Social & Community News
18 March 2022

Rustenburg – Please take extra care when buying firewood next to the road – make sure that the wood was harvested responsibly. 

A beautiful piece of the protected Magaliesberg Biosphere is being targeted by tree fellers trying to make a quick buck from selling firewood. Please don’t support their crime by buying any firewood from them. 

Platinum Weekly spoke to doctor Cathy Dzerefos who serves as a director on the Magaliesberg Biosphere Board who said: “The felling of Boekenhout, African stinkwood, thorn trees and even the marula in the Rietvlei area are tragic on several levels. Rustenburg residents often have wood from their gardens and pavements that they would gladly have the wood collectors take for use as firewood.

“Just this weekend the Change Agents that have been planting trees and keeping the area at Fontein street behind Kenny Gee’s clean, were so saddened by someone who just dumped a tree that was cut up. We really have let those kids down by disrespecting their efforts. What a shame that the wood cutters can’t take this wood instead of chopping down live indigenous trees.

“In Haenertsburg Limpopo, ZZ2 are taking offcuts from people’s gardens and making compost. We should do things better! We just need people in authority and in functional businesses to think a little harder about things other than money. It’s not just the trees that are being lost but a whole ecosystem that relies on those trees. 

“We have people at municipal and provincial level that are being paid to protect our biodiversity. This matter has been reported to them so why are they not doing something? All I can say is that at some point they will be held to account and till then I hope they feel a little bit ashamed as they drive past the destruction that is happening on their watch.”

The area (which forms part of the Magaliesberg Biosphere) between King’s Gate Hotel and the piece of land where people are often evicted on the N4 is targeted by these tree fellers. Most of the property belongs to the Rustenburg Local Municipality (RLM). 

Many of the trees are also protected species. 

In one of the latest incidents the trespassers were confronted by Dawid Erasmus who lives in the area. He took photos of their Isuzu truck and numberplate and reported the incident to the RLM and his councillor Johan Cronje, who also reported the incident. Erasmus is still awaiting feedback from the RLM…

The trespassers who used an Isuzu truck were reported to the RLM for cutting down trees in a protected area.
It took years for this beautiful indigenous tree to grow to this size before it was cut down illegally.


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