In 1940 it was agreed that du Toit's Kloof would be the path the N1 should take to the North. Until then the route of the Great North Road was via Ceres and Sutherland.
It was only in 1936, with the first 5 year National Road plan, that it was accepted that focus should move from the Ceres route to an alternate one via Worcester. Consensus that the road should go through du Toit's Kloof and not Bain's Kloof was only reached in 1940, and by then most engineers and experienced road builders had volunteered for the war effort. Work was started in 1941 using some of the thousands of Italian Prisoners of War transferred to South Africa.
Between 400 and 500 POWs were sent to the area and worked on the project until repatriation at the end of the war in 1945. Local labour took over after repatriation.
A tunnel through the nose of the Kleygat sorted out the problem of how to round this feature/obstacle. It is 222m long.
The pass was opened in 1949. The Huguenot Tunnel was opened in 1988 and the dual carriageway upgrades on the Worcester side were completed in 1997.
By using the Huguenot Tunnel, one is excluded from witnessing the beauty of the surrounding area. Take the time to travel the Pass, take in the beauty of the Paarl Valley from the top of the Pass. Stop at one of the many viewing sites and lap up the splendour of the valley, its multitude of vineyards and the many dams which add character to the scenery.
Take in the beauty and rugged attraction of the mountains as you look up and see the ravines and cliffs, forged over millions of years. Or when at the peak of the Pass, look down into the deep gorges and valleys.
Stop and buy some Proteas from the farm stall at the top of the Pass, and enjoy the view while doing so.
Even from the approach roads below, the rugged beauty of the cliffs and gorges is something to behold, especially during the winter when the range is snowcapped and teeming with gushing waterfalls, which feed the Molenaars River. The pace and fury of this river in full flow stirs.
Enjoy some trout fishing at the du Toits Kloof Hotel and marvel at the lush green vineyards as one finally exits the approach roads to meet the farms of Rawsonville.