The Friends of the Seven Dams Conservancy is a group that formed in 1993 to protect and promote the Seven Dams Conservancy. The Friends group organises guided walks, information sessions, regular litter clean-ups, and lobbies to protect the area. The group is affiliated to the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and is registered as a not for profit organisation with the NPO directorate of the Department of Social Development. The main objective of the Friends of the Seven Dams is to promote the interests of the Seven Dams Conservancy, including the conservation of its natural habitat, assuring a pleasurable recreational experience for visitors to the Conservancy.
The Friends of the Seven Dams worked closely with the Municipality and the consultant in developing the 2008 Management Plan for the Conservancy. With an excellent plan in place, the committee was able to approach funders to implement parts of the plan.
In 2009 the committee of the Friends of the Seven Dams successfully raised funding from the RAITH Foundation for a period of three years (2009 to 2012). The money was spent on the following activities:
- Creating marketing information for the Seven Dams such as a website and leaflets;
- Employing a conservation officer to develop an outdoor activity/educational package for children and regularly take groups of children from local schools and orphanages to enjoy the conservancy;
- Employing urban rangers to patrol for a few hours a day during peak usage times in the morning and evening in the week and all day on weekends to monitor the area and provide security for users;
- Encouraging usage by the general public;
- Publicising the Seven Dams Conservancy in the media;
- Creating political support for the Conservancy.
Regrettably, the RAITH funding was not renewed, the conservator had to accept work elsewhere and we are entirely dependent on membership fees and donations.