Porter Estate to Soetvlei inspection – 27 July 2009.
We all met at Chris Botes SANP office on a very warm mid winters day, forecast 25 degrees C. The idea was to drive up the mountain to a point above Porter Estate where the beginings of a seep has formed after the plantation block was harvested 5 years ago. We would view the area we would walk and drive to follow the natural water flow line down to Soetvlei. John Green, James Forsyth and Brian Redpath believe this is the critical link required to link the Constantiaberg to the Princessvlei for many user groups in the Source - to - Sea project operating as a sub committee of this Forum.
Then we went down to the old Porter Estate reformatory and farmlands to view the various canals and furrows used to divert the water courses across its land for previous agricultural practices. We found a small dam which none us was aware of and had not picked up on the arial photos by us. The base of the dam was leaking / seeping water down the slope into another wetland with a large pond, this drained into a concrete and brick canal and eventually into the natural water course through the planations. Wetland Solutions and Working for Wetlands had done some work clearing trees and invassive vegetation from this water course. The recovery is evident and very welcome.
Then we drove down to the area next to the Stone Church on the border of Uitsig Estate. Here we viewed the canaled water course which flows under Orpen Road and into Soetvlei. The poplar grove is growing in the natural water course.
We then drove to the Maths and Science Institute and inspected the infilled area, where very little has happened about the removal of the illegaly infilled area of Soetvlei. Then on, past the controversial provincial lands transferred to the national government the day before this years national elections. All to do with housing proposals. We end the inspection at the current privately proposed development abutting Soetvlei and james and Brian explained the process which has taken place so far and what some meetings have decided todate with the developers, the various City departments and Ratepayers and interest groups.
A very interesting and worth while exercise as most had not been onto all the sections of land which this water course flows through.
Those participating were Martin
Thompson, Candice Haskins, ? Bodenstein from the City, Chris Botes from SANP,
John Green (WESSA and Friends of Tokai), Philippa Huntley (WESSA), Marie Abraham
Discussing the areas we will
the Chris Botes explaining where the Granite Fynbos has
Standing at an area where a seep
has started. Looking back at Constantiaberg
with the "Waterfront"
Looking out to follow the line of
the natural flow John Green explaining all the sections of land owned by
Looking towards Zandvlei and False Bay. The Hotentots Holland Mountains in the background.
In the centre of the picture is the Dreyersdal waterbody between the M3 freeway and Main Road Tokai / Retreat.
The recovery of the Granite
Fynbos after 5 years. There was numerous insect life flying
On the Porter Estate looking back
up the slope Looking down
the slope with the "new" dam to our left.
Chris explaining the width of the
corridor at this point. Some Alpacas live here too with a very large
They are curious creatures,
eyeing us as
we The horizontal green line is the "new" dam wall from below.
This small pond in the wetland
a John pointing out the run of the canals or furrows.
One of the canals with a good
stream of water. This is the Porter
Estate "Morning Market" adjacent to the
A T- junction in the canal at the side of a road. A very large stone pine tree.
This is the wetland which Working
Wetlands teams Some recovery of scurpus, restios and Arum
Discussing the restoration work
and how the present An unusuall cast
iron box in the middle
It even has an opening door with
lock. On the border of the Uitsig Estate inspecting the furrow and
At the Maths and Science
Institute at the infilled section of the Soetvlei wetland.
At the last stop, the proposed new housing area. This is called the Berlin Wall in Soetvlei, an illegally built.There is a BMX track illegally built by locals. wall into the wetland.
Brian Ratcliffe explaning the proposed
layout and James Forsyth explaining how the different "land