Dutch or French Huguenot descent. Boers are also known as Afrikaners. They first settled (1652) near the Cape of Good Hope in what was formerly Cape Province.
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), mainly from the Cape Colony (see Cape ProvinceCape Province,
former province, S South Africa. Under the South African constitution of 1994 it was divided into Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, and part of a fourth province, North West.
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), came to the region (see Trek, GreatTrek, Great
, the journey by Afrikaner farmers (Boers) who left the Cape Colony to escape British domination and eventually founded Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange Free State. Trek is an Afrikaans term, originally meaning a journey by ox wagon.
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). They scattered over the huge territory but were unable to form a strong government. In the Sand River Convention (1852) Great Britain, which at the time also held Cape Colony and Natal (see KwaZulu-NatalKwaZulu-Natal
, province (2011 pop. 10,267,300), 36,433 sq mi (94,361 sq km), E South Africa, on the Indian Ocean. Formerly Natal province, in the post-apartheid constitution of 1994 it was renamed KwaZulu-Natal.
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), recognized the right of the Boers beyond the Vaal River to administer their own affairs.

In 1857 the South African Republic was inaugurated in the SW Transvaal but claimed sovereignty over the whole territory. Martin Pretorius, son of the Boer leader Andries PretoriusPretorius, Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus
, 1799–1853, Boer (Afrikaner) leader. He was elected (1838) commandant general of the Boers of Natal and in that year defeated a large force of Zulus at Blood River.
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, was its first president. In the 1860s and 70s the South African Republic expanded in size, and there were isolated finds of gold, diamonds, and copper. However, by the late 1870s the republic was bankrupt.

In 1877, Britain annexed the South African Republic after only a mild formal protest by its president, T. F. Burgers. In late 1880, however, the Boers began an armed revolt against the British and proclaimed a new republic. After defeats at Laing's Nek, Ingogo, and Majuba HillMajuba Hill
, E KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in the Drakensberg Range. On Feb. 27, 1881, a British force of 500 was routed there by Boer (Afrikaner) troops under the command of P. J. Joubert.
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 (all in Feb., 1881), Britain granted the South African Republic independence.

In 1883, S. J. P. KrugerKruger, Paul
(Stephanas Johannes Paulus) , 1825–1904, South African Transvaal statesman, known as Oom Paul. As a child he accompanied (1836) his family northward from the Cape Colony in the Great Trek that was eventually to cross the Vaal River and establish the
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 (Oom Paul Kruger) became the new republic's first president. In 1886 large gold deposits were discovered on what later came to be called the Witwatersrand, and many foreigners, especially Britons and Germans, entered the republic. The foreigners, called Uitlanders, threatened to overwhelm the Boers, whom they soon outnumbered by more than two to one. The Boers denied political rights to the foreigners and taxed them heavily. In Dec., 1895, Leander Starr JamesonJameson, Sir Leander Starr,
1853–1917, British colonial administrator and statesman in South Africa. He went to Kimberley (1878) as a physician, became associated with Cecil Rhodes in his colonizing ventures, and was appointed (1891) administrator of Mashonaland. On Dec.
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 staged a raid into the Transvaal that was intended to trigger an uprising by foreigners against President Kruger. However, only a minor revolt materialized, and Jameson was captured.

Tension between Boers and Britons in S Africa increased after the Jameson Raid, and in 1899 the South African WarSouth African War
or Boer War,
1899–1902, war of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State against Great Britain. Background
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 broke out. The Transvaal was annexed by Britain in 1900, but guerrilla fighting continued. The Treaty of Vereeniging (1902) ended the war and made the Transvaal (as well as the Orange Free State) a crown colony of the British Empire. The Transvaal, led by Jan Christiaan SmutsSmuts, Jan Christiaan
, 1870–1950, South African statesman and soldier, b. Cape Colony.

Of Boer (Afrikaner) stock but a British subject by birth, he was educated at Victoria College (at Stellenbosch) and at Cambridge, where he won highest honors in law.
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 and Louis BothaBotha, Louis
, 1862–1919, South African soldier and statesman. A Boer (Afrikaner), he participated in the founding (1884) of the New Republic, which joined (1888) the Transvaal.
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, was granted self-government in 1907 and in 1910 became a founding province of the Union of South Africa. In 1961, the Transvaal became a province of the Republic of South Africa.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a province in the Republic of South Africa. Area, 283,900 sq km. Population, 8.7 million (1970), including 4.3 million Bantu. The Africans and mulattoes are subjected to severe racial discrimination.

The Transvaal occupies the interior plateau in the interfluve of the Vaal and Limpopo rivers. The land belongs to the system of velds, which decrease in elevation from 2,000 to 1,500–800 m from south to north and from east to west. Waterberg, Soutpans-berge, and other cities are situated among the peaks and mountain ranges, whose elevations are 1,000–1,500 m. The Witwaters-rand is noted for its large deposits of useful minerals. In the southern part of the province the climate is subtropical, and in the northern part it is tropical. Average monthly temperatures range from 7° to 24°C. Annual precipitation is 500–750 mm, but the north receives as little as 350 mm. The Vaal, Olifants, and Crocodile rivers are widely used for irrigation and water supply. The vegetation in the south is of the grassy steppe type, with thorny shrubs (species of acacia) growing on rocky gray-brown soils; savanna vegetation (with baobabs) on reddish brown and black soils is found in the north.

In the 1830’s and 1840’s the native population of the Transvaal—the Bantu peoples—were driven back to the north bank of the Limpopo River by the Afrikaners, or Boers, after a bitter struggle. In 1856 the Boers declared an independent republic of the Transvaal, officially called the South African Republic, in which the native population was deprived of all civil rights. After the discovery in the Transvaal of diamonds in the 1860’s and gold in the 1880’s, Great Britain undertook determined efforts to secure control of the Transvaal. In spite of the Boers’ stubborn resistance, Great Britain annexed the Transvaal during the Boer War (1899–1902). The Transvaal has been a province of the Union of South Africa (since 1961, the Republic of South Africa) since the establishment of the latter in 1910. In the 1970’s the struggle of the Africans and the Coloured population against racial discrimination became more active.

The Transvaal is the main industrial region of the Republic of South Africa, in which two-fifths of the country’s manufacturing and construction labor force is concentrated. The Transvaal accounts for two-thirds of the gold mined in the country (uranium is extracted as a by-product), more than one-half of the coal, most of the diamonds, uranium, copper, iron ore, and phosphates, and all the platinum, chromites, and antimony. The province accounts for 90 percent of the country’s steel production and 40 percent of its manufacture of textile goods. Coal is mined in the Witbank basin, gold in the Witwatersrand and at Klerksdorp, platinum and chromites at Rustenburg and Lydenburg, antimony in the Murchison Range, diamonds at the Premier Mine deposit, iron ore at Thabazimbi, and copper at Messina and Phalaborwa. Asbestos, phosphorites, and fluorspar are also mined. Large steam power plants on the Komati and Klip rivers are fired by coal. The most important centers of ferrous metallurgy are Pretoria and Vanderbijl Park. The machine-building industry produces mining and transportation equipment. The province also has a chemical industry. The primary industrial centers are Johannesburg, Pretoria, Vereeniging, Springs, Benoni, and Boksburg.

Large farms owned by European immigrants dominate in agriculture. The primary agricultural product is Indian corn (the Transvaal produces most of the country’s harvest); the wheat crop is less significant. Plantations of tobacco, citrus fruits, mango, avocado, and cotton are located on irrigated lands; the province is the country’s leading tobacco producer. There is pastoral livestock raising, with 3.8 million head of cattle, 4.4 million sheep, and 1 million goats (1967).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


former province of NE South Africa: colonized by the Boers after the Great Trek (1836); became a British colony in 1902; joined South Africa in 1910; replaced in 1994 for administrative purposes by a new system of provinces (Eastern Transvaal (later Mpumalanga), Northern Transvaal (later Limpopo), Gauteng, and North West province. Capital: Pretoria
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Imperialists in the British government expressed a desire to annex the Transvaal again.
Prior to the Pan-African Health Conference in 1936, De Meillon had been carrying out extensive studies in the Tzaneen area of the northern Transvaal. Here he showed that the vector mosquitoes rested indoors for several days after taking a blood meal before leaving the house to lay eggs.
But the game survived in Transvaal, and unofficial leagues were contested elsewhere by servicemen on leave.
In the South African War of 1899-1901, Benson commanded a column at the Battle of Bakenlaagte in Eastern Transvaal, in which the British faced a stronger Boer force.
The 5,000-square-meter dome roof of Transvaal Park, which opened in 2002, came crashing down on the facility's pool area on Feb.
The 5,000.square-meter dome roof of Transvaal Park, which opened in 2002, came crashing down on the facility's pool area on Feb.
The owners of the Transvaal Park water sports complex defend the quality of construction amid newspaper reports suggesting the popular attraction was shoddily-built.
Initial reports said the roof at the Transvaal Park had collapsed after an explosion, but officials including Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov later said there was no evidence of a blast.
Bosman was born in Kuils River near Cape Town but lived in the Transvaal for most of his life.
Goldblatt's title for this image reads Speculative development by a property developer in supposedly "authentic Cape Dutch" style, Agatha, Tzaneen, Transvaal, 10 April 1989.
During the five years that followed the war the political consciousness of white farmers and former Boer republican soldiers in Rustenburg and Marico, two districts of the former western Transvaal, was quickened by a series of violent or near violent incidents.

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