With the conception of the Vaalharts irrigation scheme in
December 1933, Warrenton was named as the capital of the scheme. Accommodation for staff
had to be found on the farm Andalusia, close to Hartswater. The town
council, however, was not happy with the decision of Warrenton being the capital
of the irrigation scheme.
By 1938 the scheme had progressed so far that the first experimental leaseholders could be placed. Jan Kempdorp was proclaimed a town in 1953 on the farm Andalusia, although its origins are a lot earlier.
The name Jan Kempdorp
was named after General Jan Kemp, the then minister of land affairs. When A. M. Conroy
took over as the minister
The Royal Navy chose Ganspan, now part of Jan Kempdorp, in 1942 for an ammunition depot for their naval vessels, because of easy access from there to any coast in South Africa, but also because it was too far for either German of Japanese bomber planes to reach as it is situated almost in the heart of South Africa.
After the war, the Union Defense Force opened an ammunition depot adjacent to the royal Naval depot, the latter being taken over by South Africa when the Royal Navy left in 1958. The combined ammunition depot is now "93 Ammunition Depot" of the South African Defense Force.
During World War II there were three Internment Camps in the region, one at Ganspan and two at Andalusia. Internees were mostly German speaking residents of South West Africa (now Namibia). At Andalusia at least 2, 000 internees lived in the camp and at least 30 lie buried in the local cemetery. 180 South African internees lived at Ganspan, and an escape tunnel is still in existence.
Nine of the internees
escaped through the tunnel that was dug by hand. It is said that digging
only took place while music was played
sent to the diggers in the tunnel with balloons tied to a rope. With the same rope sand was transported
back in buckets
to the music room where it was emptied under the wooden floor. The tunnel was 57 steps long and was ready on 11 October
Click here to advertise on