British South Africa Company: Department of Land Settlement

British South Africa Company

Department of Land Settlement

The B.S.A.C. was the largest landowner in Rhodesia followed by Amalgamated Properties of Rhodesia Ltd and Willoughby’s Consolidated Co. Ltd.

In October 1905, Charles D Wise, an experienced British agriculturalist, was sent by the B.S.A.C. to report on the current and future prospects of the agricultural prospects of Rhodesia. The directors were impressed with Wise’s report and in October 1907, the Visiting Commission of Directors stated the company intended to pursue an active and forward commercial policy to develop the land. The company made a decision to separate its commercial and administrative functions.

The Department of Land Settlement was constituted in October 1907 with an organisation of its own, to receive and promptly deal with all applications for land. The first Director was C D Wise.

In 1908 The Commercial Branch of the British South Africa Company (B.S.A.C.) was established to administer land and agricultural development. The Department of Lands became responsible to the Commercial Representative in Bulawayo.