The CRA’s environmental portfolio manages the Braamfontein Spruit & Delta Park area as well as the inner suburb parks.

Robyn Shamu handles this portfolio and in addition to the Spruit / Delta area, she’s been working with neighbouring residents’ associations to improve the islands on Jan Smuts and at the intersection of the Nicol highway and Jan Smuts Avenue. Robyn is assisted in her work by the Hugh Wyndham Park user group.

Our immediate vicinity includes a variety of easily accessible amenities. Within a one to three kilometre radius, you can do yoga or karate at the Craighall Sports Club, donate blood, have riding lessons, cycle or walk along the Braamfontein Spruit, enjoy great coffee, or have your hair and nails done. We also have the Colony, Dunkeld West, Lancaster Village and Valley shopping centres within our suburbs and Hyde Park Corner is a stone’s throw away. Hirsch’s Homestore recently opened a branch on our doorstep, with appliances of all sizes.

Braamfontein Spruit


The ridges known as the Witwatersrand form one of the main watersheds in the Rep of SA. The name means ridge of white waters, for the early travellers found 14 streams rising from these rocky ridges. These streams feed into 2 major river systems, namely the Limpopo and Orange Rivers.

The Braamfontein Spruit rises in Hillbrow, as a spring. The Spruit flows northwards and is joined by the Montgomery and Westdene Spruits below Emmarentia Dam. It continues on its way through Victory Park, Parkhurst, Craighall Park, Craighall, Glenadrienne and Bryanston joining the Klein Jukskei in Sunninghill. Together they join the Jukskei at Leeukop and continue to the Crocodile River which flows into Hartebeestpoort Dam.

Delta Park

This was originally one of 4 sewage farms developed in the 1930s. When the Sewage works were closed in 1963 the buildings lay unused for 10 years when they were developed into an Environmental Centre thanks to the forethought of benefactors such as the Bloom family.

The Delta is the largest of the parks in Joburg and is 104 hectares in extent. The park is a bird lovers paradise with over 200 species being recorded here.

Craighall and Blairgowrie

There are fascinating tales about this area. In 1891 the farm Klipfontein was bought by William Gray Rattray and renamed Craighall after his birthplace in Blairgowrie, Scotland. His estate comprised the suburbs now known as Craighall, Craighall Park and Blairgowrie.

In 1902 when plots were offered for sale, Craighall was described as offering unrivalled scenery with some of the plots to edge an artificial lake which was to cover some 20 acres! Craighall Park is rumoured to have boasted itself as being a new suburb that charged no service rates. You can imagine how people flocked to buy!

Rattray created a series of three weirs on the estate and today the remaining walls offer a fine example of dressed stone masonry. The first weir was built in 1905 and was known as the Braamfontein lake which became part of the recreational area of the Craig hall Park Hotel. The lake was stocked with trout to offer fly-fishing to the wealthy visitors who frequented the resort. The other weirs provided irrigation for the market gardens of the estate.

The Rand Epileptic Employment Association is situated on the eastern bank of the Spruit. This was opened in 1941. Today REEA grows organic veggies which can be purchased by the public and assists with funds for the care of the residents.


Our area is particularly rich in bird life, in spite of the fact that parts of the Spruit have become degraded. Additional information will also be found at or (has some very attractive photos of the spruit, including the Craighall waterfall and Rattray’s Weir).

We hope that the amateur ornithologists among us will also encourage residents to take a proactive interest in enhancing the river area. Have a look at the bird list submitted by a Craighall resident and see what you can add to it.


Area Bird List

compiled by Alex |Zaloumis (083 653 8800)

 Key Colour Code: From September 2003 Species seen
Definites seen 118
Probable 50 minimum
Around, but not actually seen at Delta/Spruit area 70 minimum






Y 8 dabchick delta all year
Y 55 cormorant white breasted delta/spruit all year
Y 58 cormorant reed delta/spruit all year
Y 60 darter delta/spruit/house all year
Y 62 heron grey delta/spruit/house all year
Y 63 heron black headed delta/spruit/house all year
Y 64 heron goliath
65 heron purple
66 egret great white
Y 67 egret little spruit all year
68 egret yellow billed
69 egret black
Y 71 egret cattle delta/spruit all year
76 night heron black crowned
78 bittern little
Y 81 hammerkop delta/spruit all year
84 stork black
Y 91 ibis sacred delta/spruit all year
Y 94 hadedah delta/spruit/house all year
Y 95 spoorbill delta/spruit/house
96/97 flamingo
Y 99 duck whiteface spruit/house all year
100 duck fulvous
Y 102 goose egyption delta/spruit/house all year
Y 103 goose SA shellduck spruit/house all year
Y 104 goose yellow bill delta/spruit/house all year
Y 105 goose black river delta/spruit all year
106 teal cape
107 teal hotentot
108 teal redbill
Y feral teal mallard spruit sometimes
Y feral teal ruddy shellduck spruit/house all year
Y feral teal carolina spruit/house all year
Y feral teal mandrin spruit all year
Y 111 shoveller cape sometimes
112 pochard southern black sometimes
115 goose knob bill
116 goose spurwing
117 maccoa
122 vulture cape
Y 126 kite yellow bill delta/spruit/house all year
127 kite black shouldered look for it
131 eagle black
148 eagle fish
165 harrier african marsh
181 kestrel rock
182 kestrel greater
Y 199 francolin swainsons delta/spruit all year
200 quail common
205 kurrichane button quail
Y 203 guinea fowl spruit/house all year
210 rail african
213 black crake
223 gallinule
Y 226 moorhen delta/spruit all year
Y 228 coot red knobbed delta all year
242 snipe painted
248 plover killitz
249 plover 3 banded
Y 255 plover crowned delta all year
Y 258 plover blacksmith delta/spruit all year
Y 260 plover wattled delta all year
264 sandpiper
286 snipe ethiopian
294 avocet
295 stilt
Y 297 dikkop cape / spotted delta/spruit all year
Y 315 gull grey headed delta/spruit all year
338 tern whiskered & whitewinged
Y 348 pigeon feral delta/spruit/house all year
Y 349 pigeon rock delta/spruit/house all year
Y 350 pigeon rameron spruit/house all year
Y 361 pigeon green house all year
Y 352 dove redyed delta/spruit/house all year
Y 354 dove cape turtle delta/spruit/house all year
Y 355 dove laughing delta/spruit/house all year
356 dove namaqua confirm
Y 366 parakeet roseringed delta/spruit all year
Y 368 lovebirds rosy faced sometimes
Y 373 lourie grey headed delta/spruit/house all year all year
Y 375 cuckoo africa house confirm which – 374?
Y 377 cuckoo red chested house summer
Y 378 cuckoo black house summer
Y 382 cuckoo jacobin house summer
Y 385 cuckoo klaas house summer
Y 386 cuckoo diederick delta/spruit/house summer
Y 391 coucal burchells delta/spruit/house all year
Y 392 owl barn delta/spruit/house all year
393 owl grass confirm
395 owl march confirm
Y 401 owl spotted eagle delta/spruit/house all year
402 owl giant confirm
Y 404 nightjar european summer
405 nightjar fierynecked confirm
406 nightjar rufouscheeked
408 nightjar freckled
411 swift european confirm
412 swift black confirm
Y 415 swift white rumped spruit all year
416 swift horus all year
417 swift little confirm
Y 421 swift palm spruit all year
Y 424 mousebird speckled delta/spruit/house all year
425 mousebird whitebacked
Y 426 mousebird redfaced riverclub all year
Y 428 kingfisher pied delta/spruit/house all year
Y 429 kingfisher giant delta/spruit/house all year
430 kingfisher halfcollared confirm
431 kingfisher malachite confirm
Y 435 kingfisher brown hooded delta/spruit/house all year
Y 438 bee eater european spruit summer
440 bee eater bluecheeked summer
Y 443 bee eater white fronted spruit summer
Y 444 bee eater little spruit summer
Y 451 hoopoe african delta/house all year
Y 452 hoopoe red billed delta/house all year
Y 464 barbet black collard delta/spruit/house all year
Y 470 barbet yellow fronted house confirm
Y 473 barbet crested delta/spruit/house all year
Y 474 honey guide greater house confirm
476 honey guide lesser confirm
483 woodpecker goldentailed confirm
486 woodpecker cardinal confirm
487 woodpecker bearded confirm
489 wryneck redthroated
494 lark rufousnaped
495 lark clapper
498 lark sabota
515 finchlarks
Y 518 swallow european confirm
Y 520 swallow white throated spriut all year
524 swallow redbreasted
526 swallow greater striped
Y 527 swallow lesser striped summer
528 swallow cliff
Y 529 martin rock spruit all year
martin brownthroated/sand
534 martin banded
Y 541 drongo forked tail delta/spruit/house all year
Y 543/4 oriel golden/european spruit
547 crow black
Y 548 crow pied delta/spruit/house all year
Y 554 tit southern black spruit/house
Y 560 babblers arrowmarked riverclub
Y 568 bulbull blackeyed all year
Y 577 thrush olive delta/spruit/house all year
580 thrush groundscraper
586 chat mountain
589 chat familiar
593 chat mocking
595 chat anteating
596 chat stone
Y 601 robin cape all year
621 titbabbler confirm
Y 628 warbler great reed confirm
Y 630 warbler african marsh confirm
634 warble european sedge
635 warbler cape reed
638 warbler cape sedge
643 warbler willow
651 crombecs longbilled
664-7 cisticola fantailed/desert/cloud
670/2/7/9 cisticola  rattling/levaillants/lazy
681 neddikkie
683 prinias tawny flanked
685 prinias blackchested
Y 758 myna all year
Y 759 starling pied riverclub all year
Y 764 starling glossy all year
Y 769 starling redwing all year
Y 683/5 prinias check
Y 689 flycatcher spotted check
698 flycatcher  fiscal
701 batis chinspot
Y 710 flycatcher paradise all year
711 wagtail pied
Y 713 wagtail cape all year
716-9 pipits richard/longbilled/plainbacked
727 longclaw orangethroated
Y 732 shrike fiscal all year
733 shrike redbacked
Y 740 shrike puffback
Y 741 shrike brubru
Y 759 starling pied all year
760 starling wattled confirm
761 starling plumcoloured confirm
Y 764 starling glossy all year
Y 769 starling redwinged all year
Y 775 sunbird malachite
779 sunbird marico confirm
Y 785 sunbird greater dbl collard
Y 787 sunbird white bellied
Y 792 sunbird amathest/black
Y 796 white eye cape all year
799 sparrow weaver – whitebrowed
Y 801 sparrow house all year
Y 802 sparrow cape all year
804 sparrow grey headed confirm
Y 813 weaver cape all year
Y 814 weaver masked all year
821 quelea redbilled

Indigenous Trees & Alien Plants

If you’d like some information about suitable indigenous trees and shrubs to plant, consult our list.

Indigenous Trees

Residents have asked about indigenous trees that are evergreen, fast growing and attract birds.

Highly recommended in this category is Kiggelaria africana.It is very attractive and fast growing, especially if given plenty of water. The most fascinating thing about this tree is that it attracts swarms of orange butterflies that lay their eggs on the leaves. These hatch in spring, and the Diedrick cuckoos, which live on caterpillars, arrive in their hordes and generally stay until the end of summer. Incidentally, the caterpillars do not do any damage to other plants as they seem to be specific to Kiggelaria. For best results, plant 2 or 3 specimens. Male and female flowers occur on different trees; recommended planting is 1 male and 2 females. The latter produce very pretty fruits that attract Cape Turtle Doves and Red-eyed Doves when ripe.

Name Type Comments
Acacia caffra tree 7m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
Acacia karoo tree 7m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
Acacia robusta tree 8m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
Acacia tortilis tree 5m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
Acacia xanthophloea tree (Fever tree) 8m deciduous Not indigenous to the highveld but is a spectacular specimen tree
Aloe arborescens succulent 2m evergreen Densely covered with orange flowers in winter. Much loved by sunbirds & bulbuls
Aloe marlothii succulent 2m evergreen Striking specimen plant, attractive to sunbirds & bulbuls
Brachylaena rotundata tree 6m semi-deciduous Fast-growing. This is the silvery leafed tree prominent on Linksfield ridge
Carissa bispinosa shrub 1m evergreen Not indigenous to the highveld but does well in sheltered spots
Celtis africana tree 8m deciduous Fast-growing. Excellent shade tree
Diospyros lycoides shrub 2m deciduous Pretty shrub with bright red berries
Erhetia rigida shrub 3m deciduous Pretty shrub with sweetly scented flowers & bright orange berries
Erythrina capensis tree 6m deciduous Not indigenous to the highveld but does well in sheltered spots. Spectacular red flowers
Euclea crispa tree 4m evergreen Highly recommended. Requires plenty of sun
Greyia sutherlandii tree 4m deciduous Commonly found in the Drakensburg but does OK in Jhb. Spectacular red flowers
Halleria lucida tree 5m evergreen Unusual tree, orange flowers grow directly from the trunk. Prefers forests so plant amongst other trees
Kiggelaria africana tree 8m evergreen See comments above
Leucosidea sericea tree 3m evergreen Likes lots of water but well worth it
Olea europea, var africana tree 8m evergreen Fast-growing if well-watered
Rhus undulata tree 3m evergreen Fruit eaten by birds
Rhus pyroides tree 3m evergreen Fruit eaten by birds
Rhus leptodictya tree 5m evergreen Beautiful shade tree. Prune side branches when young to encourage taller growth. Fruit eaten by birds
Schotia brachypetala tree 5m deciduous Spectacular but very slow. Worthwhile if you want to leave a monument to yourself!
Tecomaria capensis shrub 2m semi-deciduous Densely covered with orange flowers. Requires full sunlight

Alien Plants

Are you harbouring these aliens?

Invasive plants compete with indigenous plants and acceptable exotics for space, sunlight, water and nutrients. They seed aggressively and spread quickly. You may not be aware you have them.

Category 1: Trees
  • Robinia Pseudoacacia (Falfi acacia)
  • Robinia Pseudoacacia (Black Locust)
  • Acacia Mearnsii (Black Wattle)
  • Melia Azedarach (Syringa)
Category 1: Declared Weed
  • Lantana Camara (Lantana)
  • Solanum Mauritianum (Bugweed bush)
  • Ligustrum lucidum berries (Chinese wax-leaved privet)
  • Pennisetum Setaceum (Fountain Grass)
  • Pistia Stratiotes (water lettuce)
  • Doxantha unguis-cati (Cat’s Claw creeper)
  • Araujia sericifera (Moth Catcher)
  • Ligustrum Ovalifolium (Californian privet)
  • Cereus Jamacaru (Queen of the Night)

Category 1 plants and trees must be removed and destroyed immediately.

Category 2: Declared Invader
  • Rorippa Nasturtium Aquaticum (Watercress)
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos (Honey Locust)
  • Populus x Canescens (Grey Poplar)
  • Salix Babylonica (Weeping Willow)
  • Acacia Melanosylon (Australian Blackwood)
  • Acacia Dealbata (Silver Wattle)
  • Agave sisalana (Sisal Hemp)
  • Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort)
  • Psidium guajava (Guava)
  • Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow)

Category 2 plants and trees may only be grown under controlled conditions.

Category 3: Declared Invader
  • Acacia Elata (Pepper Tree Wattle)
  • Cotoneaster Franchetii (Orange Cotoneaster)
  • Cotoneaster Pannosus (Silver-leaf Cotoneaster)
  • Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat)
  • Ipomoea purpurea (Morning Glory)
  • Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda)
  • Phytolacca dioica (Belhambra)
  • Psidium cattleianum (Strawberry Guava)

Category 3 trees may not be planted at all.

If you have queries regarding alien plants and trees, call Rand Water’s Call Centre on 0860 10 10 60.