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GEKCO proposes to extend conservancy boundaries to protect clean water and air; and help threatened wildlife

GEKCO (the Greater Kyalami Conservancy) is putting forward a proposal to extend its boundaries.  The aim is to help save and protect more of the unique and threatened ecosystem in the Kyalami area, upon which a number of endangered species survive. 

People rely on the same systems, like wetlands, for cleaning and storing our water. We also need clean air, which plants and wetlands give us by trapping carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Plants also remove carbon monoxide and particulate matter (particles of solid matter breathed into the lungs from polluted air). The less plants and wetlands we have, the higher these toxic volumes will be.  

Joburg’s air quality is very poor and getting worse. Many people get respiratory infections and illnesses from polluted air, especially in winter. As wetlands and veld already clean our air for free, all we need to do is protect them, and nature will do the rest. 

What is the purpose of expanding the boundary?

A number of important wildlife corridors run through the Conservancy and connect to other regional open spaces such as the Crocodile River Reserve.  These wildlife corridors, which include habitat for the endangered African Grass Owls, are under threat.  The proposal includes adjoining areas within the City’s urban boundary where new townships are proposed, with some already under development.  We would like to ensure that when these developments occur, the wetlands and corridors for wildlife are retained and incorporated into the development and its management.

Most of the current area covered by the Conservancy is outside the City of Johannesburg’s Urban Development Boundary, zoned to remain low density, a ‘green lung’ area for the City.  GEKCO already works regularly with residents to avoid veld fires, remove alien vegetation and clean rivers.  We also assist the Endangered Wildlife Trust to monitor the nesting of African Grass Owls in the area.  

We want to hear from you –

Do you own property within the current or proposed boundary?  Please get in touch or stop by GG’s Café in Equifox Park, 137 Crocus Road, Kyalami AH on Saturday 12 June between 12:00 – 3:00pm.  Members of the GEKCO committee will be there to provide information and answer any questions.

Please send comments or queries on the proposed boundary changes to:
boundary@gekco.co.za  on or before Wednesday June 23, 2021

The light green on this map depicts current GEKCO boundaries. The darker green indicates GEKCO’s proposed wider boundaries. The plan is to extend our borders mostly to the north, east and west, to include important wetland systems.

What does it mean to have property within the GEKCO boundary?  

The Conservancy is a voluntary organisation.  If you live within a conservancy, you retain full rights and control over your property.  By choosing to become a member of the conservancy, you show support for the conservation initiatives and protection of the environment.  Other conservancies have found that this increases property values, as well as quality of life, mental and physical health, and peace and quiet.  

During lockdown, people have realised the value of being in nature. Science has proven that the greener and more biodiverse the area, the healthier it is for you. The GEKCO conservancy is in the ideal location to live a healthy life, yet be close to the economic hubs. 

If you would like to become a member of GEKCO or renew your membership, please sign up here: