Browsing Doctoral Degrees (History) by Author "Dommisse, Ebbe"
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- ItemSir David Pieter de Villiers Graaff : sakeman en politikus aan die Kaap 1859 –1931(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12) Dommisse, Ebbe; Grundlingh, A. M.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is a biography of Sir David Pieter de Villiers Graaff, Bt, of Cape Town, who was born in 1859 and died in 1931. It covers his whole life span, from his birth as a poor farm boy in the district of Villiersdorp until his death as one of South Africa’s most innovative businessmen after he also distinguished himself in a political career. As the pioneer of cold storage in South Africa he brought the practice of frozen meat and food to the country at the end of the nineteenth century and in the meat trade he built up one of the biggest business undertakings in the Southern Hemisphere. As mayor of Cape Town at the youthful age of 31 he played a decisive rol in the modernisation of the city. As a member of Genl. Louis Botha’s first Cabinet after Union in 1910, a defining event which laid down the borders of the present Republic of South Africa, he played a sometimes underestimated role in the development of the country and its economy after the tribulations and long-term effects of the Anglo-Boer War. The life of this complex businessman/politician, a Cape Afrikaner who as a bachelor at an advanced age received a hereditary British title and thereafter married the daughter of the dominee of his Dutch Reformed congegation, is also a fascinating example of the difficult choices which Cape Afrikaners in colonial times had to make between loyalty to the British Crown and commitment to the native soil of South Africa. His biography furthermore offers an insight into the role of a top business leader who enters politics, a facet which has received little coverage in South African historial research. By describing the mosaic of his life in the time span in which he was a prominent figure, it was endeavoured to cast more light on the social and cultural context of an epoch-making period, thereby seeking to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the South African past.