“What on earth is wrong with the Jukskei?” Ed Visser, general manager of Monaghan Farm near Lanseria Airport, was worried. “The water was dark, almost black, and stank,” he said. This, one of Gauteng’s main rivers, winds for several kilometres through Monaghan and the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy.
In the September VeldTalk Willem Snyman of Hennops River queried why Karee trees were dying over a large area in his part of the world. He asked whether a plant specialist could throw light on the situation. Other residents mentioned the strange absence of the copious clusters of berries which usually appear after winter.
Maturing Karee berries. The berries are edible, with a tart flavour.
Three years ago Doornrandje resident, Mercia Komen, started work on the concept of getting a Nature Reserve proclaimed for a large area in the north-western corner of Gauteng and adjoining North-West Province. This included the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, Kalkheuvel and a part of the Cradle of Humankind.
At that time the prospects seemed dim. But, the hard work of Mercia and her team, all local residents, is beginning to pay off.
VeldTalk received an interesting note from a reader in Sweden. Gunnar Söderlund from Lundby Gård near Stockholm writes:
“I went to listen to a man who has invented a disposable toilet, aptly called Peepoo. Anders Wilhelmson, a Swedish professor in architecture, met a poor woman in India who told him: ‘We don't need an architect - we need toilets’. That set him thinking.”
As the sewage flow into one of Gauteng’s premier rivers, the Jukskei, continued, Dr Richard Lewis, Chairman of the Board, WESSA, also hit out in frustration. “We are facing a potential water crisis of note in this country,” he said at the 2012 BSi Steel/WESSA Vaal Canoe Marathon on 4 November.
At last - two major solar power projects for South Africa. Called Khi Solar and KaXu Solar One, the two will deliver 50MW and 100 MW respectively. Construction has started near Upington and Pofadder in the Northern Cape and the two projects, costing R11.4-billion, will be completed in 2016. A Spanish group, Abengoa, got the contract.