The Mooiwater Stormwater Balancing Dam was constructed on the Farm Mooiwater 2799 by the Municipality of Bainsvlei in 1994 in order to hold excess floodwaters and to prevent a repeat of the destruction which occurred during the 1988 Flood. In 1995, the 91 ha area became the property of Transitional Local Council (TLC) under the Directorate of Parks and Recreation. In 1996, the Mooiwater Conservancy was officially established as a Protected Conservation Area and was declared part of the Bloemfontein Metropolitan Open Areas (BLOEMMOS).
The Mooiwater Conservancy is maintained and managed by a Committee known as “The Friends of the Mooiwater Conservancy” on behalf of the Manguang Local Council. The Committee receives no financial support from the Local Council.
The Conservancy lies partially below the 50 year flood line and completely below the 100 year flood line which makes the area unfit for development or human habitation.
During the construction of the Dam, the swimming pool, which is believed to have been built by Andrew Bain was unfortunately destroyed. The pool was constructed out of dolerite found in the region and the rocks were skillfully packed together. The skill of building with dolerite rocks can be viewed in the remains of the old farm shed.
The Committee obtains finances for the care and upkeep of the Conservancy from hiring out the farmhouse and donations from visitors. This unspoilt area is a popular recreation site for walkers, mountain bike clubs, equestrian enthusiasts, and school excursions. All the finances received are used to maintain fences, firebreaks, water sources for wild animals and birds, removal of alien plants as well as maintenance of toilet- and catering facilities. The work is done by members of the community who freely give up their time, skill and personal finances to preserve this area.
In 2008, illegal squatters settled at the Conservancy resulting in destruction of property and poaching of wildlife. Regular sightings of Steenbuck, porcupine, banded mongoose ceased as the squatters hunted them using dogs and traps. A Cape Fox, a protected species, was found dead, caught in a wire snare. Further incidents included recovery of stolen property, attempted assault and the threat of rape of community members of Bainsvlei. A two year legal battle followed which finally resulted in the removal of the illegal squatters and an ongoing attempt to return the Conservancy to its former glory. The estimated cost of destruction which occurred during the illegal settlement was R40000. The Working Committee of the DA under Mr Johan Human did the mammoth task of clearing the shed and carting away the rubbish left by the squatters.
The Conservancy is open and welcomes all members of the public to enjoy non-motorized recreation activity such as running, cycling, horse riding, school tours, bird-watching, canoeing, and visits from wildlife enthusiasts and botanists.
To preserve and protect the wildlife the following is prohibited:
- Poaching/hunting of animals and birds
- Destruction of plants and trees for firewood
- The burning of wood or making of fire (for braais) outside demarcated areas
- Any form of motorized sport, e.g. motorbikes, quadbikes, 4×4 vehicles
- Any destruction of the Stormwater Balancing Dam and Wall
Please note: All dogs must be kept on leash at all times.
The Bainsvlei Community is asked to assist in the protection of this unspoilt area. The Friends of the Mooiwater Conservancy is made up of community members who offer up their time and money for the protection of the Conservancy as well as to ensure that the area remains safe.
The assistance of You, the Community is requested. Your eyes and feet will ensure that this area, as well as the greater part of Bainsvlei, could be protected from criminal activity. Please come and walk/ride and share is this unspoilt area. Pick up litter, report broken fences and help in building facilities. Assist the Committee by becoming involved. Fences must be fixed, firebreaks must be graded, water sources and recreation equipment must be maintained and repaired. The work is solely conducted by the concerned community members and no financial assistance is received from the Municipality. Minimal monies are obtained from the renting of the farmhouse and donations from visitors. Unfortunately it is insufficient to maintain the area to the desired standard. By joining the “Friends of the Mooiwater Conservancy” you will assist in the upkeep of the area and release the pressure placed on a few individuals.
- Regular access to the Mooiwater Conservancy requires a donation of R300/year/person. This allows members access to the unspoilt area and includes a remote to the electric entrance east gate in Bayliana Lane. Access to toilet- and catering facilities by prior arrangement only.
- The bank details into which the fee must be paid: Standard Bank account no. 14 343 8166, name: Mooiwater Bewarea, branch Brandwag – code 055 534. Please use your name and surname as reference.
- The Conservancy is open from 09h00 – 18h00. Permission for after hours access must be obtained from one of the Committee members.
- No vehicles (i.e. motorized sport) is allowed beyond the Conservancy Barn.
- The use of the Conservancy for Sporting Events can be arranged by obtaining prior permission from the Committee.
- Any assistance with the repairing of fences, removing of alien vegetation, maintenance of firebreaks and other facilities will be much appreciated.
Regulations for hikers / horse riders / cyclists
- No domestic dogs are allowed to roam free
- No destruction of jumps, trees or wildlife
- Give all wildlife a wide berth
- Report any broken fences, wire snares or other problems to Committee Members
- Approach and pass fellow riders at a walk
- Prevent erosion of the Dam Wall by not cycling / riding up the same pathway regularly
Click here to download the Mooiwater Conservancy Membership Forms