1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - Besinning oor die hidrosfeer van die Vaalrivier in die omgewing van die Vredefortkoepel, 1840-2012

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Abstract

In die 19de eeu is die suidelike deel van die suider-Afrikaanse subkontinent aan bevolkingsmobiliteit in die vorm van migrasies blootgestel. Die San het reeds in die pre-koloniale tydperk hier rondbeweeg en teen die 19de eeu was hulle teenwoordigheid opvallend in die vorm van wes-oostelike migrasie-tendense. Die mobiliteit van Bantoesprekende gemeenskappe van noord na suid (300 n.C.) het teen die 19de eeu 'n invloed op die , 'n oos-westelike mobiliteit, en die "Groot Trek", 'n suid-noordelike beweging, gehad. Die Vaalrivierdriwwe in die Vredefortkoepel, 'n mikroterrein waar die natuur- en menslike kultuurgeskiedenis mekaar ontmoet, vorm deel van 'n netwerk kommunikasieroetes. Die mense het die natuur onderwerp en daaroor geheers met pogings om die rivier te tem en keerwalle, besproeiingskanale, watervore, windpompe en gronddamme is vir die opvang van watervoorraad en kragopwekking gebou. Die eerste fase van nedersetting is deur boerderybedrywighede gekenmerk. Later in die 19de eeu het 'n fase van landbou-mynbou gevolg. Goudmynbedrywighede het aanleiding tot die stigting van dorpies gegee. Daarna het ook diamantmynbou in die Vaalrivierbedding en op die eilande plaasgevind.


Droogtetoestande en vloedwaters het spore gelaat. Sedert die landboumynbou-industriële fase ná 1910 het mensgemaakte regulering van die Vaalrivier se watervlak die bou van die Barrage, Vaaldam en die Lesotho-Hoogland-Waterskema stroomop genoodsaak. Sedert 2008 verkeer die inwoners stroomaf grootliks in 'n oorlewingskrisis vanweë bo-stroomse rioolbesoedeling.


In the 19th century Southern Africa experienced a phase of notable and increased population mobility in the form of migrations. The San had been present in the region since pre-colonial times. By the 19th century, their presence became especially noticeable in the form of the east-to-west migration trends. At the time, the mobility of Bantuspeaking communities from north to south, since 300 AD, culminated in the , an east-west mobility, and the "Great Trek" a south-north movement. The Vaal River drifts in the Vredefort Dome, microscopic spaces in time where natural history and that of human culture meet, form part of a network of communication routes.
People attempted to "tame" the environment. They even tried to pacify the river by constructing weirs, a barrage, irrigation channels, waterways, windmills and clay dams for the purpose of storing water and generating energy. In this article attention is given to the agricultural phase of human development on the banks of the Vaal River in the Vredefort Dome starting in the 1840s. This was followed by an agriculture-mining phase. Local gold mining operations led to the founding of urban settlements, and subsequent diamond mining operations followed on the river bed and on some of the islands.Drought conditions and floods also left footprints. The agriculture-mining-industrial phase from 1910 onward increasingly resulted in the artificial regulation of the Vaal River's water level. Consequently, there were developments such as the construction and management of the Vaal River Barrage, the Vaal Dam and also the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme upstream. In recent years, downstream residents on the banks of the Vaal River have been at loggerheads with water governance sectors. Their quality of life has been jeopardised as a result of the increasing sewage pollution upstream.

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/content/culture/28/1/EJC156810
2014-06-01
2016-12-03
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