Overlooking the Berg River Dam: nice from far but…

8 August 2014

 

Litter is strewn around the viewing areas above the dam,

Litter is strewn around the viewing areas above the dam, weeds abound through the paving

Drain covers have been stolen and broken glass lies everywhere.

Drain covers have been stolen and broken glass lies everywhere.

The recently constructed and much-lauded Berg River Dam is located in a beautiful part of the Franschhoek Valley.  The broad expanse of wetland and fynbos, downstream of the dam wall, line both sides of the road leading to the view point.  Sadly, one’s impressions are then dashed by the sight of the litter and broken bottles strewn around the parking area and the small amphitheatre.  Drain covers have been stolen, the drains are full of broken bottles that will be washed down the slope above the river – and there appears to be zero effort applied in terms of general maintenance.  Tyre marks suggest nighttime racing down the long straight road.  Sunset visits to what is otherwise a unique viewing point are probably something of a risk.

Of course if there was a return-deposit on all glass bottles, this might result in the IQ-bereft cretins from finding enjoyment in smashing them after they have drunk the contents – or is this too much to hope for?

And then one notices the impacts of ill-advised and all-too-hasty removal of the forests that previously stabilised the slopes of the mountains around the dam…so much so that the erosion has caused the end of the Robertsvlei Road to become blocked.  Irreparable damage that could have been avoided – the warnings were there before the work was done.

 

Erosion scars on the mountain slopes.

Erosion scars on the mountain slopes.

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