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NZASM: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij

Established: 1887
Ended: 1908

Railways Company

This is the company floated for the construction and operation of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR, Transvaal Republic) railway network before the Second Anglo-Boer War, particularly the connection between Pretoria and Delagoa Bay (Lorenço Marques, now Maputo) and that with the Orange Free State Republic, Cape Colony and Natal Colony railway systems, the consequence of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek(ZAR) policy to lay a railway line across the friendly territory, Mozambique, through which connection would be made with the outside world without crossing British territory. The Volksraad nominated a commission in 1874 to study the laying of a rail connection with Delagoa Bay but the plans were wrecked by a shortage of capital and the British annexation of the ZAR in 1879. Independence was restored in 1881 after the first First Anglo-Boer War.

The NZASM was established on 31 June 1887. The chief engineer, RAI Snethlage, and his colleagues started their surveying at Komatipoort in 1887, but malaria and tariff disputes between the Republic and Portugal delayed construction. Consequently the NZASM first began laying a railway between Johannesburg and Boksburg (the 'Rand Tram'), which was opened in 1890 and later extended to Springs and Krugersdorp. The completion of a railway bridge over the Vaal River in 1892 made possible the connection to the Cape by way of the Orange Free State through the completion of the Southern Line.

Railway conferences, in which the NZASM also took part, were held in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town in 1897 and 1898 between the Republics and the British colonies in South Africa. In April 1899 the successor to the Chief Engineer MIDDELBERG, who had left at the end of 1898, Jhr JA VAN KRETSCHMAR VAN VEEN, had under his control a staff of 1770 Netherlanders and ex-Netherlanders, 4477 South Africans of which 3700 were black and 777 white labour and 1615 representatives of 26 other nationalities.

On 1899 09 13 the Executive Council of the ZAR put the railway lines, the staff and the rolling stock of the NZASM at the disposal of the Commandant-General. After the British occupation of Pretoria the NZASM archives were taken over by the IMPERIAL MILITARY RAILWAYS (IMR) on 1900 08 03. All NZASM properties were confiscated on 1900 09 12, after 1400 members of staff and their families had been repatriated to Europe by the British authorities. The last serving staff of the NZASM left Komatipoort on 1900 09 18, soon followed by Jhr. Van Kretschmar van Veen. The Portuguese government delivered NZASM rolling stock in Lourenzo Marques to Britain and on 1901 01 10 the company ceased its payments. In 1908 an arrangement was made between the British government and the NZASM by which the company would receive more than £300 000 in compensation and the British government undertook to destroy all shares which were in the possession of Crown agents for the colonies. The NZASM was dissolved on 1908 10 13.

Commemorative of the NZASM are the administrative block of the South African Railways which was opened in Pretoria in 1964 and occupies the site of the former offices of the Netherlands company; plaques in Bloemfontein and Pretoria in memory of Netherlanders and ex-Netherlanders in the service of the NZASM who were killed during the war; and the NZASM monument which was unveiled at Waterval Boven on 1934 08 28. The association of past NZASM officials existed until about 1960. Their last big gathering took place in Pretoria in 1945, half a century after the opening of the Eastern Line (Delagoa Bay Railway), which had originally been celebrated in a splendid fashion in Pretoria from 1895 07 08 - 1895 07 10.

[JAN PLOEGER. 1973. In SESA, Vol 8: pp. 156-8.]

The following lines were undertaken by the NZASM
Rand Tram (1890-1899)
Southern Line (1890-1893)
Eastern Line (1889-1894)
Barberton Branch Line (1892-1896)
South-Eastern Line (1894-1896)
South-Western Line (1895-1899)


BURG, Johannes Rienk
DE ZWAAN, WJ Name found on some of documents dealing with the construction of the Heidelberg Railway Station, on the south-eastern line of the NZASM. (De Jong et al, 1989: 185)
GEERS, Leendert Marinus
GRADON, Henry Thomas
KESTING Jean Jacques
KLINKHAMER, Jacob Frederik




For other entries relating to the NZASM see
NZASM Building Materials
NZASM Housing
NZASM Steel bridge superstructures
NZASM Structures

Books citing NZASM: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij

Anonymous [Nederlansche Zuid-Afrikaanse Spoorwegmaatschappij. [c.1909]. In Memoriam N.Z.A.S.M. Amsterdam: JH De Bussy. pp All

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 4, 40, 79, 111-133, 136, 143, 154, 157, 170-173, 175, 196, 199, 206, 211-215

Bouten, PH. 1941. De aanleg van t Oostespoor. Pretoria: Bond van Oud NZASM Pioniers. pp All

Coetzee, DJ. 1940. Spoorwegontwikkeling in die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek (1872-1899) : (met spesiale verwysing na die botsing tussen die onafhanklikheidstrewe van die Boere en die Britse Imperiale belange). Kaapstad: Nasionale Pers. pp All

Davies-Webb, Paddy. 2009. Memories of the Lowveld's Elands Valley 1854-1983 : recollections of a lifetime in the Valley and its surrounds. Unknown: Paddy Davies-Webb. pp 11-18

De Jong, RC, Van der Waal, GM. 1988. NZASM 100 : 1887-1899, the buildings, steam engines and structures of the Netherlands South African Railway Company. Pretoria: C. Van Rensburg Publications on behalf of the Human Sciences Research Council. pp All

Longland. 1979. Longland's Pretoria Directory for 1899 (Reprint No. 85). Pretoria: The State Library. pp 212

Middelberg, Gerrit Adriaan Arnold and Spies, FJ du T. 1953. Briewe uit Transvaal van G. A. A. Middelberg. Petoria: Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij. 1884. Voorwaarden van concessie en statuten / Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij. Amsterdam?: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij. 1887-1902. Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij: verslagen 1887-1902. Amsterdam: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. 1895. Gedenkboek uitgegeven ter gelegenheid der feestelijke opening van den Delagoabaaispoorweg 1895. Amsterdam: JH de Bussy. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. 1967. Afschriften van eenige brieven en telegrammen gewisseld tusschen N.Z.A.S.M. en C.G.R. in der eerste maanden van 1895. Pretoria: Staatsbiblioteek. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. 1888. Contract (tusschen de regeering der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek en de Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij voor den aanleg en de exploitatie van een tramweg over den Witwatersrand en voor de ontginning van het Boksburger steenkolenveld. Amsterdam: Ellerman, Harms. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. 1895. Correspondentie omtrend spoorweg-aangelegenheden. Pretoria: Staatsdrukkerij van de Z. A. Republiek. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. 1890. Album der onderdelen van rijtuigen en wagens. Amsterdam?: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. pp All

Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. 1900. Statuten der Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg Maatschappij. Pretoria?: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. pp All

Pienaar, UdeV. 2012. A cameo from the past : the prehistory and early history of the Kruger National Park. Pretoria: Protea. pp 351; 353-357

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1973. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 8 Mus-Pop. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 156-158

South African Transport Services Museum. 1990. Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. Rand Tram 1890-1990: 100. Johannesburg: SA Transport Services Museum. pp All

Van Kretschmar van Veen, JA. 1901. Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij: rapporten van den directeur J.A. van Kretschmar van Veen aan den Raad van Commissarissen betreffende de verrichtingen der Maatschappij in Zuid-Afrika tydens den oorlog, 1899-1900.. Pretoria?: NZASM?. pp All

Van Winter, PJ. 1937. Onder Krugers Hollanders : Geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. Eerste Deel. Amsterdam: JH de Bussy. pp All

Van Winter, PJ. 1938. Onder Krugers Hollanders : Geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij. Tweede Deel. Amsterdam: JH de Bussy. pp All

Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek en J. P. Meijer. 1892. Rapport van de Commissie benoemd bij besluit van den E.A. Eersten Volksraad, dd. 19 Juli 1892, art. 847, in zake de verslagen betreffende de Nederl. Z.A. Spoorweg-Maatschappij over het jaar 1891. Pretoria?: Staatsdrukkerij van de Z. A. Republiek. pp All

Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. Volksraad. 1967 [1892]. Rapporten over den bouw en de exploitatie der spoorwegen der Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche spoorweg-maatschappij uitgebracht in den ... zitting, 1892. Pretoria: Staatsbiblioteek. pp All