On the 5th January 2023, we received the incredibly sad news of the sudden passing of Francis Steyn. Francis led the Sustainable Resource Management unit (LandCare) in the Western Cape and was a great friend of the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy. We are still trying to process the news which will have far reaching implications for the conservation community across South Africa and beyond. However, no loss will be as great as that felt by his family, who lost a son, husband, father and grandfather. We think and pray for his family as they come to terms with this tragedy.
Francis died of a heart attack while canoeing on the Breede river with friends. It was too soon but it may have been how he would have wanted to go-with those he loved, on a river, doing what he loved.
We will all miss his intellect, energy, enthusiasm, infectious ideas, and laughter. He was truly dedicated to his work and the people involved. He was looking forward to retirement but there was no doubt that he had many more things to achieve. Landcare continues to be a crucial partner for our conservancy, and we are ever grateful for their support. We will continue his legacy by doing all we can to continue the work and projects that he was so passionate about. We trust that he is now paddling a more peaceful and beautiful river and, while we sadly can’t join him right now, we will always remember him and all he did for the Grootvadersbosch Community. Rest in peace and thank you for all you did.
Landcare will be hosting a memorial service in his honour on Friday 27th January from 10-11:30am at the Percheron Hall, Elsenburg College, Off Muldersvlei Road, Stellenbosch.
GVB Conservancy Staff