August 2, 2013

Fransmanshoek Conservancy

Fransmanshoek Conservancy

This conservancy stretching along some beautiful coastline around Vleesbaai, was constituted in 1994. They employed their first student ranger in 2005 and they have since grown stronger and more effective every year. The conservancy was taken to a new level when they employed their first permanent employee who did excellent work and also helped secure a work vehicle to ease operations of the rangers and manager. This conservancy currently has a full time manager and they enrol two Saasveld students every year for their Work Integrated Learning year. Because of the good name that Fransmanshoek has built up, they get many applications every year. The Conservancy helps these students to fulfil all the criteria to successfully complete their practical year. The students get a stipend and free accommodation from the conservancy, but need to have their own vehicle. These students assist with many hands-on tasks, contributing to the success of Fransmanshoek conservancy. One of the main areas where the rangers and manager play a role is with fisheries compliance and protection of marine resources; since this conservancy is situated along pristine coastline with good intertidal stocks and fish stocks they have high pressure for harvesting.

“The rangers check permits and have good relationship with the Department of Fisheries who come out whenever a fine needs to be written”, says Roland Scholtz.

The conservancy has a committed treasurer and chairman and many willing landowners who pay their annual levies. All this contributes to make this model sustainable and enables the conservancy to do all the good work they do. Other projects that this conservancy have been involved in include Environmental Education days, alien clearing, road repairs, intertidal monitoring, fix point photography and more. It is truly inspiring to talk to Roland Scholtz who is the current manager of this conservancy and to hear about all the projects and influence this conservancy has in the landscape. This is a great example of the potential of a conservancy.

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