By the end of the Anglo-Boer War on 31 May 1902, No 2 Location was split in two distinct sections. There was a small section lying parallel and to the rear of Barkly Road, with the larger area being beyond an expanse of low ground, this low ground being a spruit known as the “Kei River”. The area was some 150 acres in size. Mankurwane’s location (where Cassandra is now) was closed in May/June 1902 and the inhabitants all sent to No 2 to reside. The total population at the time in No 2 was some 6000-7000, with about 800 huts available for accommodation. All the streets were about 60 feet in width (15 metres +/-). Many of the houses were of brick and were in a good state of repair. An inspection at the time did not reveal any disease form the keeping of animals and slop water disposal.
The water supply was from twelve wells, all of which belonged to the council. All huts were charged 2/6d per hut every three months. Eight wells were in fine positions, but four were not. The four were all close to latrines or refuse dumps. Eight wells had pumps (broken) and two had windmills. One of the two rubbish heaps was situated in the vacant low area between the two sections, and the other to the north of No 2. Despite the obvious problems, the township was clean of rubbish lying around on the streets and the residents took care to place their refuse on the dumps.
The latrines were mere trenches 8 feet long and six feet deep, with a wood and iron screen around. They took six weeks to fill, and then a new trench would be dug and the screen moved. These latrines were adopted in 1901 when a bubonic plague scare came about. Before that all residents had to use the veld. Disinfectants were used regularly on the latrines. The same system was in use in all townships.
During ZK Matthews time during the period 1901 -1920 there would be whistles blown when the police were seen, people would run and shout “thabeng, thabeng” meaning “to the mountains”. The Location police were Africans, and normally Zulu. The police would man all exits and check the passes of the men as they set off to work. Those who did not carry passes, would be arrested and lined up against the corrugated iron wall of St Matthews Church, as Barkly Road was the border.
In 1910 a few pumps scattered around No 2 were only source of water. The nearest one to ZK Matthews’ house was 200 yards away. The pumps only opened at 6am, and there was always crowding. A system started where drums and tins would be left in line, and the people would only get there at the given time. When taps were put in place of pumps the nearest one was half a mile away from the Matthews’ house, which gives a good idea on what problems there were for residents of the village.
Public toilets were at “decent intervals” according to Matthews, again showing what problems there were for hygiene. There was no sewage or garbage removal system – only a great heap in a space which got bigger and bigger. It was never taken. The Sanitary department of Kimberley agreed, as the “present latrines are without doubt too far away from the majority of the inhabitants and their very existence would probably be unknown to strangers…” Toilet facilities for the blacks in Springs, Krugersdorp and Bloemfontein were much better, Springs and Bloemfontein having a toilet per house.
The “rude” life in No 2 included drinking, fighting, beer making and gambling. It appears that there was no “real” entertainment, despite the fact that Isaiah Bud Mbelle, and others such as Sol Plaatje played active sport including cricket, rugby and soccer.
According to Matthews, there were lots of Indian stores in the township, although in May/June 1901 all trading by shopkeepers were prohibited from trading in all townships in the municipal area. Many of the traders moved to Barkly Road and opened their shops there. One such trader affected, was Dick Sutela (Sutila), who had been trading in No 2 proper from 1885 until forced to move in 1901. On 9 September 1902, the local population asked the council for permission to open such businesses as a grocery, butcher, fruiterer, as well as a Boarding and Lodging house. This was not granted.
Related content added by the Webmaster