John William Jagger

John William Jagger (20 September 1859, Yorkshire - 20 June 1930, Cape Town) was a South African businessman and cabinet minister.

John William Jagger
Minister of Railways and Ports
In office
Prime MinisterJan Smuts
Preceded byThomas Watt
Succeeded byCharles Wynand Malan
Personal details
Born(1859-09-29)29 September 1859
Yorkshire, England
Died20 June 1930(1930-06-20) (aged 70)
Cape Town, South Africa
Political partySouth African Party

He emigrated to South Africa in 1880 and became a clerk in a business in Cape Town.[1] In 1883 he established his own business as an importer of fabrics and laid the foundation for the later well-known firm by his name. He took an active interest in the economy and became a spokesman for trade. In November 1902 he became a member of the Cape Legislative Assembly (where he was a strong supporter of free trade) for Cape Town–Central in the House of Assembly.[1]

From 1908 to 1909 he was a member of the National Convention which drafted the South Africa Act and paved the way for Union. He was re-elected as a Member of the Union in the 1915 election. In 1921 he became Minister of Railways in Gen. Jan Smuts's cabinet,[2] during which he had to carry out the unpopular policy of retrenchments. He contributed extensively to educational causes, including the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town, which is named after him.[3] He died in 1930 in Cape Town.


  1. ^ a b Wills, Walter H.; Barrett, R. J. (1884). The Anglo-African Who's who and Biographical Sketch-book. George Routledge & Sons, Limited. p. 80.
  2. ^ Neame, Lawrence Elwin (1929). Some South African Politicians. Maskew Miller. p. 100.
  3. ^ Kirkby, Howard; Kirkby, Joyce (1994). Still Upon a Frontier: A History of Kingswood College, 1892-1993. Old Kingswoodian Club, Kingswood College. ISBN 978-0-620-18220-1.


  • Albertyn, dr. C.F. (ed.) 1962. Die Afrikaanse Kinderensiklopedie. Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg: National Bookshop Ltd.
  • Rosenthal, Eric. 1978. Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa . Cape Town and Johannesburg: Juta and Company Limited.