Zandvlei Trust

The Zandvlei Action Committee.

Minutes of the quarterly committee meeting held at the Zandvlei Imperial Yacht Club on Wednesday, 
18 July 2007 at 14:00.

1 Opening and welcome

Cassy Sheasby welcomed all present and opened the meeting.

Attendance Register 

D Gibbs Dalton
C Sheasby
F Howa
R de La Cruz
M Thompsom
N Newman
C Haskins
Cllr Qually
C Giljam
G Lawson
G Rowe
J Sher
L Dixon

Apologies

T Persent
Rob Maclean
P Joubert

Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were adopted without alteration. Cllr Qually asked that the meeting be moved to 15h00 to accommodate Rob McLean, this was accepted.

2 Water levels
MT reported that the water levels are too low when the mouth is left open in winter for the canoeists. The control of the water levels is extrememly important and that the rubble weir level was recommended to be at 0.6m but is currently being kept at 0.7m which means that a 50 year flood would raise the water level to over 1m. CG mentioned that it is important for the water levels to be managed with all the different concerns in mind including the biological factor (fish migration), the salinity, the residential sector and the recreational users. The opening and closing of the mouth costs R20 000. The mouth must be opened if the water level reaches 1.1m and it will be opened if rain is forecast. The revetments of the Marina da Gama properties could be at risk if the water levels go above 1.1m due to scouring on the land side. The lowest water level would be at 0.7m. DQ suggested that the user groups should plan their events around the opening and closing dates (at spring tide). DG explained that the system used to function very differently to how it presently does and that it was dynamic which kept it healthy. Now it should be managed to keep it as dynamic to mimic the original functioning and the saline flushing helps to maintain the health of the water. CH mentioned that climate change will also need to be taken into account as the rainfall is now more sporadic. MT to send CS the documents on water levels. Action MT

3 Water Quality
CH requested that the ZAC meeting be timed to fall after the Sand River Catchment Forum to make reporting back easier. She reported that the water quality at the Sand River Oude Vlei Road is not doing very well and the overall trend has faecal coliforms over the guideline of 1000 faecal coliforms per 100ml. The trends of the water body opposite the Yacht Club are very good and are generally below the full contact guideline of 130 faecal coliforms per 100ml. Three factors help to kill off these bacteria: sunlight, dilution and salinity. The salinity levels are very good all over the vlei except in the blind ending canals in the Marina where the water is more stagnant. Range is between 2 and 9 in winter and 2 and 12 in summer. The average concentration of algae for Zandvlei is 23 and the average for Westlake Wetlands is 44 which is quite low. NN reported that the water clarity is very good. CG commented that the warm winter could also be a cause of the bacteria being more prolific. CH to email all electronic data to the committee. Action CH

4 Pondweed
RDLC reported the starting of the overtime cutting programme prioritizing the Marina canals on the weekends and the canoe routes on the week days. My mid August they should be back on schedule. When the two machines are operating, the one cuts and the other collects. The staff are working overtime to clear the banks of pondweed. The second machine which was down should be repaired by the weekend. DQ asked RDLC to cut the duckpond area before the weekend for the training canoeists. DG asked what water level is ideal for the weed harvester, it is 0.9m. 0.75 is the minimum level. RD / LC requested a meeting to held to deal with the rotting pondweed in the Marina canals.

5 Litter traps
CS reported on TPs behalf that they are organising staff to clean the litter traps and litter nets for this financial year. She believed that the cleaning of the traps has been very good of late and has reduced the amount of litter in the water substantially except in flood situations. TP is working on a programme for the repairing of the existing litter trap in the Sand River canal but it will have to be removed from the canal and will therefore have to wait for summer when the water levels are low. The litter nets at Mullet Close will be cleaned once a week, before and after rain. RDLC reported that new contracts to clean up around the vlei will start at the end of July. DQ suggested that more bins are placed at the picnic and braai areas and that the bins are designed to be more effective. RDLC explained that the bins are cleaned regularly but that law enforcement in this area is necessary to make sure that the litter situation is kept under control. Action TP

6 Park Island
CS reported that the materials needed for the repairs are being ordered and the door will also be changed to open inwards. CG asked that litter nets be placed under the small pedestrian bridges on the Island that won’t affect the birds or animals moving. RD / LC to organise chippings for CG. Action CS /RD /LC

7 Tube worms
Farrah Feldman’s report is currently at Rondevlei. This item was discussed in the ZIMP meeting.

8 Mallards
Cape Nature has not been contacted and no eradication has been done so far, however the reserve staff will make a start. NN to email Gail of Cape Nature.

9 Channel Scouring
MT to forward the study to Ninham Shand. He reported that due to lack of funds, the dredging will more than likely not be a high priority. CS to get fish trekking data from Marine and Coastal Management. NN asked that Marine and Coastal Management be invited to the ZAC meetings to report back on trends. Action CS

10 Invasive Waterweed
CS reported that weevils have not yet been released. Should be released after winter period. Action CS

11 Signage
Information signage will be put up in designated areas and will be standard for the whole area. It is still on the wishlist and must be designed. Action CS

Other Business:

a. Kite Festival
CS has nothing new to report. A meeting has been scheduled for August with the Cape Mental Health Organisation.

b. Weather Station
Nothing to report.

c. Boardsail Inn
Nothing to report. CS to follow up on progress. Action CS.

d. Westlake Wetlands
GL reported that due to the squatters staying in the reedbeds, it is becoming a health hazard. The irrigation system that was broken by the Electrical Department Muizenberg has not been fixed. CS to follow up with Law Enforcement on this issue. Action CS.

12 Closure and date of next meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for the 24th October 2007 at 15:00 in the Imperial Yacht Club.

                                                                                                                                     

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