Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

There’s something good about getting the neighbours to preserve their own environment

Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) Green Neighbourhood Project 

Winner: Community Conservation Award

“The focus of the Green Neighbourhood Project is encouraging co-operation and community participation in conservation, planning and management of the greater Kyalami area in collaboration with neighbouring communities, municipal and provincial entities,” says Kristin Kallesen, chairperson of the Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco).

The conservancy, founded in 2006, launched the Neighbourhood Project in 2012 in a bid to actively engage with the local community for the greater good of the environment.

“It’s only through involving the community and actively fostering community enthusiasm and conviction for the protection of environment that responsible social and environmental development can occur,” says Kallesen.

The project identifies endangered and pressured species in the area and works on protecting wetlands, ridges, specialised habitats and corridors where these species are found. This is especially pertinent in an area that is threatened with increasing development.

The project works hand-in-hand with the Diepsloot community, and has engaged with Bontle ke Tlhago, a Diepsloot community co-operative, in a pilot recycling scheme.

Since 2012 there have also been Mandela Day cleanups of the Jukskei River and streets in Diepsloot together with City of Johannesburg Region A, Metro Police, Gauteng Roads and Transport, Gauteng Agriculture and Rural Development, Pikitup and Diepsloot environmental and business forums.

Talks have also been initiated concerning dedicated bicycle lanes along William Nicol Road (R511), and plans are afoot to assist Diepsloot businesses to market their products within the Kyalami community.

“At heart, the Green Neighbourhood Project requires a commitment from residents to a vision of sustainability, which is achievable through co-operation,” says Kallesen. “The community is encouraged to participate in the development planning process through submission of a community plan or vision, to be considered in the Integrated Development Plan which forms part of the City’s Master Plan Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy.”

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed until August 30

The lawyer for the bereaved families argued that Dr Makgabo Manamela’s requests for postponements have a negative impact on the families of the deceased who seek closure

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

More top stories

How to apply for the Covid-19 R350 grant

Asylum seekers with valid permits and caregivers will now also be allowed to apply for the reinstituted social relief of distress grant

Long arm of the riots still affecting health sector

The tumult in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has forced people to go without chronic medication and check-ups, caused shortages at the blood bank and disruptions in the vaccine roll out

Deadly result as state forces seize ‘loot’ in Durban

In Madlala, the police and army broke into homes in an operation to retrieve stolen goods. After they left, a woman lay dead in a pool of her blood behind a shack

Getting Covid-19 after being vaccinated can happen – but it’s...

Vaccines help to reduce the spread of Covid-19, but they are not without shortcomings. Here’s what they can and can’t do

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…