Citizen reporter
2 minute read
15 Jan 2021
1:18 pm

Kruger Park to demolish ‘artificial’ Mingerhout Dam 

Citizen reporter

Artificial water holes in the park have led to ecological problems such as erosion, and creating barriers to fish migration routes. 

Since the Mingerhout Dam's construction in 1974, it has silted up to the extent that it no longer serves its purpose as a dam. Picture: Facebook/Afritrails

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be assisting the Kruger National Park (KNP) later this month in demolishing the Mingerhout Dam near the park’s Lebata camp. 

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the demolition will take place from 24 January until 6 February. 

Explosives will be used and all rubble removed. 

It was found that artificial water holes in the park have led to ecological problems such as erosion, and creating barriers to fish migration routes. 

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During the time that the Mingerhout dam will be demolished, there are also plans to destroy the remaining parts of the Kanniedood Dam near Shingwedzi, South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesperson Isaac Phaahla said. 

“To ensure the safety of tourists, all roads in the two areas will also be temporarily closed from 24 January to 6 February 2021,” he added. 

The following roads will be affected: 

  • The entire loop of the S47 gravel road in Letaba, from the junction of S47 and H1-6 to the S47 and S131 junction, will be closed; and
  • In Shingwezi, the S50 gravel road will also be closed, from the S50 and S134 junction in Shingwedzi to the S50 and S143 junction in Mooiplaas. 

Mingerhout Dam history 

The Mingerhout Dam was constructed by what was then known as the Parks Board, in 1974. 

However, since its construction, it has silted up to the extent that it no longer serves its purpose as a dam. It is also located roughly 16km from another dam, Engelhardt. 

In order to support the KNP rehabilitation programme, SANParks management decided to remove the Mingerhout Dam completely. 

The park’s artificial functional water provision policy gives management carte blanche on artificial water point removals. 

As such, they are being systematically closed and demolished by conservation management. 

“To enhance tourist experience, alternative game-viewing opportunities will be provided in the future areas of naturally occurring surface water,” Phaahla assured. 

Compiled by Nica Richards

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