Centurion ward councillor wants bird sanctuary at Centurion lake

The area at the Centurion lake which had returned to a wetland and which the metro was hoping to turn into a bird sanctuary as part of plans to restore the Centurion lake. Photo: Bennitt Bartl

The area at the Centurion lake which had returned to a wetland and which the metro was hoping to turn into a bird sanctuary as part of plans to restore the Centurion lake. Photo: Bennitt Bartl

A few months ago, hotel guests observed a man throwing stones at ducks in the lake – apparently to kill them for food.

A local ward councillor believes plans to turn the Centurion lake into a so-called “urban park” might help protect birdlife in the area.

“Some people don’t believe me when I tell them that birds are living at the lake,” ward councillor Peter Sutton told Centurion Rekord.

“They think the lake is too polluted for any animals to live there, but we have had reports of animals such as otters returning to the Hennops River and the lake.”

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He, however, said that Centurion Hotel staff had spotted an owl and even a monitor lizard, which gave a contractor a scare as it came out of the wetland once, at the lake.

“Before the lake, there was a naturally flowing river here and natural life was in living in harmony with the river,” he said.

He said the plans were in place to fix the man-made problems at the lake such as sediment build-up, which impeded the natural flow of the river.

But Sutton believed the lake had “already taken matters into its own hands to some extent”.

“Nature is already healing itself at the lake and wetlands are forming again naturally,” Sutton said.

“Tourists from around the world are coming to the lake to view wildlife here.”

Sutton said any work planned for future development would incorporate a sanctuary for the safety of the birds.

Recently a colony of ducks that had become a tourist attraction with many travelling to the nearby Centurion Hotel just to see them.

But a few months ago, guests watched in shock as an unknown man threw stones at the ducks – apparently to kill them for food.

“At around 7pm in the evening we spotted the man at the edge of the lake,” said hotel general manager Raymond Kodisang.

“He came through the bushes and started throwing things at the ducks in the water,” he said adding the hotel security asked the man what he was doing, he had replied: “I am hungry.”

Kodisang said he told the security personnel to monitor the ducks and has done so since.

Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa announced in his maiden budget speech recently that R28.6 million had been set aside for the lake’s maintenance.

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