GEKCO Lifestyle

Letter to new homeowners in the Conservancy:

GEKCO has prepared a letter to new homeowners in the Conservancy. Download a copy.

Plant indigenous trees: they use less water and are better adapted for a South African climate. We have some of the greatest plant bio-diversity in the world let’s try to celebrate it. There are many nurseries specializing in indigenous plants in the area who can advise you on what to plant to suit your space, soil types direction faced etc.

Garden with indigenous plants and grasses:
We’d like to encourage you to landscape with indigenous plants and trees and to practice water-wise principles. If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to re-grass our property, we recommend you plant Cynodon Transvalensis, a soft and beautiful, yet hardy and water wise grass. Kikuyu should be avoided at all costs. We have all been much too hasty about replacing veld grasses with domestic grasses. Wherever possible maintain and even plant indigenous grasses. Not only does it conserve water and prevent erosionit also looks BEAUTIFUL! We would be happy to advise you on the indigenous plants best suited to your property. See GEKCO gallery for some examples.

Remove and eradicate dangerous and invasive alien plants. The following plants are occur widely in the area and are

  • Category 1: Declared weed, prohibited and must be controlled:
    Cantana camara, Pampas grass, Burweed, Queen of the Night cactus, Thistle, Pom Pom weed.
  • Category 2: Permit holders only may plant only in demarcated area:
    Eucalyptus, Black Wattle, Grey Poplar, Weeping Willow.
  • Category 3: must not be planted:
    Syringa, Mulberry and Pontedaris cordata (Pickerel weed water / ditch plant with long sheath leaf and purple bottle brush flower).

Check out this website for really useful information on what to remove and avoid. and for information on how to eradicate them.

Leave spaces under walls as passages / escape routes for our wildlife: Garden walls restrict the natural movement of wildlife and makes them vulnerable to being trapped and killed by predators (including domestic dogs and cats) and fires.

Avoid pesticides:
PLEASE do not use any rat poison, rather install an owl box and let nature take its course. For more information visit In fact we strongly recommend that you DO NOT use any form of pesticide, poison or toxic chemical that could leach into the wetlands or threaten the wildlife in the area. A copy of the GEKCO fauna and flora list is available on request.

Identify and preserve wetlands:
the GEKCO area has been identified as Gauteng’s second-most water-rich area per square meter. There are three major wetlands and one lesser wetland that form a continuous confluence all the way through GEKCO. These wetlands originate in Blue Hills, Crowthorne, Kyalami Ridge and Carlswald. Besides being of great aesthetic value, wetlands are protected by law and you are not allowed to have any negative impact on a wetland including (but not limited to) building within 30 metres of a delineated wetland, dumping rubble on the wetland, building a dam on your property, or changing the natural course of the wetland. So please take the time to understand all the natural features on your property and, if necessary, consult a wetland specialist to determine what you may and may not do in your wetland. The authorities periodically check the wetlands. For more information go to

Report sewage spills:
increasing development puts huge pressure on our existing sewage infrastructure resulting in burst pipes, overflows from manholes etc. Contact: Joburg Connect 011 375 5555

Report water leaks:
we are a water scarce country report any water pipe burst or leaks to Joburg water. Contact: Joburg Connect 011 375 5555

various recycling companies operate in the area see the Useful Links for some contacts.

Drive carefully:
Kyalami is home to the endangered giant bullfrog. They come out of their burrows in wet weather and it is important to drive slowly when wet and raining to avoid these. There are also resident mongooses, hedgehogs, guinea-fowl, jackal, owls, genets as well as horses, dogs and cats (not to mention cyclists, horse-riders and children).