WATERFALL – A Brief History.

Records in the Deeds Office reflect that a farm of over 6000 acres was granted to Gerrit P. Kemp in1851, which was named apparently by him, as Langefontein. So for those who like to be toffee nosed Waterfall could claim that its beginnings date back to 1851:

Several subdivisions of Langefontein occurred resulting in the last portion, furthest from Hillcrest, or rather Albinia, ‘there being no Hillcrest in those days, being known as Upper End of Langefontein, or Upper Langefontein, and this is the area in which our Waterfall of today lies.

At the turn of the century most of the land was farmed by the Dinkelman family. Mr. Willem Heinrich Dinkelman one of the brothers
contracted a Mr. Bloem to build a four bedroomed home for himself and his family. The contract price for this house in 1902 was 45 Pounds! (This is the house where Obby Organ now lives, and was known in those days as “Ivy Green”). Mr. Dinkelman was a transport rider to Barberton.

According to the book “Pioneers Progress” Mr. D. Freddie Dinkelmannof Langefontein held the distiction of being Hill Crester No 1. in the sense that he was the oldest European born in the locality after the village was established.

At this time there was a narrow gauge railway which was used for the transportation of wattle bark and gum logs to the charcoal mill at Hilicrest.

By 1900 Waterfall could boast having two stores, one run by Ada Christian (of Christians in Hillcrest fame) and the other owned by Mr. Essop Bobat and situated where the Assembly Church is on the corner of the Walk and Inanada Road. (The “new” Essop stores, built in approximately 1930 was built higher up).

The Dinkelmans were responsible for getting electricty laid on in the neighbourhood, as well as commissioning the building of the Inanda Road. At one stage there were moves to have the road re named Dinkelman Highway.

The first Butchery was started by Vivian Dinkleman, grandson of Willem in the building that now houses Associated Real Estate. Vivian was quite a character, and for a time owned a pet Lion cub. This was later sent to the Zoo at Lourenco Marques. People came from far and wide to buy his meat.  (Mr. Des Bennett, later took over the butchery and there­after the Spar Foodliner, which incorporated the butchery.)

The nearest school in 1910 was in Hillcrest, in fact where the Hillcrest hospital now stands and was called “Redcliff” and run by a Mrs Baker. This school was closed in 1915 and students from Waterfall then attended Highbury School.      The nearest doctor was in Pinetown and house calls
were probably made on horse back.

Between 1959 and 1967 the Hillcrest Estate Agency formally developed the township of Crestholme which was mentioned in the Daily News 1971 Supplement : “Place names of Natal and Zululand” with the comment: Back in 1944 there were high hopes that the new Crestholme Township lying on the edge of the Valley of a Thousand Hills between the Umgeni River and Kloof might one day become a second Durban North.  Waterfall and Crestholme amalgamated in 1987.

In the 60’s most of the area was divided into small holdings with several poultry farms and livery stables.


George Rowles, developer of Waterfall Township and shopping centre. (Courtesy ‘Lest we Forget’.)

In about 1959 George Rowles acquired a portion of the Waterfall Farm and ran a prime herd of dairy cows. In 1967 he sold his dairy herd and began to develop Waterfall as a residential area with a shopping complex. The first flats built in Waterfall were above the shopping complex which housed a Supermarket, Tea Room, Hardware shop and a Hairdresser.  It later also housed a Pharmacy. The first post office was inside the Supermarket as was the first Building Society. The new shopping centre was completed in 1986.

Forest View Primary School was started in 1973 with approximately 100 pupils, and the Waterfall Library was started in 1976.

The Development and Services Board took control of Waterfall on the 2nd January 1970 and Crestholme on 1st April 1971. Prior to that boht areas were run as a Health Committee. The First Advisory Committee for Waterfall was : E.F. Barrett (Chairman) W.J. Barnsley, M.H.E. Frost G.T.Murray and G.H. Rowles.  In 1971 G.H. Rowles became Chairman, followed by E.F. Barrett in 1973, thereafter G.T. Murray in 1977, D.B. Lawrence in1979 and R.H. de Boer in 1987.


Notes: Compiled by Mrs C.B. Pieters — Waterfall Library 22nd March 1990

In terms of the Government Gazette Vol:657 Dated 26 March 2020 No 43164 - Information regarding COVID19 can be found at HERE