Working for Wetlands 01 of 2010 – Spitskop & Harts, North West Province

Apr 23, 2010

MISSION 11 of  2010

Name of Mission: Working for Wetlands 01 of 2010 – Spitskop & Harts, North West Province 
Date of Mission: 23 April 2010 
Pilot: J.R. Blythe-Wood 
Aircraft used:
Passengers: Bhuti Dlamini  and  Thomani Manungufala
Objective of Flight: To identify wetlands needing rehabilitation

Report by the beneficiary:     BHUTI DHLAMINI

The mission for the survey was to conduct an aerial survey from Spinkop Dam, around the Taung area, along the Harts River towards the Barberspan Nature Reserve, below Lichtenburg.  The areas covered are indicated in the figure on the left.

The main objective was to prioritise areas for the Working for Wetlands Rehabilitation projects.  This includes recording the major impacts within the watercourses, prioritising these impacts and identifying areas that require further infield assessments for implementing the working for Wetland Rehabilitation projects.

Working for Wetlands is an expanded public works project which is aimed at rehabilitating wetlands to enhance the functions associated or performed by/within that particular syste, iIncluding, but not limited to, biodiversity support and hydrological functions.  In doing so these projects provide jobs for local communities as part of the implementing rehabilitation interventions identified to meet the desired functions and aims for that particular system.

In order to meet the desired objectives, The Bateleurs provided a helicopter to fly these areas as indicated in the figure.  The flight route and the helicopter used are shown in the figures below.

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The dominant land uses around the area flown include most agricultural activities and limited urban development around small towns.  The impacts associated with these land uses on the wetlands are -:

  • Cut off trenches and drains;
  • Concrete canals discharging into the watercourses;
  • Overgrazing and livestock trampling;
  • Alien vegetation invasions; and
  • Diamond mining in the river banks.

The responses of the watercourses and wetlands to these impacts are:

  • Channel incision and erosion which affects both hydrological and geo-morphological characteristics of the watercourses and/or wetlands
  • Reduction in species richness due to the encroachments of alien vegetation; and
  • Loss of biodiversity due to the morphology of the system change and some species cannot adapt to these changes.


The figure below indicates the approximate locality of some of the major problems identified during the flight and the photographs of some of the impacts.  The captioned photographs are attached separately with the description of the impacts and co-ordinates.

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Based on these impacts, the areas were prioritised and the criteria for rehabilitating them will be outlined in more detail in the Phase 1 report of the area.  For the purpose of the flight report, three catchments were prioritised for further detailed infield assessments (see the figures below).

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The objectives of the flight were met.  From the surveyed areas three catchments were identified as priorities for detailed infield assessments.

The localities of these catchment areas in relation to the entire surveyed area are shown in the figure on the left.  These catchments include sections of quaternary catchments C31C, C32D and C33B.

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