Petition is successful with 824 signatures
To: The Mayor's Office
SOUTH AFRICA: SAVE OUPA FATS WETLAND AND HAND IT OVER TO CITY PARKS
The City of Johannesburg are in the process of transferring the wetland to City Parks and are allocating budget to the conservation of the area.
We are requesting the immediate transfer of Farm Klipriviersoog, Farm Number 299 : Portions 1, 6, 96, 100 & 213 situated around Lenzvlei from National Housing To City Parks and demand that they start maintaining the wetland with immediate effect.
Why is this important?
Oupa Fats Wetland is strategically situated in the middle of the South Western Townships, 30km from Johannesburg. (Soweto on the North, Eldorado Park / Klipspruit on the East, Lenasia on the South and Zuurbekom on the West).
Wetlands are an important ecological resource, equivalent to a rainforest. Wetlands enjoy protection as a Protected Conservation area as per the RAMSAR Convention (1998).
They are the lungs of the planet and perform the following important functions:
🐝 It prevents flooding in the surrounding areas
🐝 It purifies water
🐝 It purifies Air by depositing large amounts of carbon in its soil.
🐝 It is a Bird Sanctuary of note with blue cranes being some of its dwindling residents.
Sadly, this Wetland is in danger of becoming a wasteland. It has been held hostage for the last 20+ years by criminals.
Illegal theft of eco-sensitive soil, illegal dumping, illegal fishing with nets, hijacking and even burning of electrical cables for extracting coppers have prevented the local community from enjoying this pristine eco wonderland.
Compounding the challenges which this Wetland faces is the anomally of "ownership" of several erfs which comprises this area. For some dubious reasons, ownership rests with National Housing instead of City Parks where it rightfully belongs. This was to facilitate the unlawful sale or lease of this land to private developers.
The community has made several efforts over several years to save the Wetland, including meetings with and visits by several government departments and local councillors - but seems to be fighting a losing battle.
We have continued to preserve the area as best as we can through private donations from the community; this has cost us in excess of R30 000 thus far. The transfer of these erfs to City Parks will rightfully place the preservation of the area in their hands.