The Crocodile River Reserve in Centurion is finally declared a protected nature reserve by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

More than 3 000 hectares of pristine land in Tshwane form the core of this reserve, lying between the Schurveberg Mountain in the north and Renosterskop in the north-west.

This declaration by the department marks the end of a 40-year process by about 100 local landowners to give it protected status.

“The residents of Laezonia and Schurveberg have been fighting for this for many years,” said local ward councillor Kingsley Wakelin.

Wakelin said the new status would go a long way in ensuring the development was properly controlled in the area.

“Because it is now officially a green area, the reserve can be protected in terms of what kinds of development takes place.

“This will stop the urban creep that has been threatening the area for some years now.”