- Northern Cape
- Jan Kempdorp
The Harts River, one of the tributaries of the Vaal flows to join it through a valley much lower than that of the Vaal. This valley of the Harts is broad and commodious, with an excellent climate and deep alluvial soil.
The irrigation possibilities of the two valleys, separated by a high ridge, were apparent to the first settlers in the area. In 1881 Cecil Rhodes sent surveyors to plan an irrigation scheme on his usual vast scale, but nothing developed until 1933. In that year of the depression, the South African government decided to launch the scheme to provide much-needed employment.
The Vaal-Harts irrigation scheme became the second largest in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere. A storage adam was built in the Vaal River and this feeds water into a grand canal. The canal takes the water 120 km into the valley of the Harts, where it irrigates 1250 farms and 1550 small plots. Two substantial towns have been created as centres for this irrigation area - Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp.
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