On 14 April Northern Farm’s 2 000 Bovelder cattle go under the hammer. The Bovelder breed has been developed over decades on Northern Farm and it has played a major role in the beef industry, providing thousands of top quality genetic breeding stock all over Southern Africa.
Joburg Water has given notice that all farming activities must be terminated within the next few months. That involves selling the entire Bovelder herd and all the farm equipment. Some 70 contract staff will be laid off. The reason given is that farming is not part of Joburg Water’s core business.
Notice has also been posted for an application to deproclaim the Diepsloot Nature Reserve which was proclaimed in 1960. This nature reserve includes both Northern Farm and Northern Works, on both sides of the R114 and the N14. There is also an application for a major housing development south of the N14 highway. However, this application includes the portion between the R114 and the N14, where the core of Northern Farm’s operations is located: offices, bull station, Paradise Bend School, staff quarters and community centre.
Apart from agriculture the farm’s open spaces and trails are enjoyed over weekends by thousands of mountain bikers, birdwatchers, hikers and horse riders. About 300 birds have been identified on the reserve which is part of SA Birdlife’s birding route. A full Olympic standard equestrian course is used for annual shows.