HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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The Stone Age.

The area covered by the present day KRUGER NATIONAL PARK was subject to human occupation for many millennia before it became a designated conservation area.

Stone artefacts found over most of the KRUGER PARK indicate that people were living in the area during the Early, Middle and Late Stone Ages, dating back about 300000 years.

San hunter gatherers made their appearance in the region about 5000 to 6000 years when the climate became more suitable for human reoccupation.

From the artefacts and rock art found it is clear that the Little People were distributed during the Later Stone Age over most of the present day KRUGER PARK

Archaeologists estimated that during the first millennium AD, these herders from south-central AFRICA entered the Limpopo valley and then a migrated southward into what is now Mpumalanga.

A few examples of Khoi geometric finger paintings have been discovered in the northern area of the Park.

It is believed that the Little People disappeared about 500 years ago during the Late Iron Age after the ancestors of the present-day Black-tribes moved into the region.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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The Black Tribes.

At the beginning of the Iron Age during the period AD 200 to 500 several Black Tribes penetrated the area, with small herds of domestic stock, ceramic traditions and knowledge of iron processing.

Some Iron Age sites were extensive covering 5 to 8 ha, and could have housed a large number of people.

Glass beads and Indian Ocean shells have been found there indicating that the people had had some contact with the East Coast of AFRICA.

They established a number of industries during the period AD 500 to 900, there was limited activity in the KRUGER PARK area until AD 1500, probably due to low overall human densities.

Most Iron Age settlements were built on sandy banks along main rivers and streams. The most important factors for site selection seem to have been access to water, a situation above annual flood-line and deep soils for limited agricultural activities.

During the Late Iron Age AD 1500 to the 19th century there was another influx of people, who may have been the ancestors of the ethnic groups that still occupy the area.

Rainfall cycles may have had an influence on the population densities.

Bone fragments uncovered in the area indicate that animal protein was obtained mainly through hunting. A few remains of cattle and goats have also been found. However no evidence had been found of large scale herding.

The land was used until the resources had been exhausted and then the inhabitants would move on to settle in another area.

Evidence of human habitation has been found in the years AD through Archaeological investigations:

200 in the Letaba River area.

300 in the Letaba, Sabie and Crocodile River areas.

500 in the Sabie River area.

700 in the Tsende and Sabie (740AD) River area.

800 in the Levhuvu (Pafuri), Olifants (Balule), Sabie (Mahlambamadube) River areas.

1300 in the Sabie (Shirimantanga) River area.

1600 in the Pafuri (Makahane) area.
1700 in the Pafuri, the Lebombo, the Letaba (Nhlarweni) Sabie (Shirimantanga) and Crocodile (Ngwenya) River areas.

1800 in the Pafuri (Makuleke), Lebombo near Shingwedzi, the Letaba (Masorini and Shilowa) Olifants (Lebombo) and Crocodile (Nsikazi) River areas.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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19th Century Tribal Politics and Migration.

A number of tribes collectively known ads the Tsonga were living in the low laying Mozambican coastal plains. Several Tsonga groups were subjugated by and incorporated into, dissident Zulu factions moving into the area from the south, particularly by an Impi under the command of Manukosi.

Other fled to the west and settled in the present KRUGER PARK area. This migration pushed the already established Sotho and Venda inhabitants further inland.

The inhabitants of the area were until 1880 frequently harassed by the Swazis and Zulus from the south.

This harassment largely stopped towards the end of the century and parties of European hunters entered the area in the winter months, forcing many of the inhabitants back across the Lebombo Mountains into Mozambique.

Stevenson Hamilton noted that “natives from Mozambique would come into the area and secure from interference, hunting to their heart’s content, only returning across the border as the annual visits from the white man came round, these natives who led a semi-nomadic life, would sow a few crops around the various hunting camps each season, returning the next year to a different locality as their inclination and the movement of the game might induce.

Regardless of other factors, camps were always made close to water-holes; bush was removed to make way for patches of mealies and sorghum”.

The prevalence of several dangerous endemic diseases in the area prevented large scale or permanent settlement, apart from these semi-nomads and occasional parties of hunters.

Malaria was always a threat to the human population.

Nagana transmitted by the Tsetse fly was a threat to cattle over most of the area.

The Nguni cattle were immune to most of the tick borne diseases; they were susceptible to fatal East Coast fever as well as Corridor disease.

Then the Rinderpest of 1the 1895/1896 period swept through the south-eastern regions of southern AFRICA severely reducing the populations of many animal species domestic and wild, many wild animal species had as a result reached such low densities that they could not recover.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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White Settlers.

As early as 1845 white people had pioneered a wagon track from the interior plateau to the Mozambican Coast. The Portuguese trader and hunter Joao Albasini was operating in the Low-veld at this time, no other white settlers are known of for this period.

Regular hunting parties started coming into the area by the 1870s.

A railway link was completed between the interior of South Africa and the now Maputo during 1892.

The involvement of whites in the Lowveld was summarised by Stevenson-Hamilton as follows: “Before 1899 the country under discussion was a little known-of wilderness, which white men – if the short period if the building of the Selati line was omitted – never entered except during the four healthy months, when hunters came down to lay in their summer store of biltong and supply if skins and horns. Prospectors alone roamed through the area with a commendable persistence only equalled by their want for success.”
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Local Habitation after Proclamation of the Reserve.

During his first tour of the Shingwedzi Game Reserve during 1903, Stevenson-Hamilton found many kraals along the Letaba, Shingwedzi and Levhuvu Rivers.

In his report for the period 1903 to 1904 he makes mention of “… isolated kraals scattered through the Reserve…” and “… I would certainly advocate the removal of the isolated kraals, which are nothing but hunting camps, to the larger rivers, where there is a larger human population and no game.”

He estimated that there were about 2000 to 3000 residents in the Reserve when he took over the Administration of the area.

During the period 1905 and 1906 the following kraals were identified:

The spelling is as per Stevenson-Hamilton’s hand drawn maps.

Image

and

Image

In 1911 the population was estimated at “… about 600 tax paying male natives, and 3500 old men, women and children, in the Sabie Game Reserve and in the Shingwedzi excluding Mhinga’s and Makuleke’s locations only about 200 all told”. “Most of the natives in the Sabie are, however located along the western border, with the exception of these and about 600 of both sexes, including children, on two or three Landowners Association (Transvaal Consolidated Landowners Association) farms near the Sabie Poort, there are less than 200 natives north of the Sabie and none at all south of it.”

“The principle of allowing the isolated kraals to exist on condition that the occupiers assist the authorities with information and vermin destruction works well. We get a great deal of valuable information from these people… .”

Severe drought conditions caused a general emigration of the resident population from the eastern and northern areas of the Sabie Game Reserve during 1913.

For the Shingwedzi Game Reserve it was stated in 1913 that “… now that the large locations (villages) in the north-west have been eliminated from this Reserve, the total number of native inhabitants amount to only a few hundred men women and children, living in isolated in widely scattered kraals. During the past ten years the tendency was to emigrate westwards on account of the lack of rain.

In 1921 he stated that the “… actual facts were that, while the Game Reserve south of the Sabie River was denuded of natives in 1902, in order to facilitate the increase of game, the strip on the west … was taken over and added to the Reserve only at the end of 1903 (being then full of natives as it is now). The idea was then that this extra land would add a buffer area, between the game country and the land under white settlement, in which the natives would be under the control of Reserve staff. Both game and settlers would benefit from this arrangement.”

Generally the Black population was sparse because of the inhospitable conditions and many of the groups were also nomadic.

The behaviour of the resident populations was ascribed by the Sabie Game Reserve authorities as “generally good”. In spite of the relatively low numbers of inhabitants and although law enforcement was more stringently applied after the proclamation of the Reserves, poaching could not be eliminated entirely and was noted in annual reports as being a problem.
Last edited by gmlsmit on Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Unread post by mposthumus »

Thank you gmlsmit. I have a file at home in which I keep all your interesting and informative posts to share with all the KNP addicts I know, and to read again and again whenever the longing for KNP overwhelms me. :thumbs_up:
Mel@nie

[b]Unforgettable Adventures and Memories . . . . Metsi Metsi - March 2011[/b]
[url]http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=51559[/url]

27.12 - 31.12 (Shingwedzi)
01.01 (Tamboti)
02.01 - 03.01 (L.Sabie)
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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I always enjoy your history posts gmlsmit 8) I love the fact that you draw so much from Stevenson-Hamilton.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Additions to the Park 1926 to 1946.

The Warden recommended to the Board in September 1934 that the state-owned farms along the Olifants River, namely Knaboomkop, Zeekoegat and Vereeniging, be included in the Park. It quickly came to light, that Vereeniging was not state-owned, it belonged to the TCLA, they were approached for a swap but refused, they were prepared to sell. Unfortunately there were no funds available.

The National Parks Act was amended and Knaboomkop and Zeekoegat were incorporated in 1935, together with the farms – Middleton, Batavia and Johnniesdale.

The inclusion of a further four farms along the Klein Letaba River was refused by the Minister of Lands.

The Government donated the farms Alma and D’Argai to the Park adoring 1938.

The Board showed interest in a few more farms, being – Sheila, Rhoda and Doreen, it was revealed that a number of prospecting and mining rights servitudes existed on thee, meaning that they had to be deproclaimed before a transfer could be negotiated before inclusion could be done.

The Government conveyed control of wildlife on Rhoda and Sheila to the Board even though the farms had still not officially been incorporated in the Park.

During 1946 negotiations started for an exchange of the farms Knaboomkop, Zeekoegat, Sheila, Rhoda and the later obtained Vereeniging, for an area east of the Klaserie River the reason being that the area was much game area. It was considered a far better option for inclusion into the Park than the land along the Olifants River.

The landowner of the Klaserie area refused the exchange and the proposal was abandoned.

Stevenson-Hamilton proposed during 1931 that steps be taken to place the area between the Levhuvu and the Limpopo Rivers under the control of the Board, and to move the Makuleke’s village further westwards along the Levhuvu River.

Representations were made to the Dept of Native Affairs through the Dept of Lands. Negotiations took place throughout 1932, they were persistently thwarted. Obstacles included the Dept of Native Affairs insistence that that the Board should carry the costs of a survey of the five farms (just north of the Dobodi River) which were earmarked for resettlement, the board also had to provide a cattle dipping tank and also sink four boreholes and then fit them with windmills, te Board found these costs prohibitive, an area along the Limpopo River was suggested by the Board which was also rejected resultingin failed negotiations.

Stevenson-Hamilton later suggested that the peripheral areas around the Makuleke’s village be proclaimed a conservation area and the control be passed on to the Board – resultingin the Pafuri Game Reserve being proclaimed by the Transvaal Provincial Administration (Proclamation 43 of 1933).

This proclamation provided a greater measure of control over the area although it was only a temporary arrangement. Col Deneys Reitz therefore undertook to prepare a submission to the Board to incorporate the area into the KRUGER PARK.

Board member O. Pirow raised objections to the inclusion into the KRUGER PARK, stating that he preferred that the land between te Park and an international (the Rhodesian Border) to be privately owned, it was still preferred that the Makuleke Village be moved from the area and in December 1934 it was reported that such a move was likely.

The Secretary of Mines informed the Board during 1935 that the area between the Levhuvu and Limpopo Rivers had been proclaimed a “public digging during 1908, by the end of 1935 the Department of Mines indicated that that it was considering deproclamation of the mining rights, the area first had to be surveyed – Mr. Orpen carried out this service free of charge during 1936 and the deproclamation took place during 1937.

The area was incorporated as Released Native Land by the Department of Native Affairs, much to the resentment of the Board since assurance had previously been given by the Minister of Lands that the PGR would be incorporated in the Park.

The Native Commissioner at Sibasa applied to the Dept of Native Affairs to have the proclamation of the Pafuri Game Reserve withdrawn in 1937, which was refused by the Transvaal Provincial Administration, “the Board was to maintain it’s supervision of the wildlife in the area but only insofar as it did not interfere with the natives in their legitimate occupational rights”.

The Board was in 1943 requested to take over the Sigondi and Mabilikwe pans, which adjoined the PGR, on the same basis as their control of the PGR, the Dept of Native Affairs opposed the request and nothing came of the request.

The first private land was donated to the Park during 1934 when Mrs. Eillen Orpen bought the 4492 ha farm – Chalons and donated it to the Government for inclusion into the Park, the original owners SA Townships Company then relinquished their prospecting and mining rights.

Chalons was transferred to the Board in 1935.

Mrs. Orpen then purchased the 4185 ha farm – Kingfisherspruit in 1939 which she also donated to the Park and the entrance gate was moved further west, before the legal formalities were finalised during 1941.

Mrs. Orpen also acquired the farm Red Gorten in 1940 of which she had previously owned a portion and also donated this land to the Park. The 4024 ha Red Gorten area was incorporated into the Park during 1941.

She also purchased the farms Hengel (832 ha) and Sikkelhoutkloof (4050 ha), the legalities for this donation was finalised in 1942. Blackberryglen (3547 ha) followed in 1943, Houtboschrand was donated in 1944.

Newington was presented and with the lady’s consent it was offered to the Dept of Native Affairs in exchange for the land in the Numbi Area. The Dept was not amenable to such an exchange would be illegal as the two areas fell under two different Tribal Authorities. Newington was then returned to Mrs. Orpen who was responsible for the addition of 24 528 ha to the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

It now became clear that the fencing of the western boundary was becoming more desirable and Stevenson-Hamilton stated in 1945 that “ I have already expressed the view that to save the wild animals from concerted attacks on the various grounds of damaging land, spreading disease etc., the best solution is segregation, not of the KRUGER PARK alone, but of all the adjoining areas where it is felt game should be allowed to exist, and which are unsuitable for farming operations. Such segregation in the form of fencing will be extremely expensive but may ultimately be necessary if wild life is to continue to exist in any part of the country.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Additions to the Park 1946 to 1960 Part 1.

After the unsuccessful negotiations for the inclusion of the Pafuri Game Reserve into the Park during the previous era further attempts were made during 1946 by Col. Sandenbergh the newly appointed Warden, the Board approached the Dept of Native Affairs, proposing that certain under the Board’s control be exchanged for the PGR.

Negotiations took place between the Warden and the Chief native Commissioner; the Warden also met with the Native Trust Board, an agreement was reached in October 1948.

A meeting was held in 1949 between the Board representatives and the Ministers of Land and of Native Affairs. It was agreed that the exchange would be on the basis of equal agricultural value, it was agreed that the Department of Native affairs would exchange the land around Pafuri for land along the north-western boundary of the Park, known as the Shingwedzi block.

The land was valued as follows:

19200 morgen of the PGR for forty eight thousand pounds, plus an additional 1000 morgen to the west for one thousand two hundred and fifty pounds.

The Shingwedzi block comprising 26298 morgen was valued at seventy eight thousand eight hundred and ninety four pounds.

Sandenbergh remarked “… the acquisition of the magnificent indigenous forest in the Limpopo area will mark a big step in the history of the Park.”

The Dept of Native Affairs was not satisfied with the valuations, after re-valuations had been made, the Board and the Department agreed to accept the PGR valuation of fifty nine thousand one hundred pounds and for the Shingwedzi block of sixty thousand four hundred and eighty five pounds. Even though an agreement had been reached the Dept insisted that the Board provide an additional thirteen thousand pounds to provide water in the Shingwedzi block. The negotiations came to a halt.

A delegation of the Board met with the Ministers of Lands and Native Affairs to try and resolve the matter during 1952, the following decisions were taken:
The exchange would be transacted on a morgen for morgen basis.
Any inhabitants of the Pafuri area, who were legally entitled to live there, would be allowed to stay. It was later established that there were 303 families in the area with an estimated total population of 1600.

The Secretary of the Board addressed the issue of the Pafuri residents in an exchange of letters.

The legal rights of the inhabitants would be determined jointly by Native Affairs and representatives of the Board.
Where legal living rights could be proved, the families would be allowed to occupy their current quarters on the present premises.
Inhabitants would be allowed to cultivate existing lands and if they wished to move, new living quarters with sufficient arable land would be allocated to them by the KRUGER PARK.
If inhabitants were found guilty of contravening regulations of the National Parks Act, they would be given sufficient time to leave the area.
No free services would be expected of the inhabitants in exchange for their living rights.
Any inhabitants who were not legally entitled to live in the area would be repatriated to the areas from whence they had come.

It was also agreed that any land owing to the Board would be added to the western border of the PGR.

The two areas had to be surveyed before the exchange could take place. When the proposal was submitted to the Surveyor General he reacted in demanding to know how the interests of conservation could be served with such a dense human population remaining in the area. Why could the inhabitants not be transferred to the Shingwedzi block which “obviously had superior farming potential.”

The Board authorised the Chairman in 1953 to negotiate with the Dept of Native Affairs to have the Pafuri inhabitants moved from the area. He was also authorised to explore other possibilities of obtaining state land in exchange for the PGR area.

Although Native Affairs were prepared to negotiate the moving of the Pafuri inhabitants, they made it clear that only KRUGER PARK land would be acceptable for exchange purposes.

As a result of the deadlock on the exchange, the Board decided in 1954 to hand the control of the PGR, which it acquired in 1933, back to the Transvaal Provincial Administration.

The Dept of native Affairs agreed to resume negotiations about the incorporation of the PGR into the Park in 1956. It indicated that the inhabitants of the PGR were interested in land in the area to the north-west of Punda Maria, adjoining the Levhuvu River, rather than that of the Shingwedzi block.

The areas were inspected and the land exchange was agreed on during 1957.

The Board was adamant that only the Shingwedzi block would be available for such purpose, the Dept of Native Affairs was amenable though its main concern was the lack of sufficient water.

The Dept of Agricultural Technical Services raised objections to the proposed exchange of land “… on account of a veterinary agreement with the adjoining states to the effect that the boundaries of the Park should never be extended to the Limpopo River”.

The Board relented and decided to cancel all further negotiations regarding the acquisition of the PGR.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Additions to the Park 1946 to 1960 Part 2.

During a meeting held in 1949, with the Ministers of Land and Native Affairs it was agreed that the Board would retain the Department of Native Affairs Land in the Numbi area (including lot 201 to the north of Numbi), acquired during the previous era in exchange for land of equal agricultural value in the vicinity.

The land envisaged as compensation was an area along the Nsikazi River valued a one guinea per morgen; the Numbi land was valued at one shilling and sixpence more. However after the surveys had been done it was decided “… the Board could not entertain the exchange of the land in the Numbi area”.

The Board later offered several lots in the Sigambu block in exchange for the Numbi land; this was also turned down by the Dept of Native Affairs. It was then proposed that the Dept of Lands purchase the portion of the farm Burghershall north of the North Sand River, and includes it in the “native released area” in exchange for the Numbi land.

The Dept of Native Affairs was in favour of this proposal, the Board offered the Sigambu block to the Dept of Lands in exchange for the Burghershall land.

The proposal was not accepted and in 1952, after the Board had approved the construction of a National Road through the extreme south-western corner of the Park along the Crocodile River, it was decided to renew the offer of the Sigambu block in exchange for the Numbi area.

A memorandum to this effect was submitted by the Dept of Lands to the Dept of Native Affairs, early 1953.

Each area was visited by members of the Board and Native Affairs during July 1953, it was then agreed that it would not be in the interest of both parties to exchange the Sigambu area for that of Numbi.

It was suggested that the National Parks Board determine the minimum area required to protect the flora on the eastern slopes of the Numbi Mountain, and to retain the buildings erected at the Numbi Gate, compensation was to either be cash or land.

The Numbi area was finally proclaimed part of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK in February 1957 when the area of 873 morgen, including the Numbi Mountain, and another area of 112 morgen surrounding the Numbi Gate, were exchanged for 986 morgen south of the Numbi-Pretoriuskop road, as far as the Nsikazi River.

Although it was considered extreme action, it was on the cards that the Numbi area in question would be included in the Park by an Act of Parliament, on the premise “… that the National benefit by this action would be far greater than excising this land, of doubtful agricultural value, from the Park for settlement by natives.”
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Unread post by gmlsmit »

Additions to the Park 1946 to 1960 Part 3.

Mrs. Orpen’s donation of farms to the KRUGER PARK had resulted in Hartebeesfontein being the only privately owned land within the Park.

The Dept of Lands approached the owner Dr. JNW Laubscher in 1951 with the intention of purchasing his farm. Dr. Laubscher initially refused to sell, saying that he was already in his 70s and derived a lot of pleasure and benefit from his farm.

The Board was keen to straighten the western boundary, before the planned fencing of the Park’s perimeter took place. As a result the Board was prepared to forfeit certain farms, including Knaboomkop, Zeekoegat, and portions of Middelin, Batavia, Diepkloof, Klaserie-mond and Vereeniging, in order to acquire Swartkop, Peru and Hartebeesfontein. Knaboomkop, Zeekoegat and a portion of Vereeniging were exchanged for Swartkop in 1959.

Dr. Laubscher offered to sell Hartebeesfontein in 1959 to Government and it was then added to the Park.

Subsequently the western half of Batavia was exchanged for the eastern wedge of the farm Addger, between Sikkelhoutkloof and Red Gorten.

Initially the KRUGER PARK authorities to this exchange because they wanted to retain Batavia intact for the sake of the last herd of Roan Antelope remaining in the area. However the only other land suitable for possible exchange, the elongated section of Middelin, could not be considered as it no longer be suitable for exchange if the farm Albatross belonging to Mr. O Pirow and Dr. A Schoch were to be added to the Park in the near future, and the available portions of the farms Diepkloof and Klaserie-mond had to be kept in reserve for exchange for the farm Peru.

Here below is a copy of the map of the farms mentioned above as well as those donated by Mrs. Eileen Orpen.

Image

As well as a copy of a map indicating how many farms there were in the area during in 1918.

Image
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Additions to the Park 1960 to 1970.

A number of additions and excisions were made during this period, primarily along the western boundary in the Central District and along the south western boundary in the Southern District.

An area of 1722 morgen was excised from the Park during 1960/1961 from the south-western corner of the Park, immediately to the west of the Nsikazi River in the Sigambu Block. This was done to facilitate the building of a new main road through the area by the TPA.

In 1964 an area along the western boundary, immediately to the north of the Olifants River, was exchanged with the Phalaborwa Mining Company for the farm Peru, approximately 4000 morgen in size, as the farm jutted into the KRUGER PARK along the western boundary of the Kingfisherspruit Section, its incorporation into the Park straightened the boundary area. Fences were erected in 1965 to finalise the exchange.

A portion of the Park west of the Nsikazi River was deproclaimed to allow a railway line to be built through that area. Negotiations with the Dept of Bantu Administration and Development resulted in the decision that portions of the Park to the west of the new railway line would be deproclaimed and added to the adjoining homelands, while areas to the east of the line would become part of the Park.

In terms of the agreement 880 morgen to the west of the Nsikazi River in the Sigambu Block went to the Department of Bantu Administration and Development as did an area of 4189 morgen to the north of Numbi Gate, which included Numbi Hill.

The area acquired by the Board from the exchange was 3160 morgen to the immediate north of Numbi Gate – the net loss to the Park was 1909 morgen.

Three changes were made to straighten the western boundary in the Central District during 1960/1961. The purpose was to save fencing costs and to facilitate better management. The farm Addger 105 which was approximately 2000 morgen in extent was purchased by the Government two areas were excised – the spear shaped portion of Middelin 202 (490morgen) and Diepkloof 91 (1328 morgen) to the south-east of the Olifants River, which is also shown on the previous map.

The exchange of 23572 morgen of KRUGER PARK land along the western boundary (Nthlaveni) of the Shangoni Section for an equal-sized area between the Levhuvu and Limpopo Rivers, known as Makuleke’s kraal, was officially made in 1968. The fence was erected and the inhabitants of Makuleke’s kraal settled on their new land.

This exchange was on a hectare for hectare basis, the reasons below made sense to both parties:

There was limited infrastructure in the Pafuri area e.g. Proper roads, clinics, shops and schools.

Average rainfall in new Shangoni area was higher – 550 mm to the 400 mm of Pafuri.

The soil was more fertile.

Due to foot and mouth disease restrictions no cattle could be owned in the Makuleke area (only donkeys) since early 1930s.

Large parts of the Levhuvu’s lower reaches were regularly inundated by floods when the Levhuvu dammed against the full Limpopo River.

Temperatures at Nthlaveni are much milder than in the Limpopo Valley.

Elephants regularly raided the little crops they managed to grow, (the elephants were mainly from Rhodesia – few from the KRUGER PARK).

From a Conservation point of view this exchange also made good sense because of the habitat and rich plant diversity and spectacular views and vistas and from a Security point of view it was also favourable as both the River Banks could now be patrolled.

Although the fencing of the boundaries went slow it was seen as a long cherished ideal that was materialising. It was regarded as one of the most impressive steps ever in the protection and control of the wildlife populations, the curtailment of poaching and the preservation of the rare animal species.

The fences were mainly barbed wire strands and did not prove to be game-proof. Numerous negative implications were noted:

Where the fences cut through traditional migratory routes of the larger animals it could not be considered a game deterrent as was intended, strengthening the fence with cables would make it game proof.

Many animals with thin hides were injured while trying to crawl through the barbed-wire fence.

The fence formed an unnatural barrier against which fleeing animals could be forced against during a flood or veld fire.

Large numbers of carnivores had been fenced out which upset the predator/prey relationship, especially in areas with a high predator density.

The numbers of certain rare species were severely reduced by the fence – in the south-western corner of the Malelane Section almost the entire area inhabited by Red Duiker, west of Boulders was fenced off. The only known population of Roan Antelope in the Central District in the Batavia area was fenced out – this was serious loss.

The maintenance of firebreaks along the fence was very costly to the Board.

However it was believed that negative effects were by far outweighed by the advantages. It was also stated that:

A time that may have seemed impossible, is already foreseen, when the fauna in the veld will only find sanctuary in National Parks and Protected areas. It must however be borne in mind that even National parks are not inviolate, and where confrontations along the boundaries with agricultural and human expansion pressure and other established interests are inevitable, an d in view of developments, there will be increasing pressure to eliminate the source of irritation.

The fencing of the western boundary was of veterinary concern , it provided a barrier curtailing the spread of contagious diseases such as Foot and Mouth, Swine fever, Corridor disease, Malignant catarrhal disease – which are endemic to wild animals to domestic stock to the west and south of the Park.
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gmlsmit
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Land Negotiations 1970 to 1985.

No land was added to the Park during this period.

It was announced that the successful transfer of some land from the Dept of Bantu Administration and Development in the area between the Sabie River and the new Kruger Gate, this 2800 ha was still owed to the Park from previous land exchanges.

Despite the promised land in 1974 there was a change of heart and at the 1975 Board Meeting a letter from the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development in which it was stated that the requested land would not be transferred to the Board. Instead an offer was made to acquire the Riemvasmaak area for te Aughrabies Falls National Park and “… the triangle of marshes along the Limpopo west of Pafuri” for the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

Dr. Rocco Knobel the Director of the National Parks Board remarked that although he had not withdrawn the Board’s request for the land along the Sabie River “… the two pieces of land offered at Aughrabies and Pafuri are from a Nature Conservation point of view much more valuable than the land near Skukuza.”

At the November 1978 Board meeting it was brought to the Board’s attention that the Venda Homeland was expected to obtain its in the independence in the latter half of 1979 and by international law, the boundary along the Levhuvu River would no longer be the high- water level on the northern side, but in the centre of the river instead, despite the Board’s objections the new boundary was enforced at Venda’s independence in 1979.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Additions and Excisions to the Park 1985 to 1994.

Several significant additions were made during this period, the land area available to the traditional migratory routes of Zebra and Blue Wildebeest was greatly increased by the dropping of fences between KRUGER and four major neighbouring private Game Reserves – Umbabat, Sabi Sand, Klaserie and Timbavati.

The land expropriated from Chief Mdluli in 1968 was returned to him.

Mr. Hans Hoheisen donated his wildlife estate to the SA NATURE FOUNDATION in August 1989. The property consisted of four farms Kempiana (3960 ha), Lilliydale (3921 ha, Spring Valley (3839 ha) and a portion of Morgenzon (2113 ha). These properties adjoined the land previously donated to KRUGER by Mrs. Eileen Orpen.

Dr. Pienaar responded do the donation by saying “… we are confident that once the fence between our respective lands is removed, your block of farms will not only make a significant contribution to our greatest and most prestigious National Park, but the additional traditional summer grazing will be of immense benefit to the animal population of the area, and will re-establish age-old migration patterns which were disrupted by the boundary fence.”

The Hoheisen property was transferred to the Foundation on 12 January 1990 and placed under the custodianship of the KRUGER PARK. The Park also took over the running of the Ngala Lodge situated on a small portion of the farm Vlakgezicht in October 1991.

The Lodge was revamped and reopened under the Conservation Corporation banner on 10 October 1992, the environmental management matters remained the responsibility of KRUGER PARK.

The fences with this donation as well as those with the previously mentioned private reserve were removed in March 1993; the entire fence between Orpen Gate and the Olifants River was dismantled.

Dr. Robinson then the Chief Director of the National Parks Board commented that this was the first step towards the formation of Transfrontier National Parks. ”Should the project come to fruition, it could incorporate different managerial models, in one ecological entity and be a world example of regional co-operation and environmental rehabilitation, to the benefit of both man and the natural environment. Ecological processes could be reinstated on a mammoth scale and the threatened Elephant populations could be afforded a sustainable future, unhindered by political and artificial national boundaries.

The potential for wealth creation and benefits for the natural communities were also emphasized.
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Re: HUMAN PRESENCE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Three other Land incidents.

After a series of meetings with Chief Mdluli held in 1994, regarding the return of his land which had been incorporated into the KRUGER PARK with the 1968 construction of the railway line Dr. Salomon Joubert recommended that there was sufficient evidence, on both moral and ethical grounds, for his claim for the return of his land to be granted.

Although land to the north of Numbi had been cut out of the Park with the laying of the railway line, it fell outside of Chief Mdluli’s area of jurisdiction and was not part of his land claim.

The recommendation was accepted and returned to Chief Mdluli.

Dr. Pienaar approached the Dept of Defence in 1975 requesting that the Nyavadi Pan, on the north-western border of the Park, be incorporated into the KRUGER PARK.

The pan was a unique waterbird habitat and the only site in te Park surroundings where breeding pairs of Open Billed storks could be found. The request was turned down on the grounds that the land belonged to the Republic of Venda.

The possibility of incorporating the Nyavadi Pan into the Park was again broached with the SADF in 1988. Although sympathetically received the request was again turned down. Alternatives, such as the SADF themselves turning the area into a Nature Reserve and reaching some form of contractual agreement with the Board ultimately came to nothing.

During the 1980s it became apparent that the Tshikondeni Mine just north of the Pafuri entrance Gate were spreading their activities towards the Levhuvu River and that additional shafts would be sunk for easier extraction of ore.

Fears arose that these developments could impact negatively on the underground water resources, and consequentially on the springs south of the Levhuvu.

There would also be a visual impact on the Nyalaland Trails Camp.

To address these gears the Tshikondeni Mine management invited researchers from KRUGER to evaluate the situation.

A team from the Park visited the area in October 1993, to investigate specific problems related to the expected expansion of mining activities into the Makuya area.


The mine’s adherence to the EIA done by the firm Plankonsult.

The ensuing report mentioned that several springs

Which occurred in the extreme northern areas of the Park made an important contribution to the biodiversity of the area, and represented mineral aquatic ecosystems of considerable scientific value.

Furthermore the water from some of these springs was luke-warm possibly that it was of meteoric origins at great depths and therefore flowed through the layers mined for coking coal.

It was also pointed out that the distribution of the springs suggested that several could be fed from the same source between the Mikambeni and Madzaringwe geological formations, and that any impact on the source would therefore have a detrimental effect on all of them.

It was recommended that an independent, detailed geohydrological study be undertaken, and that the mining activities be adapted to avoid damaging the springs.

With reference to the aesthetical aspects of additional shafts in the Makuya conservation area, it was recommended that an EIA of the Makuya area be undertaken. This was done to avoid spoiling the Nyalaland Trails Camp and the hunting camp in the Makuya area.

The study pointed out that the mining activities could have impact on the quality of the Levhuvu River water as well as the entire al the entire spectrum of biota in the region.

To address the possible effects, it was recommended that a comprehensive decommissioning plan be drawn up for the mine and a detailed EIA to determine the effect of sagging close to the river due to mining activities.

At the conclusion of their investigation it was found “… the Tshikondeni Mine, in general, maintained a positive attitude to environmental conservation, that they were sensitive to the impact their activities could have on the environment and that they attempted to adhere to the prescriptions of the original EIA of 1984.

In 1994 a report was received from the Wildlife and Environmental society of Southern Africa regarding suspected irregularities committed by the Tshikondeni Mine in the Makuya conservation area. However a meeting of all parties involved revealed that the accusations were unfounded.

A firm commitment was again made by Iscor to give its full co-operation to all parties involved.
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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
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