Coast KZN

18 Sep 2020

Rehab for M4 green zones blossom

(Northglen News) Picture: Andile Nzama and Awethu Shaka of RAD Horticulture are proud of the progress made on the rehabilitation of the Hawaan Forest embankment which was damaged by a bank collapse last year


Substantial progress is being made to rehabilitate two sections of green zones on the eastern and western embankments of the M4 Ruth First Highway.

In December last year, a portion of the M4 roadway that was washed away led to a mudslide which affected the 26 hectare Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve and a section of the Hawaan Forest on the western embankment. In a bid to help restore both green zones to its former glory the eThekwini Municipality appointed Geoff Nichols, an environmental specialist and horticulturalist and local horticulturalist Hilton MacLarty to help rehabilitate the damaged zones. Northglen News recently met with Andile Nzama, owner of RAD Horticulture, the company tasked with maintaining four green zones identified as damaged due to the road collapse.

“In a short space of time since we took over we’ve seen a massive difference. The wild grass that you find in the Hawaan Forest has taken root incredibly well and already the space has been transformed. When we first started it was quite barren and sandy with a few of the plants and trees planted dotting the spaces. But now I hardly recognise the space and there’s still another 10 months for us to maintain and help grow, so I have no doubt this section that is being rehabilitated will be even stronger. Already we’ve also seen monkeys and other forms of birdlife and insects coming back to this specific space,” she explained.

“The planting specifications were carried out by Hilton (MacLarty) and monitored by Geoff (Nichols) and we are now responsible for maintaining these areas for the next few months. In a way, the timing for when the project started worked out perfectly because of the lack of rain, and with us approaching the rainy season, I feel there will be a growth spurt. The forest should be able to establish itself naturally and in the months since the project started it has,” Nzama explained.

She added that several residents have remarked positively on the project.