Makana Enviro News


Compiled by Tim Bull

Come for a walk or run

The local Rapportryers Club with Hoërskool PJ Olivier will host their 22nd annual 5km fun run on Thursday 26 October at 5.30pm (registration from 4.30pm). All proceeds will be donated to a project that aims to improve the Grahamstown city centre.  You are encouraged to come along and support this event – and enjoy new views of Grahamstown that you may not have seen before. The entrance fee is just R20 for adults and R15 for scholars.  Generous sponsorship means that there are lots of spot prizes as well as prizes for the fastest, and medals for the first 100 finishers. The funds raised will give the Grahamstown Residents’ Association start-up funds for a planting project. GRA members will plant indigenous plants, mainly aloes, at high profile locations such as High Street, together with rocks and cobbles, to make attractive hard-wearing features.  The project will be expanded as more people are inspired to help make a difference.

Come along in fancy dress, bring children in buggies, your friends and family.  It’s for all ages, all communities, schools, businesses and residents of Grahamstown, gathering for the benefit of Grahamstown and having fun together. More info or contact the organiser Joubert Retief on 046 622 3322 / 082 829 8409 or Tim Bull on 076 289 5122.

Heads up for recycling

The Masahlule Project has agreed with Makana Municipality to make door-to-door collections for your recyclable waste.  It’s simple really: put your clean and dry recyclable plastics, metals and paper in a clear or orange bag – and they will be collected along with your regular rubbish.  Starting in November, the Masahlule truck will go ahead of the municipal rubbish truck.  Look out for info pamphlets which will be distributed soon.  More info Simpiwe Ngcongo 063 513 6921.

Good news for herons

Grey Heron on a nest but flew away as photo was taken. Photo: Lynette Rudman

Black-headed Herons standing on nest, getting ready to breed. Photo: Lynette Rudman

WESSA Grahamstown Branch – some heartening news on the heronry from Lynette Rudman, who says: “I was thrilled to see the herons back at our heronry at the airfield just outside Grahamstown this afternoon (13 Oct). It is a site that has been used for many decades by them and last year they did not breed there at all because all the Eucalyptus trees around there were chopped down.
They all fled the area and this year I was hoping they would come back. I have been monitoring that site all year and had little hope that they would be back until this afternoon when I saw at least 7 nests with herons standing on them.
I am going to monitor them very closely and make sure that no one chases them away again. I have the feeling that there are people that are trying to discourage them from breeding there because of the noise they make. I think our National Heronry Site sign has helped a lot. Hope the WESSA members are going to help me monitor this site. I think the more of us that are seen showing an interest in the herons, the more it will deter anyone wanting to chase them away.”

After an alert last year from Lynette, WESSA Grahamstown was instrumental in erecting a sign at the heronry.  For more info, contact local WESSA Chairperson Eileen Shepherd on 078 099 7711 or

A shield against cruel death

Following a series of successful snare hunts in Somerset Heights, WESSA Grahamstown is going to Riebeek East for the next gig.  Meet at Albany Museum at 9am on Sunday 29th October 2017.  WESSA has been invited to bring volunteers to search a beautiful stretch of countryside for snares.  The organiser, Lara Bengis, says she welcomes all help, and that it should be an interesting outing where people are encouraged to take part, including children.  The times are 9am to 1pm.  Contact Lara on 072 247 6868 or

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Contacts for Makana Enviro-News:

Nikki Köhly:, 046 603 7205 | Tim Bull:, 076 289 5122 | Jenny Gon:, 046 622 5822 | Nick James:, 082 575 9781 | Philip Machanick:, 046 603 8635.

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