Melrose House, Pretoria

The Second Anglo-Boer War resulted in heavy loss of life for both the Boers and the British. The Boers had lost the war and peace negotiations begun in March 1902. On 11 April 1902 preliminary meetings among Boer representatives began in Klerksdorp, as well as with Lord Kitchener in Pretoria. Milner tried to prevent the talks because he felt that the Boers should surrender completely.

15 May 1902 saw the meeting of 30 representatives from each side meet at Vereeniging and by 31 May 1902 the peace agreement was official. The document was signed in Pretoria at Melrose House.

The Treaty of Vereeniging

Some Boers felt that it was worthwhile to continue fighting, but they didn't have enough resources to do so. The Transvaal and Orange Free State leaders also agreed not to divide the two former republics.

The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging included the following points:

  • Uitlanders could return to the Transvaal.
  • The Boers had to lay down their weapons.
  • Dutch would still be taught in schools and used in courts.
  • A civil government would replace the military administration.
  • Self-government would be promoted.
  • Voting rights for black people would only be discussed once the two new colonies could govern themselves.
  • Financial help would be provided for poor citizens.
  • The two new colonies? debts would be paid.

39 000 Uitlanders returned to the Transvaal and the mines opened again. This also meant that the two new British colonies could generate their own income and become financially independent.

We have scanned in a copy of the original 'Peace Treaty of Vereeniging'.