Kloof

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This article is about the town near Durban, South Africa. For the landform, see canyon.
Kloof
Kloof suburbs from Krantzkloof heights
Kloof suburbs from Krantzkloof heights
Flag of Kloof
Flag
Coat of arms of Kloof
Coat of arms
Kloof is located in South Africa
Kloof
Kloof
 Kloof shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 29°47′S 30°50′E / 29.783°S 30.833°E / -29.783; 30.833Coordinates: 29°47′S 30°50′E / 29.783°S 30.833°E / -29.783; 30.833
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
Municipality eThekwini
Established 1903
Government
 • Mayor Obed Mlaba
Area[1]
 • Total 34.51 km2 (13.32 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 29,704
 • Density 860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 53.8%
 • Coloured 0.7%
 • Indian/Asian 11.2%
 • White 33.8%
 • Other 0.4%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • English 45.1%
 • Zulu 43.9%
 • Xhosa 3.6%
 • Afrikaans 3.4%
 • Other 4.1%
Postal code (street) 3610
PO box 3640
Area code 031

Kloof is a leafy upper-class suburb and small town, that includes a smaller area called Everton, in the greater Durban area of eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The word Kloof (cf. cleft) means 'gorge' in Afrikaans and the area is named after the deep ravine formed by the Molweni stream (stream of high cliffs). The Kloof Gorge is part of the 4.47 square kilometres (1.73 sq mi) Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.

Kloof extends from the top of Field's Hill and borders Winston Park, Gillitts, Forest Hills and Hillcrest. These suburbs are collectively known as the Upper Highway Area or the Outer West region of Durban.

The M13 highway (built in the 1940s) intersects Kloof and on 16 June this forms part of the route of the annual Comrades Marathon, an approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) ultra-marathon run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban since 1924.

It is a predominantly white, English-speaking area. Kloof features several upmarket shopping centres and the Kloof Country Club, founded in 1927. It is known as a mist-belt with winding roads and tree-surrounded mansions.

A History of Kloof by Adriaan Rowe Kloof is situated on a form originally called "Tafelberg", which belonged to a pioneer. Andries van Tonderen.

According to a letter, found not long ago at the Deeds office in Pietermaritzburg, dated 15 February 1851, written by William Swan Field to Governor Benjamin Pine, on 11 July 1844 the farm was sold by van Tonderen to William Cowie for the sum of £225. William Cowie came to Natal in late 1837 with the Voortrekker group led by J J Uys and his son Pieter, and was one of the party of six Voortrekkers, sent by K.P. Landman, to meet with the British at Port Natal on 18 April 1838 to negotiate their settlement in the area. He was the son of 1820 Settlers from Scotland. and was married to Magdaleno Laos, the daughter of Andries Marthinus Laos, who became the owner of Salt River farm on which Pinetown is now located. Cowies Hill, known originally as Steilhoogte (steep heights), is named after him.

William Cowie had become a land speculator and sold Tafelberg, 13 months later, on 31 August 1845, to William Swan Field for the sum of £245. William Swan Field was the eldest son of William Field and Grace Coote and arrived with his parents and siblings in the Cape Colony in 1834 from Ireland, on his father's appointment as Collector of Customs, Cape Town, and worked in his father's department from 9 May 1838. He moved to Durban on his appointment as Acting Collector of Customs, and Surveyor and Landing Waiter at Port Natal, on 12 June 1844. He was later also appointed as the first Magistrate in Durban and also became a member of the Provincial Executive Council.

On 21 March 1845, a "Mr. & Mrs. Field and child" arrived in Durban on board the "Pilot" and it is thought that this was John Coote Field, a brother of William Swan Field, his wife Elizabeth Catrina (née Swart) and their daughter Susara Johanna, who was born on 11 July 1844 at Potberg near Swellendam in the Cape Colony.

When the Government Surveyor, Thomas Oakes and the local Field Cornet inspected Tafelberg on 20 July 1847, he wrote in his report that he found "A House and out houses, Garden and Ploughed land, occupied by Mr. John Field", and therefore it is evident that he had lived on the farm for some time. It would appear likely that in about 1845 or 1846 William Swan Field had requested the Government to survey the farm so that he could obtain transfer, hence the visit by Thomas Oakes. By 1851 when he wrote to Governor Pine requesting assistance in obtaining transfer, he states that the original owner, Andries van Tonderen had left the Colony and transfer in the normal manner was not possible.

As a result of this "Memorial", Governor Pine granted transfer of the farm to be known as "Richmond No. 999", on 1 October 1851, in extent 5606 acres. William Swan Field never lived on the farm, but visited his brother and family periodically. William Swan Field died intestate on 14 April 1865 at the home of a family friend in Cope Town, where he was, by then, working. He had apparently made it known that his brother, John Coote Field, was to inherit Richmond farm, as if was transferred to him on 6 November 1867, and was valued at £1401 lOs.

In the early days the only means of transport was by means of ox- wagon, on horseback or on foot. The nearest shop was at New Germany, and therefore to a great extent they had to be self-sufficient. Whenever a ship came into port the Field's would send down butter in barrels, fresh meat, game and vegetables, and in exchange would receive soft goods, flour, farm machinery etc. The trip to Durban by ox-wagon took about three-quarters of a day.

An exciting event in their life on Richmond Farm was the arrival of the railway line, which opened through Krantz Kloof, as the area was known to the transport riders, by March 1879, and was officially opened to Pietermaritzburg on 1 December 1880. The nearest railway stations, at that stage, were at Pine Town and Gillitts. Owing to the steepness of the gradient (1:30) between Pinetown and Bolhas Hill, the old Beyer & Peacock steam engines needed to take on extra water and John Coote Field ("Old Jack" as he was known affectionately) negotiated with the Natal Government Railway to supply water from a stream at Waterfall, halfway up Field's Hill, in exchange for free passage for him and his family. Family legend has it that on one occasion Old Jack summoned the train to stop and the driver failed to do so. He immediately cut the water pipes to the tanks next to the line, thus forcing the locomotives to a halt. Only the intervention of the General Manager, David Hunter (later Sir David Hunter), who arrived in his personal carriage to negotiate with Old Jack, resolved the problem. It was agreed, henceforth, that all trains would stop at Field's Hill halt, (next to the present Field's Hill Garage) which was about 300 metres from the farm homestead, so that he and his family could alight. Despite an extensive search, no documentary proof of this story has yet been found.

Krantz Kloof Station, a wood and iron building next to the site of the present Kloof Station, was built and opened in about 1896. It also served as the venue for the first Church services, and it was from here that one collected ones post, and was, in due course, where the telephone exchange was located.

On 1 February 1896 John Coote Field died and in his will, he left the farm to their eleven surviving children, and one grandchild, with his wife having the life use. Elizabeth Catrina Field died on 27 September 1901, and the twelve subdivisions were in due course transferred to the beneficiaries, most of the sons inheriting 561 acres and the daughters 400 acres. Some members of the family immediately began subdividing their inheritances, and by 1903 the village of Krantz Kloof was born. Esmé Stuart in her book "I remember..." writes that as a child of three and a half years in late 1904, she remembers the arrival of ox-wagons at Krantzkloof with their furniture from Durban.

Because of confusion caused by the similarity of the names of Krantzkloof and Kranskop, the Railways asked the locals and the Field family for permission to change the name, and it was changed to Kloof on 3 July 1922. The station building was rebuilt in 1924 and after a number of changes, in recent years, now serves as a Pub and Restaurant.

The escarpment above Pinetown had a pleasant cooler climate, and in the early days, this made Kloof properties sought after as weekend and holiday retreats, away from the humidity of the coastal strip.After fifty signatures were obtained from residents by William Brady, electricity was brought up Field's Hill in 1928. A dam was built in Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, together with a purification works in Alamein Avenue and running water was piped to houses in 1950. The dam and purification works are still in use.

In 1942 a Town Board was formed to administer the requirements of the village, and on 1st January 1961 Kloof obtained Borough status. Kloof is now port of Durban's eThekwini Municipality.6 October, 2002

Sources:

Deeds Office, Pietermaritzburg.
Surveyor General, Pietermaritzburg.
Natal Archives Repository, Pietermaritzburg.
Cape Archives Repository, Cape Town.
Unpublished manuscript: "A History of Kloof, Natal" by Meredith Mary Shadwell.
"British Settlers in Natal 1824-1857" by Shelagh O'Byme Spencer. 

Sources:

Deeds Office, Pietermaritzburg.
Surveyor General, Pietermaritzburg.
Natal Archives Repository, Pietermaritzburg.
Cape Archives Repository, Cape Town.
Unpublished manuscript: "A History of Kloof, Natal" by Meredith Mary Shadwell.
"British Settlers in Natal 1824-1857" by Shelagh O'Byme Spencer


History[edit]

Richmond Farm[edit]

This part of KwaZulu-Natal was originally a 6,000-acre (24 km2) farm 'Richmond', whose survey was ordained by the first Lieutenant-Governor of Colony Sir Martin West, following his 1845 appointment to the post; he also named it, after Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond (Yorkshire, England).

The land Kloof occupies formed the 2,836 hectare (7,008 ac) Richmond Farm No. 999: this was given to William Swan FIELD by the British Government in 1851 as reward for his services as First Collector of Customs (position he held until 1852) for Natal Colony, and as First Magistrate of Durban. In 1852 he settled brother John Coote FIELD and his family on the farm, having had them brought up from the Cape Colony. The farm was eventually transferred into J C Field's name by Deed of Transfer in 1867, at a declared value of 1,401 pounds & 10 shillings.

The original farmhouse, called Richmond House, was built by J C Field in 1854 to replace an earlier house. The 'Richmond' section of the farm passed to his son John Coote FIELD the Second in 1880 on the occasion of his marriage, who partially demolished the original Richmond House and rebuilt another homestead nearby.

J C Field the First died in 1896, and upon the death of his widow in 1901 the Farm was divided amongst the surviving heirs: 560 acres (230 ha) for each son, 395 acres (160 ha) for each daughter, and the homestead plus 500 acres (200 ha) to his youngest son Benjamin Cromwell Colenso FIELD.

Kloof village[edit]

The further subdivisions and sale of portions of Richmond Farm No. 999 by the Field heirs after 1901 resulted in the birth of Kloof as a residential area: numerous plots were sold to wealthy Durban residents and businessmen, who built country house retreats close to the city, but (due to its 550 m above sea level elevation) removed from the Durban humidity and heat. These were particularly favoured by their wives and children during the long hot summer holidays.

From the 1890s onwards the appearance of the area therefore changed significantly, from its previous 'sandstone sourveld' grassland to its current heavily-wooded flora.

Kloof was originally called 'Krantzkloof' by J C Field the First, after the nearby Kloof Gorge, but this name was later changed to 'Kloof' at the special request of the General Manager of the Railways, since due to a name similarity with Kranskop there had been significant confusion and misdeliveries of railway goods: the Railway Station was therefore renamed, and the town with it. The current Station building is a replacement of an earlier one, built in 1896, and it remained operational until the closure of this branch of the Durban-Pietermaritzburg railway line to passenger traffic in the 1970s. The building is now being utilised as a popular bar restaurant; it is also the main terminus of the Umgeni Steam Railway.

As roads improved, an increasing number of people began permanently living in Kloof and during the 1960s and 1970s, the development of the traditional Kloof houses occurred. These consisted of large houses that were built on stands of at least one acre (0.4 ha). Many of the houses have slate roofs, a swimming pool, small guest houses and tennis courts and they are often tucked away amidst the trees.

Examples of these can be found in the prime areas of Kloof which are in the golf course and the Everton-Meadow Lane areas.

Property[edit]

The South African property market, though still arguably undervalued has seen high growth since 2003 and most prime Kloof properties sell for between R2,000,000 and R3,000,000 which is well above the regional average (which is under R800,000.) The larger homes, rarely on the market, are sold for between R6,000,000 and R30,000,000. These are, however, still at a discount by international standards.

Although it is regarded as a mature suburb, with most of the Upper Highway Area's recent condominium developments taking place in neighbouring Hillcrest, rich residents and newcomers are still building large houses where land is available, though these are built in Tuscan, Tudorbethan and modern designs. Today one can find almost any style of architecture in Kloof.

Schools[edit]

Kloof has a state school network that consists of Kloof High School, Forest View Primary School, Kloof Senior Primary School, Kloof Junior Primary School and Kloof Pre-Primary School.

There are also several private schools located in Kloof including the prestigious Thomas More College and St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls. In the broader area there is also Highbury Preparatory School in Hillcrest and Kearsney College in Botha's Hill.

Wildlife[edit]

The many trees that define Kloof provide for an abundance of birds, including the Crowned eagle.

Other wildlife has been preserved in greenbelt areas such as the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, which includes the Kloof Gorge, and the Everton Conservancy. The Reserve is centered around the main Gorge cut by the eMolweni River, and extends in total 532 ha (1,315 ac). It was established by the Natal Parks Board (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife) in 1950.

The area around the gorge was once the habitat of leopards and a leopard features prominently on the Kloof crest. (The stuffed leopard in the Durban Museum reportedly was shot in the area). Chacma baboon were once re-introduced to the reserve, but unfortunately, after becoming troublesome, were removed. Bushpig may also be found in the reserve. Both would likely have formed part of the diet of the leopard.

Climate[edit]

Average yearly rainfall is 1,075 mm (42.3 in), based on records which date back to 1935. The rainy season is from the October to March summer months, while winters tend to be very dry.

Summer temperatures range from 18 to 32 degrees Celsius, with winter temperatures between 8 and 20 °C.

Botanical gardens[edit]

Private botanical gardens which were established by a well-known horticulturalist are now the gardens of a hotel known as the Makaranga Lodge after tall trees planted in the gardens. Visitors are able to arrange guided tours.

The golf course[edit]

The Kloof Country Club includes a highly rated 18-hole golf course, which was the only golf course outside of Durban for many years. The M13 highway runs parallel to it.

Places of interest[edit]

Kloof seen from the sky


Shopping[edit]

  • Delcairn Centre
  • Field's Shopping Centre
  • Maytime Shopping Centre
  • The Village Mall

Activity centres[edit]

The church building, dating from the 1950s, was built on a piece of land on the farm section 'Glenholm', owned by T. S. P. FIELD and donated by him to the Anglican Church.

Famous residents: past and present[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Kloof". Census 2011. 

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • The Highway Mail, 1 June 2011.
  • The Hilltop, 2 June 2011.
  • Independent Electoral Commission (South Africa), 9 June 2011.