8 – History

MORE THAN A CENTURY OF SERVICE

A proud history of Commerce in Pretoria is in fact the history of Pretoria itself and to a large extent that of the Province and of South Africa.

On 24 August 1891 a number of businessmen of the Capital of the Transvaal Republic met and decided to form the Pretoria Chamber of Business – 24 years after Pretoria became the seat of Government of the old Transvaal. Shortly after the establishment of the Chamber the Anglo Boer War broke out. Throughout those difficult times and thereafter the Chamber continued its functions.

Over all the years since 1891 the Chamber has fulfilled a vital need in the expansion of the business and commercial activities of Pretoria.

It is still building on the sound and wise foundations laid almost a century ago. Generations of men, who have left an indelible mark on the city, have come and have gone. But the work of the Chamber goes on.

A humble shop of 20 by 12 feet on the “Nacthmaal Plaats” – which was eventually to become Church Square – opened by one W. Austin, the first permanent trader, was in fact the start of the present-day multi-million rand commercial and industrial trade in Pretoria.

From the humble commercial undertakings around the Church Square of old, developed the modern structures of steel, concrete, aluminium and glass; the delightful arcades and elegant thoroughfares with fashionable boutiques, open-air cafes, exclusive restaurants and high-class hotels.

Pretoria is forever pushing forward and higher with its multi-million rand schemes to improve the lot of its citizens.

In all the Pretoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry is playing a leading role, forming an important link between the private and the public sectors, assisting in the shaping of economic policies and controlling with pride to the progress and prosperity of its citizens

A PROUD HISTORY

The proud history of commerce in Pretoria is in fact the history not only of Pretoria itself, but also of the Transvaal and Republic of South Africa.

On 24 August 1891, a number of businessmen formed the Pretoria Chamber of Commerce. Twenty-four years previously, Pretoria had become the seat of the old Transvaal government. Shortly after the formation of the Chamber, the Anglo Boer War broke out. Nevertheless, the Chamber continued its operations throughout this difficult time and indeed, forged ahead.

Since its establishment in 1891, the Pretoria Chamber has played a vital role in the business community. Building on the sound and wise foundations laid more than a century ago, it has continuously expanded upon the business and commercial activities of Pretoria. Generations of men and women changed the course of the city’s history, but the work of the Chamber goes on.

The history of commerce is also reflected in the growth of Church Square. Originally known as the “Nachtmaal Plaats”, it was the site of a humble shop (20 by 12 feet), which was opened by W. Austin, the first permanent trader in Pretoria. From this simple commercial undertaking, a multi-million rand centre of trade has burgeoned in Pretoria.

Today the Pretoria CBD is a development of modern structures of steel, concrete, aluminium and glass with delightful arcades and thoroughfares, fashionable boutiques, open-air cafes and restaurants, and high-class hotels.

Pretoria continues to push forward and up. In all this, the Pretoria Chamber is playing a leading role, forming an important link between the private and public sector, assisting in the shaping of economic policies and contributing with pride to the progress and prosperity of its citizens