On Friday, November 11, members of the Mavungeni Communal Property Association ( CPA ) met to discuss how to revive and preserve the historic Fort Edward, which they believe should be a provincial heritage site, close to Vleifontein.
During the Anglo-Boer War, the Bushveld Carbineers attacked the Boer Commandos from Fort Edward, under the command of Breaker Morant. In order to seize control of the area and quell any remaining Boer resistance, the Bushveld Carbineers—later known as the Pietersburg Light Horse Unit—were sent to the then-Northern Transvaal in 1902.
Fort Edward briefly served as a prison after the war. The South African Constabulary used the fort’s location in 1909, which prompted the decision to alienate the land. There were several buildings built, including a jail and stables. The steel fort was moved to its current location in town after being donated to the Louis Trichardt Municipality in 1969.
Locals raised concerns about encroachments by some locals who had started building homes on the historic site that once housed the steel fort during last Friday’s meeting. Some suggested moving Fort Hendrina, as it is now known, back to Mavungeni from its current location in Louis Trichardt, next to the municipal library.
As the discussions went on, CPA members emphasized how each community must work together to protect and preserve the historic site, which has recently experienced significant vandalism.
The Mavungeni CPA’s chairman, Mr. Samuel Shirinda, praised the gathering for its success and emphasized the need for the neighborhood to band together to reclaim its history and take care of it. He observed that the location, which had once served as a historical landmark, had deteriorated. In addition to educating people about the site’s historical significance, the community sought to decide what should be done to preserve and develop the area.
The Zoutpansberg Skirmishes Route’s Mr. Charles Leach, an international author and historian, emphasized how crucial it is to preserve the heritage sites ‘ past for future generations. He emphasized the site’s potential to draw visitors from other nations and urged locals to protect it. To chart the future for the site’s preservation and development, additional stakeholder meetings are scheduled.