The achievements and career of Sir Benjamin Durban

the achievements and career of Sir Benjamin Durban

Sir Benjamin Durban was a Governor of the Cape from 1834 up to 1838.

After his arrival in 1834, he started organizing the security to stop the Kaffir wars (the wars on the eastern frontier).

Sir Benjamin Durban sent a missionary Dr. John Philip to the Xhosa to arrange for a meeting him and the Xhosa to solve their problems.

In 1834, Sir Benjamin supervised the abolition of slavery and slave trade at the Cape, which was being practiced by the Boers.

Sir Benjamin Durban also agreed with the Boers to keep the slaves as human beings to reduce on the tension between the slaves and their masters.

Sir Benjamin Durban set up the apprentice period not exceeding six years and thereafter the slaves were to be freed by their Boer masters.

Benjamin Durban also arranged for the compensation to the Boers for the loss of their slaves after the abolition of the slavery and slave trade at the Cape.

Under Sir Benjamin Durban, a strong constitutional foundation was laid at the Cape setting a period of democracy.

Sir Benjamin did a lot on reducing government expenditure thus reducing on dependency burden of the government at the Cape.

He introduced local government the municipal council that made administration very easy at the Cape.

He tried to end the Kaffir wars between the Boers and the Xhosa when he created a neutral boundary of 160kms northwards.

He pushed the Xhosa beyond the river Keiskama and gave the land to the Boers as compensation which made him popular among the Dutch farmers.

This made a missionary (Allen Gardiner) to rename the local Natal port after him (Durban).


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  1. Pingback: The role played by the missionary Dr. John Phillip in the history of South Africa

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