The Hartebeestfontein Conservancy was established in 2002, and is situated in Gauteng Province. The Conservancy falls in the valley between the top of the Magaliesberg and the top of the Witwatersberg, and borders the core zone of the Cradle of Humankind. Each range is uniquely beautiful and the vistas are spectacular. The fertile valley between the two ranges is both productive farm land and conservation areas.
Spanning approximately 5 000 hectares, it is zone primarily for agriculture (the farms Hartebeestfontein 472 JQ, Hartebeestfontein 473 JQ, Fouriesrus 474 JQ and Quinlands 582 JQ) with the Magaliesberg Mountain enjoying the conservation status of "protected environment" under National legislation.
The Magalies River flows through the Conservancy from Hekpoort towards the Hartbeespoort dam. The majestic Magaliesberg range is the most prominent natural feature.
The main objective of the Conservancy is to protect all places of historical and conservation importance in the area, including;
- The southern slope of the Magaliesberg which falls within the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment (MPNE).
- The Magalies River, a river which is less polluted than the rivers of Gauteng. The Magalies River is vital to the Hartebeespoort dam as it brings relatively clean water in the system.
- The Witwatersberg, which also falls within the buffer zone of the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage site.
Conservancy members are constantly made aware of the sensitivity of the whole area. Residents are advised on the importance of preventing every aspect of pollution (dust, light, water, etc.).
Hartebeestfontein Fire Protection Association committee members are also members of the Conservancy, therefore special care is taken to protect the various areas against veld fires.
Every landowner in this area depends on borehole water. The groundwater is replenished from streams from the two mountain ranges and the river. Property owners take special care not to pollute the soil and groundwater.
Our waste management programme largely contributes to the fact that air and water pollution have been curtailed to a large extent. Recycling initiatives exist for the Conservancy, and are subject to expansion.
Special care is taken to prevent any development, business venture or practice in the valley that may be detrimental to the area. The Conservancy has a custodianship approach to the land and the biodiversity it support; transgressions that may be detrimental to the ecology as reported and monitored.
The Conservancy believes in communication and action. Communication with the membership and membership participation is of utmost importance. The Conservancy has a web site which is routinely updated and a monthly newsletter is produced and distributed to well over 100 members and their families.
The Conservancy does not impose any views on landowners but favours awareness initiatives. These projects have proven to be successful, and the membership is growing.
Action taken by the committee is guided by the memberships’ needs and the Conservancy Constitution. The Conservancy slogan, ”Where every footprint counts”, is indicative of the mission to embrace the heritage embedded in the area and to protect the biodiversity that will ensure a sustainable future.
The Conservancy has as focus areas the following:
- Preventing unsustainable developments;
- Improving farming practices;
- Supporting sustainable tourist activities;
- Controlling pollution in every form;
- Sustainable water management;
- Protection and management of the natural fauna and flora;
Individual actions by members, realizing the objectives proclaimed in the Conservancy Constitution are actively supported by Conservancy management. Actions which are in contradiction to these objectives are opposed collectively by the membership.
Inevitably, every action, good or bad, in the past and future, will eventually become part of the recorded history of this area. The Conservancy forms part of this history, and therefore wants to make a positive contribution towards this heritage.
”Where every footprint counts”