Zandvlei Trust

ZANDVLEI  ACTION COMMITTEE

Minutes of the quarterly committee meeting held at the Zandvlei Imperial Yacht Club on Wednesday,
10 February 2010 at 14:00.

1. Opening and welcome

Cassy Sheasby opened the meeting and welcomed all present. An attendance register was compiled by Margit van Heerden (Student Conservation Officer 2010) and apologies received were read out.

Attendance Register

C Sheasby
D Qually
M van Heerden
E Rayners
M Thompson
M Gamieldien
L Jackson
P Hepple
J Sher
V Wilson
J Ridley
P Joubert
S Fowkes
J Fowkes
G Lawson

Apologies

D Gibbs

2. Zandvlei Estuary Management Plan: Lynn Jackson
Lynn Jackson is an Environmental Consultant appointed through a joint partnership between the City of Cape Town Environmental Management Dept (Biodiversity Management) and CapeNature (Provincial Conservation Authority) to undertake a situation assessment and compile a management plan for the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. The CAPE Estuaries programme is being used to draw up management plans for all the estuaries. This is the 3rd phase of the programme and Zandvlei has been included due to the high degree of pollution and negative urban influences that have lead to previous problems eg Fish die off at Rietvlei etc. 1st step: Situation assessment: Review all documents and data and compile a report including the challenges and priorities. A 5 year action plan will then be drawn up where the different stakeholders and departments can contribute information and commit to resolving issues arising. Stakeholder workshops will be held to present the situation assessment. DQ: All residential, recreational users and interested parties need to be involved and should have access to the ZAC minutes. On the Zandvlei Trust website.SF: Heather McKie’s work on the vision and mission statements should be looked at for this plan. All parties that have historical documents pertaining to Zandvlei and the catchment were requested from the forum. Action All

3. Water levels
There was a general concensus that more co-ordination between the user groups is needed especially around events. JS: there is an interschools event in March which will mean 70 boats on the water. Talcot Persent requested to officially send out the schedule of mouth opening and closing to the recreational groups. Talcot Persent to provide information on the height of the sand bar at the mouth. Action TP

4. Water Quality
Martin Thompson reported: 42% compliance with intermediate contact guidelines in the Sand River Catchment rivers. 70% compliance with intermediate contact guidelines in Zandvlei. Discussion around developments and EIAs where more than 600m squared of impervious concreting or 4000m squared of development area need to provide plan on how the stormwater will be treated before entering a river system. In summer when salinity is high, the water quality is generally very good. The mouth has to be kept open in winter to overt the risk of flooding. Phosphorous levels are looking good (low) with 4th and 5th best results in the river systems. However, need to determine what the ideal phosphorus levels for this vlei should be. Cassy Sheasby to send Zeekoevlei’s water quality results to Lance Dixon. Notices do however need to be sent out to residents and recreational users not to swim when there are high E coli. Counts. Cassy Sheasby reported man hole overflow in December which was investigated and treated. There were no further reports on the paint spillage into the Marina da Gama canals. Eugene Rayners teams were replacing bins around the vlei and putting in black bags. Action CS

5. Pondweed
Eugene Rayners reported: One machine is fixed and currently at Princess Vlei being tested. Other machine broke but has been fixed. The areas they have been working on most have been Canals around Park Island, Little Australia Island, the open vlei and trying to prepare for the upcoming events. People wanting to discuss cutting can contact Peter. There have been reports of residents trying to bribe the drivers to work more in one canal than the others. Cassy Sheasby reported: Good feed back on the Parks weed harvesters drivers who have been avoiding birds nests. It was mentioned that the Marina da Gama Association should put out a reminder to residents (especially new ones) that they need to take responsibility for the first 1m of water infront of their properties.

6. Litter traps
Cassy Sheasby reported: The Sand River is in a very poor condition. The trap is still functional but the catch grids have been stolen for scrap metal. The contractors have not been cleaning the litter nets. The litter nets need to be repositioned closer to the bridge. Cassy Sheasby and Talcott Persent to meet about this and discuss options. Action CS/TP

7. Doggy Doo bins and cleanups
Bin usage is going well, generally the feedback has been positive. 2 more bins have been ordered on Conservation’s budget. Need signage to inform people.

8. Park Island
Pam Hepple reported: Doggy doo bin at entrance needs to be emptied more regularly. Pathways need maintenance, got some mulch from Parks (Elsies River).

9. Tube worms
Nothing new to report.

10. Mallards
Meeting needs to be held with Marina da Gama Association to lay out the legal obligations that the City of Cape Town has to remove Mallard ducks. Over 160 birds were removed using sedative, however a further 280 have been counted and still remain in the waterways.

11. Fish
Fish treks over the last year have been looking good with high species diversity of indigenous fish including White Steenbras, Groovy Mullet and Leervis. Discussion around a fishing competition to take out as much Carp as possible from the vlei.

12. Invasive Waterweed
John and Sandra Fowkes reported: Hyacinth has been removed from Westlake wetlands (Rutter road area) but has opened up an opportunity for secondary invasion of water lettuce and wandering jew. Area close to the railway bridge needs to be cleared. Water surface of Westlake pond (Rutter Road) is now covered with algae. There are a few waterblommetjie plants close to the bridge which need to be saved.

13. Signage
Information signage has been finalised, needs to be made and erected around July 2010. Many by law signs around the vlei need to be replaced as they are faded. These will have to be replaced in a phased approach due to budget constraints.

14. Other business
a. Boardsail Inn
Fencing in as part of the Caravan Park, needs to be addressed between departments.
b. Leopard toads
Leopard toads have been found right next to the mouth indicating successful recruitment even in high saline areas. Die Oog had no sightings of toadlets this year.
c. Mowing of areas
Nothing to report.
d. False Bay Station Flats
Nothing to report.
e. Henley on Vlei flats
Landscaping is being done by Neil Major and is locally indigenous vegetation. The holes in the front walls have been extended downwards so that animals can move through.
f. Kite Festival
Meeting held with Shameemah Wallace about site preparation. ECO management plan is prerequisite for upcoming years.
g. Visitor controllers and Law Enforcement
Mostly positive feedback received. Still in learning phase. Management plan for visitor controllers is needed. Vagrancy in reed beds is a huge problem. The reeds will be herbicided and cut back, the visitor controllers should patrol and get law enforcement to remove anyone trespassing/sleeping on site. 3 row boats reported stolen from Westlake. Visitor controllers contracts end at end of April and then Parks should renew contract and manage the staff. There are large numbers of people living in the vegetation along Old Boyes Drive.

14. Closure and date of next meeting
The next meeting scheduled for 21st April 2010 at 14:00 at the Imperial Yacht Club. Please note this amendment: New date: 12th May 2010 at 14:00 at the Imperial Yacht Club. 

                                                                                                                                           

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