Summary of Mhluzi
The town, situated 135 kilometers east of Pretoria, was established in 1864, in the mountainous country on the banks of the Klein Olifants River. It was named Middelburg, because it is situated half way between Pretoria and Lydenburg. It is a very busy point on the trunk road and railway line from Pretoria to Mpumalanga.
Vegetation in the north of the district is typical Transvaal Bosveld and cattle farming are the most important agricultural product. Tobacco, wheat and vegetables are also farmed in the district. The southern part has a High Veld climate and potatoes, mielies and wool are farmed there.
On the road to Groblersdal, 13 kilometers out of Mhluzi, is the perfectly preserved little stronghold of Fort Merensky, built in 1865 by Sotho tribesmen and their missionary the Rev Alexander Merensky. It was intended as a defence against raiding warriors of the Pedi- and Swazi Tribes. The nearby Ndebele settlement is now called Botshabelo Historical Town and forms part of the Botshabelo Nature Reserve, where one can find antelope and small game.
Meyer’s Bridge in Middelburg, dates from 1896 and is a national monument. There is a memorial church museum on the spot where 381 women and children died in a British concentration camp, during the Anglo-Boer War and Kruger Dam on the outskirts of Middelburg, on the banks of the Klein Olifants River is a popular resort
Today Mhluzi / Middelburg are an important commercial-, communications- and industrial centre. In the 1970’s a railway line was built to connect Broodsnyersplaas, 35 kilometers south of Middelburg to the line though Ermelo and Piet Retief, to Richards Bay, the important deep harbour on the north coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, so that coal and anthracite form the High Veld of Mpumalanga can be exported. This line now carries the longest and heaviest coal trains in the world.