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Hidden Kloof Access

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:02 pm
by Neil G
Hi All,

First off, if you’re wondering who I am, I’m responsible for MCSA Land & Access portfolio (JHB section). I prefer to lurk in background, however, the importance of this post requires me to make a public announcement that should leave no doubt with regards to the status of access to Hidden Kloof. Since the end of last year I have received numerous enquiries with regards to access to the aforementioned kloof in the Magaliesberg following postings on and recent Wiki updates. I therefore contacted the owners today where they reiterated the message that was given to me last year, and which was also at the time relayed in the past to the parties currently accessing the kloof. To summarise:
1) In no uncertain terms was it made clear to me that Hidden Kloof is off limits and that we are not allowed to climb or hike on the property.
2) They have gone to great lengths to keep climbers away from the kloof and it upsets them a great deal that people are still trespassing. Just because they are not in the immediate area to do regular checks does not give us a right to enter.
3) Access via the adjacent farms does not give us a right to climb in Hidden Kloof. The owners of the farm Hidden Kloof is currently accessed from have been directly informed of this.

I would also like to clarify some misinformation propagated by someone in the past with regards to the MCSA being responsible for climbers loosing access to Hidden. In the first half of 2015 I visited the adjacent farm (Shirley Farm) in the mistaken belief that Hidden Kloof belonged to them to try and secure access. It did not, but the owners informed me that the MCSA can visit Hidden at any time and that they would arrange with the real owners, and tenant farmer, to make this a reality. I followed up with them several times on this and each time was assured that permission was granted by the owner. However, upon visiting one Saturday the owner’s brother was quite dismayed to find people in the kloof. He also immediately informed the owners of Shirley Farm that no one may access. In a subsequent conversation with me he unequivocally made it clear that ‘ons moet van die berg af wegbly!’. I don’t know how this can be construed as the MCSA stuffing up access. Regardless, the owners now have evidence of who is accessing and are considering further steps.

There is however a silver lining to all of this. In my conversation with him today I again raised the possibility of the MCSA purchasing a servitude to Hidden or the farm itself. To my surprise, he seemed open to this and will discuss with the family. Wow, this is a massive step forwards! Think what you may of the MCSA, but this is the one organisation that does try to procure properties such as this for climbers & hikers, and in so doing, secure access into perpetuity. We may have been unsuccessful in our attempts at purchasing sport climbing venues such as Bronkies in the past, but it certainly doesn’t mean were not cognisant of the needs of the sport climbers in our community. If this does come to fruition we will however have to dig deep into our back pockets. When we recently purchased Wilgepoort the JHB Land & Access fund had R1.9m in its war-chest (bequests from the estates of prominent trad-climbers in case you’re wondering), with several large donations (up to R50,000) putting the rest of the debt to bed. The last time I looked we now only had around R300k in the L&A fund.

Oh ja. My request is that this post not degenerate into finger pointing & accusations. To permanently secure access to a long coveted property such as Hidden is a truly tantalising prospect. A preferable outcome is that you the reader start thinking how you can assist to make this a reality if the owners return to me with an offer to sell. Will keep you posted!

Best regards, Neil

Re: Hidden Kloof Access

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:55 pm
by Liz
Thanks for contacting the owners and suggesting a purchase of a servitude. Hidden kloof is such a gem and I for one would be willing to contribute towards a fund. Please do keep us posted :thumleft:

Re: Hidden Kloof Access

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:14 am
by Hector
Don't worry Neil, I'm sure the trespassing climbers will be the first to reach into their pockets and donate money for a servitude.

Re: Hidden Kloof Access

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:45 am
by hh4m
Indeed, Hector!

Hidden is a special little place and despite all the drama surrounding access, we'll surely contribute personally and further, attempt to raise more from our respective social spheres!

Neil, you're the man, thanks for your time and effort in this regard!

We'll wait to hear further on this matter!


Re: Hidden Kloof Access

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:06 pm
by Forket

Re: Hidden Kloof Access

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:58 pm
by Warren G
What exciting news- please keep us posted! For me I see access- especially thru rights of passage like servitudes- as the greatest asset MCSA possess, and the greatest privilege one can gain from being a member.

Clearly the owner is enticed by the prospect of the sale of the servitude, my only hope is that the difficulties of the past don't prevent this opportunity from actualizing.

Exciting stuff!