Crocodile River Reserve – Press Release 3 May 2018

The Crocodile River Reserve reached a momentous milestone in November 2017 – the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) gave the official approval to proceed with proclamation of the area as a protected Nature Reserve.

This is a project long in the making – the news was received with great enthusiasm by the 127 landowners that have committed to conserve their properties in this area in perpetuity.  After many evaluation visits over the years by GDARD, they have confirmed the important biodiversity of the area, and the conservation imperative of the many rare species of flora and fauna.  An important visit by the Tshwane Mayoral Committee, Members of the Gauteng Legislature and a Member of Parliament took place in September 2017.  Our Councillor for Ward 48, Kingsley Wakelin, was instrumental in convening the meeting and visit by senior officials who were overwhelmed at the natural beauty and value of the area and unanimously agreed that it must be conserved.

The Reserve will initially form 5 clusters.  To the east and west it falls between the R512 and R511, to the north, up to the Schurveberg range, and south, to the Diepsloot Nature Reserve. Currently the Reserve comprises approximately 3500 hectares and the 5 year and 10 year plans to increase landowner participation will ultimately see the full consolidation of the area as a Nature Reserve.

The Crocodile River Reserve falls within the buffer zone of the UNESCO declared Magaliesberg Biosphere, and is adjacent to the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The agreements with GDARD and the landowners are underway and the Management Authority is now dedicated to the immediate goal of proclamation by Parliament and registration in South Africa’s listed Nature Reserves.

The exciting news of the Nature Reserve status does not come without challenges that surface almost every month.  Development applications continue to plague us and take considerable time and effort to oppose.  These should not even see the light of day given the status of the area, but they do.  Given the zoning of the area for nature conservation and low impact eco-tourism, as defined in the City of Tshwane’s Regional Spatial Development Framework recently presented, our Councillor for Ward 48, Kingsley Wakelin, has given his full support to opposing the applications.

A very encouraging part of the story of the Crocodile River Reserve is that, with protection under the National Environmental Management of Protected Areas Act (NEMPAA), by law no activities that damage the biodiversity of the Reserve will be considered or allowed.

Crocodile River Reserve – a biosphere stewardship project