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On 2nd April 1760, the farmer Louis Nel received the Groenfontein farm as a loan from the South African government. Subsequently, the eldest J.P. Nel(1749-1814) inherited the running of the farm. His great grandchildren included General J.H. De la Rey from the Western Transvaal, president M.T. Steyn of the Orange Free State, and General Louis Botha, prime minister of the Union of South Africa.
Upon their death it was deemed that the wooden mill, brandy still and ploughing equipment should be left to their eldest sons.

The farm produce, additionally including raisins and brandy were transported originally by oxwagon into the countries interior, until the introduction of co-operative marketing.

High production costs and changes in farming legislation have been responsible for a decline in farming activity.
The Groenfontein Farm is still, to this day owned by the Nel family, who farm ostriches, cattle and tobacco.
Roll-tabocco, a form of chewable tobacco used by locals, was still produced up to 30 years ago.

Flowing through the farmland is the Nels river.
The water is subdivided by C.J. Langenhoven, writer of the original South African national anthem.
Water extracted fron the Nels river is of extremely high quality, and thus qualifies for bottling. To ensure this continued classification, several kilometres of furrows need regular maintenance.
The farmland is situated in a valley of outstanding natural beauty, a big tourist attraction for people wishing to escape the confines of city life.