South Africa - The Union Buildings Home
The Union Buildings, National Monument of Reconciliation and Union between the Afrikaners and the British
Image 1: The Union Buildings on Meintjies Kop in Pretoria.
The Union Building that was built on Meintjieskop, Arcadia, named after Stephanus Jacobus Meintjies. Arcadia was
farmland, originally belonging to Andries Francois du Toit, who then sold it.The cornerstone was laid in November 1910
by the Duke of Connaught. The buildings were completed in 1913. These buildings, built from light sandstone, designed
by the architect Sir Herbert Baker in the English monumental style and many old Dutch architectural motifs, are 285 m
The semicircular building has 2 wings - these 2 wings represent the union of the Afrikaners and the British. Together
they formed the Union of South Africa. Dominating the summit of Meintjes Kop, the building, with it's great amphitheatre,
can house over 1500 officials.
Image 2: General Louis Botha. He was the first South African presidential leader, the then Premier of the Union of
South Africa, to take office in the Union Buildings, known as the official seat of the South African Government.
The Union of South Africa
Former member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It came into existance on May 31, 1910. On May 31, 1961,
after a referendum, it became the Republic of South Africa.
The Peace of Vereeniging was signed on May 31, 1902. Thereupon the two Republics, Transvaal and the Orange Free
State, became crown colonies of the British. In 1906, after Responsible government was introduced in the former two
Republics, Lord Selborne, the then High Commissioner, prepared a memorandum on the closer union of the South
Flag of the Cape Colony 1875-1910. Flag of Natal 1843 – 1910. Flag of Transvaal. Flag of the Orange Free State
1854 – 1902
Between 1908 and 1909 representatives of all the South African colonies met in National Convention first in Durban
and then in Cape Town. This resulted in the passing of the South Africa act by the Parliament of the United Kingdom
in 1909; and on May 31, 1910, that is, on the 8th anniversary of the Peace of Vereeniging and 33 years after the
Permissive Federation Act of 1877, the four colonies; Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange River
Colony (Orange Free State), finally entered upon the complete legislative and administrative union of that time.