14 June 2017 Read: 445
After the Anglo Boer War the number of white people in the northern Transvaal increased slightly until there were about 2 000 by 1910.
Most of the people in the Lowveld, lived around the farms of Schraalhans and Duivelskloof. There were about 140 families there, mainly farmers. The post office was at Duivelskloof. The reason for the name Duivel is lost to history but one likely explanation was that it was a devilish road for transport drivers on rainy and muddy days.
In 1912 the long awaited railway line from Komatipoort reached the Letaba River. The station was named Tzaneen. Then the railway line continued to a station that was named Modjadji in 1914. The town of Duivelskloof was proclaimed in 1919. In that year, the old world 20-roomed hotel, the Duivelskloof Hotel, later named Imp Inn, was built. The eye-catching red and white logo of an imp with his trident in his hand was created by Mrs Dawn Bowman of Tzaneen. Somewhere along the years Duivelskloof changed its name to Duiwelskloof and the town was renamed Modjadjiskloof in 2004.
The Duiwelskloof Hospital was opened in 1922 due to the prevalence of malaria, a deadly disease in those days. The hospital closed down a few years ago. Modjadjiskloof, in its day, was the hub of the agricultural world producing fine timber, vegetables and fruit. Today it totters on the brink of ruin due to poorly run services and no maintenance of infrastructure.
• Extracts are taken from Professor Louis Changuion’s unpublished manuscript on the town of Modjadjiskloof. The previous government tasked Professor Changuion with the historic narration of the town. However, before it could go to print, the new government took over and set other priorities for expenditure.