Jukskei River

The Jukskei River[2] is one of the largest rivers in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the southernmost river in the Crocodile River (West) basin.[3]

Jukskei River
South Africa-Johannesburg-Jukskei river-001.jpg
Jukskei flowing past Gillooly's Farm
Jukskei River is located in South Africa
Jukskei River
Location of the Jukskei River mouth
CountrySouth Africa
Physical characteristics
SourceNatural Spring
 • locationEllis Park,[1] Johannesburg, South Africa
 • coordinates26°11′46″S 28°03′50″E / 26.196°S 28.064°E / -26.196; 28.064
MouthCrocodile River
 • coordinates
25°52′34″S 27°55′38″E / 25.87611°S 27.92722°E / -25.87611; 27.92722Coordinates: 25°52′34″S 27°55′38″E / 25.87611°S 27.92722°E / -25.87611; 27.92722
 • elevation
1,234 m (4,049 ft)
 • locationCrocodile River
 • average120 m3/s (4,200 cu ft/s)


The Jukskei begins in Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Its original spring was on the former Doornfontein farm, which measured at 18,000 liters per hour, but has since disappeared under subsequent urban development.[4] Now the first surface expression of the Jukskei is in Bertrams at the intersection of Queen Street and Sports Avenue where it emerges from a storm drain. From there the river flows through Bezuidenhout Valley and Bruma. It then meanders in a northerly direction through Bedfordview and Edenvale before flowing through Alexandra Township. It then turns northwest and flows through Modderfontein, Buccleuch, Leeuwkop Prison, Lone Hill, Dainfern and Steyn City before joining the Crocodile River (Limpopo) outside Lanseria.[4]


The Jukskei River is joined by numerous streams along its course with its major tributaries being the Modderfontein Spruit, Braamfontein Spruit and Klein Jukskei River. The Jukskei River provides the largest amount of water, by discharge, into the Crocodile River (Limpopo) Basin.[4]


A South African girl sitting on a log next to the Jukskei River

The Jukskei is mostly shallow and not deep enough for transportation. It is also heavily polluted by urban runoff. Lack of infrastructure maintenance has let raw waste flow into the river on a daily basis. Cholera-causing bacteria have occasionally been found in the river.[5][6] The river receives a large inflow from the Northern Waste Water Treatment Plant in northern Johannesburg. The Jukskei River is one of the largest contributing factors of the eutrophication problems facing Hartbeespoort Dam further down stream. Tons of waste such as plastic, metal and rubber flow down the river annually.[7][8][9]

The banks are prone to bursting,[10] especially in summer when rainfalls are the heaviest for the year regionally. This spells disaster for the impoverished residents of the Alexandra Township who often build makeshift shacks along the river banks owing to overcrowding and the need for access to water for washing, drinking, and cooking.[11]

Cultural and sporting significanceEdit

The Jukskei traditionally demarcated the boundary between the Northern Transvaal and Transvaal for sporting purposes,[12] and teams like the Titans cricket team and Blue Bulls (formerly Northern Transvaal) continue to be headquartered in Pretoria, north of the Jukskei.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Water, water... everywhere". City of Johannesburg. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  2. ^ "Exact location of Juksei River". Open Street Map.
  3. ^ Crocodile/Marico WMA 3
  4. ^ a b c Christie, Sean (3 January 2014). "Searching for the soul of the Jukskei". Mail and Guardian. South Africa. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Cholera found in Jukskei river".
  6. ^ "Cholera found in city river".
  7. ^ "Statement by minister Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of water affairs and forestry". South African Government. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  8. ^ "Cholera found in Alexandra's Jukskei River". Daily Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  9. ^ Olukunle, Olubiyi; Okonkwo, Jonathan; Kefeni, Kebede; Lupankwa, Mlindelwa (2011-12-10). "Concentrations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Sediments from Jukskei River, Gauteng, South Africa". Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 88 (3): 461–466. doi:10.1007/s00128-011-0481-y. ISSN 0007-4861. PMID 22160134. S2CID 31382677.
  10. ^ "Gauteng residents warned to be cautious in floods". Gauteng Provincial Government. 2006-01-12. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  11. ^ Pather, Ra'eesa. "Still no shelter for Alex flood victims, foreign nationals search for lost documents". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  12. ^ Chris van Rensburg Publications (Pty) Ltd (1992). Transvaal: the Golden Province. C. van Rensburg Publications. ISBN 978-0-86846-065-9.

External linksEdit