Short History of the Area
The first white colonists who settled in the Bronberg area came for very much the same reasons as the Iron Age groups: water and grazing for cattle, water for crop-farming, trees, thatching grass, clay for making bricks and pots, mild climate, wildlife and the presence of the mountains as shelter and protection.
However, the principal goal of the Voortrekkers who ventured over the Vaal River was to establish their independence and security. The area claimed by the Voortrekkers after the conquest of Mzilikazi was demarcated at a public meeting on 16 October 1840 held in Potchefstroom. Initially, the areas of Suikerbosrant (Heidelberg), Schoonspruit (Klerksdorp), Mooirivier (Potchefstroom) and Magaliesberg, all within limits of the original claim of 1840, were the most popular locations for settlements, but by 1855 settlements had been established beyond the originally claimed area.
Burghers selected farms (such as Kleinfontein and then provided a description of the farm to the local landdrost, who noted the detail in a registration book and gave the claimant a copy. Claimed land then had to be inspected before a title and deed were issued. Since the registration of land entailed registration costs and annual land taxes, it was often delayed as long as possible. As a result, the registration of land claimed on the basis of burgher rights continued well into the 1890s.
The Kleinfontein Ridge was occupied by an advanced Boer force commanded by General Tobias Smuts during the Battle of Diamond Hill (11-12 June 1900). These forces faced the City Imperial Volunteers and the 32nd Infantry Brigade commanded by Maj-Gen Bruce Hamilton. On the first day of this battle these British forces succeeded in driving the Boer forces commanded by Smuts from their positions.
Dr Robert de Jong