Rehabilitation transforms Renishaw to indigenous state

Renishaw Hills is a mature lifestyle estate on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, is part of the larger Renishaw Development, developed on the ethos of environmental sustainability and community upliftment. One of the major projects highlighting this commitment is the Renishaw Rehabilitation Programme, the restoration of the region on both sides of the N2 and Mpambanyoni River and its tributaries, previously used for the cultivation of sugar cane.

“Although the Renishaw Rehabilitation Programme only officially started in 2019 and is set for completion in 2022, we have been re-establishing the area through a number of projects since 2012,” explained Phil Barker, managing director of Renishaw Property Developments, developers of Renishaw Hills. “The first was the Alien Plant Eradication Programme to remove harmful invasive vegetation; the second was the establishment of the Izinyoni Indigenous Nursery at Crocworld Conservation Centre in 2013. The plants grown are used at both the estate and in the broader community.”

Department of Environmental Affairs has partnered with Renishaw, and its aim is to ensure that degraded ecosystems are restored to their original state so that they are able to support the natural species, while providing meaningful employment to previously disadvantaged communities.

With restoration the key, the project aims to:

•                Enhance the composition, structure and functions of degraded land.

•                Improve the protection, rehabilitation and sustainable use of wetlands, grasslands and forests.

•             Equip people with the knowledge, skills and mindset to effectively reach the objectives of the project.

•              Educate communities on issues of conservation and environmental management.

•       Remove alien invasive vegetation and sugar cane while re-establishing indigenous vegetation.

Alongside environmental restoration of approximately 200 hectares of land, the project aims to create local employment opportunities for the surrounding communities, providing socio-economic upliftment by supporting households, and offering skills’ development and training. As part of the programme, led by Gareth Hampson, Renishaw Property Developments has employed a team of 52 local workers – with a focus on women, the youth and the disabled – from the adjacent community of aMandawe.

“We will be restoring 65% of the 350ha land on Renishaw Estate, developing cross-boundary and internal ecological corridors, with a particular focus of connecting them to the T.C. Robertson Nature Reserve,” continued Barker. “We are already seeing a massive transformation, with the arrival of more indigenous animals as the project progresses. Throughout this process, we will continue to seek ways to bring about socio-economic transformation in the surrounding communities.”

Michelle Nevette, a Divisional Manager of SiVEST Environmental Division, managing the Rehabilitation Programme said: “A programme of this nature provides substantial positive change to the natural environment on the estate and its surrounding communities, and will prove instrumental in supporting the 350-hectare Mpambanyoni Conservation Development.”

For more information about Renishaw Hills and its ongoing projects and events, visit www.renishawhills.co.za. For more information on the housing and to arrange a visit, email sales@renishawhills.co.za