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northern farms under threat


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this one of only a few safe places to ride for families.

a friend forwarded this email to me. the public has till the 18th of march to respond...!



The future of Northern

Farm, bordering the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, hangs in the balance.

Joburg Water has given notice that all farming activities must be terminated

within the next few months. That involves selling the 2 000-strong herd of

Bovelder cattle, all the farm equipment, including nine centre pivots and other

irrigation systems which presently irrigate 350 hectares of grazing, mealies and

other crops. Some 70 contract staff are being laid off.

The reason given is that

farming is not part of Joburg Water's core business. Joburg Municipality is

touted to take over but it is unclear how Northern Farm will be utilised in

future. About 20 megalitres of water from Northern Works' sewage treatment plant

are presently circulated through the farm's dams before flowing into the Jukskei

River. A major issue is what happens to these dams, wetlands, water courses and

extensive irrigation systems through which this water flows, without regular


Notice has also been posted

for an application to deproclaim the Diepsloot Nature Reserve which was

proclaimed in 1960. This nature reserve includes both Northern Farm and Northern

Works, on both sides of the R114 and the N14. There is also an application for a

major housing development south of the N14 highway. The public has until March

18 to put in comments on both these applications. Send comments to Samantha Bush

of Nemai Consulting: samanthab@nemai.co.za. Ask to be

registered as an Interested & Affected Party (I&AP) to ensure you are

kept updated.

Apart from agriculture the

farm's open spaces and trails are enjoyed over weekends by thousands of mountain

bikers, birdwatchers, hikers and horse riders. About 300 birds have been

identified on the reserve which is part of SA Birdlife's birding route. A full

Olympic standard equestrian course is used for annual shows.


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