ASSOCIATED RHEENENDAL COUNCIL
A Rural Precinct Custodian Company
MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION
ARC is an assemblage of landowners and associates consisting of professional integrated fire management, conservation, community safety, strategic planning, economic, and legal experts dedicated to providing sound and effective strategies for Custodianship and Positive Social and Environmental Change in the Rheenendal rural area, Knysna Forest, and surrounds, situated within the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve of South Africa.
ARC is a Non-Profit Company registered as a Public Benefit Organisation in South Africa. The Company is the primary resource pool for the Rheenendal Fire Management Unit (North & South), Rheenendal and Keurhoek Farmwatch Associations, Phantom-Homtini Nature Conservancy, and the Ratepayers Association.
Custodian Membership is open to all landowners and residents within Rheenendal, as well as Interested Parties & Organisations.
THE RHEENENDAL FOOD WORKING GROUP
SUPPORT A VULNERABLE FAMILY IN RHEENENDAL
For many in South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic has arrived with severe duel income and food security shocks, impacting on already challenging living and developmental conditions. Our Food Working Group is responding locally through providing targeted High Vulnerability individuals and families with Food Security, empowering our local Soup Kitchen Champions to significantly scale up their initiatives, and supporting a meals-on-wheels programme for the elderly. We are also assisting the e'Pap Children's Feeding Project to distribute nutritious porridge to local primary schools and children.
A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO WILDFIRE MITIGATION IN THE GARDEN ROUTE
The prevention and mitigation of wildfires is vital to the protection of social, economic, and environmental assets. This is nowhere more evident than in the Garden Route, where in 2017 - 2018 two large fires some 18 months apart caused the loss of some 20 lives, destroyed over 100,000 hectares of land and resulted in billions of Rands of damage.
The Rheenendal Road firebreak is intended to anchor a line of continuous or overlapping strategic firebreaks extending from the coastline all the way to the indigenous forests some 18 km to the north, thereby forming a primary line of defense along a north-south axis. The selection of Rheenendal South was motivated by its central position and identified commonalities between the ‘Great Fires’ of 1869 and 2017, both of which passed through the area en route to Knysna.
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE REAL ECONOMY IN THE GARDEN ROUTE POST-2020?
ABRUPT RE-LOCALISATION : TO REPAIR OR RECONFIGURE?
The Garden Route, a National Priority Area and internationally recognised scenic tourism destination, has been weathering a gradual degradation of it's unique natural and cultural characteristics over the past two decades in the face of inceasing development pressure.
The socio-economic and environmental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, following not long after the devastating fires of 2017 and 2018, have drawn the fundamental building blocks of the local economy, food systems, and disaster planning & response sectors of the Garden Route into sharp focus, presenting both crisis and opportunity.