Polokwane/Pietersburg Timeline 1835-1995

1835
Migration of disaffected Dutch farmers from the Cape Colony
1836
Louis Trichardt and Hans van Rensburg reach 'De Zoutpansbergen'
1838
Trichardt reaches Delagoa Bay
1849
Treaty of Derdepoort signed by the three Boer States in Transvaal to formalise unity talks. These subsequently proved fruitless
1852
British grant Transvaal Boers independence in terms of the Sand River Convention. Formation of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek
1858
Zoutpansbergers agree to be incorporated into a United South African Republic
1867
Schoemansdal evacuated by the Dutch and subsequently sacked by the BaVenda.
1871
Discovery of gold on a farm near Marabastad
1877
Annexation of the Transvaal by the British. Rise of nationalist political fervour among the Dutch population.
1880-81
Dutch declare war and gain independence from Britain.
1882
Volksraad authorised Piet Joubert to investigate and finalise the siting of a new town north of Pretoria.
Executive Council authorises the purchase of the farm Sterkloop (later the site of Pietersburg, now Polokwane)
1886
Opening of a Magistrates Office in the new settlement finally leads to the establishment of Pietersburg.
Introduction of the Occupation Farm System
1889
Pietersburg goldfields exhausted.
Official opening of the Pietersburg railway station and the Pretoria-Pietersburg line.
1891
An attempt by a group of Dutch farmers to trek further inland fails.
1895
Epidemic breaks out of the Cattle Lung Sickness, also known as the Rinderpest
1896-7
Starvation leads to a breakout of Bubonic Plague.
1900
Historic gathering of the Transvaal and Orange Free State republics.
Pietersburg nominated as the temporary seat of Government of the United Boer Republic
1901
British capture of Pietersburg during the South African War
1902
Signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging
1904
First Municipal election held.
Pietersburg’s population made up of 3,276 people of whom 1,620 were White
1906
The Transvaal granted self government by the British.
1908
Road linking Pietersburg to Messina completed.
1910
31 May, Union of South Africa declared
1912
Founding of the African National Congress
1913
First Native Land Act passed
1914
Formation of National Party
Railway connection to Messina completed
Armed uprising of Dutch veterans of the South African War of 1899-1902. This was suppressed a year later
1924
National Party victory in elections.
1925
Formation of Zion Christian Church
Afrikaans becomes an official language together with English.
1926
Hertzog places three Native Bills before parliament
1927
Official compulsory segregation of races imposed in selected areas
1939
September, Outbreak of the second World War.
1948
National Party elected to government. Introduction of total segregation (See Freedom Struggle feature).
1955
Creation of the Freedom Charter
1959
Passing of the Law for the Advancement of Self-Government
1961
Declaration of the Republic of South Africa.
Declaration of an “Armed Struggle” by the ANC (See Umkhonto We Sizwe).
1972
Lebowa granted a degree of self-government
1979
End of minority rule in Rhodesia with the subsequent formation of Zimbabwe.
1982
The greater majority of South African voters approve the National Party proposals for a Tri-Cameral Parliament system.
1992
Referendum approves the National Party’s request for a vote of confidence on the road to constitutional reform
23 April, The town of Pietersburg/Polokwane earned city status
1994
Nelson Mandela becomes the first democratically elected president of SA
1995
25 February,The city of Pietersburg becomes one of the first places in South Africa to change its name after the fall of apartheid to Polokwane, meaning 'Place of Safety' in Sesotho.

Last updated : 27-Jan-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 05-Jul-2011