Wednesday, August 09, 2006

City not paying nature reserves

By Tando Mfengwana

The contract of Nature Conservation Corporation, a company responsible for running 13 of the city’s nature reserve for the last three years, has been cut by the City of Cape Town, and the company is considering taking legal action against the city.

The city could not pay the company because of what it called irregularities, at the end of July 2006. The city is investigating all service providers for all city departments; nature conservation is the first to be investigated.

Tygerberg, Rondevlei and Helderberg nature reserves had to be closed over the weekend because there were no staff members. Workers had to be retrenched because there was no money to pay them.

The city’s nature reserves include some of the last variety of lowland fynbos. Rondevlei is recognised internationally as a haven for migratory and prevalent birds, and is home to several hippos.

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