Zandvlei Trust

The Sand River Catchment Forum.

Minutes of the meeting held on: Thursday 10 February 2005 at 14h00 at the Alphen Centre,
in the Neville Riley Room.

PRESENT

B Nicolson CoCT: CSRM (Chairman)
Cllr H Syre CoCT: Councillor
Candice Haskins CoCT: Scientific Services
M Thompson CoCT: Engineering Services
D Davey Friends of Die Oog
B Ratcliffe Friends of Constantia Greenbelt
G Evans Bervliet R&RPA
J Garman CoCT: Environmental Management
Mandy Noffke Working for Wetlands
R Camp Diep River R&RPA
C Giljam Marina da Gama (Sec)
James Forsyth Friends of Tokai Forest

APOLOGIES

V Marincowitz FBAC / Zandvlei Trust
N Newman CoCT: Environmental Management
E Foot CoCT: Nature Conservation Zandvlei
K Jacobs CoCT: Nature Conservation Zandvlei
T Persent CoCT: Dist 10 SPA Engineering
J Gibbs SP Dev Forum
Cllr I Jones Councillor
Cllr I Iverson Councillor
Cllr J Heming Councillor
John Green Friends of Tokai Forest.


1.  Previous Minutes

Accepted with the following changes to point 4.4; 'SEF funding' to change to 'CEPF funding'; third paragraph to read 'R10,000 was received from the Rowland and Leta Hill Trust, administered by BOT Trust and managed by WWFSA for the restocking of the pond with indigenous fish.

2.  Interest Item: Abstraction and Water Restrictions

BN opened the discussion by relaying the general contents of a meeting held on the subject of groundwater monitoring between City of Cape Town, DWAF and various experts in the field. (Minutes were handed out at the meeting). The various previous and current studies were mentioned. Current and further monitoring needs were outlined. It was agreed at that meeting that the city would proceed with an investigation into groundwater monitoring needs, following which agreement will need to be reached between DWAF and the city with respect to roles and responsibilities.

It was noted that the Sand River Catchment is potentially vulnerable to over-abstraction because the cumulative effects of people exercising their 'Schedule 1' rights may impact negatively on sensitive riverine and wetland ecological systems. BN requested that should any such impacts be noted as hard evidence this must be brought to the attention of DWAF who then would be obliged to respond. CSRM branch is best placed to make such a complaint.

It was noted that the Stormwater Bylaw which is to be enacted soon would make all surface abstractions from the stormwater system subject to approval by the CSRM Branch.

A suggestion was made that this catchment could be made a pilot project to determine the feasibility of a community monitoring of groundwater. (ie a strategic selection of existing borehole owners who would be willing to measure water table depths and water quality in a uniform way and submit the results regularly)

CH noted that in her discussions with Toni Belcher of DWAF, who is an expert on reserve determinations, that in her opinion the rivers in this catchment are probably already at the limits of the reserve making additional summer abstractions unsustainable. Ground water abstractions from well points close to a river have the same effect as taking directly from the river and hence a buffer zone adjacent to river could be considered.

It was also noted that Schedule 1 use can be limited by DWAF during a drought condition.

Concern was expressed that DWAF is not very pro-active and have not acted to ensure licensed use in the Philippi Horticultural area where it is known that the groundwater table is dropping. DWAF, by their own admission, are reactive and respond to 'complaints'. It would be appropriate, therefore, for this forum to lodge a complaint should there be an instance where we felt over-abstraction was creating a downstream problem. Forum members are asked to apply their minds by identifying instances where negative impacts are thought to exist as a result of excessive abstraction.

The existing General Authorisation from DWAF allows surface water abstraction at considerably higher rates than Schedule 1. This is a concern in the area of applicability (The Cape Flats including the Sand River Catchment) although it was noted that there are few of these bigger users. Should this emerge as a problem the city will ask DWAF to reconsider the area of the GA.

Cllr Syre handed out the Mayor's brochure outlining the water restrictions.

Some best management practices were suggested viz:

  • encourage infiltration of stormwater at source

  • encourage storage of rainwater

  • encourage use of grey water

  • City to make more use of water meter readings to identify wasters

  • City to make public establishments (like Gyms) more conscious and responsible in alerting users to conserve water

  • City to put out simple guidelines for domestic water use volumes according to property size and impose heavy fines for violators.

  • City to create awareness from the top. Ie high profile people to make public statements and act as examples for others to follow.

3.  MATTERS ARISING

3.1 Klein Constantia Dam

BN reported that construction has begun with clearing and preparation of the dam foundation. A silt screen has been positioned in the stream and streamflow is being directed around the construction site in a bypass channel/pipe.
BN noted that a perceived conflict of interest with Ninham Shand acting as Consulting Engineer as well as Environmental Control Officer should be dispelled. NS acts to ensure that the terms and conditions of the Provincial ROD are adhered to. They are ideally placed to do this because they are in a position to withhold payments when violations occur. It is in their best interests to perform this function impeccably as their professional reputation is at stake.

NN is to have a scheduled site meeting on 23 Feb 05 and she will keep the meeting informed on progress and procedures.

3.2 GZENR Progress Report

Joy Garman noted that the report had successfully passed through the Mayoral Committee thus authorizing a formal application to Cape Nature (ie the Provincial Authorities). This application is currently being prepared for submission. In terms of the Protected Areas Act it has been suggested that the highest status of 'Contractual Park' might be accorded. Chrizette Kleynhans is the contact person from Cape Nature and JG will keep the forum up to date with progress. Once the Reserve is proclaimed the City will have 1 year to submit a 'Management Plan'.

3.3 Leopard Toad

It was noted that Oct and Nov are the critical times for breeding and that maintenance programs must be arranged around these times. The previously mentioned study from Anne Stewart is to be requested and distributed to forum members. (Subsequent to the meeting BN discovered that Anne is in Botswana for two months and therefore uncontactable)

3.4 Infested tributaries to the Princess Kasteel River [JG/NN]

James Forsyth reported on the clearing work (Approximately 1 hectare) that had been done upstream of the offending wall. All material is being chipped. He noted that in the cleared area indigenous restios and sedges were already establishing well.
Mandy Noffke reported that working for water were to have done more clearing but a stop had been called because it was decided together with Susan de Kok-Nel of the Department of Agriculture that the owners (ie the Province) should be obliged to clear. It was heard that Susan will be meeting the owners on site to outline the work and that a tender will be put out soon. MN has assited with the TOR for the clearing.
Mandy and Bryan to meet regarding the 'Source to Sea' initiative which is to dovetail with the existing Catchment Management Plan. Of note is a reported Palmiet Wetland in the upper reaches of the Prins Kasteel River.

3.5 Zandvlei Litter Traps

MT reported that the positions for the traps had been decided and that construction material has been ordered. The traps will be installed soon.

3.6 Damaged SW intake - Westlake Village

MT reported that this intake and discharge system had been repaired.

4.  MAIN REPORTS

4.1 WQ Report Scientific Services [CH] [See Annexure A]

CH spoke to her tabled report which is attached. Block Graphs of selected constituents reveal that only phosphorus presents an issue. Some fair, poor and bad phosphorus results indicate its presence. IT often persists due to the fact that it can be bound to sediments and re-released into the environment under certain conditions.
It was not that un-ionised ammonia results had to be interpreted in relation to temperature and pH. It indicates sewage or fertiliser presence.

4.2 SPM Projects [MT/TP]

No capital projects are currently underway due to lack of funding . Maintenance projects are on track. BR reported on two gabions structures requiring minor repairs, He is to fax a sketch of their locations to MT.

4.3 ZAC Report [NN] (See Appendix B for minutes from the last meeting)

See attached minutes.

4.4 Die Oog [Prof Davey/NN/CH]

Denis Davey handed out the Friends of Die Oog newsletter and invited all to attend the "Big Duck Launch" to be held on the 24th of Feb 05. He also reported that Dean Ferriera has been contracted to poison the existing stock of exotic fish and re-stock 'Die Oog' with indigenous varieties. A ward allocation had been received (R25000) to fence the pond and R8500 had been received to fund a full-time gardener. It was noted that a recent bird count (260 cattle egrets, 160 sacred ibis, 7 cormorant, 2 herons and a pied kingfisher) revealed what an important resource 'Die Oog' is. The Working for Wetlands programs in the form of MN was thanked for their great job in removing alien vegetation.

DD is seeking a source for water lillies which appear to be a scarce commodity.

4.5 WQ Monitoring; KRRP

CH reported that she had investigated various test kits for a possible monitoring programme to be undertaken by the partnership. It had, however, been decided that the 'Mini - Sass' test would be the most applicable as it gives a more comprehensive indication of general health of the river as a habitat for organisms. Pollutants affect organisms in particular ways which can be interpreted. This monitoring method will be taught to and be conducted by the existing part-time staff attached to the partnership. James Forsyth expressed his interest in learning the methodology of the Mini-Sass.

5.  GENERAL

5.1 Development Applications

Extension to Steenberg Road:- It was reported that comments are required by end of February 05. CSRM to submit the same comments as had been submitted for the R300 proposal. It was noted that the straight through continuation of Steenberg Road would be a severe blow to the integrity of the Zanvlei Nature Reserve and that an alternative alignment to join up with an upgraded military Road would be a possible preferred option.

5.2 CSRM Symposium on Ponds

Members are reminded that they are all invited to attend this workshop which is to focus on stormwater detention ponds on 6 April 2005 at the University of the Western Cape.

5.3 Diep River Flooding

BN noted that CSRM is working with Disaster Management to formulate a disaster management plan for the area between Burnham Road and Alnwick Road to minimize any possible flood impacts that might occur between now and such time as the designed river improvements are implemented.

5.4 Table Mountain Group Aquifer - Feedback Session

Members were informed of this meeting on Tues 15 Feb 05 at DWAF offices Bellville. Enquiries direct to julian@geoss.co.za

5.5 Western Cape Wetlands Forum

MN noted that this forum will be meeting on 9 March 05. The topic will be 'Wetlands of the Western Cape' and it could take the form of an all-day workshop.


NEXT MEETINGS: Schedule for 2005 is as follows: 12 May, 11 Aug  & 10 Nov 

                                                                                                                 

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