For years photographers have asked my advice of the best locations for landscape photography and to this day I have the same answer for them, there is no better place than your own backyard and locations you are familiar with. A great portion of my photography over the past 6 years has taken place right where I live just outside the town of Magaliesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.
Magaliesburg, with its spectacular unspoiled landscapes, rolling hills and grassland ridges borders on the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and is an area with thriving eco-tourism and agricultural sectors. Magaliesburg is also one of the last corners of Gauteng that remains unspoiled by development and mining with rolling landscapes as far as the eye can see. The area has been a protected environment since 1977 but today faces a flurry of mining applications that have been lodged over the last 10 months amidst much controversy.
Magaliesburg Landscapes have been treasured for generations by those who first fought for its declaration as a protected environment. For decades Magaliesburg has been home to Environmental Education for schools and many people will fondly remember their school excursions to Happy Acres or in more recent years Mogale’s Gate.
This photo “Golden Valley Sunset” is just one area out of several thousand hectares facing a mining threat. Golden Valley forms part of the Blauuwbank and Magalies River Catchments which together form a sizable and very important river catchment for Gauteng. The Magalies river starts at the well known Maloneys Eye and meanders through the Magaliesberg all the way to the Hartebeespoort Dam providing essential water for thousands of people all the way.
It is the duty of this generation to continue to fight for the protection of the Magaliesburg. This Golden Valley Sunset and the spectacular Magaliesburg Landscapes will most certainly not look quite as spectacular in 10 years time if common sense does not prevail.