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The Palmiet river is 26 km long with only 6 km passing through the reserve. The rest is bordered by factories and built up areas. Its source is the Kloof escarpment and it then flows through the residential and industrialised areas of Pinetown and New Germany onto the residential suburbs of Westville and Clare Estate. It enters the Mgeni River at Springfield Park a distance of 24 km

Ever increasing hardened surfaces including roads.pavements and shopping centre parking lots simply drain into the Palmiet. The result..one very sensitive "stormwater drain" with frequent flooding and scouring of the river banks.

.The photographs on the right were taken in a 30 second period.The Palmiet River went from a gentle stream to a raging torrent after a 20 mm storm in the Pinetown area. It has become a convenient storm water drain with the resultant scouring, litter and degradation. Visuals captured 1 km below Cascades 90 min after the storm.

Watch the video here

Two floods devastated the Palmiet in 1999. On the 4th and 5th of February 305 mm fell causing the destruction of both bridges, trails and braai facilities. On December 22 another 330 mm fell causing extensive damage to bridges, gardens, septic tanks and houses along the river. The river bed is now three times the width and an estimated 95% of the riverine trees in the Palmiet Nature Reserve were washed away. The onus is on all residents, town planners and Industry to minimise run off water and conserve the riverine vegetation.

Spring Rains September 2003

By Law no land may be ploughed cultivated or drained and no vegetation, except proclaimed weeds and other alien plants, may be destroyed within 10 metres of the edges of banks of rivers, brooks, springs, vleis, marshes, water channels or earth channels. Residents often remove natural riverine vegetation to create lawns and formal gardens along river banks. The banks are then washed away and gabions are installed causing further speeding up of the water flow.

Stairway to Heaven? How not to treat the river bank























Palmiet 18:18:20 Photo Clive Read
Palmiet 18.18.41
Effects of scouring Photo Clive Read March 2003

Rocks in the Palmiet River covered with unknown substance after moderate rains March 2005

April 2009
The eThekwini Municipality’s Coastal, Stormwater and Catchment
Management Department (CSCMD) has identified a section of the
Palmiet River in Pinetown that is technically suitable for
the establishment of an off-stream temporary storage facility that will
assist in the attenuation of downstream flood waters of the Palmiet
River system Full Details

rocks covered with unknown substance March 2005 Photo Clive Read
Palmiet Nature Reserve
Copyright © 2007 All Rights Reserved10 Aug 2005