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DBL: Exhibition Histories






Nina Liebenberg

Date Created

21st of March 1946




Stow’s discovery of coal deposits in 1878, found in the beds of the Vaal River, was of interest to the diamond magnate, Sammy Marks. Marks realised the importance of Stow’s discovery and the opportunity for using coal at the Kimberley diamond fields for energy generation (Leigh, 1968:112). He believed he could transport the coal from Vereeniging to Kimberley by floating it down-river by a series of weirs to his diamond claims. This turned out to be impractical and he had to resort to using ox-wagons as a method of transport instead (Leigh 1968:17).

Marks & Lewis who at that time owned a quarter of all the Kimberley diamond claims sold most of their Kimberley claims to concentrate on the coal finds through their newly formed mining company, the Zuid-Afrikaansche en Oranje Vrystaatsche Mineralen en Mijnbouvereeniging (later to become the Vereeniging Estates Limited). In 1892, the small village of Vereeniging was formally established.

Near Vereeniging the predominantly black community of Sharpeville was established where on the 21st of March, 68 years later, the Sharpeville massacre would occur.

Is Part Of


Liebenberg, N. 2021. Stow: A Geological Fieldguide of UCT. Digital Bleek and Lloyd. Centre for Curating the Archive. University of Cape Town.

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