This week, the Community Correctional Centre in Louis Trichardt volunteered a group of parolees to help clean up the walk-through underneath the N1 along Stubbs Street at the traffic circle. Pictured from left to right are correctional officials Thatheni Mulaudzi, Thinus Steyn, Jaco Voigt of the Soutpansberg Chamber of Commerce and Ellen Hlungwane.
Date: 11 August 2017 By: Andries van Zyl
The clean-up campaign in Louis Trichardt's green belt area along the N1, which includes the bird and tree sanctuary, is still ongoing but help is, however, still needed to see the project through.
The Vhembe Biosphere Reserve (VBR), Soutpansberg Chamber of Commerce, Limpopo Dairy, and the University of Venda’s SARCHI Chair on Biodiversity Value and Change in the VBR are at present collaborating with the Makhado Municipality, as well as the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and Working on Fire and Working for Water, to clean up the sanctuaries to create a haven and recreational space for the community.
The tree sanctuary hosts a botanical display of nearly 80 indigenous trees, many of which were planted by the town’s horticulturalists and community members in years gone by. However, the park has largely been inaccessible to the community because of invasive alien plants (IAPs), as well as bush encroachment. This has led to the bush becoming a refuge for criminals, and the site being a hotspot for crime.
The vision of the group is for the community to be able get involved in local activities such as tree walks, nature talks and, of course, enjoying a picnic under the spectacular trees, thus creating a space that brings people and nature together in the heart of Louis Trichardt. The group will also be starting a weekly Saturday 5km park run in September this year.
This week, the Community Correctional Centre in Anderson Street volunteered a group of parolees to help clean up the underpass at the traffic circle on the corner of Stubbs Street and the N1. Under supervision of correctional officials, the group was out in full force on Monday to not only de-bush the area, but also to clear the walk-through underneath the N1 of rubble.
People who can help are urged to send an email to Jaco Voigt at email@example.com, Cath Vise at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamy Jonker at email@example.com. Alternatively, visit the VBR’s website at www.vhembebiosphere.org or phone Meissenheimer at Tel 082 789 3927.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.