C.R. Kennedy applied for naturalization as a citizen of the South African Republic (Transvaal) in November 1891. At that time he was a telegraphist, but resigned his position in October 1892. Several years later he (or another C.R. Kennedy) was a member of the South African Society of Electrical Engineers, which was founded in Johannesburg in May 1897 and ceased to function at the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in October 1899. In March 1898 he read a paper on X-rays before its members. [The generation and use of X-rays were first demonstrated in Johannesburg by Charles H. Perrins* in July 1896; by 1898 Robert H. Gould* was experimenting with the first commercial X-ray machine].
After the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) C.R. Kennedy resided in the Transvaal Colony from 1903 to 1906, working for the Public Works Department. During 1903 and 1904 he resided at Nelspruit, where he was concerned with the filling of a catchment drain at the local railway station. He appears to have left the colony in 1906, after requesting a letter of recommendation.