Published on Friday, 26 March 2010 06:41
First of all, a very warm welcome to the new members:
* Cathy Sexton (Riverside Estates)
* Steve and Michelle Panos (Rhenosterspruit)
* Peter Nagel (Rhenosterspruit)
* Nick & Christina Hanks (Vlakfontein)
* Jakes & Lindsay Parsons (Hills and Dales)
* Carmen & John Maynard (Hills and Dales)
* Taco & Jeanne Voogt (Doornrandje)
* Simon & Mary Scott (Doornrandje)
* Mike and Michele Hlava (Roodekrans)
* Christine & Attila Woessner (Laezonia)
* Janine von Zeuner (Doornrandje)
* Robert Ridder (Roodekrans).
A special thank you to the van Olphens (DR) and Janet Webber and Werner Bergere (Hennops) for doubling their contributions! That was a real "riem onder die hart!"
We have sourced a new supplier for the membership boards and the new members will get theirs soon. Northern Farm feedback
The issue of Joburg Water (JW) deciding to get out of the farming operations on NF ("not their core business") is reverberating across the province - I even got responses from the Cape!
While wracking our brains, we decided to get in touch with some of the valuable contacts we've made over the past few years (those annual Official Tours are paying off!). We suggested to GDARD (Agriculture and Rural Development) that they consider taking over the farm - as agriculture IS their core business. Two officials responded immediately and came out to visit NF - one of them the Chief Director of Agriculture. Roger Wood gave them a brilliant synopsis of NF - the vast potential, the constraints put on them, the multi-purpose use of the farm etc, and then a tour of the farm.
Within a day they came back, saying the GDARD Head of Department, Dr Cornelius, wanted to meet with JW and Joburg Metro - could we please indicate who they should contact. Now we wait - maybe miracles are possible. Pompom - victories and flops
Niko Knigge and his small team have battled to treat Pompom in H&D and Doornrandje, with mixed results. The rains made work very difficult. Many people did their best on their own properties - despairing when neighbours' infestations simply blew over the fence.
Officials from the National Dept of Agriculture and the Chairman of the Gauteng Pompom Committee met with the RNC committee and indicated that they would be visiting the Conservancy to check where Pompom infestations occur, so that they could follow up with visits and where needed - warnings and fines. They have been out twice, driving around the Conservancy. On the one hand they were very impressed with the efforts (by some) and fairly acerbic about some of the badly neglected areas.
While that was a positive move from officialdom, another effort was a dismal failure. The Dept of Water Affairs (DWA) offered us a trained, equipped, paid team of 12 and we went into hallelujah mode - help at last. They arrived on Monday, managed to work for two hours (the driver, the team leader and one disabled person don't work) and collected three bags of Pompom heads - mainly stalks, actually. On Tuesday the performance was even more dismal (only half a bag of stalks) so we informed DWA that they could have the team back. So much for Government's work creation programmes...
Help offered: The 4x4 Club in Doornrandje has an Conservation Portfolio headed by Anton and Elmarie de Marillac. They asked how they could assist with projects in the RNC. We've suggested they start with pulling up a bad stand of Verbena opposite the Club. It's encouraging to be offered such support. Events:
* Saturday 13 March: Living Naturally Festival, hosted by the RNC and the Magaliesberg Biosphere at Alpha Conference Centre from 12:00 to 18:00. Vincent Carruthers will be there - talking about the Battle of Kalkheuvel. Award-winning Gilroy Beer will also be there! Come and support us! (More details in the last VeldTalk.)
* Friday 26 March: Quiz evening at Gilroys Brewery at Ngwenya Glass, off the R114 near Muldersdrift. Make up a table of 10. Tickets: R120 pp. RSVP Fransa Cole: 082 902 9149
* Sunday May 2: Scorpion Walk with Jonathan Leeming - details in VeldTalk later.
All the best!