Department issues Directive to Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve - News | DEA&DP

Department issues Directive to Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve

23 July 2021

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning has issued a Directive to cease activities taking place on the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve, Ceres and the neighbouring Farm Valschgat Kloof due to significant degradation of the environment. The degradation is being caused by the usage of  informal roads and a parking area (at the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve), situated in a highly sensitive botanical ecosystem and a threatened plant species area.    

During an investigation into allegations of pollution and degradation of the environment, site inspections were conducted by Environmental Management Inspectors of the Department and CapeNature. The investigations confirmed that significant degradation of the environment took place through the clearing of indigenous vegetation.

This was done by means of a bulldozer for the construction of a parking area at the Groothoek Kloof viewpoint and the development and the expansion and widening of roads on Farm Erfdeel and Farm Valschgat Kloof, all areas which fall within a highly sensitive altimontane fynbos area.

Section 28(1) of the NEMA provides that every person who causes, has caused or may cause significant pollution or degradation of the environment must take reasonable measures to prevent such pollution or degradation from occurring, continuing or recurring, or, in so far as such harm to the environment is authorised by law or cannot reasonably be avoided or stopped, to minimise and rectify such pollution or degradation of the environment.

The Department has now instructed the owners, amongst others, to:

  • Immediately cease the activities causing or having caused the above pollution and/or degradation of the environment.
  • Cease all vehicular driving activities not related to protea harvesting on the road which is situated above the 1280 m split from the Spekrivierkloof road to a height of 1880 m (as stipulated in the Record of Decision/”RoD” reference no: AN 23/25/4 Plaas 424).
  • Submit to the Department for approval, within 30 (thirty) calendar days of receipt of the Directive, a rehabilitation plan compiled by a suitably qualified and experienced independent environmental assessment practitioner, for the 4x4 roads and parking area (at the Groothoek Kloof viewpoint) in question.

Rudolf van Jaarsveldt, the Department spokesperson said: “Our Environmental Management Inspectors (Green Scorpions) have confirmed that significant pollution and/or degradation of this highly sensitive environment has taken place. Therefore the Directive in terms of section 28(4) of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) was issued to the owners to prevent and/or minimize the pollution and/or degradation from continuing.”

Failure to comply with a Directive is an offence and a person convicted of such an offence is liable to a fine not exceeding R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

The Department will continue to monitor the situation.


Media Enquires

Rudolf van Jaarsveldt:

Head of Communication

Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning

Telephone                   : 021 483 4051

Mobile                         : 076 3195 027

Email                            :

Website                       :