Why be part of it?

Putting your land into the protected area of the Crocodile River Reserve (CRR) is a personal decision. It’s like an investment in Nature Capital. The land is protected in perpetuity under the environmental laws, (NEM:PAA) and the constitution of the Grassland Stewardship Alliance (GSA). The land benefits as the existing biodiversity is protected and damaged areas are rehabilitated. For doing this, financial support is available in the form of tax offsets and rates rebates. Be part of it!

We need to ask ourselves the question: How would we like to be remembered? As the generation that had the courage and foresight to leave behind for our children, and our children’s children, a natural world that can support their needs and the wherewithal to respectfully continue to care for it? Or the generation that selfishly took from our natural environment whatever we desired, gave nothing back in return, and in so doing left those that came after us with insurmountable challenges?

Go to https://www.sagoodnews.co.za/south-africas-30×30-now-campaign-launches/ to find out about the 30X30 NOW initiative – a call for action!

I’m already restricted in what I am allowed to do with my land, why would I want to become part of the Protected Area?

The City of Tshwane by-laws make up the bulk of the restrictions on what you may do on your land. These already apply to all the land in the area, irrespective of whether your land has been gazetted as part of the CRR or not. There are a few additional restrictions that relate to the conservation of natural fauna and flora, for example, grazing in grassland areas indiscriminately, or ignoring the laws that require eradication of invasive plants.

The (GSA), an NGO formed by the landowners whose land is the CRR, has been appointed as the Management Authority of the CRR – therefore is required to adhere to the environmental laws and the City of Tshwane by-laws. Landowners whose land is part of the CRR, and therefore part of the GSA, act responsibly, respect the environment and also adhere to the law.

What Benefits are there in joining the CRR and what does it cost per month?

The prime objective of the GSA is to protect, conserve and improve the biodiversity of the area. Conservation land is guaranteed this protection in perpetuity – what you see now is what future generations will also enjoy. No industry, no mining, no mass development or development with a footprint larger than a 5% of the property size, is allowed; you will always enjoy the privacy of the space you have in this quiet and peaceful landscape. The GSA, whose objective is exclusively biodiversity and conservation, assisted by ecologists and specialised scientists, can help landowners and residents with many elements of keeping the CRR pristine. This help includes providing advice and assistance with clearing alien plants, assessing potential degradation to biodiversity, reinforcing awareness and education of children and adults on what a good environment brings to people’s lives, reducing the damages to fauna and flora, etc.

There is a good chance of the CRR attracting significant biodiversity funding and the more we are able to demonstrate progress the more likely we are going to be able to secure these funds. A rising tide lifts all ships.

Above all, it is the right thing to do in our world of severely compromised biodiversity

I hear there is a membership to pay for being a CRR member?

It is not a membership fee; Members of The Grassland Stewardship Alliance pay a monthly levy.

Why do I need to pay?

As the appointed Management Authority of the CRR, the GSA has significant administrative and legal responsibilities. Resources are required to meet our obligations, such as salaries, management, and communication systems, running costs and people expertise.

What is the money used for?

The money is used for administration, financial control, and reporting, software systems, website administration, member database and mailing systems, advertisement of events and educational activities, participation on forums and like associations. Apart from one salaried employee, the Office Bearer roles and the people resources that contribute to the GSA, are all on a voluntary basis.

How much is it?

R500 per month.

If we don’t consolidate the CRR, will the Nature Reserve and Protected Environment Areas be dissolved and the municipalities/government can do what they want?

The Crocodile River Reserve is declared as a protected area in perpetuity. An agreement with the GDARDE has granted the GSA a 10-year window to consolidate the area by drastically reducing the initial fragmentation. If the CRR clusters have remained fragmented there will be further negotiations with GDARDE on the protection status. It is therefore important that the landowners in the area work together, demonstrate the benefits of keeping the area as a pristine natural environment, and join actively in the endeavours of the GSA. If the status is taken away, we don’t know what kind of land use will be acceptable to the authorities and everyone will lose.