Before the advent of railways, transport inland across country by wagon or even horse was slow and arduous. The discovery of diamonds at Dutoitspan near Kimberley provided further impetus for the adoption of a more effective means of transport in the Cape.
Main picture: Little Bess locomotive used at the opening of line to Swartkops.
The erection of the North Jetty was the second attempt at constructing a jetty in Algoa Bay. The first one had been unceremoniously destroyed in a ferocious gale on the 26th August 1843 when three ships were driven through it. Until the construction of the South and the Dom Pedro jetties almost 30 years later, this small extemporised jetty would serve as the focal point of the harbour.
As it turned out, this temporary jetty would fulfil the starring role as the main jetty until the Charl Malan Quay was built, some 63 years later.
Main picture: An early view of the North Jetty probably from the 1870s