What problems did the early Dutch settlers face?

What problems did the early Dutch settlers face?
  • Inadequate geographical knowledge of the area thus they could not locate places easily. They also never knew what to grow on what land and when




  • The settlers were few in number hence vulnerable to attacks from the Africans.
  • Labour was not enough as the Africans could not easily supply their labour, besides most of the Boers were very weak and could not work. Worse still the Khoikhoi were nomadic and not accustomed to manual labor.
  • The settlers did not have enough women for wives. This led to homosexuality and mixed marriages
  • They suffered from home sickness because they were far away from their home-land Holland
  • The Dutch lacked experience in growing certain crops like wheat, burley this reduced the output.
  • Poor communications at the cape colony as there were no communication lines.
  • Diseases such as dysentery greatly affected them in rain seasons, this easily led to death.




  • They were attacked and raided by the Africans such as the Bantu and the Khoisan especially for cattle
  • They lacked education facilities for their children i.e. there were no schools for educating their children.
  • The company officials were too cruel and corrupt and denied the settlers freedom and happiness. For example William Vander Stel was a corrupt governor.
  • Poor transport hindered their movement in South Africa.
  • High annual rate to the company was another major problem to the early Dutch settlers.
  • The company failed to facilitate the settlers with enough land for cultivation
  • Suffered from a lot of coldness during winter
  • Malnutrition was another problem due to poor feeding
  • The company failed to provide setters with enough land.
  • Settlers lacked enough funds and equipment
  • The settlers were over taxed by the company. For example they had to pay 10% of their cattle to the company for the grazing rights




  • They were segregated by the local people who saw them as devils forcing them into solitary living.
  • The settlers were denied the right to transfer land to their children after death.
  • The Khoisan refuse to trade with the settlers in cattle

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