SA no stranger to tornadoes – interesting facts from SAWS

As many as 16 tornadoes were recorded in South Africa over the last decade. This year alone,  tornadoes made landfall in Bainsvlei outside Bloemfontein in May, while a small tornado was reported in Sedgefield, the Western Cape, in September. According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), especially the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Eastern Cape are prone to these weather phenomenons. SAWS told the media that a tornado is a “violently rotating storm of small diameter” developing from a thunderstorm. Most damage is usually caused by winds which could reach speeds…

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Mpumalanga water shortage getting worse

MPUMALANGA is facing a serious water shortage. Dam and river levels are dropping and the situation is fast deteriorating. Dr Tendai Sawunyama, a senior employee at the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA) told  NewsHorn recently. “The situation is getting worse as we are not expecting serious rainfall any time soon. That is why we are calling the public to use water wisely. There was no enough rainfall last month,” Sawunyama said. He said the water situation in the Crocodile and Sabie-Sand catchment area was still below normal, in comparison to…

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Breakthrough archeological find in Mpumalanga

A routine excursion in the mountains of Mpumalanga led to an unexpected discovery for a a team of South African and international scientists and researchers. According to a media statement it “shone a light on an unimaginable and turbulent past in prehistoric South Africa (SA)”. Fossilised body parts of humanoids and other creatures were found. The SA Antiquities Research Institute (SAARI) said it could turn out to be one of the mostly critical archaeological finds ever in SA. The ribs, hearts and legs have been found to date back 100…

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Wildlife trade – how to solve it – The Revelator

vaquita

A lot of “sticky widgets.” -That’s what Eli Weiss, founder of the WildiZe Foundation calls the wildlife trade. Big questions are addressed by John Platt, wildlife writer extraordinaire and editor of The Revelator. Most of these questions have no easy answers. A podcast link herewith discusses  the fate of the nearly extinct vaquita, the future of farmed rhinos, the hidden threat to giraffes, and potential new roles for (and threats to) the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Listen to the podcast on http:/therevelator.com/podcast-wildlife-trade The Revelator is an initiative…

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Good news for all our birders

Only 250 of these birds left

SA hosting Aewa White-winged Fluff-tail species-specific meet in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) is chairing the 3rd meeting of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Single Species Working Group at the Verlorenkloof Estate outside Dullstroom in the Mpumalanga Province from 5 to 7 November 2019. The meeting focuses on the protection of the critically endangered white-winged fluff-tail and other associated habitat matters. The protection of specific species is a combined effort of protecting habitats and managing detrimental activities to priority ecosystems. The event is attended…

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Nkombe Rhino and MTPA dehorning rhinos to save their lives.

The Manyeleti Game Reserve is one of the hardest hit areas for rhino poaching in the world. In an effort to stave off poaching and save the lives of these iconic creatures, Nkombe Rhino partnered with MTPA to safeguard their rhino population. The organization also funded this vital operation. This included all veterinary costs, the supply of a fixed wing spotter plane and helicopter support. The de-horning of a rhino is a painless procedure, similar to humans clipping their fingernails. Both are made up of comparable keratin-based materials. A rhino…

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#Waterscarcity – Please do what you can to save consumption asks government

Drought in SA

Tumelo waga Dibakwane Main photo: Withered vines mean no wine harvest   Despite the fact that Mpumalanga, the entire country and across-border neighbours, would apparently not see El Nino this summer, drought is already taking its toll. Dam levels are falling and the government is calling for water restrictions. Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe are in an even worse position than South Africa (SA) with the Kariba Dam only 17% full as opposed to 2018’s 74%. The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which manages the dam, had not updated levels since end…

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It is time for KNP’s concessions to be renewed

KNP sunset

The Kruger National Park private concessions granted almost two decades ago are coming up for renewal. Existing lodge owners had been been an example of successful public-private partnerships. However,  existing concession owners are worried that  new regulations for the second round of concessions would be so accommodating. According to Daily Maverick (DM), private lodges such as Lukimbi charge R30 000 per night. This 5-star lodge is the epitome of luxury and have held a concession for the past 18 years. DM said that when the first concession  were awarded 19…

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SANParks tech use leads to success. 

Tumelo waga Dibakwane The South African National Parks (SANParks) had announced three successful operations in the Kruger National Park (KNP).  Six suspected poachers had been nabbed this month. Three heavy caliber hunting rifles were also confiscated. Most of the suspected poachers were arrested before any animals were killed. No tuskers had poached despite 55 recorded poacher activities. The increased successes were attributed to the dedication of the Ranger Corps. Their close working relationships with the K9 and aircraft units and hi-tech technologies, are to be commended. The Chief Executive Officer…

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Good News story-Residents clean up filthy river-BBR sets an example

Masoka Dube The filty Bhondweni River in Bushbuckridge (BBR), had been cleaned up by the community. Thank you to Daniel Mathebula for initiating the project. The Cottondale community in Bushbuckridge regularly cleans the river. Many unemployed volunteers signed up for the early morning project.  Mathebula also educates the public on the dangers of destroying natural resources. Loads of garbage end up in Mpumalanga’s rivers. The Bhondweni is one of the biggest in the region. “This is not a once-off thing. We are going to continue to clean this river to…

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