While trying to scout for something a little more unconventional for the year-end event, and thinking of the wealth of mining source material at our fingertips in Gauteng, we stumbled upon the KLOOFENDAL NATURE RESERVE where the Friends of Kloofendal happen to be none other than Steve and Karin Spottiswoode with Rod Kruger, so naturally the decision was made for itself!
In spite of a Saturday morning time slot, there were stalwart enthusiasts as well as newbies (thanks to our SAICE and SAIEG communication channels) who all trekked together for a geological, nature and mining history adventure. The local geology comprises somewhat disturbed quartzites, sandstone and shale (yes, indicating promises of gold-bearing reefs!). Steve was our conductor here while Karin revealed the magic of fauna and flora. Rod then gave us a tour into the early diggings of the Struben brothers, amazingly excavated by hand drills, pickaxes, shovels and explosives, and are largely still intact. Being intelligent rock engineers, we all assessed the safety of the strata and decided it was perfectly acceptable to enter and exit unscathed. Which is what we did!
Kloofendal is located in the suburb of Kloofendal in the Roodepoort area of Johannesburg’s west Rand (cf. http://kloofendalfriends.yolasite.com/). This 150-hectare ecotourism and cultural heritage reserve hosts the intersection of two major faults, the Rietfontein and Witpoortjie faults. The resulting forces caused by these two faults moving together resulted in great structural complexity and contributed in large part to the gold placement in the Struben Mine, one of the oldest mines in the country.
The Confidence Reef was discovered on 18 September 1984 by F. P. T. Struben, giving the first payable gold to be discovered on the Witwatersrand. The discovery led to a rush of prospectors to the area and the eventual discovery of premier conglomerate “Main Reef” in 1886 that led to the birth of Johannesburg. Kloofendal is not only endowed with the rich mining history, but also pristine Highveld vegetation, small mammals and different kinds of birdlife, thus making it a perfect trail to explore nature. We experienced a lovely, peaceful, family friendly atmosphere, highly recommendable for a day picnic out.
Visit the website http://kloofendalfriends.yolasite.com/ or get in touch with Joburg City Parks for more information on the Kloofendal Nature Reserve and the exceptionally generous efforts that the friends of Kloofendal put into maintaining and protecting the resource, together with providing an education centre for scholars who come regularly for outings. It’s our heritage, ours to protect, cherish, enjoy and pass on to future generations.
A hundred ‘Thank You’s go to our sponsors, TIMRITE, Geo-Explore Store and ROCBOLT technologies, for the funding to cover our entrance fees and the grub, and to the Gauteng Branch team for all the effort in making the day memorable.
Keep following the Gauteng Branch on Facebook, “like”, “share” and suggest posts. Looking forward to our next evening of networking and new ideas!
(P.S. – if members have gone “missing” or new members need to be added, please contact Prince at PMulenga@srk.co.za).
SANIRE Gauteng Branch Committee