50|50 Episode 17 – 1 Oct 2012

Mining the Majestic Magaliesberg

The Magaliesburg has always been a breathe of fresh air just far enough out of the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, brilliant for a weekend away and home to countless country-loving people. The beautiful landscape is also home to many fragile ecosystems and to the World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind. And all this is being threatened for a shiny mineral. Several prospecting applications for gold and nickel mining in the Magaliesberg have been submitted to the DMR in quick succession, even within the borders of the Cradle of Humankind. In some cases, landowners and other affected parties have not been notified in good time…and they’re not happy about this If mining applications are approved, the once haven for red data list species will become a maize of dusty roads and mine shafts. Furthermore, large companies are apparently threatening individuals with costly court cases if they speak out against the potential mining threat. For prospecting samples to be collected, the permission of landowners is required but this has not been the case and gaping holes bear testament to where rocks have been chipped away on private property, unauthorized. The quiet surrounds of the Magaliesberg  look to become the spoils in another battle of environment vs. mining.

HELP! There’s a Dassie in my Garden!

Who wouldn’t want to live on or around a nature reserve? You enjoy the gentle rustle of nature, instead of the screech of traffic; you have beautiful birds visiting your garden not to mention cleaner air than in the CBD. But what happens when some of the wild residents start to find the benefit is in fact in living next to you and not the other way around? And when they move in and destroy your garden, then what do you do? This is problem faced by manyJohannesburgresidents when it comes to dassies or rock hyrax. The numbers of dassies have skyrocketed with the exclusion of their natural predators in urban reserves and the overflow spills on our lawns. With less and less land, the dassies wander out of reserves to nibble on flowerbeds. The City has determined to cull these “pests” but is it fair to kill the creatures that are the consequence of our encroachment on their habitat. Bonne has look at some of the unique challenges faced by both resident and dassie.


Eko-Ondersoek: Sewerage Alert!

One of our viewers has been keeping her eyes peeled for suspicious environmental activity… but it was her nose that lead her to the problem. In the outskirts ofJohannesburg, a sewage company was caught on camera with sewerage spilling into the Blesbokspruit. Untreated sewerage is a health risk and this time, it’s killed the surrounding birdlife. It could possibly pollute a nearby borehole too, never mind the great stink for nearby residents. Linda Erasmus has been from department to department to try to solve this problem… The Eko-Ondersoek team give her hand.


Fabulous VeldFokus


In VeldFokus this week, we see some wriggling reptiles catching fish, an owl gets the better of a mole and a fast and furious hornbill has a risky breakfast.


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