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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Flowing Eye: Water Management in the Upper Kuruman Valley, South Africa, c. 1800-1962
Author:Jacobs, NancyISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:race relations
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183185
Abstract:This paper considers the intensification of agriculture along racial lines in South Africa by looking at the history of the 'Eye' of Kuruman, a large spring in the semi-arid region on the border of Northern Cape and North-West Provinces. The Eye of Kuruman was originally used as a water hole by Tswana herders. Irrigation, introduced by representatives of the London Missionary Society, was not widely practised until a subsistence crisis during the 1850s. However, households continued to operate with the logic of extensive production, fitting irrigation into the pre-existing system. In 1885, the British annexed the region as part of the Crown Colony of British Bechuanaland. They demarcated African reserves at springs and in river valleys, and grazing lands were opened for white settlement. The upper Kuruman valley was designated a Crown reserve and the Eye became a town site. In the 20th century under Union government, use of the Eye intensified, and access to the valley became segregated by race. After 1918 the municipality of Kuruman operated a modern irrigation project, and in 1919, evicted black cultivators living at the Eye. Blacks continued to live and garden at Seodin, five miles downstream, until the policy of apartheid mandated their removal in 1962. Notes, ref., sum.