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    Our Projects

    Msinsi Grassland Restoration

    The Msinsi Grassland is an 8.5 hectare property in Kloof consisting of about 7 hectares of highly threatened KZN Sandstone Sourveld Grassland and about 1.5 hectares of riverine forest.

    The property, owned by the Department of Education but neglected for several years, is bounded by Klooflands, Msinsi and Edwin Swales Roads as well as by some private properties and is commonly known as the Msinsi Community Conservation Area.

    Helichrysums in full bloom

    The Area

    The area has been divided into three areas to allow for the formulation of specific eradication and maintenance programmes:

    • Grassland/Bush clump mosaic: 63,226 m2 (western area)
    • Forest and forest margin: 20,524 m2 (south eastern area)
    • Riparian area, 5m each side of the stream: 1,504 m2 (central, stream flows to South to North)

    Biodiversity Value

    The property is described by the Environment Planning and Climate Protection Department of  the eThekwini Municipality as an environmentally sensitive area. It hosts a KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Plateau Sourveld grassland, as well as valuable wetland and a riverine forest, made more unique by being located within a built-up area.

    The property has the potential to be an exceptional home for a wide range of flora and fauna species but has has suffered from alternating periods of high intensity management to neglect.

    The Challenge

    Prior to 2000 the property was in serious neglect and was overrun by many invasive alien species including gum trees and many African flame trees. Around 2001 an intensive effort was undertaken by Kloof High School and Kloof Conservancy to rehabilitate the land and remove all IAPs. Over R100 000 was spent in an eradication programme and good progress was made but during 2008 the property was effectively once again abandoned and IAPs re-established themselves.

    In 2011 Kloof High once again approached the Kloof Conservancy to assist in the rehabilitation of the land. A  renewed attempt to rehabilitate the land was started in November 2011. Rehabilitation work started in November 2011 when a contractor (Rob Jamieson) was appointed to clear parts of the western section and parts of the eastern section along Msinsi. A partial grassland burn was also carried out during August 2012. Subsequent to that a schedule of regular (once per month) volunteer workdays have been undertaken and good progress has been made in the western section with most of the aliens having been treated and paths cut to allow residents to enjoy the area.

    Several flowering species in the reserve

    Significant progress has been made in rehabilitating the property and much of it is now in an excellent condition. Work is ongoing in the eastern section which is almost in maintenance mode. Work has commenced in the forest section and this still requires some significant input.

    The Kloof Conservancy attempted but was unsuccessful in getting any significant buy-in from the local community in directly supporting the rehabilitation process. The property is now worked on by a small team of conservancy volunteers who work one Saturday per month and are supported by some of the neighbours.

    Discussions are currently in process to transfer ownership of the land from Public Works to eThekwini Municipality after-which the land will be declared a conservation zone thus increasing the level of environmental protection available.

    The rare Eulophia cucculata was re-discovered in the grassland – this is only the second known site of this species in the eThekwini metro area.

    Our Projects

    Msinsi Grassland Restoration