Among the members

For up-to-date news, activities and calendar of events please visit  

This biodiversity stewardship project aims to provide formal conservation protection for the area of the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, and beyond. 

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Among the members

The members of the RNC are involved in many things.     Read what they are up to.

Am I Legal?

Landowners within RNC are required to fulfill certain legal obligations and adhere to local government rules. Information is provided as a service, and is NOT the dictate of the Conservancy, rather the laws, acts and governance of the various government departments.

To make the volume of information more accessible, "Am I Legal?" was prepared by Helen Duigan for distribution within Conservancies.

"If you are planning to buy land in the RNC, please read the requirements of the law carefully to avoid costly misunderstandings."

In the past having a place "in the country" may have allowed much leeway and regulations may have appeared to be lenient. This is no longer the case. The members of the RNC have found the Environmental law to be sound and powerful in the protection of the valuable sites.

ow to get things done without getting into trouble! Am I legal?

• What can I do on my property?
• How do I know what is legal?
• What activities and improvements must I get approval for?
• Where do I get approval?

Building regulations

Most of Rhenosterspruit falls under Tshwane and their building regulations apply to all of us.

Any new structure needing a foundation needs approval – this covers sheds, barns, swimming pools, cottages, workers’ quarters, rooms added to existing homes, septic tanks… The list is comprehensive and if you’re in doubt, check first. (Building inspectors have started checking homes in Laezonia, asking for plans and proof of approval.) If you can’t find your house plans (or they got lost when we changed from West Rand to Tshwane), make a plan to have new ones drawn up.

Enquiries and land-use applications: Lodi Olivier (Planning):012 358 3589 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Complaints re illegal structures: Tersia Barnard (Building Office): 012 358 3858 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Environmental legislation

Activities that need approval from the municipal council's Department of Environment or from GDACE (Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment) are called 'Listed Activities' and they form part of legislation R1182. (Please note: These are not 'Conservancy rules', but national legislation.)

The main activities needing approval pertinent to the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy are:

  • Dams, levees and weirs affecting the flow of a river.
  • Racing tracks for motor-powered vehicles.
  • Schemes for the use of ground-water (or surface water) for bulk supply purposes – e.g. large-scale irrigation.
  • Canals and channels, including structures causing disturbance to the flow of water in a river, and water transfer schemes. (A canal is an artificial watercourse used for irrigation.) Also pipelines for major schemes.
  • Public and private resorts and associated infrastructure.
  • Change of land-use from agricultural to any other land use (any non-agricultural use including new residential smallholding estates, shooting ranges, golf courses.)
  • Change of land-use from use for nature conservation (or zoned open space) to any other land use.
  • The concentration of livestock or poultry in confined structures for the purpose of commercial production.
  • The release of any plant or animal that has been declared a weed or invasive alien species.
  • The reclamation of wetlands.
  • Any road or track in an area regarded by the relevant authority as a sensitive area.

GDACE enquiries: Mashudu Dzivhani: 011 355 2292 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (note the spelling!). If you have problems getting through to GDACE, contact the RNC committee.

Community policing: Is this the way to manage crime?

Sadly, today everyone has their own crime story to tell. There has been an increase in criminal activity in the Conservancy over recent years (seemingly in line with general trends).

So what about Community Policing Forums? Do they work and is this a way to be proactively involved?

Sue Hatfield has been busy. And most recently, attended the Community Policing Forum.

On the upside, since the police now have a base on the R511 (at Dewina, close to Gemstone Road) responding to calls may be quicker.

On the downside, threatening road closures across the Conservancy may means help is up to three times further away.

VeldTalk has reported on various incidences in the last month - attacks in Roodekrans, Doornrandje and attempted hijackings.

  • Drive attentively, and be cautious when stopping your car for "obstructions" in the road.
  • Keep the grass around entrances and drives short so that you have visibility.
  • Know your neighbours, and call if anything looks suspicious at their home
  • Keep your cellphone charged - you never know when you need it
  • Have a torch at hand, and check the batteries regularly
  • And if you own a weapon, make sure it is kept safely and securely

Want to get involved or find out more about Community Policing Forum? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Green Living with Alistair

Alastair Armstrong in Hills and Dales invites anyone who has an interest in renewable energy, alternative building methods, etc to join a new Conservancy Forum: NewFutures Forum.

He has already explored alternatives to Eskom (see Karee Chronicle Dec 2004) and is building his house using alternative techniques. He has sourced several books on the subject, and is very willing to share his experience - what works, what doesn't, new methods, source of materials, costs, etc with anyone who is interested in becoming less dependent on Eskom, Telkom or other service providers.

You don't have to be actively involved in projects (yet) to join - if you want to be kept in the loop, ask questions, receive info, pass on information - this Forum is for you.

A comment from Alastair: There are major benefits in using passive solar heating and cooling in alternative building techniques, apart from cost saving. You're free of the dependence on fossil fuels for heating the home in winter (i.e. coal / wood / gas / etc) and cooling in summer (i.e. air conditioning / fans / electricity / etc). Lower bills and a healthy, homely environment in tune with nature and our surroundings! An environmentally-responsible home with a unique identity and beauty!

If you are interested in joining this Forum, please contact Alastair 083 565 7384.

See also Events for Alistair and Sonja's training workshops.

RNC and Schools

The RNC residents support and assist various schools and initiatives with children.

Rifilwe a charity organization situated at St Ansgars, near Lanseria Airport, and Bathabile School in Doornrandje are making a difference in the lives of hundreds of people.

The Karee Chronicle last year featured Refilwe (Refilwe means “gift”in Tswana.) They are involved a large number of projects, from a TB and HIV/Aids Clinic, to a child care centre for orphaned children and after school activities for vulnerable kids. Responding to this article, several RNC residents got involved.

Vijay Loosen (Roodekrans) who manages House of Orange branches (pure fruit juices etc) has “adopted” Refilwe as her choice of charity. Others have donated toys, books, magazines and second-hand clothes. If you want to help, contact project leader Jaco van Schalkwyk – 082 465 6972. Or drop in to see what they are doing and bring your own “gift”.

Pat Stanton-Humphreys from Laezonia wrote: “I recently visited Bathabile School in Doornrandje and was very impressed with the work the headmaster is doing to upgrade the school. His staff are also feeding 300+ learners everyday, 120 of whom are orphans or child-headed households.

He has established a large vegetable garden in order to make soup for the learners. He has requested donations of old computers, children's books and bookshelves, also any food. Please let people know that help will be very welcome.”

A couple of Doornrandje residents - Hills and Angus - have also pitched in Bathabile. All have been impressed with the manner in which the school makes the most of resources. Jan Hill recently ran an Art Competition at Bathabile. On World Environment Day children got in touch with what the environment means to them, and the response was painted on shopping bags. These bags were used at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Conservancies. Additional bags were purchased by delegates, and 50% of this income goes directly to the school.

If there are people interested in forming a Focus Group around schooling in the area, please drop a note to Mercia Komen (See Contacts). She will in turn co-ordinate with those residents in Doornrandje already assisting.


Shopping Bag Art
Shpping Bag Art