Kruger National Park to demolish Mingerhout Dam

Posted by Kyro Mitchell on 14 January 2021

The Mingerhout Dam near the Letaba River in the north-central region of Kruger National Park will soon no longer be a feature of the park. The Kruger National Park (KNP) in conjunction with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has announced it will demolish Mingerhout Dam, found on the S47, about 9km of Letaba Camp.

Kruger National Park to demolish Mingerhout Dam

The demolition operation will be conducted from Sunday, January 24 until Saturday, February 6, 2021. Explosives will be used to demolish the structure; after which the rubble will be removed as part of the rehabilitation process undertaken by the Expanded Public Works, Biodiversity Social Program.

According to General Manager, Communications and Marketing at SANParks, Isaac Phaahla, ‘In between the work taking place at Mingerhout Dam, there will be some demolition for the remaining parts of Kanniedood near Shingwedzi as well. To ensure the safety of tourists, all roads in the two areas will also be temporarily closed from 24 January to 6 February 2021.’

The affected roads are:

  • In Letaba, the affected roads are the S47 gravel road, the entire loop of S47 will be closed from the junction of S47 and H1-6 to junction of S47 and S131.
  • In Shingwedzi, the affected roads are the S50 gravel road, this will be closed from S50 and S134 junction in Shingwedzi to the S50 and S143 junction in Mooiplaas.

The decision to demolish the Mingerhout Dam, which was first constructed in 1974, was taken because the dam has silted up to the extent that it is no longer serving its purpose as a dam, says SANParks.

Mingerhout is, however, close to Engelhardt another dam also found near Letaba (the two dams are 16 kilometres apart), and KNP management reached consensus to remove Mingerhout Dam to support the KNP rehabilitation programme.

KNP has an artificial water provision policy that allows for the closing and removal of artificial water points. Artificial water holes where water did not previously occur naturally have led to numerous ecological problems such as erosion and other environmental degradations such as barriers to fish migration routes.

‘Conservation Management has taken steps to rectify these negative consequences by closing and demolishing certain artificial water holes. To enhance tourist experience, alternative game viewing opportunities will be provided in the future at areas of naturally occurring surface water,’ concluded Phaahla.

 

Picture: Facebook/ Andrew Van Ginkel

 






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