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In order to understand the conditions under which the South African tariff developed, it is necessary to know something at least of the country's climatic and geographical conditions, its area and population, the agricultural and mining conditions, the industrial development, and of the historical facts which led to the division of the country, together with the various attempts which were made towards getting a united South Africa. Let us take each of these in turn:
a. The climatic and geographical conditions: South Africa is noted for its wonderful climate, which makes it possible for almost any kind of industry to be developed there. The mildness of the climate makes possible the successful rearing of stock, and there is hardly any need for shelter from excessive heat or extreme cold. The Union of South Africa extends from the Limpopo, in latitude 22° 10' S, to Cape Agulhas, in latitude 34° 50' S. The country is eminently suited for habitation by Europeans, and the Final Report of the Dominions Royal Commission sums up the position as follows: “In many ways South Africa is one of the most attractive countries in the world, as will be readily acknowledged by all who have dwelt within its boundaries. Its charm would be hard to analyse, but undoubtedly it exists. This cannot be set down entirely to climate, beautiful though it is, or to the wide expanses of the rolling veld or to the grandeur of its mountains, or to the charm of its woodland scenery. These doubtless contribute to its many attractions, but the real cause lies deeper and results in the fact that to those who have made South Africa their home, and even to those who have made a temporary sojourn there, it will always remain the one country to which they desire to return.” (1). Continuing, the Report says: “In days to come, given an adequate skilled population, the Union may grow into one of the great industrial lands of the world, for its coal, as it chances, is found in places within easy reach of its gold and iron areas." (2).
It is perhaps due to the obstinate political struggles carried on in the country that its population increases so slowly.
1. P. 120 (Cd. 8462).
The fact that mining, which does not promote the healthy
When the arrivals are compared with the departures, a
The rainfall of the country varies from under 10 inches
1. Official Year Book of the Union of South Africa, No. 3, p. 183
2. The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society