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Published:  2016-07-18 Views:  1061
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Harties Heritage/Erfenis
Popper Se Klipdam Gebou Deur Italiaanse Krygsgevangenes

HOEV: OPNAME VAN BESIENSWAARDIGHEDE Nr 042

HEHA: SURVEY OF HERITAGE SITES No 042

 

KLIPDAMWAL (POPPER)

DATUM 1938 - 1945

SAEA BESKERMING (60jr) ja

VERKLAAR nee. GELYS nee

GPS data:X 27.54.50 Y –25.45.42

RIETFONTEIN JQ485 JQ, GED 63

PAD: Draai wes uit K27 (R511) op Saartjiesnek tussen kruiskoppie en treinspoor. Dit is die ou grondpad oor Saartjiesnek na Meerhof. Alternatief: uit toegangspad na Meerhof draai uit na links.

EIENAAR / KONTAKPERSOON: Derick Erasmus 

 

Johan Schoeman het in 1938 feitlik al sy belange in Meerhof, insluitend sy ronde huis (044), aan ‘n dr O Popper verkoop (045). Johan Schoeman het nie veel van die Popper gehou nie veral omdat hy hom as ‘n “primitiewe vuil boer” in ‘n koerantberig beswadder het.

 

Popper was nie ‘n boer nie maar, soos die Schoemans gesê het ‘n “tjekboekboer”. Hy het dus sy stempel op die omgewing met geld en gepaardgaande bedrywighede afgedruk. In die jare 1938 tot 1945 was daar baie Italiaanse krygsgevangenes in Suid-Afrika. Baie van hulle was goeie klipkappers, bouers en ander vakmanne. Die mense kon jy, as jy goeie betrekkinge met die regering gehad het, teen redelik goedkoop huur. Popper, wat die regering se oorlogpoging gesteun het, het die nodige goeie betrekkinge gehad en het dus talle Italiaanse krygsgevangenes in diens geneem. Hulle het sy kliphuis en ook ‘n groot klipdam in ‘n kloof teen die berg van Meerhof gebou.

 

Die dam het nooit water gehou nie want in die lopie kom daar nie veel water af nie en die wat afkom sak in die sanderige grond of in die splete van die kwartzietrots weg en onder die damwal deur. Die wal is dramaties indrukwekkend en netjies gebou. Dit moes onder normale omstandighede heelwat gekos het.

 

 

 

 

STONE DAM WALL

DATE 1938 - 1945

SAHRA PROTECTION (60yr) yes

DECLARED MONUMENT: no. LISTED: no

GPS data: X 27.54.50 Y –25.45.42

RIETFONTEIN JQ485 JQ, GPORTION 63

ROAD: Turn-off left off access road to Meerhof.

OWNER / CONTACT PERSON: Derick Erasmus 

 

 

In 1938 Johan Schoeman sold practically all his interests in Meerhof, including his round house (044), to Dr O. Popper (045).  Johan Schoeman did not care much for Popper, mostly because Popper had referred to him as "a primitive, dirty farmer" in a newspaper.

 

Popper wasn't a farmer, but what the Schoemans called a "chequebook farmer".  His money enabled him to have an impact on the area. From 1938 to 1945 there were quite a number of Italian prisoners of war in South Africa, including excellent stone masons, builders and other craftsmen. For those in favour with the government they were a source of cheap labour. Being a supporter of the government's war effort, Popper was able to employ a large number of them. They built him a stone house and a sizable stone dam in a valley above Meerhof.

 

The dam never held any water because very little ever flows down the valley. If it does it soon seeps into the sandy soil, through cracks in the quartzite or under the dam wall. The dam was built neatly and looks quite impressive. If it weren't for the war it would have been a costly undertaking. It still has potential. Maybe someone will convert it to an amphitheater, who knows?

 


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