An aerial view of Voëlvlei Dam with the Groot Winterhoek Mountains in the foreground and the Atlantic Ocean in the distant background.
|Dam and spillways|
Voëlvlei Dam is situated in a large natural depression which collects water from the mountains located on the eastern side of the dam.
Since 1734 the farm on which Voëlvlei Dam is situated belonged to the Walters family, who were of German descent. The farms consist of farms 207, 200 and portion 1 of 252. The farms include the mountain and cut right through the middle of the dam. In 1948 the government of Dr. D.F. Malan, by a proclamation No 131 of 1947, expropriated the land and the farm for the Bergriver Irrigation Scheme. The state paid compensation to the Walters family in the amount of £44,000 and the Vogelvlei Quarries (Pty) Ltd which bought the remainder of Voëlvlei in 1946 for £48,000.
The Walters family never agreed to sell or ever signed a contract. The compensation was paid when the negotiations broke down between the State and the family. After the family were given six months to leave the farms they bought two farms right next to Voëlvlei Dam known today as Bosplaas.
Since 1950 till 2010 the Walters family had a long-standing dispute with the then Nationalist government. After South Africa became a democratic country in 1994 the son of the former owner of Voëlvlei instituted a land claim under the Land Restitution Act. A redress of past injustices regarding the expropriation of the farms was sought under the new Bill of Rights which is protected by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Since the land was expropriated in 1948 by the Union of South Africa the land was transferred into the name of the Republic of South Africa in 1961. It currently still belongs to the Republic of South Africa under Title deed 20006/1948.
- List of South African Dams from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (South Africa)
- Expropriation from the National Archives of South Africa
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