GROENKLOOF: A GREEN SUBURB
True to our name, Groenkloof is one of the greenest suburbs anywhere in Pretoria. We go to great lengths to ensure that the area is free from litter and pollution of every kind, so we can all enjoy the best of the South African lifestyle whilst minimising our impact on the planet.
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve forms the heart (and lungs) of our community – it’s the oldest nature reserve in South Africa and a wonderful respite from the city.
In addition to the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, our suburb has several other green spaces that are ideal for picnics, exercise and meeting up with friends. These include the popular Jan Cilliers Park and the peaceful Eugene Marais Park – a piece of bush right in the middle of our village.
Jan Cilliers Park was originally ploughed and planted with Namaqualand daisies, but has subsequently been developed with trees and indigenous plants, plus two dams connected by a stream. The cycads and giant strelitzias are particularly impressive. On the Wenning Street edge of the park there is an entrance to a small, secure car park. The park is always open.
Eugene Marais Park, on the corner of Van Reesema and Van Wouw Streets, has a short circular pathway that winds through the mostly indigenous vegetation. As the plants are left in their natural state, the park attracts butterflies, bats, birds and even porcupines. The park is open on the last Sunday of every month from 08h00 to 16h00.
During the Jacaranda flower season Herbert Baker Street is a stunning sea of white blossoms. There are over a hundred of these iconic trees along this street, with the first of them having been received from the city of Los Angeles back in 1961.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve
The 600ha nature reserve was originally proclaimed by President Paul Kruger on 25 February 1895 to protect the shy and rarely seen oribi antelope, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2020. For many years, the reserve was leased for exotic timber plantation, to supply wood and paper. A memorial wall stands beside traces of the homestead of the early pioneer Lucas Bronkhorst, who settled here around 1839.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve is located adjacent to the Fountains Valley at the southern entrance to our suburb. It is flanked by Christina de Wit Avenue and Nelson Mandela Drive, which separates the nature reserve from the Voortrekker Monument and Klapperkop Nature Reserve. In total, these protected areas conserve some 1,400 ha of threatened “bankenveld” vegetation.
FLORA AND FAUNA
In 1994, historical exotic plantations were removed to allow the indigenous flora to regenerate. Open grassland occurs along the Apies valley and the higher plateau. Native trees such as white stinkwood, hook-thorn, mountain karee, velvet bushwillow, wild pear and puzzle bush are found on the hillsides and in the lower valley.
Beginning in 1999, various species of wildlife were reintroduced. Today, it’s possible to see zebra, blesbok, impala, kudu, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, giraffe and sable. Jackal, duiker and rock hyrax are also resident.
Over 120 bird species have been recorded in the nature reserve and the adjacent Fountains Valley.
THE VOORTREKKER MONUMENT
The Voortrekker Monument is situated on Groenkloof Farm. This massive granite landmark was designed by South African architect Gerhard Moerdijk and constructed between 1937 and 1949. The Voortrekker Monument commemorates the mass movement of Afrikaner people from the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854.
Activities in the reserve include hiking and mountain-biking on well-marked trails, game drives and horse riding; there is also a popular 4×4 route on the reserve. There are basic overnight facilities (book well in advance) for up to 12 people and a youth camp.
- Summer (September to April): 05h30 – 19h00
- Winter (May to August): 07h00 – 18h00
For more information, please contact Alan Urban of Friends of Groenkloof Nature Reserve: 072 213 2176
KEEPING GROENKLOOF GREEN
The GRA has established or is planning several eco-initiatives to maintain the pleasant, attractive ambience of our suburb. The most important of these is the Groenkloof Recycling Initiative.
GROENKLOOF RECYCLING INITIATIVE
This important initiative began in February 2019 and is operated by JAC. Thanks to billing per pick-up point, it’s an affordable service and we’d encourage all Groenkloof residents to sign up and do their bit.
This recycling initiative helps lower our suburb’s carbon footprint and creates employment opportunities. By separating your recyclables from non-recyclables, we can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills from Groenkloof.
What can I recycle?
JAC will collect and recycle most household products except polystyrene and any plastic marked with a number 7 or higher. Generally, plastic that makes a crackling noise when crumpled in your hand is not recyclable, but everything else is.
- Recyclables are collected every Monday by JAC. Please leave your bag of recyclables by the kerb early on Monday mornings.
- The annual fee (2020) is R297 per household.
- To sign up, report a problem or to get involved in other green initiatives, please contact Francois Geringer – 082 854 7202