Where to Harties ?

 

Yes, where are we going, is it getting better or worse? Let’s look at what bothers us or perhaps impresses us. After being a casual visitor to the dam since the ‘70s, we invested and got involved in Kosmos in ’82, thirty years ago this year. We moved a couple of times to get nearer the water and the peace and quiet we so needed after a hectic week in the concrete jungle. We all loved it, picking the kids up from school on Fridays and straight off to the dam.
There was no R

andburg Bridge so it was the long way round, we couldn’t wait to get there and meet up with our friends who had likewise escaped the city. Sundowners on the foreshore with friends and neighbours, was a just reward for having done battl

e with the fiercely competitive life back home. Kosmos was the perfect sanctuary for youngsters to grow up in, far away from the temptations and dangers of the big cities. Healthy habits were easily gotten into, none of this spending the days underground in the Malls for our kids.
We quickly got into Boating, Skiing, Windsurfing, Sailing, you name it we did it and so did everybody else. You had to duck and dive a little to avoid the thick green algae in large patches, which would leave you indelibly green if you missed. Yes green algae in the early ‘80s, believe it. To back up, the water was mostly crystal clear in the ‘70s but covered with the infamous Hyacinths, making navigation an art. What happened? Well the Department poisoned the Hyacinths chemically letting it sink but leaving the surface clean for the boaters. Nice job, not so? What hadn’t been figured out that well was that with no Hyacinths to soak up the nutrients in the water, the now even worse curse of the terrible Blue-Green algae took over where the Hyacinths left off and of course is still with us today. However we enjoyed it and it never got us down. If you wanted to go out and eat something you hadn’t brought with you, there were few choices. You could go to Damdoryn and get a packet of Slap Chips and perhaps a Russian to go with it and that was all there was at Damdoryn. If you wanted to go big there was only one other place to go and that was a steakhouse in Brits and that was it. Hard to believe now with shopping malls all over the place and being spoiled for choice for eating out.
The Southside of the dam, the Pecanwood side, was barren and empty except for Oberon where you could launch a boat and not much else. On the North side we had Stywe Lyne where you got all sorts of take-aways and mingle with the Hells Angels, if you dared, on a Sunday morning enjoying their breakfast. Kosmos Ridge is there now, not really an improvement. But what about Harties, where will it go? Well I believe that it will get better and once again be the pl
ace of choice to invest your money and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle we had before. The water has definitely improved, the why is not as important as the fact that it has. That same Department, that left the Hyacinths to rot underwater to help feed the algae, has been working hard to do something about the water in our dam.
They will suck out some of the nutrient rich sediment lying on the bottom, take out more Hyacinths for the boaters. Rehabilitate the much-needed bio-diversity where possible and do something about the problematic pollution still finding its way into Harties.
The Official Water Affairs Website says that R258 million has been made available to fix our dam, this should make a huge improvement, always assuming that there will be money left after the bureaucrats have sorted it out. Take a look for yourself, http://www.harties.org.za
How can we restore the confidence lost in Harties? Was it the bad water, the squatter camps, the crime we never had before, the negative publicity in the media, the economy? Maybe all of the above but how do we turn it around? There is absolutely no reason not to get on the water and enjoy whatever water-sport you prefer, there is no risk to you or your families’ health or otherwise.
So why do I not see any boaters to speak of? In the past you had to keep a sharp eye out to make sure to avoid the heavy boating traffic of hundreds of others doing the same thing. Even on calm days the waves kicked up by the power boating fraternity were high enough to bother the lower order of craft.
Today, if I see a dozen boats on a great sunny day, it’s a lot. What is it, the price of petrol? Hardly, if you see the V8 4×4’s everybody arrives in. The draconian way the authorities have chosen to manage the boating public hasn’t helped either and I think that has to change before they chase all the boats off the water.
We need to turn our mindset around and make the next generation aware of the serious advantages of keeping your kids out of the Malls and away from other bad influences and get back to the old “Braaivleis, Rugby, Sunny Skies and Chevrolet” days, remember them? The pleasures of messing in boats, with your family and mates, is priceless.
Lets do it, spread the word and put your money where your family needs to be, now. Be warned once the others find out you wont be able to afford it anymore.
Wish you all the very best over the festive season, spend some of it in Harties
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