The semi-military organization of these divisions, which existed under the South African republic, has been abolished, and field-cornets, who are nominated by the provincial government, are purely civil officials charged with the registration of voters, births and deaths, the maintenance of public roads, &c. The chief local authorities are the municipal bodies, many " municipalities " being rural areas centred round a small town.
The bulk of the Dutch levies were organized on the burgher system - that is, each district was furnished with a commandant, who had under him field-cornets and assistant field-cornets, who administered the fighting capacity of the district.
Varrentrapp pointed out that " cornets " from the assay of gold may retain gas if they are not strongly heated.
Their French name was de Cornets, and this cadet branch had taken the name of Groot on the marriage of Hugo's great-grandfather with a Dutch heiress.
They have to maintain all roads in the division; can nominate field cornets (magistrates); may borrow money on the security of the rates for public works; and return three members yearly to the district licensing court.
Out of the organization of these commandoes, with their fieldcommandants and field-cornets, has grown the common system of local government in the Dutch-settled districts of South Africa.