Zandvlei Trust

ZANDVLEI  ACTION COMMITTEE

Minutes of the quarterly committee meeting held at the Zandvlei Imperial Yacht Club on Wednesday,
03 September 2008 at 14:30.

1. Opening and welcome

The acting Chairperson (Fay Howa) welcomed all members that were present and opened the meeting. The new Park’s representative, Asanda Roji, as well as David Muller and Victoria Day introduced themselves to all present.

Attendance Register

C Giljam
J Sher
F Howa
V Day
D Qually
A Roji
D Muller
P Joubert

Apologies

C Sheasby
G Lawson
M Thompson
R Maclean
C Haskins

1. Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were checked and no amendments were made.

2. Water levels
FH asked whether all present had received the e-mail regarding the opening and closing of the estuary mouth. It was decided that TP is to send all members an updated schedule of the planned dates for the opening and closing of the estuary to allow sufficient time to plan activities around the vlei. CG will also ask RM for schedule. FH reported that the mouth will remain open for the rainy season and MT will only consider closing it after a period of warm weather. FH also reported that Dalton Gibbs approved for the 2008 Biathle World Championships to be at Zandvlei on the 1 November. Action TP / CG

3. Water Quality
FH reported that there was no sewage spills to her knowledge. However, DQ reported that there was a sewage spill on the 29th June 2008 at Spier Head, Marina Da Gama. The sewage spill was the result of a power failure and a meeting was held with Brian Thompson, the Health department and Malcolm Cupido. The issue was resolved. FH also reported that the reserve had received the bio-agents from Brian Thompson. FH suggested that a training session should be organised with Bob Hadley so that the bio-agents are applied effectively. FH reported that Bob is happy to do the training session with the reserve staff but a date needs to be finalised. FH also reported that there were high faecal coliforms and E. coli reported in the Keysers River at the industrial area and the Langevlei canal (near the litter trap) from the water quality report. FH to follow up on the water quality reports from Candice Haskins. PJ reported that no salinity tests were done on the 31st August due to weather conditions. Action CS

4. Pondweed
AR reported that Parks have cut a small amount of pondweed and have been doing regular checks. CG reported that the Marina residents have been complaining pondweed cut too much. CG also reported that she had not received any pondweed and suggested that pondweed is cut at a time when it coincides with breeding birds. CG also suggested that conservation and Parks have a meeting with drivers and discuss how much pondweed is cut and where. JS reported that there have been no complaints about the pondweed from her user group.

5. Litter traps
FH reported that the new litter trap has been installed into the Sand River canal. It has been working well and is being cleaned out on a regular basis by Talcott Persent’s team.

6. Park Island
FH reported that a Health and Safety check was done on the 01 September and all the facilities were safe. CG reported that one litter cleanup was done but litter is still a problem on Park Island. CG requests that Parks use their contractors to help do litter cleanups on the Island once the new tender is starts up. CG also reported a hunting incident of the island. One grysbok and one Cape hare were found skinned on the Island. The grysbok carcass was thrown into the water by Marina residents and the Cape hare was buried on the island. The animals were possibly hunted by someone using a boat and hunting lights. CG suggests that FH contacts the Mountain Men about the incident and request that they notify the reserve immediately if they see lights on the Island at night.FH reported that dogs on Park Island should be on leashes instead of free roaming. According to the Nature Conservation Ordinance and Parks by-laws, Park Island now falls within a local authority Nature reserve and dogs will no longer be allowed to run freely. Dogs must be on leashes because they are the main causes of fatalities of grysbok, mole rats and many nesting birds. Warnings will be issued and later fines for non-compliance. After much discussion, it was decided that a separate meeting will take place to discuss the situation with the public and all stakeholders involved. FH also reported that the Knox’s desert lizard project is still to be undertaken.

 7. Tube worms
Nothing new to report. FH suggested that perhaps those projects regarding tube worms should be put on the Zandvlei Trust website or the Marina website.

8. Mallards
FH reported that the reserve has received the order of sedative but procurement gave less quantity than what the reserve originally asked for. The order was received after the alien contract team had left so the team could not be used for mallard eradication. Therefore reserve staff will be conducting mallard eradication with conservation law enforcement personnel for assistance with crowd control. DQ requested the details of the order because the orders need to be filled properly by procurement.

9. Fish
FH reported that data from the fish trek in July was received by MCM (Marine and Coastal Management). The data is to be processed by the fisheries management student, Sebastian, who will give it to Gavin Lawson for the Zandvlei Trust website. CG is to forward Mr Watt’s (fisherman) details to the reserve for data from his catches. DQ also requests an update on the fishing by-law. Action CG

10. Invasive Waterweed
FH reported that water hyacinth was cleared from the Keysers River and Westlake River confluence by alien contractors. Hyacinth was also cleared in Rutter Road by Parks. The residents of Rutter Road intend to put in a dragline across the confluence to pull/hold back water hyacinth.

11. Signage
FH reported that the 4 signs were put up near the mouth and near the footbridge: one of the west sides of the vlei, one at the mouth, two on the East side of the vlei. These signs withstood the weekend’s storm (30-31/08/2008) and an old sign on the west side of the vlei still needs to be replaced. DM requests that positive reinforcement be included in the signs.

12. Other business
a. Boardsail Inn
FH reported that the Amenities dept has been issued with a non-compliance notification. To date, they have removed most of the rubble from the water body and removed some litter from the banks. They must still remove alien vegetation as well as reshape the bank. They are in the process of removing the surface infrastructure but they are having labour issues and their tractor broke. The Zandvlei students are doing ECO duties to maintain control of the site.

b. Leopard toads
The leopard toads had a successful breeding season and there were limited mortalities. Generally, there was a low turnout by the public to assist with moving the toads across the roads. DQ reported that leopard toads were heard in the Marina. FH requested that any reports of leopard toads still breeding should be forwarded to the nature reserve.Action  ALL

c. Mowing of areas
FH reported that the mowing of areas in the wrong season is affecting the area’s biodiversity. The Psoralea on these sites suffer as it cannot seed. There are also high mortalities of breeding birds and leopard toads. FH suggested that nature conservation is to be consulted with for dates when it is safe to mow these areas as it would allow us to manage the area better. CG will try to get maps from Catchment management so that Parks can have these areas with Psoralea marked on a map. Action  CG

d. False Bay Station Flats
FH reported that a new block of flats is being built near a wetland area on Promenade Road. There is an ESO (Kate Snaddon) for the area who will ensure that the developers maintain the 10 meter buffer between the wetland and the actual building. The ESO will also ensure that adequate search and rescue is done to maintain the biodiversity of the area and that the plot is landscaped with indigenous vegetation. CG requested that if the landscaping contractors need staff, they must please forward their details to CG.

13. Closure and date of next meeting
The next meeting is scheduled after the Sand River Catchment Forum. CG must pass on the date to all concerned. Action CG

                                                                                                                                           

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