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This is confirmed by van Vollenhoven and van der Bos in their research report where they state “in gebiede soos die Rand, wat grootliks stedelik van aard is en dus aan grootskaalse ontwikkeling blootgestel, is relatief min oorblyfsels van blokhuise opgespoor”.16 (Translation: In areas like the Rand that are mainly urbanised and subject to large-scale development, very little evidence of blockhouses have been found).

Records found in the National Archives Depot in Pretoria indicate that Rattray had two farms, namely Klipfontein 497 and an adjoining portion of the farm Driefontein, No. 64. In a letter penned to the Secretary of Native Affairs in 1910, Rattray complained about ‘hardship’ he was suffering regarding the movement of his Black employees between the t w o f a r m s a s K l i p f o n t e i n , b y s p e c i a l p r o c l a m a t i o n , w a s d e c l a r e d t o b e i n t h e m i n i n g labour area. Driefontein was excluded from this proclamation. 1 7

This meant that every time Rattray wanted to move his Black employees from Driefontein to Klipfontein he had to obtain a pass for that employee even if he required his services for only a few days or weeks. Rattray had been fined one pound for breaking t h e l a w a n d r e q u e s t e d t h a t K l i p f o n t e i n b e d e p r o c l a i m e d f r o m t h e m i n i n g l a b o u r a r e a . I t could not be established whether Rattray was successful in his request. 1 8

The above suggests that mining activities were impacting on areas like Craighall and Craighall Park hence the proclamation under which Klipfontein fell. It is possible that the proclamation may have covered a large part of Johannesburg as mining spread across the Witwatersrand.

Related to this are the large blue gum or eucalyptus trees found on the ridge. It is said that the trees are over 80 years old. It should be mentioned that the eucalyptus trees are recognised as a living heritage that bears witness both to the mining industry, which c o u l d n o t s u r v i v e w i t h o u t t i m b e r a n d t h e e f f o r t s o f r e s i d e n t s t o s o f t e n t h e u n d u l a t i n g grasslands and harsh mining environment. 1 9

Eucalyptus trees are well suited to the highveld as they grew fast and local plantations soon began to resemble forest. Eucalyptus trees are found everywhere on the W i t w a t e r s r a n d a n d e s p e c i a l l y o n m i n i n g l a n d . T o d a y , t h e C i t y o f J o h a n n e s b u r g i s s a i d t o be the largest man-made forest on earth because of the extensive planting of trees. 2 0

Not only did Rattray farm his land, but he also dammed the Braamfontein Spruit to make the Craighall Lake and in 1905 the first advertisement appeared for the Craighall Park Hotel that referred to the hotel as an ideal recreational spot for city dwellers. At that time Craighall was about an hour’s drive from the city centre.

17 18 19 20 16 Manuscript C248. ‘n Eerste Fase Ondersoek na Britse Blokhuis-stelsel van die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) in the Transavaal, p 104 National Archives Depot, SNA, No. 468, ref. 1906 Ibid One History: Auckland Park Kingsway Campust, University of Johannesburg pamphlet Ibid.


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