Access

Permits

The MCSA relies on all visitors to its properties (MCSA member and non-members), to abide by the spirit of its access policy and thus ensure the continued enjoyment of these properties by all users.

The MCSA (specifically the Johannesburg and Magaliesberg Sections) owns and manages several of the magnificent kloofs that had formed on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg. Access to these kloofs is therefore limited for reasons of conservation and to preserve a wilderness feeling. No facilities are provided. Depending on the kloof, a certain amount of members of the public can visit a specific kloof via a permit system. A fee per person (per day / per weekend or longer) is charged which goes to a land acquisition fund or towards conservation work on the properties. Permits are issued for the following kloofs:

Castle Gorge

Club Administrator
(Johannesburg Hiking Club)

Phone: 087 940 1903
(Mon-Fri, 08h30 to 10h30)
Email:  jhc@ (mweb.co.za)
Fax: 086 685 5746

Grootkloof, Mhlabatini & Dome

Fanie de Meillon

083 845 1573
Fax: 086 297 3895
(Mon-Fri, 08:00-10:00)
Email: admin@ (add: mag.mcsa.org.za)

Tonquani & Wolkberg Hut

Uschi Magg

(011) 807 1310 Tel/Fax)
(Mon-Fri, 08:00-10:00)
Email: admin@ (add: jhb.mcsa.org.za)

Access Policy MCSA   (Johannesburg & Magaliesberg Sections)

This policy as agreed upon at the Joint Committee meeting of the MCSA(Magaliesberg and Johannesburg Sections) held on 26 October 1999.

1 Objectives of land acquisition and land management

The MCSA (Magaliesberg and Johannesburg Sections) - hereafter called the MCSA- acquires and manages land suitable for mountaineering, hiking and climbing with three main purposes in mind:

  • to guarantee access for MCSA members;

  • to conserve representative examples of mountain environments in their wilderness state;

  • to allow controlled public access to these properties for recreational and scientific purposes

The MCSA manages its properties for utilisation by MCSA members and the public, whilst maintaining the wilderness character of these properties and allowing natural processes to continue unhindered. The MCSA believes members of the public should enjoy access to the MCSA’s properties because these properties are a part of South Africa’s shared natural heritage. The MCSA will act as a custodian of these properties on behalf of all South Africans.

The MCSA relies on all visitors to its properties (MCSA member and non-members), to abide by the spirit of this policy and thus ensure the continued enjoyment of these properties by all users.

2 Properties in the Magaliesberg

2.1 Permits and visitor numbers

In order to maintain the environmental quality of its properties and the wilderness experience of recreational users, the MCSA administers a permit system for non-members which controls the intensity of use of its properties.

  • Non-members of the MCSA must obtain a permit from the relevant permit secretary before visiting an MCSA property. Permits will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

  • Permit fees will be kept as low as possible to allow access to all interested parties.

  • Permits will be limited to the following number of persons per day per property:

Property

Numbers of persons

Remarks

Dome

20

As per agreement with owner F. Junod

Castle Gorge

20

Permit number determined by servitude agreement

Grootkloof

20

 

Mhlabatini

6

 

Tonquani

40

The access per servitude from the south i.e. Bertram’s, is for MCSA members and guests only. 20 permits holders are allowed via Calabash and 20 via Mountain Sanctuary Park. The number of 40 includes special permit holders from Utopia and/or MSP.

Boulder Kloof

16

A servitudinal condition of 16 members rests on camping on the Boulder Kloof area owned by F Junod.

  • A maximum of 10 people will be allowed per permit.

  • Permit secretaries may, however, use their discretion in allowing more than the quota people per day per property or more than the maximum group size.

  • The numbers of permits issued for any MCSA property may be reviewed if it is suspected that human use has caused or may cause an unacceptable deterioration of environmental or recreational quality.

  • Permit secretaries reserve the right to refuse permits to an applicant based on previous misconduct on MCSA properties or abuse of the permit system.

  • Club members may (unless otherwise stipulated in access agreements) take only one guest each when utilising visiting MCSA property in Gauteng. The same rule applies to visits to non-MCSA property for which access has been negotiated by the MCSA.

2.2 Commercial operators

  • The MCSA wishes to encourage recreational access to its properties by the public. To this end, permit applications by private individuals shall have preference over applications by commercial hiking and adventure operators. Excursions will only be deemed recreational if conducted by private individuals or by non-profit clubs that aren’t affiliated to or associated with businesses.

  • Only commercial operators owned or managed by MCSA members may obtain permits for MCSA properties. Any excursion which is not recreational, scientific or educational and which is organised with the aim of making a profit shall be deemed to be commercial.

  • Permit secretaries shall have discretion to limit the number of permits per weekend issued to commercial operators to ensure access for individual permit applicants.

2.3 Access by MCSA members

  • Numbers of MCSA members on private visits (with the mentioned 1 member 1 guest ratio) will not be limited, but the situation will be monitored for each property.

  • The first full weekend of every month shall be restricted to use by MCSA members only. No permits will be issued to members of the public on these weekends. This practice shall be followed to allow the natural systems of properties a “rest period” from human use and also to encourage members of the public to become members instead or relying on the relatively cheap permit system ad infinitum.

2.4 Club meets

Meet leaders will liaise with permit secretaries to ensure that no permits are issued for the same weekend that a meet is scheduled at a certain property. Although no limit will be put on numbers or on a guest to member ratio on meets, use must be reasonable and 30 persons max would be a good guideline on a day to day basis. Exceptions can be made for e.g. club anniversaries etc.

2.5 Patrolling

In order to enforce this policy, MCSA members are appointed to patrol MCSA properties during weekends.

2.6 Use of income from permit fees:

The MCSA (Magaliesberg Section) shall, after subtraction of costs for conservation work, permit system administration (on a voluntary basis), access control and rescue dumps, use all income obtained through the permit system to secure access to further properties.

All permit fees administered by the MCSA (Magaliesberg Section) shall be placed in this section’s land acquisition fund.

3 Properties outside the Magaliesberg

3.1 Krantzberg

The club owns a small share at Krantzberg and this venue is visited during club meets or on a member-guest basis. No permits are issued as co-owners would probably not agree to it, the venue doesn’t lend itself to it, and it can’t be patrolled effectively.

3.2 Waterval-Boven (Kaalbooi)

Access to this property is not regulated as it would be impossible to do so. Environmental conditions will have to be monitored.

3.3 Wolkberg

Access to Wolkberg Wilderness Area is regulated by the Northern Province Department of Environmental Affairs. Refer to the Wolkberg Hut rules for access to the hut and the 2ha it stands on.

4 Servitudes for mountaineering

Servitudes in favour of the MCSA and/or its section(s) determine access conditions at Trident & Eureka Dome (Magaliesberg), Hanglip (N & S) and Zimbabwe.

The following servitudes also exist for the MCSA’s Magaliesberg properties:

  • abroad access to Mhlabatini;

  • Tonquani (north - via Calabash: parking and per foot);

  • Tonquani (via Utopia and Mountain Sanctuary Park: via a described road)

  • Tonquani (south - via Bertram’s: parking and per footpath )

  • Castle Gorge (south: parking and per footpath).


Originator: Reuben Heydenrych
Efective date: 1999-10-26

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