Zandvlei Trust

ZANDVLEI  ACTION COMMITTEE

Minutes of the quarterly committee meeting held at Zandvlei Environmental Education Centre at 14h00 on the 29th June 2011.

1. Opening and welcome

Cassandra Sheasby opened the meeting and welcomed all present. An attendance register was sent around and apologies received were read out.

Attendance Register

C Sheasby
M van Heerden
M Thompson
C Haskins
M Gamaldien
G.Lawson
P Joubert
D Muller
J Fowkes
K Findly
P & M van Heesch
B Craske

Apologies

S Fowkes
Cllr. D Qually

2. Management Plan
Management plan process, the next step. 
CS: Council has approved Phase Two of the management plan. There is a partnership with Cape Nature and the City of Cape Town and the MOU has been signed. The order will go through Cape Nature to appoint consultant. .

3. Mouth Management Presentation
CH presented the presentation concerning the management of the mouth. Consensus from the ZAC to present the management plan to Council.
KF: How is the mouth affecting movement of fish?
CS: mouth is open for the max period for fish movement but it must align with weather.
MT: fish migration is mainly from August to November.DM: what impact will the rising sea level have concerning the management plan?
CH: the City is doing a lot of work with climate change modelling. It is predicted that the rainfall will increase by 15% over the next 20 years, short, intense rainfall and long, dry periods. Climate change is an uncertain science based mostly on modelling.

4. Water levels
MT: mouth and rubble weir currently open.
KF: how moveable is the rubble weir?
MT: it cannot be moved easily, requires labour to move rocks, there is some movement and natural shifting due to currents and so on, but the general maintenance of the weir is low.

5. Water Quality
MT: E.coli readings were high at the yacht club but it is to be expected because of the winter rains.
CS: Royal Road was also high. There was a concern that the pump station could be overflowing again, but it was inspected in June and was not overflowing.

6. Pondweed
CS: Kingfisher machine went in for an upgrade and service. An operator has been employed and the machine will be off the water for a while.BC: will there be two machines?
CS: the other machine is stationed at Princess Vlei and will not be coming back to Zandvlei. The two machines are now under different directorates of the City and different departments. This makes it very difficult as well as costly to move the machine. There are also added risks like new invasive species using the machine as a vector to Zandvlei.
BC: have asked sub-council to attend a meeting.
KF: short term solution: borrow machine from Princess Vlei?
CS: budget needs to be cleared so cannot do anything (financial year end). Isgaak will be trained to operate the reed cutter during next week. The pondweed will be cut by the reed cutter and Isgaak will work the weekend to try catch up.
GL: will send details of an organic farmer to collect pondweed at his own expense.

7. Litter traps & litter cleanups
CS: A volunteer team helped pick up litter at the mouth. Edwin from Sport and Recreational Dept sent a team of 20 men, result 200 black bags of litter from Park Island. An estimated cost of to keep Zandvlei litter free would cost R850 000.00 per year.
KF: Litter better than previous year.
DM: litter teams should come every year and each person should do there bit.
KF: Users of the vlei should help e.g. canoeists. He will try to get a party together to do cleanups

8. Doggy Doo bins and cleanups
CS: no correspondence from Vanessa.
DM: a litter bin on the Eastern shore is gone, could it be replaced?
CS: Two plastic bins need to replace at the Thesens bridge. We will not be using swing bins on the Eastern shore any more as these are being stolen for scrap metal. Even though there have been further requests for doggy doo bins, we will not be erecting any more unless they will be managed by the community that wants them.

9. Park Island
CS: Burnt all the brush piles. Will put signage up that says garden refuse must not be dropped at Park Island. Water has been shut down because the irrigation is being stolen. Parks has agreed to help us to disconnect the old irrigation systems from the mains so that there will at least be water for the toilets on the island.

10. Tube worms
CS: tube worms: a lot of debate about whether they are alien or cosmopolitan. They are doing an environmental service by filtering the water which helps to keep the water quality good.
KF: no issues with tube worms, the only problem area would be under the Park Island bridge.
CS: will have to look at a method of identifying and removing old colonies in phases so that they can recolonize but the majority of the old tubeworm mass will be removed.

11. Mallards
CS: no count has been done, waiting for the national strategy to be able to eradicate the birds.

12. Fish
CS: next fish trek in two weeks. Want to have an MOU with Oceans and Coasts and the City to have Zandvlei to do the treks. Oceans and Coasts need to supply nets and permits.
KF: salinity and oxygen in the water monitoring done at the same time of the trek and there should be tagging of fish.
CH: there used to be a fish tagger at Scientific Services, Robert Siebritz the person to contact to ask if it can be transferred to Zandvlei.
Action: CS.

13. Invasive Waterweed
JF: hyacinth low at Rutter Road. Rains bring down the hyacinth from the upper areas and affect the lower areas.
CS: Louise should be informed about this problem because it might be coming down from a private property. It needs to be solved from upstream.

14. Mowing
PJ: mowing in Uitsig open space not done.
CS: needs to be addressed to Eugene if it is on the Parks grounds. Parks have not been attending the ZAC meetings this year even though they have been invited.

15. Signage
CS: Signage through the City’s signage dept has come to naught. After 4 months of waiting, we collected the signage boards from them and will have to look at the new financial year as the funding was taken away to replace a fence that burnt down at Helderberg. Will also look at putting a sign “no fishing” on Thesens bridge.

16. Other business
a. Boardsail Inn
CS: area is fenced off.DM: no vagrants on the island.
b. Visitor Controllers and law enforcement 
CS: Western shore: given back to Parks to manage. The Environmental Law Enforcement emergency number after hours: 083 499 1717.
c. Kite Festival
CS: Edwin will be doing the mowing for the festival. ECO will be employed before the festival.
DM: meeting on the 6th of July concerning the kite festival.
d. Other 
DM: Ecological swimming pool, for more information it can be seen on the Zandvlei Trust website:
http://www.zandvleitrust.org.za/art-swimming%20pool%20conversion%20june%202011.html

17. Closure and date of next meeting
The next meeting scheduled for 7th September 2011 at 14:00 at the Educational Centre at Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

                                                                                                                                           

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