Our Heritage

Our history dates back to 1860, when Samuel Crookes, a wheelwright from Finningley in Yorkshire, England, arrived in Port Natal. Five years later he started farming sugar cane in Scottburgh and rapidly expanded his farming operations in the area.

In 1913, his sons – George, John and Joseph – incorporated Crookes Brothers to consolidate part of the family’s interests. In 1948, the company was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Built around the principles of independence, honesty and reliability, the business remains true to Samuel Crookes’ founding vision; while its longevity testifies to the dedication and professionalism of the family and employers who followed him.

With the focus on excellence, integrity and community support, the business continues to transform its fine heritage into a pioneering, successful and sustainable future.

Historical milestones
2014 Approval of EIA for Renishaw property development. Disposal of Quarrie estate. Purchase of High Noon farm. Planting of first 100 hectares of macadamias at Gurue, Mozambique. Successful transition at KwaCele Farming. Upgrading of 460 hectares of sugar cane, 50 hectares of deciduous fruit, and 60 hectares of bananas.
2013 RMD sold its 30.2% shareholding to Silverlands (SA) Plantations SARL, owned by the Silverlands Fund, which is managed by SilverStreet Capital
2012 Acquisition of the lease of 3 000 hectares of irrigable land for macadamia cultivation near Gurue in northern Mozambique
2011 Sale and leaseback of the Komati farms to the Department of Land Affairs
2010 Sale of the Cedars cane farm in the Scottburgh region. The Riversbend Estate near Eshowe leased to Tongaat Hulett Sugar. A 438 Ha cane Farm acquired in Zambia. Joint venture initiated with Kwacele community on the  Langespruit Estate. Acquisition of a sugar cane farm in the Mazabuka region of Zambia
2009 Sale of the Stanger and Cedars dryland farms and the establishment of the KwaCele Farming joint venture. Establishment of the Mthayiza Farming joint venture in Mpumalanga
2008 Purchase of the Vyeboom Boerdery deciduous fruit farm
2007 Sale of the Middelrug and Oskop grain farms in the Napier district. Purchase of the deciduous fruit farm Dennebos in the Vyeboom area of the Western Cape
2005 Severe drought in Mpumalanga devastates the Komati farms
2003 Purchase of the sugar cane farm Seekoegat, Komatipoort, Mpumalanga. Closing down of the citrus growing and packing operations in the Big Bend area of Swaziland
2002 Purchase of a grain farm adjoining existing farms in the Napier district, Western Cape. Purchase of the farms Nil Desperandum and Shalom in the Komatipoort area
2000 Distribution to shareholders of the remaining shares in CG Smith, valued at R42 million
1999 Purchase of Panorama farm, Napier district of the Western Cape. Cane and banana expansion at Nico’s Camp, Kamatipoort
1998 Purchase of cane and banana farm Nico’s Kamp, Komatipoort. Cane and banana expansion at Amanxala and Nico’s Kamp. Purchase of deciduous fruit farm Libertas, Western Cape
1997 Purchase of cane farm Taurus, Doornkop. Cane and banana expansion at Amanxala (161 hectares)
1996 Purchase of Middleburg and Oskop farms, Napier. Purchase of deciduous fruit farm Klein Lushoff, Western Cape
1995 Purchase of deciduous fruit farm Belleview, Western Cape
1993 Cane expansion at Amanxala, 276 hectares over a two-year period (1993/94, 1994/95)
1992 Acquisition of the first deciduous fruit farm in the Vyeboom area of the Western Cape
1990 Distribution to shareholders of CG Smith shares valued at R58 million
1990 Acquisition of: Etten Sugar & Citrus Estates, Nkwalini. Cane expansion at Bar J farms. Citrus expansion at Nkwalini and Swaziland
1989 Acquisition of farms in the Komatipoort area of the Mpumalanga province
1987 Acquisition of grain and sheep farms in the Napier/Bredasdorp district in the southern Cape
1986 Acquisition of Nyati Sugar Estates, Nkwalini
1985 Establishment of Crocworld, Scottburgh
1984 Cyclone Demoina and the consequent flooding of the Usuthu River devastates the Swaziland farms
1981 Acquisition of Bar J Ltd, Swaziland
1980 Acquisition of Riversbend Citrus & Sugar Estates, Nkwalini; Perseverance Sugar Company, Nkwalini; and Mount Albert Estates, Doornkop
1978 Acquisition of sugar cane farms in the vicinity of Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal
1975 Closure of the Renishaw mill in exchange for CG Smith shares
1961 Acquisition of Crookes Plantations Ltd, Swaziland
1957 Acquisition of Crookes Plantations sugar cane and citrus farms at Big Bend, Swaziland
1948 Crookes Brothers Limited lists on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
1929 Purchase of Isonti farm, adjoining Renishaw
1919 Formation of the South African Sugar Association
1917 Crookes Brothers acquires a significant shareholding in CG Smith Limited
1913 Crookes Brothers Limited is incorporated
1900 Construction of enlarged Renishaw Mill
1897 Railway line from Durban to Park Rynie is opened
1895 S Crookes & Sons partnership is formed
1866 Samuel Crookes establishes a sugar mill on Renishaw
1860 Samuel Crookes arrives in Port Natal