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Who we are

Palmiet Riverkzn Valley Conservancy is not your conventional conservancy – we do things differently.

We know the natural environment continually loses out in the name of social and economic ‘development’; while the accumulated impacts are driving the environment to the point of collapse. – Lee D’Eathe

This Conservancy is made up of individuals who are committed to ensure everyone’s “right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development”. The Bill of Rights (Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa)

 We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein


Palmiet River kzn Valley Conservancy has been formed, with the Palmiet River Watch (PRW) as an ongoing project, to address the findings of the Palmiet River Watch (PRW); which was initiated in May 2013, and focuses on observations, reporting pollution events and undertaking river health and water quality assessments.

Since its inception in May 2013, the Palmiet River Watch folk have been reporting pollution and other undesirable activities; and collecting data in the Palmiet River Valley; which led to the key issues being identified. – Lee D’Eathe

The information gathered by the PRW confirms the community’s claim conclusively… that:

Ongoing and repeated pollution and habitat destruction has caused the aquatic creatures and plants that were in abundance a few years ago, to all but disappear. – The Palmiet River Community at large.

Our Vision

Our Vision – “One ‘Pollution Free’ Catchment in eThekwini”.

The Palmiet River Valley Conservancy’s vision is to progressively realise “One ‘Pollution-Free’ Catchment (the Palmiet River Valley) in eThekwini”; within the limits of reality and the law.

This will only be achieved once the root causes of environmental degradation have been acknowledged; and are addressed.

Our Mission

The Conservancy is intent upon ensuring that there is continual, meaningful, significant, sustainable and measurable improvement of Water quality and Stream health, as well as reductions of Environmental degradation, *violations and infractions throughout the Palmiet River Valley.

*Environmental violations and infractions*. This term refers to contraventions of (serious) National legislation, and (less serious) Municipal By-laws, respectively.

Our name

Our name, The Palmiet River kzn Valley Conservancy (PRVC), secures a sense of place and purpose in which residents, businesses, workers and visitors develop and protect a shared vision of a ‘Pollution-Free’ environment; and feel connected, committed and ever more aware that their, and everyone else’s, activities add to, or detract from, the environment we live, work and play in.

The reality

Communities living and working along streams and rivers, particularly the poor, are painfully aware of the regular flooding, pollution events, poor water quality and of how the aquatic creatures have all but disappeared, along with their habitats. – Lee D’Eathe Jan 2017

While the Palmiet River Rehabilitation Project (PRRP) brings new hope, there is a very real risk that resources and funding will be wasted; and instead of being used to address the Environmental degradation, violations and infractions in a conclusive and sustainable way, the funds will be wasted hosting events and individuals showcasing themselves.

The formation of a conservancy reflects the need for the Palmiet River Valley community to ensure that resources and funding are used effectively and not wasted; particularly where “models/ approaches” that have yet to deliver effectively elsewhere compete for pilot study funding.

BEWARE… The reality:
“The most important thing in your business relationships is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it.” – The Mafia Manager

Environmental degradation

The key causes of environmental degradation identified and tabled by the Palmiet River Watch on 21 January 2016, and include, but not limited to: Industrial pollution; Fresh water pipe bursts; Sewage pollution; River bed scouring and banks collapsing; Waste disposal; Alien Invasive species; Land fragmentation and land misuse; and the Poor application of Legislation and Bylaws.

What we do

Results driven, action orientated, persistent, corrective and innovative, we work closely with stake holders to ensure effective implementation.

Palmiet River kzn Valley Conservancy is made up of individuals who are committed to:

1.    Help ensure our environment is not harmful to our health or well-being; and is protected from pollution and ecological degradation, for the benefit of present and future generations.

2.    Help persuade residents, visitors, businesses and academics to fulfill their moral and legal responsibility seriously and collectively to improve the natural environment, safety, security and quality of life.

3.    Assist the authorities to fulfill their responsibilities; which they are expected to do without excuses.

4.    Help ensure corrective measures are taken that address the root causes, throughout the Palmiet River’s whole rainfall catchment area.

5.    Help ensure funds are used to address the root causes of environmental degradation.

6.    Ensure funds are not wasted on work already assigned to others, or on grandstanding, or approaches that have failed to deliver elsewhere.

7.    Ensure unsustainable activities addressing symptoms in never-ending cycles are reviewed and stopped.

8.    Ensure a strong sustainable local legacy is developed, and retained, in the form of human capital and ecological infrastructure.

9.    Protect the remaining ecological infrastructure; establish why it is being lost; and redress the damage and the causes.

The Palmiet Riverkzn Valley Conservancy influences change… to redirect funding and resources, from the wasteful cycle of reactive responses addressing symptoms they are currently locked into, to addressing root causes. – Lee D’Eathe 2018

NOTE: The creation of additional structures to undertake work that is already legally or morally the responsibility of landowners, businesses, individuals or departments causes confusion and is questionable.

Where the Palmiet River Valley Conservancy Operates

The Palmiet Riverkzn Valley Conservancy covers the Palmiet River Valley rainfall footprint; and on to the Ungeni River to the Indian Ocean, as suggested in the formation of the Vusi Conservancy in 1995.

Individuals from throughout the Palmiet River Valley are encouraged to become committed and actively involved undertaking corrective measures in their home, work and surrounding areas themselves, and encourage everyone else to do the same.


The Palmiet River Valley Catchment has some 600 streets within the rainfall footprint which has some 23 km of river and 45km of side-streams. Starting on Fields Hill, with another branch starting in Kloof below the Wyebank municipal waste disposal site, the Palmiet River flows through Manors, parts of Padfieldpark, New Germany Residential and Industrial areas, Mountain Ridge, Pinetown Industrial Area, Cowies Hill, The New Germany and the Palmiet Nature Reserves, Westville, Westvillle University, Suzor’s Bend, Clair Hills and Palmiet to join the Umgeni River near Papwa Sewgolum golf course and the N2/ Inanda; and on to the Indian Ocean through the Umgeni River Estuary.  > A List of Roads/ Streets within the Palmiet River Valley.

We recruit folk from throughout the Palmiet River Valley who appreciate one must pay attention to, and undertake corrective measures, throughout a river’s whole rainfall catchment.  For more details see the > Draft Constitution.

 It is ‘so not’ the river: it is every person, every property, the infrastructure; and every activity, throughout ‘the catchment’ that affects the health of our environment. – Lee D’Eathe


Lee expresses his appreciation of, and gratitude to, everyone who has been part of the journey toward securing a healthy environment; while everyone within the Palmiet Valley needs to be committed to fixing the environment, by them becoming actively and effectively involved.

Appreciation is given to the hardworking officials, undertaking thankless tasks, often stretched beyond capacity with overwhelming demands, and less than perfect systems, who tirelessly respond to public concerns.

The Right Answers may seem obvious; while the right questions have yet to be asked. – Lee Deathe