At the 2007 Annual General Meeting of the Conservancy the question of becoming a Nature Reserve was raised. A proclaimed Nature Reserve falls under the South African environmental legislation and therefore a legal entity with much stronger powers to protect than the Conservancy.
At the meeting a very dedicated landowner committed to conservation, Mercia Komen, decided to take on, as a personal project, the challenge of exploring the feasibility of Nature Reserve status. She identified certain legislation regarding National Biodiversity and the opportunity to establish Stewardship Programmes as public/private partnerships.
This would take us in the right direction on the road to getting Nature Reserve status.
In 2009 “offset” land consisting of several portions in the Doornrandje farm (known by residents as the Egoli Granite Grassland – EGG) were purchased by developers specifically for the purpose of conservation as offsets of a large tract of land in Kyalami where the biodiversity would be completely destroyed by a large housing development. Having this asset in the area, fully protected in the Title, gave an opportunity to present the area as well worthy of consideration for a stewardship programme.
In November 2011, the Grassland Stewardship Alliance, a registered Not for Profit Organisation (NPO), was born.
After a great deal of hard work and determination, in November 2017, the Grassland Stewardship Alliance (GSA) was granted approval by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) to proceed with an application for Nature Reserve status. This followed a period of 3 years of rigorous assessments by the GDARD scientific teams. An intense period of negotiations with the Stewardship Officers of the GDARD, led the Crocodile River Reserve to be declared as a Protected Area on 2 October 2019.
Our human history in and around the Reserve is just as remarkable as the journey to the establishment of a Nature Reserve. The discovery of man-made tools proves our existence goes back as far as the early stone age (2.5 Million years ago), moves on to the Middle and Late Stone age and then the early and late iron age (1300 – 1500AD). It boasts the passing through of important historical characters such as Mzilikazi with the Khumalo tribe fleeing the wrath of Shaka Zulu, and critical events that shaped the entire history of our Country like the Anglo Boer War (Battle of Kalkheuwel June 1900), the discovery of gold, and the apartheid era (Daisy Farm). The environmental legislation that has been promulgated since 1994 has given the platform for protection of critical biodiverse areas such as the Crocodile River Reserve.