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British Administration at the Cape
Government Education Communications
From the 1820s onwards British Government in Cape Town became more assertive and implemented the developments occurring in Britain.

Under the VOC Cape Town's population, and the rural farmers far more so, had been insulated from European debates. There were no newspapers or libraries, and the church, which also provided education, was controlled by the VOC and had little strength.

Now Cape Town was part of an Empire at the height of its powers and British officials, imbued with new ideas and strong convictions, were arriving at the Cape. The Westminster parliament was putting reform into practise, and these legal measures were soon applied to colonies. By the 1820s new ideas and laws were arriving at the Cape, by consequence of its attachment to the British Empire, that deeply challenged the status quo.

As the British empire was inspired by a crusading moral and mercantile mission, fired by the urging of evangelicals and the ambitious businessmen of Manchester, so vigorous officials arrived in the Cape, determined to leave their mark. When John Montagu, for instance, arrived to become colonial secretary in 1843 he 'set to work without delay, defining departmental responsibilities, remedying existing evils and supplying necessary services' (quoted, Worden et al, pg 162).
An strong education movement had taken hold in Britain and teachers were sent to the Cape. British systems and text books were adopted in mission, private and government schools. The South African College opened in 1829 to prepare students 'for academic study in Holland or England'. The University of Cape Town later emerged from this college.
British government in the Cape became fired with vision for development of the colony - in sharp contrast to the spendthrift VOC. Although instructed to keep costs low, governors like Sir Lowry Cole engaged in ambitious road building projects to open up the coast to commerce.

Shipping routes were also developed along the coastline to reach the outlying areas settled by the trekboers. A regular postal service to Britain was established using steam ships. Within Cape Town, buses were licensed to run between Wynberg and Cape Town.

Another determined government leader was Governor Sir George Grey who engaged in far reaching social education programmes, and tackled the daunting challenge, that had defied the VOC, of building a harbour. It was officially opened by Queen Victoria's son, Albert, in 1870.

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