Today, 17 March 2020, marks the 200th commemoration of the arrival of the first of approximately 4000 British settlers in South Africa and the FF Plus wants to pay tribute to the role that they played in the development of the country.
In 1819, the British government received more than 90 000 applications from British citizens who wanted to move to South Africa. On 17 March 1820, the Nautilus and the Chapman sailed into Table Bay with the first of 60 groups of Settlers who eventually came here. They then travelled from Table Bay to Algoa Bay, which they reached by 10 April 1820.
The Settlers initially settled as farmers near the town Bathurst in the Eastern Cape. Many of them had no agricultural background and they eventually moved to towns, like Port Elizabeth, East London and Grahamstown, where they worked as smiths, tailors and practiced other trades that they had learnt in England.
It is also important to remember that the British Settlers succeeded in establishing a free press, similar to the one that they had in England, in 1825 by putting pressure on the Cape government to allow it.
These British Settlers are commemorated by the 1820 Settlers National Monument in Grahamstown that was unveiled in 1974. It is a living monument and offers plays, music performances and cultural events and it is backed by the 1820 Settlers Association that was established in 1920 by Walter Stanford and other descendants of the Settlers.
Today, the descendants of these pioneers make up an important minority group in South Africa. They played a significant role in the development of South Africa and the FF Plus pays tribute to their heritage.