Abstract: Your Satisfaction, not mere profit is our aim: Colonial English Enterprise and the Textile Industry: Arthur Bales and Son, since 1902

Leandie Maritz and Ingrid Thorius


The English settler community in the Eastern Cape originated from the British settlers who immigrated from Britain to the Cape colony in 1820. The 1820 Settlers, as they were known, included unemployed British citizens, seeking a new life in the Cape Colony. Among the settlers were a variety of artisans, ordinary industrial workers, and farmers. From the network of English entrepreneurs in the Eastern Cape, the Bales family established a trading company and later branched out to textiles and clothing. The Bales family business relocated to the South African Republic after the South African War and developed three generations of successful competition in that market. This paper will investigate the competition in the textile and fashion industry emerging in Johannesburg as the environment into which the Bales family business operated. The social capital network of the English business in the competitive textile and fashion industry of the Witwatersrand will be explored in relation to the development of the Burgers Brothers clothing business and the fashion enterprise of Jaff and Company.