The London Convention, signed by Britain and the ZAR in London on 27 February 1884, gave the ZAR limited self government with many restrictions.
The independence of the Swazi people was to be fully recognised by the ZAR, while the boundaries of the Swazi kingdom were defined in great detail and the ZAR had to adhere to them strictly. Reiterating a declaration made in earlier conventions, the ZAR undertook not to engage in the ‘slavery or apprenticeship’ of blacks. The movement of blacks within the ZAR would be restricted, subject to a pass system that the government would work out. However, blacks could hire or buy land ‘under certain conditions’, which were not specified. They were also to be allowed access to courts of law. The ZAR government was to appoint a commission to demarcate ‘native locations’. All land transfers made to the British Secretary for Native Affairs in trust for black people would remain in force, even when the position was taken over by a person appointed by the ZAR government. Blacks, however, would be the only people subject to tax in the ZAR. Finally, the ZAR government could not conclude treaties with any nation or African community, apart from the Orange Free State, except with the approval of the British government.