Minutes:-   06th NOVEMBER 2014


Photo: Velly Makwakwa, Chief Conservation Officer, Marloth Park; John Webber, Chief Honorary Ranger, Marloth Park; Jan Muller, MTPA; Tony Hayman, Chairman, MPPOA; Dan Ngwenya, Municipal Manager,  Nkomazi Municipality; Joce Gordon, Deputy Chief Honorary Ranger; Lou Ekstein, MPTA; JohnMartin, Chairman, Marlothii ConservancyA new era in joint cooperation and public participation commenced yesterday 05th November 2014 in Marloth Park.

A meeting between  Nkomazi Local Municipality[NKLM] , Marloth Park Property Owners Association [MPPOA] together with The Honorary Rangers and Marlothi Conservancy [jointly known as the FORUM] and Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Authority[ MTPA]. The meeting was Chaired by Chief Operations Manager for Nkomazi Mr. Vincent Bhiya and attended by the committee members and executives of the organisations involved including the Municipal Manager for Nkomazi; Mr. Dan Ngwenya.

Discussions were had around the problems experienced by all parties and agreement was reached regarding areas of responsibilities and roles to be played in finding the way forward.

A 5 point plan for a Balanced Sustainable Wildlife Estate was presented by Mr. Tony Hayman, Chairman of Marloth Park Property Owners Association,

This plan included a holistic approach to Marloth Park’s current service requirements, Property Owners expectations and potential solutions in joint cooperation with Nkomazi Local municipality.

The 5 point plan also covered the Game and Veld management and under-utilisation of Lionspruit as well as the current burning issue of Culling and game movement. Mr.Jan Muller of the MTPA briefly discussed their role as Administrators of the welfare of all wildlife and the Authority delegated by Government to issue permits for Hunting, Culling and Game Movement. The MTPA have reached an agreement with MPPOA as representing Marloth Parks Property Owner’s interests and NKLM the delegated responsible authority for Marloth Park, whereby No Permits will be issued for the remainder of 2014 for Hunting, Culling or Game Movement.

Some warthogs can be culled without permit this year.

There is no Exemption allocated for Lionspruit and No animal moved into Lionspruit may be hunted. There is an exception regarding the remaining Buffalos belonging to Bushpig Safaris under a previous agreement with the NKLM. The numbers will be audited and an agreeable way forward determined by all parties involved.

All parties agreed that while property Owners concerns for the Wildlife are valid, a major portion of responsibility for the Veld degradation and requirements for massive culling every year lies with the property owners themselves.  

The 5 point plan highlights the need for an up to date practical workable Veld and Game management plan to be undertaken in Marloth Park.

The Forum has commissioned Mr. Ralf Kalwa of Rengu Environmental Services to undertake the task of Veld and Game assessment.  Mr. Kalwa comes highly recommended by MTPA and currently works in Nkomazi area.

His services are widely used by Kruger National Park , Mjajane reserve amongst others. This assessment will cost the MPPOA in excess of R50k but is paramount to our planned way forward.

An intense education program is to be launched on 22nd November in Marloth Park where current veld conditions as well as Human impact in Marloth Park will be discussed and the recommended necessary steps forward will be presented to all property owners. Nkomazi rangers and anyone interested in Marloth park’s wildlife is invited attend.

Agreement was reached in conclusion between Nkomazi Municipality and the MPPOA Forum on a way forward. The education program to go ahead so that property owners have input and acceptance of the necessary steps planned for Marloth Parks rehabilitation.

An intense culling/harvest of game early in April 2015 will take place after Mr. Kalwa’s assessment. Any further interference with this process is to be strongly discouraged.

An urgent 3 day workshop is called between NKLM and MPPOA to discuss and promulgate current and new by-laws required for Marloth Park.

At the Municipal Manager’s instruction, the Bylaw against pets, [dogs, cats and birds etc] and cutting down of trees is to be actively enforced in Marloth Park.

Access control in Marloth Park to be improved enforced in the future through further workshops between NKLM and the MPPOA FORUM and council resolutions taken.

The concept of 5 point plan for joint cooperation to improve services and Marloth park’s infrastructure was accepted by all parties concerned and MPPOA was congratulated by the MTPA for its actions and thanked by NKLM for its collaboration.