Johannesburg school learners make a splash on the spruit with Bokashi balls

Three groups of enthusiastic Grade 8 learners were invited by Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo to engage in a hands-on experience of the innovative water cleaning techniques used to prepare for the upcoming Hollard JUMA & JURA.

Over the years, Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo in partnership with Hollard and the JUMA & JURA have used Bokashi balls to purify the Spruit ridding it of harmful toxins not only for riders and runners but everyone who enjoys Johannesburg’s outdoor spaces.

“If we are giving permission for events to go down into stormwater drains, it is also our responsibility to keep those areas clean. The idea of getting schools involved is to educate future generations about open space management and sensitivities regarding our natural resources.

Our mandate is not to create races or events but rather to create lifestyle spaces where sustainable events like these can flourish. We’ve seen a direct correlation between outdoor events and the resulting community engagement in our parks.” comments Louis Gordon, Executive Manager: New Business Development for Johannesburg City Parks.

And there is no better place than a park to plant the seeds that will grow a more eco-conscious generation. Learners from Realogile Secondary School, JBG Roosevelt Park High School and Saxonwold Primary School were invited down to Mushroom Park, Zoo Lake and the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens where they were met by Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo’s MD Bryne Maduka, MMC Nonhlanhla Sifumba and Senior Training Facilitator Ben Masalesa.

Masalesa was on hand to explain water quality and testing and the role Bokashi Balls play in ensuring that the green belt stays green. “The balls are created from a mixture that includes bran, wheat bran, molasses and a combination of various bacteria. The balls sink to the bottom, where they slowly release effective microbes (EM) for up to a month, significantly improving water quality. The EM consumes odour-causing toxins and breaks down waste ultimately restoring the water to its proper ecological balance.”

The 180 pupils were given a Bokashi ball each to distribute into the waterways, with each ball clean approximately 1000 cubic metres of water over its lifespan, they’ve left a 180 000 cubic metres of Johannesburg’s water cleaner and fresher than before. Extending the lesson further, each learner received a Bokashi sachet to take to add to their cistern or water system home.

Speaking after the event, Realogile Secondary School teacher, Kate Moxemi said the initiative provided a great day out for the kids. “It was great for the kids to get out of the classroom and into the park. Our students learnt how important it is to preserve the purity of the rivers and dams around us and how they too can play a role in making the world better. Overall it was a fun and educational day.”

The dedication to the heart of Johannesburg will continue at the Hollard Urban Adventure Weekend with 8000 sachets given away to participants at the event, so each and every runner, rider and spectator can positively impact the water in their neighbourhoods.

The Hollard JUMA & Hollard JURA, South Africa’s most unique trail run and mountain bike experience, will be in tiptop condition when they kick off in Johannesburg on the 2nd & 3rd of June 2018. For more information about the Hollard JUMA and Hollard JURA or to enter visit