Massive urbanisation is taking place all over South Africa, putting National Government, Provincial and Municipal structures under severe pressure to provide effective services in these areas. Rural populations have no choice but to manage the situation and fend for themselves.

For quite a while, many of our landowners (especially along the Magalies River) have been experiencing problems with huge groups of Vervet monkeys (sometimes as many as 150 per group), causing much damage on their properties. During the past two years, the monkeys have multiplied alarmingly, mainly because they have no natural enemies any longer, and because they are protected animals. By night they sleep in huge gum trees, and when the sun comes up, they begin with their destruction. They love taking one bite from each pumpkin in a land (so that none can be marketed) or one bite from the tip of each cabbage (so they can’t continue growing), and they cause havoc in a maize field. One finds eaten off mealie stalks everywhere they’ve been. All of them also climb onto a single pecan nut or fruit tree’s branch, so the branches break. They bite all the pecan nuts in half and leave them under the trees. Bird populations have also declined extensively, because they take all the eggs from the nests. Many plans have been made to get rid of them, but they can outsmart you and your pack of dogs long before you’re able to put any chase into action.

According to Stephan du Toit (Biodiversity Environment Inspector or Green Scorpion), there are a number of options to address the problem. (For more information or ways of getting rid of the monkeys, please contact Stephan on 083 306 3441 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

When the winter wasn't really cold and if good spring rains fall, ticks can occur on any farm, almost overnight.

An outbreak of blue ticks (Asian blue tick (Rhipicephalus microplus), and African blue tick (Rhipicehalus decoloratus), as well as the smooth bont-legged tick (Hyalomma truncatum) and the bont tick (Amblyomma hebraeum) are all indigenous to South Africa.

In 1851, two of Hermanus Nikolas Ras’s sons, Hermanus Nikolas and Willem Adriaan, arrived at Bokfontein, near Wolhuterskop, on the northern side of the Magaliesberg. They started building thatch-roofed pioneer houses with walls made of clay. This signalled the wish (of probably the women!) to start living a more established life and to stop roaming around.

One of our readers (Jill Brunner of Seekoehoek) and one of our members (Charmaine Leygonie) sent us beautiful photos of our feathered friends.