SAND RIVER CATCHMENT FORUM
Minutes of the meeting held on: Monday 25th August 2008 at 13h30 at the Alphen Council Chambers
Martin Thompson : COCT Roads & Stormwater (Chairman)
James Forsyth FOCVGB
1. WELCOME/ APOLOGIES & ATTENDANCE REGISTER
Martin Thompson, as Chairman of the SRCF, welcomed all.
2. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Subject to noting that : -
3. ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO BE PLACED ON AGENDA
No additional items were placed on agenda.
4. SOURCE TO SEA : PRESENTATION BY JOHN GREEN
John Green presented on creating or restoring a vegetative corridor from Elephants Eye or Princesskasteel to Princessvlei to ensure that we do not lose the last remaining pieces of biodiversity between the expanse of vineyards and the many developments taking place. This will involve working in small pockets in the different areas which fall into the proposed corridor. He informed us about the history or legends around the fascinating names. The intention is to restore or re-introduce as far as possible the original indigenous vegetation as aliens are removed. The various possible connecting points across roads and highways were noted. His dream is that if all stakeholders pull together this green corridor can become a reality. A power point presentation on the Source to Sea programme was also shown which highlighted the many threats (development, alien vegetation, roads across wetlands, vandalism etc) and opportunities of this exciting venture and which is complimentary to the vision of the green corridor as it is within the same catchment. He emphasized that it is important to view the system holistically and to be sustainable it would be necessary to find a balance between the natural, social and economic environments (like a three-legged potjie-pot). The presentation was followed by an interactive discussion. The many organizations that could partner the initiative were mentioned: the various Friends groups, residents’ associations, City of Cape Town.
It was stressed that the corridor project should also be viewed from the Diep River/Cape Flats side, namely Princessvlei to the mountain so that it is seen as inclusive of all the different areas of Cape Town.
John Green said that we need to decide who the key role players would be and how we could go about putting the dream into action. It was proposed that the key role players should form a sub-committee and employ the services of a co-ordinator. Money would need to be raised and he wondered whether any of the Friends groups would be in a position to assist. He offered a substantial start-off sum from himself and on behalf of Friends of Tokai Forest (FTF) and suggested that FTF could apply to COCT for a grant-in-aid. We should set up a group to take both projects forward.
Martin asked whether we should set up a meeting date and John asked how everybody felt about his ideas. A question raised was : who will run the first meeting of the steering committee? The City’s environmental department is extremely busy – needs to be someone from civil society – to ensure that City, Parks, Friends (including Kelvin Cochrane from the Bottom Road project) are included and aligned. James Forsythe was suggested – or George Davies of the Wetlands Forum.
Liz Brunette commented that it was important that it was not seen as an exclusionary project, e.g. confined to Constantia Valley and John assured her that he agreed that the concept should be viewed from the Cape Flats to the mountain as well. Liz also said that the structure plans for each of the 8 districts in the City were in the pipelines and these two projects should be incorporated at this stage, so that they are “locked in” for the future.
It was agreed that the first meeting would be held to form a steering committee to take forward the complimentary visions of Source to Sea and Princessvlei to Princesskasteel with a view to having a collaborative partnership which is able to find funding and move forward. John emphasized the need to keep things simple and not to over-complicate at this stage.
First meeting would be on Wednesday, 1 October 2008 @ 13h30 – Martin Thompson was going to book the venue and ask the secretary here to send out the invite. Brian Ratcliffe, John Green and James Forsyth will co-ordinate the first meeting and will organise the agenda and the chair for the meeting. Sharon offered to take the minutes.
5. FLOOD MANAGEMENT POLICY : PRESENTATION BY MARTIN THOMPSON
Martin took the meeting through the new draft FMP which has been prepared using the 2003 management guidelines with some changes. The policy has been introduced to Council, it is going through the Management Committee and he hopes for approval whereafter it will be put out for public comment. The rationale behind the policy is to accommodate the pressure from development, to avoid high flood risk areas, to protect the natural environment. It includes an aesthetic/character aspect so that a river and its surrounds are included in the urban fabric and has ecological, engineering and social components.
During the ensuing discussion, the following points were raised:
Liz Brunette asked Martin whether the City is considering offering “carrots” to developers who use more environmental friendly methods, e.g. permeable surfaces rather than hard. Martin
responded that this is under discussion but there are legal issues which require some debate.Joan Hemming enquired about the degree of control that a Home Owners Association has over the residents in a complex in regard to the type of fertilizer that is used. Apparently COCT does
regular spot checks but this is difficult to police. Cherry Giljam commented that this was another area where pamphlets may be useful – to advise home owners/residents of what should or
shouldn’t be used – or what should be planted.
Winston Coe, the Provisional Co-ordinator for Working for Wetlands added that education is an important factor e.g. by utilizing wetlands for positive things, and reminded us of Sanbi’s educational section.
6. RIVER INSPECTIONS
Suretha handed out a report containing a schedule with details of the Prinskasteel river inspection and detailed descriptions of the sites inspected with pictures and a map depicting the areas
inspected. She highlighted the salient points in each site inspection, namely Erf 3346 (Maths & Science Institute), Erf 3355 (Ford’s Farm), Erf CA 1464-0 and Erf 6851 (potential wetland). John
Green mentioned, in relation to alien clearing on Erf 3346, that in terms of the CARA regulations, the Department of Agriculture had previously issued a directive to Province to clear the area from
aliens and to remove the material dumped, but nothing had happened to date. It was questioned whether it is not a criminal act to dump and that a criminal charge should be laid. John Green
responded that Wessa had tried in the past to lay a charge but the police are not interested.
27.8.2008 : Since the meeting Suretha advises the following:
Winston Coe stressed that it was important to be able to see the big picture and how we impact.
Friends Groups – Report back
8. NEXT MEETING
Monday 24th November 2008 at 13h30 at the Alphen Chambers
ZANDVLEI ACTION COMMITTEE