Utrecht is small town in northern KwaZulu-Natal. It is home not only to the endangered wattled crane but also to a unique geographical point where a significant proportion of South Africa’s fresh water originates. Unfortunately, almost a third of the town’s residents are unemployed … but with mining-prospecting applications going through almost back-to-back, there seems to be hope for the unemployed. However, conservationists are concerned for the future of the protected wildlife species in the area and the endangered Enkangala grasslands if more such operations are approved. Mining concerns in past years have left scars in and around Utrecht already. Concerned farmers speak out about the threat to their currently sustainable rural livelihoods. Are the costs of learning our mineral worth really worth all the risks?
Making the Difference
We catch up with the winner of the Woolworths ‘Making the Difference through Design’ competition. The competition encourages learners in grades 10, 11 or 12 to submit designs based on sustainability and recycling. This year the brief given to learners was ‘To create a better world’ using design to solve a problem in their community related to waste reduction, water conservation or energy conservation. The winner this year took each element to heart with her innovative design!
With more than 90 rhinos have been poached this year already, the race is on to save this giant among our Big Five. Top scientists, vets and conservations are doing everything in their power to help, but so too are two boys from Louis Trichardt in Limpopo province. Casper and Marco are remarkable youngsters who have taken it upon themselves to raise funds to help save rhinos. They’ve traded in several hours of playtime to get their school and community to contribute to Rico the sniffer dog and to fight the rhino-poaching crisis.
This week Johann helps us track some of the larger herbivores in the bush – hippos and buffaloes. Known to be aggressive, both species have special characteristics that help them thrive in the bush.
In VeldFokus we take a look at some scenes of conflict in the bush. Buffaloes take on lions, a boomslang battles a bullfrog and two puff adders squabble over a female.
All photos © 50|50