Hut Tax

Hut Tax


The hut tax was a type of taxation introduced by British colonialists in Africa on a per hut or household basis. It was variously payable in money, labour, grain or stock and benefited the colonial authorities in four related ways: it raised money; it supported the currency; it broadened the cash economy, aiding further development; and it forced Africans to labour in the colonial economy.

Households which had survived on, and stored their wealth in cattle ranching now sent members to work for the colonialists in order to raise cash with which to pay the tax. The colonial economy depended upon African labour to build new towns and railways, and in southern Africa to work in the rapidly developing mines.



  • Spencer Ross Rowley