News

Proteadal Development Halted!

The Proteadal Conservation Association, in association with Wild Orchid Southern Africa, is delighted to announce a major victory for conservation in South Africa, and for the preservation of the irreplaceable habitat and threatened biodiversity of the West Rand Ridges around Proteadal along the southern border of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Krugersdorp. This includes the habitat of the only viable population of the critically endangered Albertina Sisulu Orchid and the hunting ground of the majestic Black Eagle.

The decision to grant authorisation for the development of almost 3000 high density residential units on a portion of Mogale City property known as Proteadal, was set aside and made an order of the South Gauteng High Court on 31st July 2019.

In late 2015, a review application was lodged by the Proteadal Conservation Association against the MEC of Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), after he approved the development on appeal, effectively overturning the underlying 2014 decision by the Head of Department of GDARD, to deny authorisation for the development. Wild Orchids Southern Africa supported this review application as respondent in the court application.

Today, the 2014 decision still stands as an order of the court, so the orchid is safe for now.

This victory is not just for the Proteadal Conservation Association and their very able environmental legal team Webber Wentzel and Counsel, but for all the other organisations and individuals who contribute towards the environmental care of these ridges to make them worth preserving.

 

Various colour forms of the around 120 plants of the critically endangerd Albertina Sisulu Orchids from the Krugersdorp colony  Aerial view of the West Rand Ridge with the R28 highway that runs up and over the ridge in the foreground

BILL MINCHER - a leader in Orchid Conservation

It is with a very sad heart that we announce the passing of Bill Mincher, the founding member and driving force behind the creation of Wild Orchids Southern Africa.  Bill passed away on Monday morning 17th June 2019.

Right up to the evening before, Bill was still busy with organising the next WOSA 5 conference which is to be held at Drakensberg Gardens in January 2020. Bill's selfless dedication to the conservation of South African Indigenous Orchids has brought the organisation to a point where it is now. Using his experience gained during the setting up of the Yellowfish Working Group some 20 years and his involvement with the Federation of Southern African Fly Fishers he turned his attention to the preservation and conservation of our indigenous orchids in South Africa some 5 years ago. 

In the process he has managed to bring the hobbyist orchid grower, the public as well as the academic fraternity together and fostered a much wider awareness of the roughly 500 orchid species found in South Africa. 

Bill will be sorely missed by all that know him, an irreplaceable icon in the world of South African Orchids. A true gentleman in all respects. 

Our sincere condolences to the family, his children Jane, Bryan and Craig. Rest in peace Bill Mincher.

 

Launch of Wild Orchids Southern Africa

 

The 21st World Orchid Conference and Exhibition in Sept. 2014 in South Africa, was the event where we launched WILD ORCHIDS SOUTHERN AFRICA. WOSA built a 200m2 Wetland Exhibit in the Sandton Convention Centre featuring a Highveld, Cape and Coastal wetland.
The Exhibit was judged the best in its section and awarded a first prize for education. Wild orchids were exhibited and visitors were pleased to see our indigenous orchids in their natural environment. Brochures were distributed which explained the importance of wetlands in South Africa and discussed the WOSA philosophy.

We held an evening workshop attended, amongst others, by Dr. Noushka Reiter who isa leading researcher of Australian terrestrial orchids, and Professor Craig Peters of Rhodes University who is an expert on orchid pollination, both of whom are willing to help on the research program for our Brachycorythis conica subs. transvaalensis Research Project which is our inaugural conservation and propagation project, for this species which is under threat of extinction.
We were assisted by Mark Shuttleworth and his mother Ronelle who provided the major portion of the finances for the Exhibit and a firm financial base for the launch of WOSA.

 WOC21 Wetland Exhibit

WOC21 Wetland Exhibit

For more information regarding the preservation of South Africa's wild Orchids or if you would like to get involved please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or complete this short form Contact Us and we will contact you.

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