24 – Germany occupies German South-West Africa.
24 – Barberton is declared a town.
5 – The Republic of Vryheid is established in northern Natal.
7 – Walvisbaai is occupied by the Cape Colony.
3 – Imvo Zabantsundu (Opinion of the People), South Africa's first newspaper for Black people is published by Thanda Press in King William's Town.
15 – The Berlin Conference commences when 14 countries (Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden-Norway, Turkey, and United States of America) meet in Berlin to each claim their part of Africa.
1 – The private Kowie Railway line between Grahamstown and Port Alfred is opened to traffic.
8 February – Zulu king Cetshwayo. (b. 1826)
31 March – Cape Midland – Noupoort to De Aar, to link up with the Cape Western System, 69 miles 6 chains (111.2 kilometres).
May – Natal – Pietermaritzburg to Merrivale, 15 miles 19 chains (24.5 kilometres).
16 September – Cape Eastern – Sterkstroom to Molteno, 20 miles 69 chains (33.6 kilometres).
3 November – Cape Western – Victoria West Road to Oranjerivier, 150 miles 69 chains (242.8 kilometres).
1 December – Kowie – Port Alfred to Grahamstown, 44 miles (70.8 kilometres).
The Cape Government Railways places two experimental 3rd Class 4-4-0 tender and four experimental 4th Class 4-6-0 tank-and-tender locomotives in service, designed by the Cape Eastern System to be able to use the low-grade local coal with its high content of incombustible matter.
1884 in South Africa Wikipedia