Information for the RNC

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This biodiversity stewardship project aims to provide formal conservation protection for the area of the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, and beyond. 

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More for your land - Stewardship opens the door

Biodiversity Stewardship in the Conservancy  -  what's it about?

 

What would you have to do, to –

  1. Secure your chosen rural lifestyle
  2. Increase the value of your land
  3. Leave a legacy on your land?

Less than you may think!

We all own a part of land in an area that is regarded as environmentally sensitive, important or irreplaceable.  It is:[1]

  1. Traversed by three rivers, perennial streams, umpteen wetlands and about 20 seeps, where no development may take place within a 50m to 100m buffer
  2. Home to several red-listed species[2], also resulting in a buffer against development (up to 500m buffers may apply)
  3. Part of a critically-threatened ecosystem of mountain bushveld in the northern parts[3]
  4. Part of a critically- threatened ecosystem of “Egoli Granite Grassland” (EGG) in the southern areas)[4]
  5. Flanked by an endangered ecosystem to our West[5]
  6. Designated by City of Pretoria as a “Natural Area” set aside as important for conservation and related activities
  7. Within the buffer of and flanked by the Cradle of Humankind[6]World Heritage Site
  8. Largely a no-go area for development, or where very high development constraints apply.  These constraints emerge from three Environmental Management Frameworks.
  9. Not suitable for division of land;  the local authority (Pretoria) discourages and restricts divisions.

For many years this gem-of-a-place has been defended at great cost by the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy.  As admirable as those efforts have been, the Conservancy is only a voluntary association; it can claim no legally-binding conservation status.

Now, a recent initiative in Doornrandje has opened up promising new possibilities.

The Gauteng Provincial Government became custodian of a portion of land in the Egoli Granite Grassland zone in Doornrandje.  This land was paid for by a developer as part of an “offset” in exchange for getting approval for destroying EGG land in a Midrand development. The Doornrandje portion demands formal protection, yet is too small, too long and thin, to be a viable Nature Reserve on its own.

This has fast-tracked further conservation efforts in the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy which has been chosen as one of seven pilot sites for implementing the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme in Gauteng.

This is a programme for private landowners to join in structured conservation initiatives.

There are four tiers within this Stewardship Programme, each with its own benefits and conservation approaches. These options are explained here.

Why is formal conservation desirable?

The pressure of expanding metropolitan areas and four different local authorities (Pretoria, Johannesburg, Mogale, Madibeng) tend to allow inappropriate exploitation of the natural attraction of this area  This can translate into one owner benefiting and neighbours bearing the consequence.   With the Stewardship Programme, land-use will be fixed.  Studies show that certainty – and conservation value being recognised and fixed  –  will result in land value increasing.

Who is affected?

The Stewardship Programme will impact on everyone in the area.  As this rural community and individual land owners decide on the level of conservation desired, the outcome will shape the whole area for generations to come.  Some of the options are proclaimed in perpetuity.  It is therefore important that you understand your choices.


What is the first step?

This is to sign a consent form for officials to conduct a biodiversity assessment on your land.  Such an assessment is to find out whether a property has biodiversity value.  Signing this form does NOT imply you have decided on any Stewardship option – it only indicates your permission to proceed with an assessment of the conservation value of your land.  Obtain the form from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible.

 

On completing the form:

Property type - This refers to whether the property is a portion, erf, whole farm or of an agricultural holding.

Registration Division - This refers to the alpha letter included in the farm (area) name e.g. JQ  (see below)

Portion Number - e.g. 29  (your own number – NOT yellow/black board)

Farm Name - e.g. Doornrandje

Farm Number - e.g.  386 JQ

Surveyor -General Key - this will be obtained through the Surveyor-General (in time)

Unique BS Number -GDARD's reference which will be allocated

Farm names and Farm numbers:

Rietfontein 532 JQ

Roodekrans 492 JQ

Hennops River 489 JQ

Schurveberg 488 JQ

Doornrandje 386 JR

Vlakfontein 494 JQ

Rhenosterspruit 495 JQ

Riverside Estates  497 JQ

Kalkheuvel 493 JQ

Simonsview 490 JQ



[1] Categories defined and named in the Provincial Conservation Plan (C-Plan) which determines where development or change of land use may be granted with greater or lesser restriction on activity, footprint and density.

[2] Red or orange listings refer to flora or fauna species which are threatened with extinctions.  There are classifications of threats which trigger different levels of protection.

[3] Witwatersberg Pretoria Mountain Bushveld (as defined and identified by SANBI)

[4] Egoli Granite Grassland, endemic to Gauteng and largely transformed across the province

[5] Witwatersberg Skeerpoort Mountain Bushveld (as defined and identified by SANBI)

[6] As proposed in an Environmental Management Framework in its final stages before the buffer is gazetted