27 October – British forces marched into Klipdrift Republic and annexed the territory calling it Griqualand West colony
Gold is discovered in the Pilgrim's Rest area.
An 83.50 carats (16.700 g) diamond is discovered and leads to a diamond rush. The town of New Rush springs up.
A mail route is established from Cape Town to the diamond fields.
Britain annexes the diamond fields of Kimberley and Griqualand West.
Griqua claims to the diamond fields are recognised and Griqua leader Waterboer seeks British protection.
Diamond mining stimulates migrant labour, with two-thirds of the black workers coming from Limpopo valley.
9 January – Eugène Nielen Marais, lawyer, naturalist, poet and writer, is born in Pretoria.
4 October – Sarel Cilliers (70), Voortrekker leader and preacher, dies on his farm near Lindley, Free State
18 February – Namaqualand – Port Nolloth to Muishondfontein, 44 miles 40 chains (71.6 kilometres).
Two 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge 0-6-0 tank locomotives are placed in service by the Cape of Good Hope Copper Mining Company, the first steam locomotives to enter service on the hitherto mule-powered Namaqualand Railway between Port Nolloth and the Namaqualand copper mines around O'okiep in the Cape Colony.
1871 in South Africa Wikipedia