50|50 Episode 11 – 20 August 2012

Swartkops in Distress

Swartkops Estuary, a once thriving river-meets-the-sea system that bustled with birdlife, fish, waders and aquatic plants, is now riddled with an equally stink-rich suite of ecological problems. Chemical spills, sewerage overflows, pollution and illegal gill netting are a threat to both the ecosystem and the residents who fish, row, swim or picnic in the area. The once popular Redhouse Mile swimming race has been cancelled on account of toxic water. The twice daily ebb and flow of the tides are the only saving grace that flushes out some of the filth only to see it pollute the sea. Environmental activist, Jenny Rump, has been working tirelessly for 25 years to save this estuary. Together with the Swartkops Trust, Jenny has brought about some positive change. We look at where the pollution comes from. We also take a look at the subsistence bait-collector’s programme, is this truly poverty relief or merely ecological vandalism? What can be done to protect this slice of our natural heritage?


Caves (part 2)

This week Bonne takes a look at another underground wonder inNamibia. Bonne’s guides are local experts Nico Scholtz (adventure caver and geologist) and entomologist, John Irish. Not many of the Namibian caves are open to the public for exploration and in the case of “Pofadder”, years of stalactite and stalagmite development has gone unnoticed and uninterrupted resulting in a breathtaking wonderland.PofadderCaveis marked by a huge tree at the entrance and its thick roots down below resemble snakes in the dappled light of a headlamp giving the cave its name. The cave is relatively shallow so the roots of trees and other life persist there. Isolated chambers are ideal for unusual insect discoveries and bat populations are part of this unique ecosystem. Bonne gets herself into some tight situations…

Eco-Ondersoek – Township Dogs

Throughout his life, Christopher Mabe has seen and grown-up with the tragedies common to township dogs. While some are abused, others fight and are seriously injured. Ticks, fleas and other diseases are common afflictions of these dogs, never mind the lack of basic vaccinations and sterilizations that dogs require. Far too often, people do not care or do not have the money to treat their animals adequately. Early in life, Chris discovered his love for animals and the blatant animal rights violations inspired him to quit his job and dedicate his life to caring for township dogs. In his self-funded ‘veterinary’ clinic, he dips dogs for fleas, cares for them and delivers food to destitute animals. We spend a day-in-the-life-of a true eco-hero. With more people like him, a difference can be made. “It is not a pretty sight” Chris admits, “but someone has to do this job”.



In tonight’s action packed episode of VeldFokus we have a look at some fighting lions, a grumpy hippo and a beached turtle.


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