Environmental Profile

Overview

The municipality covers an area of 342406.2ha of which 84.1 % has remained as natural habitat. There are two formal land-based protected areas in the municipality, namely the Caledon Nature Reserve and the Rustfontein Nature Reserve. These two reserves cover 6397.7ha of the municipal area. There are no RAMSAR sites in the municipality.

Biome and Vegetation Types

There is only one biome in the Naledi Municipality, namely Grassland. Ten vegetation types cover 342406.3ha of the municipality. These are Aliwal North Dry Grassland, Basotho Montane Bushland, Besemkaree Koppies Shrubland, Bloemfontein Dry Grassland, Central Free State Grassland, Eastern Free State Clay Grassland, Eastern Free State Sandy Grassland, Winburg Grassy Shrubland, Xhariep Karroid Shrubland and Zastron Moist Grassland. There are two vulnerable ecosystems, covering 33925ha (9.9%) of the Naledi Municipality. These are the Bloemfontein Dry Grassland and the Eastern Free State Clay Grassland.

Freshwater Ecosystems

The Freshwater Ecosystems in the municipality are characterized by two water management areas. Nine rivers run through the municipality, including the Blaasbalkspruit, Caldon, Klipspruit, Leeu, Modder, Montsoane, Rietspruit, Sandspruit and Witspruit. Wetlands cover 3.2 % of the Naledi municipality.

Topography and drainage

The terrain morphology indicates that the Naledi area mainly consists of lowlands with hills. Slightly irregular undulating plains and hills characterize a narrow area close to Dewetsdorp. Between Van Stadensrus and the Lesotho border lays a small area of irregular undulating lowlands with hills.

Climate and Geology

The whole Naledi area lies in the 500mm – 650mm mean annual rainfall region and is classified under the Grassland biome.  Temperatures are extreme, and the area experiences hot mid-summer conditions and very cold winters. The Naledi municipality’s geology is dominated by Tarkastad geological formation. There is only a small area, near Dewetsdorp, that consists of Adelaide formation.