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Hennops River

South Africa

© 2018 by visualDESIGN.SPACE

RESTORING THE HENNOPS!

by Helen Duigan


Willem Snyman is not a “Lone” River Ranger – he has extensive support from a growing number of NGOs, companies, individuals, media and City of Tshwane departments.


This team keeps growing: 

  • Lewende Woord - a large riverside church property and park. Karla Jooste and her colleagues have started several inspiring alien-clearing and tree-planting efforts. 

  • Katherine Fillmore who keeps the news fresh on the Facebook page, Heal the Hennops River and on the website: Hennops Blue Horizon. On World Toilet Day (yes, there is such a day!) they visited Tembisa to give residents information on some of the causes of river pollution and about the stuff that goes into toilets, clogging up the sewers and causing manholes to overflow into the river. (More people worldwide have access to cell phones than to toilets, Katherine remarks.)

  • David Cochrane started Hennops Blue (www.hennopsblue.co.za) a non-profit company five years ago to help heal the Hennops River.

  • Amanda Jacobs, Chairperson of the Hennops River Forum has been working on healing the Hennops for years.

  • Thank you to Jonty van der Byl, Kevin Hinde, Alastair Crewe, Heike Taschner Jeske and Lynn Hinde and Simon Fillmore for providing Katherine Fillmore with ongoing support and encouragement in healing the river. Thank you to the Irene Dairy farm for selling a Day at the Dairy Farm book with all proceeds going to the river, material shopping bags with R5 donated to the river for each sale and for selling the healing crystal river awareness bracelet. Thank you to Clare Smith with your assistance in creating this bangle. Thank you to Buisson and Jeske for the donation to heal the river on Mandela Day. Thank you to all the incredible artists for donating a portion of their profits to healing the river at a recent Heal the Hennops art exhibition. Thank you to all the members on the Heal the Hennops Whatsapp group for your ongoing input and support. 

  • Hilda de Vroom of the Loerieland Independent School in The Reeds, Centurion: “Kids at this school follow the work done by Willem and his team of volunteers. Reach the kids and you reach the parents!”

  • A1 Fruits and Vegetables, the Laudium green grocer supplied large quantities of fruit and vegetables during clean-ups. 

  • Simon Varrall, co-creator of FRESH.ngo and the solid support behind Willem. 

  • Gert van Wyk from the Royal Elephant Hotel for providing the venue for our meetings and cleanup events. 

  • Dockie Docrat of Mary's Outfitters supplied gumboots and gloves – essential gear for people working in the filthy water.

  • Ridwaan Docrat of Sensational Angling Supplies provided nets for scooping out rubbish. 

  • Anton Francois Bailey of BluSwirl (Recycling) is providing bins for rubbish removal at clean-ups. (They are working on processes to utilize polystyrene. – which will be marvellous.) 

  • Rita Groenewald (Roots and Shoots South Africa) and Robynn Nolier (Lorey Park Zoo): Environmental Education at Ivory Park schools.

  • Trees: Donations from several people and organisations.  

  • Lynette Becker from the CoT Environmental & Agriculture Management Department has also given her support.

  • Mike Correa of Tshwane Environment and his team for providing large bags for rubbish collection during clean-ups.   

  • Kanyiso Straws: Kirsty Blaine has a reed drinking-straw business. She reckons that these local reeds can be perhaps be harvested sustainably in the upper areas where the fountain still runs pure, to create jobs and give value to the wetland.  

  • Agua é Vida. “We were shown how - with an electronic separation device - a thick layer of brown gunk emerges from normal tap water. This also doesn't conduct electricity from a plug until the correct minerals are added. It was made clear to us that tap water doesn't support optimal health of our bodies anymore,” says Willem.

  • Clothes for Good. “We met with Jesse Naidoo and Tammy Jooste of this recycling project which empowers children with disabilities in disadvantaged communities. Recycling programmes were discussed that can be implemented in Kaalfontein to deal with the huge volumes of waste piling up before it enters the river.”  

  • Design For Change South Africa. Educational possibilities were planned with this global movement that is empowering students to develop solutions for the problems in their communities. There are five schools surrounding the Kaalfontein wetland. Thank you to Jonty van der Byl, Kevin Hinde, Alastair Crewe, Heike Taschner Jeske and Lynn Hinde and Simon Fillmore for providing Katherine Fillmore with ongoing support and encouragement in healing the river. Thank you to the Irene Dairy farm for selling a Day at the Dairy Farm book with all proceeds going to the river, material shopping bags with R5 donated to the river for each sale and for selling the healing crystal river awareness bracelet. Thank you to Clare Smith with your assistance in creating this bangle. Thank you to Buisson and Jeske for the donation to heal the river on Mandela Day. Thank you to all the incredible artists for donating a portion of their profits to healing the river at a recent Heal the Hennops art exhibition. Thank you to all the members on the Heal the Hennops Whatsapp group for your ongoing input and support. 

And then there are the dozens and dozens of people in townships and informal settlements along the river that pitched willingly to help clean some areas of the appalling mess dumped into the river.


“DA Councillor Otto has also emerged as a key figure to find a solution to this river invasion,” says Willem.


And then there are the media who have reported on Restoring the Hennops:  

  • Sheree Bega, news-editor of Saturday Star (several articles)

  • RSG - Suzanne Paxton Spektrum

  • Centurion Rekord (several articles)

  • BizNews.com

  • Additional Facebook pages: ARMOUR, Crocodile River Reserve, Rhenosterspruit Conservancy, Laezonia Community, Gerhardsville/Hennops River.

  • And Shares by the thousands across the country!


Please let us know of any others!