Gekco talks wetlands at AGM

BEAULIEU – The Greater Kyalami Conservancy hosted its annual general meeting on 5 June.

June 18, 2019 | Andrei van Wyk | Fourways Review

Managing director of Naledi Ya Thlago Boaz Thebes.
Photos: Andrei van Wyk

The Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) hosted their annual general meeting on 5 May to discuss their various success and challenges from the previous year.

Chairperson of Gekco, Kristin Kallesen, said the organisation had worked hard to attend and speak up at a number of town planning tribunals to combat various developments consistently. “Midrand is being developed at the expense of the current and new residents, and the wildlife in the area.”

She stressed the importance of their involvement in these discussions with developers, adding that they try to engage with developers at all times, though the door is not always open.

Chairperson of Gekco, Kristin Kallesen. Photo: Andrei van Wyk

Kallesen listed a number of challenges they still face including illegal land use in the area, illegal dumping, construction on wetlands and poor enforcement.

The meeting saw an update on the organisation’s long-running African grass owl project. Secretary Anton van Niekerk explained the projects of recording and tracking the owls in the Kyalami area and highlighted the dangers veld fires have had on them. The invited guest speaker at the meeting was managing director of Naledi Ya Thlago Boaz Thebes who spoke about invasive plant management in the area, primarily pertaining to pompom weed. Thebes said that, like many other invasive plants, it’s extremely difficult to get rid off these weeds and many do it incorrectly, exacerbating the issue.

Gekco secretary Anton van Niekerk gives a presentation on their grass owl project. Photo: Andrei van Wyk

Thebes said that residents can only rid themselves of the weed through digging it up – a difficult and time-consuming task. The weed cannot be burnt and chemicals cannot be added as they stimulate the plant even further, which can cause it to spread.

The annual general meeting ended with a call for additional donations from members and an invitation to new members to assist with the Gekco’s operations and activities.

Alvira Brand gives the Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) treasurers report.

Details: The Greater Kyalami Conservancy