July 9, 1861 In present-day South Africa, the legislature of the British colony widely known as the Cape Colony (in existence until 1910) passed an act allowing the creation of a company to provide transit services between Cape Town and the suburb of Sea Point. This legislative authorization led to the development of the Cape... Continue Reading →

June 26, 1860 The first public railway in present-day South Africa made its official debut. The Natal Railway formally began operations at 11:00 a.m. in the seaport town (now city) of Durban amid a great deal of fanfare and with the inaugural run of the steam locomotive Natal. (Durban was part of the British colony... Continue Reading →

June 15, 2004 A diesel-electric submarine for the South African (SA) Navy was launched at the shipyard for the company Howarldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel, Germany.  Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, executive mayor of Naledi Local Municipality in South Africa’s North West Province and a leading veteran of the longtime struggle against apartheid in her homeland, served as... Continue Reading →

On the southwestern coast of present-day South Africa, a new lighthouse began operations near the city of Cape Town. (At the time of the lighthouse’s debut, this region was a part of the British colony known as the Cape Colony.) While built at Mouille Point, the lighthouse was formally named after the local community of... Continue Reading →

A new lighthouse went into service at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and the start of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse was the third lighthouse to be built in present-day South Africa. At the time of the lighthouse’s debut, Cape Agulhas was a part of... Continue Reading →

The South African Navy vessel SAS Isandlwana was launched at a shipyard in Kiel, Germany. Those participating in this ceremony included Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, South Africa’s deputy minister of defense. SAS Isandlwana was built in Kiel by the European South African Corvette Consortium (ESACC), which consists of the German Frigate Consortium (Blohm+Voss, Thyssen Rheinstahl, and Howardtswerke... Continue Reading →

Jan Smuts International Airport began operations in the city of Kempton Park, 20 miles northeast of Johannesburg, in what was then the Union of South Africa. (The Republic of South Africa came into existence nine years later.) The South African Airways’ Skymaster plane named Tafelberg was the first aircraft to touch down at the new... Continue Reading →

[Unfortunately, no pictures of HMSAS Africana exist.] After several years of military service that included life-saving actions during World War II, HMSAS (His Majesty’s South African Ship) Africana was decommissioned. The ship, which was launched in 1930, spent most of her existence as a South African vessel at a time when the country had semi-independent... Continue Reading →

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