Here is the line-up for the South African TV show 50 | 50, Anniversary Season, Episode 27 on Monday the 10th of March 2014. Investigate why fish are dying in Olifants River, visit the Seekoeivlei wetland, at Memel-Zamani, which is under serious threat and meet some extraordinary animals.
Toxic spill in the Olifants River
On the 30th of December 2013, fishermen noticed something very strange near the Selati-Olifants confluence – a major fish die off! Despite the unusually heavy rains that would have normally flushed the river system clean, it started producing dead fish everywhere. Concerned Kruger Park staff got wind of the news and immediately launched an investigation into the cause of the die-off. The specialists soon found that the water was extremely acidic with a pH equivalent to that of battery acid! Soon after, a fertiliser manufacturing plant admitted that they had experienced an overflow in one of their holding dams due to the heavy rainfall. We investigate the issue further and try to assess the long-term effects this pollution will have on the river. With climate change predicting more heavy rainfall events in the future, could this be just the beginning of more situations like these?
Seekoeivlei wetland crisis
Memel-Zamani is a small town in the eastern part of the Free-State. While small, the existing infrastructure is proving inadequate to accommodate the sewerage and waste disposal needs of the community which is impacting the Seekoeivlei, a Ramsar wetland, that boasts hundreds of bird species including some special grassland endemics. The Seekoeivlei wetland serves as an important natural reservoir in South Africa and is the largest in the Highveld. Even though the wetland is a conservation priority, it faces major threats which pose a risk to water security and have negative effects on wildlife, with reports of several dead animals in the wetland! Bonne visits Memel-Zamani to see first hand what’s going on and to discuss these issues with members of the community.
Tonight we have an eco-friendly fly swatter, flying cats, jumping fish, and a flirtatious leopard.