After the failed Jameson invasion of 1896, L Grunberg, a former French artillery officer, recommended to the government of the South African Republic that Pretoria be fortified.
His recommendation was taken to heart, especially as a map with all the ZAR’s access routes, rail links and defences was found in the possession of a British officer. Grunberg was responsible for the planning and construction of Fort Daspoortrand, and two German engineers, OA von Dewitz and HC Werner, drew up the plans for three other forts, namely Fort Schanskop, Fort Klapperkop and Fort Wonderboompoort.
State President SJP Kruger approved the plans on 16 March 1896, and a commission was appointed to oversee the construction: Cmdt. Gen. PJ Joubert, Lt. Col. HPN Pretorius, Capt. PE Erasmus, Capt. FJ Wolmarans, Lt. PC Paff and city engineer E Lutz.