“Who is buried under our lawn?” When Helge and Meryl Metzner of Hennops River decided to build a large water feature in their garden last October they were shocked to find a human skeleton buried just a metre under the surface of their lawn.
In 2009 Bathabile School in Doornrandje in the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy won R25 000 in prizes in the provincial MTK Awards for its magnificent vegetable gardens which enabled it to feed its 1 000-odd learners. In October 2011 it won a further prize as an MTK “Ambassador”. But, by that time the vegetable gardens were deserted because in July the entire school had been moved to a new prefab school in Olievenhoutbosch, from where most of the learners had been bussed before.
Local residents, who have been very supportive of the school and its activities for years, made every effort to find out what plans the Gauteng Department of Education had for the school, but to no avail. Several NGOs expressed interest in utilising the facilities but DoE remained silent.
You are invited to a workshop presented by Just Environmental Action (JEA):
What is Sustainable Development? How to balance development and environmental conservation?
Vincent Carruthers - author and environmental consultant
Prospero Bailey - developer of upmarket Monaghan Farm near Lanseria
Anne Steffny - Adviser to communities on Sustainable Urban Management
Barney Kgope - Directorate of Air Quality and Climate Change, City of Joburg Department of Environmental Management, on the city’s plans to advance climate change action.
Date: Satruday, 12 May
Time: 09:00 to 12:30
Venue: Sunset Boma, R55, Blue Hills
Cost: Non-members: R150, JEA members: R120, Pensioners: R100
“The River Cottage has been struck!”
Gauteng is known for its exceptionally high number of lighting strikes but for most of us it happens “elsewhere”. For Lise Essberger, owner of the award-winning Lethabo Estates in the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, it wasn't elsewhere. On 7 March lightning struck Lethabo's exquisite River Cottage and reduced it to smoking cinders within minutes. “It was utterly devastating to watch,” says Lise. “It was a such a peaceful, mild autumn afternoon, with scattered clouds in the sky - a real bolt from the blue.”
Frank Pritchard, one of the Conservancy's most eccentric and colourful residents passed away in February. He was 88 years old.
Frank's quirky sense of humour delighted or confused everyone he met. The buildings on his two properties in Riverside Estates did not conform to anybody's expectation of a “regular building”. The Snake House on the Vlakfontein Road, for instance, has no recognisable shape - just a crazy mosaic blaze of colour.
In the deep valley below is a slender six-storey tower, with accommodation units tucked into the various levels.
A while back Rael Levitt of Alliance Auctioneers - now in trouble over “fixed” auctions - stated on Radio 702 that only land that can be developed has value.
Really? So, “empty” land has no value? A growing number of South Africans believe otherwise.