Government Printing Works 1782 - 2011

1782

Governor van Plettenberg makes a first attempt to produce printed matter in SA.

1785

The first printing plant is established in the Cape by Johann Christian Ritter.

1800

Walker & Robertson import printing machines and produce the first Government Gazette in the guise of the “Kaapse Stads Courant”.

1801

The first GPW is established at the Castle under Sir John Barrow.

1811

BJ van der Standt enrols as the first printing trade apprentice.

1824

Lord Charles Somerset and his opposition are embroiled in a battle to break government’s monopoly over the local print industry.

1829

Sir Lowry Cole’s declaration of a free press in South Africa is announced and William Bridekirk is awarded a ten-year government contract for the production of the Gazette, which lasted until 1881 under Saul Solomon & Company.

1857

Cornelius Petrus Moll and Jan Cilliers produce the first Government Gazette of the Republic of Transvaal.

1859

The printing facility is purchased by government from Moll and Cilliers, while Moll retains position as printing superintendent.

1860

Moll moves printing works to Pretoria.

1877

The Republic of Transvaal is annexed by the British Empire, confiscating the printing works.

1888

The House of Assembly authorises government to establish a proper GPW.

1891

The GPW is struck by lightning and burns down, but is rebuilt by government.

1897

The GPW building project is completed and remains its head office to today.

1976

The GPW is established as a trade account.

1994

All printing facilities of the former independent states and self-governing territories are allocated to the GPW.

1996

The GPW is restructured.

2009

The GPW is established as a government component.