| The British
| The powerful middle class
aspired to political control and had for many years campaigned for
self-government. In 1840 a Municipality was created, with councillors elected
on a non-racial but qualified franchise. The qualifications rested upon income
and property ownership.
In keeping with British policy of self-government in the
dominions, 'Representative Government' was established at the Cape in 1853,
hastened by the display of local political opinion over the arrival of the
Neptune the previous year. This created a 'Legislative Council' of MPs
empowered to pass laws for the Colony, although administration remained under
Finally in 1872 fully fledged 'Responsible Government' was
established, with an upper house and administrative control. The franchise
remained qualified, but non-racial. Cape Town had become a colonial capital.
The impressive Parliament buildings set in the old VOC Company Gardens were
completed in 1885, and are today the South African parliament.
A more conservative era took hold with self-government.
Afrikaners were in the majority of whites, particularly in the country
districts. The terms of the franchise meant that only the landed classes could
vote - and this excluded most non-European people. Furthermore, only property
owners worth more than £1000 could sit in the upper chamber.
Inevitably the assembly was partial to commercial interests,
rather than those of the poor. Policies were geared to appeal to retailers and
professionals, who made up the majority of voters. New laws such as the 'Master
and Servants Act' of 1856 did much to turn the clock back on worker's
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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History:
A City Develops
The Rise of
The End of British Rule