RHI Seminar: Alfonso Herranz Loncan (University of Barcelona)

10 January 2017: “For the public benefit”? Railways in the British Cape Colony

Organisator Leerstoelgroep Agrarische- en Milieugeschiedenis

di 10 januari 2017 12:15 tot 14:15

Locatie Leeuwenborch, gebouwnummer 201
Zaal/kamer V72

Built mostly to support the early mining industry, the Cape Colony’s railways reduced the cost of transport to the interior and directly account for 30 percent of the increase in labor productivity in the Colony from 1873 to 1905. Little of the gains went to the state-owned company: the Cape parliament seems always to have seen the railways as a means to development, and not a source of revenue. But, among the users, the politically overrepresented western parts of the Colony gained much more than underrepresented areas like Basutoland or the Transkei. While boosting the economy, the railways also had distributional effects, with consequences for racial segregation in twentieth-century South Africa.

More information about Alfonso Herranz Loncan can be found here.