After the failed Jameson raid of 1896, L Grunberg, a former French artillery officer, recommended to the government of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek that Pretoria should be fortified.
His recommendation was taken to heart, especially since a map with all the ZAR’s access routes, railway connections and defensive positions 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 supervise the construction: Cmdt. Gen. PJ Joubert, Lt. Col. HPN Pretorius, Capt. PE Erasmus, Capt. FJ Wolmarans, Lt. PC Paff and city engineer E Lutz.