Pretoria Timeline 1800-2009

1825
Mzilikazi's arrival in Transvaal region.
1836
Andries Potgieter's arrives in the area north of the Vaal.
1837
Mzilikazi defeated by the Voortrekkers and forced to flee across the Limpopo.
1840
First permanent White inhabitants arrive in the Pretoria area.
1852
Sand River Convention signed, granting Transvaal Boers independence.
The Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR) is established.
1853
16 November, Establishment of the first Volksraad.
MW Pretorius purchases the farms Elandspoort and Koedoespoort.
In November 1853 the two farms are declared a town.
1855
Pretoria founded and established as the capital of ZAR, named after General Andries Pretorius.
The first church is designed and built by the Devereau brothers and Willem Skinner
1856
Andries Du Toit pegs out Pretoria town
1857
Marthinus Wessels Pretorius, the son of Andries Pretorius, is elected first President of ZAR
The first church is inaugurated by Rev D Van Der Hoff.
2 May, Andries Francois du Toit is sworn in as Pretoria's first magistrate.
1859
The first state aided school is opened with Hendrik Stiemens as teacher.
1860
Pretorius is elected President of the OFS, but is later forced to resign as President of ZAR
1 May, Pretoria becomes the seat of government of ZAR
1864
First Raadsaal erected on the corner of Market and Church streets.
Pretorius elected for second time as President of ZAR.
1864
The first mail coach is established in Pretoria.
1867
Church Street West cemetery commissioned for use. Prior to this, deceased were buried on farms around Pretoria
1871
Pretorius forced to resign as President after consenting to the Keate award.
1872
Thomas Francois Burgers elected State President of ZAR
The Pretoria Post Office is established
1873
Die Volkstem newspaper established by President Burgers. Mr. Celliers being the first editor
1877
The Transvaal republic is proclaimed British territory
Standard Bank established in the Transvaal.
Telegraphic communication is established in Pretoria.
1880
Boers declare themselves independent at Paardekraal.
1881
Battle of Majuba; the war ends with the restoration of the Transvaal Republic under the Pretoria Convention.
Indians enter Transvaal and settle in the Asiatic Bazaar
1883
Paul Kruger elected President of ZAR.
1884
The London Convention replaces the Pretoria Convention
1886
Construction of the first Post Office building begins.
Post Office built on the north corner of Church Street west.  The building was demolished in 1910 and a four storey building erected in its place. This is the present Post Office.
1888
The President Theater is erected. From 1903 to 1910 it Is known as The Empress.
The Nederlandsche Bank opens. The name later changes to Nederlandsche Bank Voor Zuid Afrika N.V. The building was designed by M. de Zwaan who also designed the Sammy Marks building on Church Street.
1889
Suburb of Arcadia is incorporated into Pretoria.
6 May, President Kruger lays the foundation stone for the new Raadsaal.
It was to be a three-storey building designed by S Wierda, a government architect at the time. The builder is J.J Kirkness.
Landdros Kantoor or Magistrates Court is built on the north east corner of Koch and Pretorius Streets
1890
Suburb of Sunnyside is incorporated into the city of Pretoria.
1892
The first swimming baths built in Pretoria.
1893
The Staats Model school is established.
1894
State Girls school (now Hamilton Primary school) and State Gymnasium established.
1895
1 January, The Delgoa Bay railway is opened.
1890
The White suburb of Les Marais is established.
The foundation stone of the Pretoria Hospital is laid by President Kruger.
The Grand Hotel is built, initially called the President Hotel. Many important occasions are celebrated in the hotel, like the banquet held for Lord Selbourne in April 1910 when he relinquished his position as High Commissioner of South Africa.
The Asiatic Bazaar comes into existence. Paul Kruger allocates this area to be developed exclusively for Indians, Coloureds and Blacks. The northern part was to be occupied by the Blacks while the southern part was occupied by the Coloureds, known as the ‘Cape Location.’
The area to the north and south of Boom street was allocated to the Indians.
1891
December, The Raadsaal is completed.
The Press printers established on the corner of Koch and Vermeulen Streets. The first editor was Leo Weinthal.
1892
Suburb of Pretoria West established.
6 July, The President lays the foundation stone of the two-storey National Bank.
This building is completed in 1893.
First railway station erected in Pretoria. NAZM is responsible for the maintenance of the railroad
Electricity is introduced to Pretoria. The power station is situated on Schoeman Street towards the north-side about halfway between Prinsloo and Van Der Walt Streets.
1893
First Portland Cement Factory built at Daspoort
August, The State Gymnasium is established for the training of teachers.
1893-1894
Law Chambers are built on the western side of Church Square.
1895
The Press printing works for the first time, printing a one penny stamp. All Transvaal Republic stamps were previously printed overseas.
1896
The White suburbs of Mayville, Eloffsdal and Villiera are established.
1897
Outbreak of bubonic plague.
1897
The White suburb of Hermanstad is established.
1897
8 June, Foundation stone of the building of the Palace of Justice laid by President Kruger.
1898
Roseville and New Muckleneuk established.
Palace of Justice building completed.
Leo Weinthal, the first editor of the Printing Press, establishes the PretoriaNews, based in Queen street.
1898-1899
Erection of the Staats Meisjies Skool (State Girls School) building.
1899
Outbreak of South African War.
Timeline: Pretoria 1900-1999
1900
Pedestal erected on Church Square for statue of President Kruger.
1902
31 May, Treaty of Vereeniging signed, ending the South African War. The republics then become British colonies.
The White suburb of Brooklyn is established.
Zoo and Museum built in Boom Street. Dr JWB Gunning becomes the first director of both the zoo and museum.
1903
Pretoria Municipality offices are opened next to the National Bank.
Gezina, Wonderboom South, Rietfontein, Parktown, Mountain View and Claremont are established
First fruit shop opens in Pretoria.
Police barracks and Charge office erected on the south west corner of Koch and Pretorius Streets.
1903-1904
Mint building erected.
1904
Pretoria Gardens, Daspoort, Rietondale and Waterkloof established.
Sewerage system introduced in Pretoria.
Opera House officially opened, with a seating capacity of600.
1905
12 April, Foundation stone laid for the new Town Hall.
23 May, Lord Selbourne arrives in Pretoria.
Lady Selbourne proclaimed a black township (north west of the city was the only township where blacks were allowed to own land)
Lady Selbourne, Hatfield and Booysens are established.
1906
Pedestal removed and a fountain erected in the middle of Church Square. This fountain was later moved to the Zoological Gardens in 1911.
1907
The Transvaal and OFS are granted responsible self- government status.
1910
April, Lord Selbourne leaves Pretoria.
31 May, Birth of the Union of South Africa with Pretoria as administrative capital and Cape Town as the legislative capital.
Louis Botha becomes the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.
November, First tram runs in Pretoria.
1912
Statue of President Kruger erected in Princes Park. Mr. Sammy Marks presents the statue to Pretoria in 1900 but it could not be erected immediately for political reasons.
Between 1900 and 1912, the statue lies in Delagoa Bay.
Bank of Africa incorporated into National Bank
The National Party is established.
The Municipal Tram Sheds are built on the corner of Van Der Walt and Schoeman Streets. There were about 13, 5 miles of tracks for trams in Pretoria.
1913
Union buildings completed. Designed by architect Herbert Baker. The Union Buildings housed the administrative offices of the new state.
1914
January, National Party formed by Gen. Hertzog
The White suburb of Capital Park is established.
1923
Natives (Urban Act) is passed, which leads to the creation of locations to house Black workers in White urban areas.
1928
ISCOR is established.
1929
The White residential suburb of Colbyn is established.
1931
14 October, Pretoria is declared a city when the Innesdale municipality is incorporated into it.
1934
United Party government formed under Generals Hertzog and Smuts.
Menlo Park is established as a White residential suburb.
1935
The Pretoria City Hall is inaugurated by Sir Johannes Wessels.
1939
Establishment of Atteridgeville, named after the Deputy mayor Patricia Atteridge.
Waterkloof Ridge established as a White residential suburb.
The last tram leaves Church Square.
1940
May, First 50 families move from Marabastad to Atteridgeville.
1942
The White suburb of Danville is established.
1948
National Party comes to power under DF Malan.
The White residential suburb of Groenkloof is established.
1949
1 July, The Hercules municipality is merged with Pretoria.
1951
The black residential township of Mamelodi is laid out.
1957
Black inhabitants of Lady Selbourne take part in the bus boycott.
The Treason Trial begins, in which 30 of the accused, including Nelson Mandela were only released in March 1961 because the State could not prove its case
1958
Dr. Verwoerd becomes Prime Minister.
Lady Selbourne is declared a White area.
1960
Establishment of Laudium, a residential township for Indians.
1961
South Africa becomes a Republic and leaves the Commonwealth of Nations
1962
Eersterus, the residential township for Coloured people, is laid out 15km east of Church Square
1964
20 May, Pretoria Art Museum inaugurated.
1 July, The municipalities of Silverton and Pretoria North are incorporated into Pretoria.
1966
The black township of Ga-rankuwa is officially opened in the Tswana homeland.
1968
The Afrikaans newspaper Hoofstad is established
1972
February, Petrol driven buses are introduced in Pretoria.
The newspaper Oggendblad is established
1977
12 September, Steve Biko dies in a Pretoria prison.
1980
25 January, three ANC men take 25 hostages in the Pretoria suburb of Silverton, demanding the release of Nelson Mandela. The three ANC men and two White female hostages are killed.
1981
12 November, a Rosslyn sub-station is damaged by four limpet mines.
14 December, a Pretoria sub-station is bombed.
1983
20 February, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) cadres try to set the Pelindaba Nuclear Research station on fire.
20 May, a car bomb at the South African Air Force in Pretoria kills 15 people.
1984
4 January, a guerrilla is killed in Mamelodi.
5 May, Approximately 7000 people attend an Afrikaner Volkswag rally in Pretoria.
1985
March, Police station in Mamelodi is destroyed by a limpet mine.
9 May, Two grenade attacks occur in townships in Pretoria.
1986
8 January, an explosion damages a Pretoria sub-station.
12 March, SACC member Oupa Masuku’s mother, Esther Masuku, is killed in a hand grenade attack on their house in Atteridgeville.
June, Pretoria government imposes a nationwide state of emergency to crush Black resistance.
1 December, Fabian Ribiero and Florence Ribiero are killed outside Pretoria.
1987
13 March, four municipal police officers are killed and one injured in Atteridgeville.
1988
18 March, guerrillas attack a tavern in Atteridgeville frequented by policemen. Three policemen are killed.
9 April, a limpet mine explodes near the Atteridgeville Development Board’s canteen.
15 April, a bomb explodes prematurely outside Pretoria’s Sterland cinema, killing the carrier and wounding a bystander. According to the ANC, the intended target was a nearby government building.
10 May, a child is killed when a grenade is thrown at a policeman’s home in Mamelodi.
June, a mini limpet mine explodes at a snack bar in Pretoria, injuring 18 people.
September, a bomb explodes at the Laudium home of a Pretoria municipal election candidate.
15 November, Barend Strydom kills 5 people at Strydom Square in Pretoria.
1989
September, a mini limpet mine explodes outside the Mamelodi police station.
1990
6 August, the Pretoria Minute is signed as a result of talks between the South African government and the ANC in Pretoria.
1994
April, India establishes a High Commission in Pretoria.
27 April, Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first democratically elected President of South Africa in Pretoria.
1998
10 May, Voortrekkerhoogte is renamed Thaba Tshwane.
1999
6 June, Thabo Mbheki becomes the second democratically elected President of South Africa.
Timeline: Pretoria 2000-2009
2000
5 December, the Pretoria City Council is downgraded to a local municipality as the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality is created.
2003
25-26 January, Jacob Zuma facilitates a meeting between Pierre Boyoya, the President of Burundi, and rebels Alain Mugabarabona, Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye and Pierre Nkurunziza in Pretoria.
27 January, Pierre Buyoya, the President of Burundi and Pierre Nkurunziza, leader of a faction of the CNDD-FDD, sign a memorandum of understanding in Pretoria.
2005
26 May, the South African Geographical Names Council approved the changing of the name Pretoria to Tshwane.
2006
3 April, Herman Van Rooyen and Rudi Gouws, two of the Boeremag treason trial accused escaped from the Pretoria High Court.
2009
9 May, Jacob Zuma was sworn in as President in Pretoria.

Last updated : 02-Nov-2015

This article was produced for South African History Online on 01-Apr-2011