It’s a dam(n) serious problem
One of Johannesburg’s valuable park areas, Alberts Farm, is being threatened by a potential disaster. The Farm, one of Jozi’s best kept secrets and probably the city’s most cost-effective park boasts what is the only artesian spring in the city and possibly in Gauteng. The spring feeds a dam with water so pure that citizens from all over the province come to take samples, many in the firm belief that it has curative powers. Using the play on words, the spring has given rise to a Spring Fair held annually to promote the park, but this year it has a special purpose – to save the dam wall.
As the co-ordinator of the Friends of Alberts Farm group, Nina Venjakob, explains the wall has deteriorated over many decades and is in serious need of reconstruction. “The potential collapse of the wall not only presents a serious hazard to people and vehicles in the area but could also be a real catastrophe for the carefully nurtured fish and amphibians in the dam as well as bird and plant life.
“Incredibly, the 90 hectare park is run with only one permanent City Parks employee, and much of the upkeep, litter clearance, indigenous plant conservation as well as removal of alien species, signage and provision of amenities is done by the group with the help of mountain bikers who use the park and other civic-minded citizens in the surrounding community.
“The City Council has diverted funds from the area to reconstruct previously disadvantaged areas so does not have the wherewithal to handle the task of rebuilding the dam wall, but a local construction industry company has now done an analysis of the dam wall and drawn up all the necessary plans and is prepared to undertake the job.. However we need additional funds for this project so we will be running the mother of all Spring Fairs this year on August 30, with a range of special prizes, games and competitions, music, food and fun. Best of all, the Fair will coincide with the establishment of a Parkrun in Alberts Farm, so there will be something for everyone on the day.
“We would like to appeal to everyone in this Western Johannesburg region to take this opportunity to help us upgrade this facility in the interests of everyone in the region. More information is available on greymont.co.za and facebook – Friends of Alberts Farm