Published:  2015-12-28 Views:  1298
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Harties Heritage/Erfenis
1918 Harties Dam Sales Agreement

The original 1918 Memorandum of Agreement between Hendrik Schoeman and the State is herewith included in full. Feel free to read the whole document - apologies for the poor quality. Please note Clause K) where the rights retained by Schoeman and his assigns are stipulated. It is repeated as follows for clarity sake:

Clause K: The said JOHANNES HENDRIK SCHOEMAN, in his individual capacity, or his ASSIGNS, shall retain the right of access to the said Hartbeespoort reservoir on certain three places to be mutually agreed by the parties - the said places being situated approximately as follows: a) near the South-Eastern entrance to Hartebeestpoort on the Eastern bank of the river, b) near the site of the old dam on the Crocodile River built by the now late General Schoeman, and c) at a suitable site in the Swartspruit Valley - for the purpose of boating on the said reservoir and fishng therein, provided that the said Schoeman or his assigns shall at all times be subject to all general regulations and restrictions that may be framed and at any time come into force in connection with the said reservoir and the use thereof by the public, provided that such regulations shall be of general application and that the said Schoeman or his Assigns shall not be prevented from reasonably using the said reservoir for the said purposes unless and until the water of the said reservoir may at any time be required for domestic purposes and the public are excluded from access to the reservoir when the rights hereby granted to the said Schoeman shall cease and determine until such time as such restrictons are withdrawn. 

It is important to read the above carefully, since the title deed holders in Schoemansville and Meerhof eventually became party to the exact same rights as described above. The three places of access mentioned are the modern positions of Schoemansville, Meerhof and Kosmos. 

The exact access rights above eventually became official with Notorial Agreement 99/1922 (object of a future article), which contained exactly the same wording. Interestingly, correspondence show that there was a difference in opinion whether this was a personal servitude (personal based and not transferable) or a praedial servitude (property based and transferable). Apart from incorporation of these access rights in the title deeds of the Schoemansville and Meerhof property owners, a section of property was in any case handed to Schoeman by means of the Crown Grant (see the past article). This property is currently where the Snake Park is located.

NOTE: The rights referred to above are rights of access to the dam only.