At the end of the Anglo-Boer War, a settlement for demobilized soldiers was established on fertile land on the farm Witrivier, meaning 'white river'.

A canal, 26 kilometers long, was built to channnel water from the Manzemhlope ('white water') River, and smallholdings of 40 hectares were offered on easy terms.

The holdings proved to be too small to be economic, and in 1914 a syndicate purchased the area, planted 60 000 citrus trees and soon had a viable agricultural industry.

Today more than 2 500 farmers live on smallholdings within 8 km of the town of White River, which developed to serve this densely cultivated area. Vegetables, sub-tropical and tropical fruits, flowers and timber are produced. 

The town's streets are shaded by flowering trees and among the beauty spots in the vicinity are irrigation dams, the forest and sites offering impressive views of the Crocodile River Valley.

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