South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the Mingerhout Dam in Kruger National Park, found on the S47, about 9km north west of Letaba Rest Camp, will get demolished. The demolition operation, which will be done in conjunction with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), will be conducted from 24 January 2021 until 06 February 2021. Explosives will be used to demolish the structure; after which the rubble will be removed as part of the rehabilitation process undertaken by the Expanded Public Works, Biodiversity Social Program.
In between the work taking place at Mingerhout Dam, there will be some demolition for the remaining parts of Kanniedood Dam near Shingwedzi Rest Camp as well. To ensure safety of tourists, all roads in the two areas will also be temporarily closed from 24 January 2021 to 06 February 2021.
- In Letaba, the affected roads are the S47 gravel road, the entire loop of S47 will be closed from the junction of S47 and H1-6 to junction of S47 and S131.
- In Shingwedzi, the affected roads are the S50 gravel road, this will be closed from S50 and S134 junction in Shingwedzi to the S50 and S143 junction in Mooiplaas.
The Mingerhout Dam was constructed in 1974. Over the years, the Dam silted up to an extent that it is no longer serving its purpose. In support of the Kruger National Park rehabilitation program, the management of Kruger National Park has now agreed to remove Mingerhout Dam.
Kruger National Park has an artificial water provision policy which allows for the closing and removal of artificial water points. Artificial water holes where water did not previously occur naturally have led to numerous ecological problems such as erosion and other environmental degradations such as barriers to fish migration routes. The management of Kruger National Park has taken steps to rectify these negative consequences by closing and demolishing certain artificial water holes. To enhance tourist experience, alternative game viewing opportunities will be provided in the future at areas of naturally occurring surface water