Zandvlei Trust

SAND RIVER CATCHMENT FORUM

Minutes of the meeting held on: Tuesday 30th October 2007at 13h30 at the Alphen Council Chambers

Present
J Forsyth             Friends of Constantia Valley Green Belts and Friends of Tokai Forest
N Newman           COCT – EMS
M Noffke              Working for Wetlants / Solutions
C Haskins            CCT – Scientific Services
G Lawson             Zandvlei Trust
C Giljam               Zandvlei Trust / Friends of Park Island (minutes)
D Davey               Friends of Die Oog
J Green                Friends of Tokai Forest
D Qually               Cllr Ward 64
B Lee                   Cllr Ward 67

Apologies
M Thompson         COCT LDS & Stormwater CSRM (Chairman) 
V Marincowitz       Zandvlei Trust
G Morkel              Cllr Ward 68

Absent
C Sheasby           COCT Nature Conservation
R De La Cruz        COCT
J Botes                COCT
M Cupido             COCT
L Brunette            Constantia Hills Residents Association
L van Rensburg     Cllr Ward 71
J. Burger              Cllr Ward 72
D. Schafer            Cllr Ward 73


1. WELCOME / APOLOGIES AND ATTENDANCE REGISTER

Natalie Newman welcomed all on behalf of Martin Thompson.

2. APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

GL requested that the addition of the words ‘who were also members of the Zandvlei Trust’ be added to the 3rd line after Marina da Gama Residents in Point 1.

3. RIVERS OF THE CATCHMENT

NN had brought maps of the Catchment with specific reference to the status of the rivers. 1996 was the last time research on the rivers within the SRC had been conducted. The data was inclusive of river sources that fell within the boundaries of the Table Mountain National Park. The reseach documented many interesting observations while commenting on relevant issues ie: recommended ecological buffer zones relative to agricultural areas and urban development.

This information was in urgent need of updating for easy access of all relevant information including GIS, 50 year flood line and the new development guidelines.

4. Sand River Catchment Forum

  • It was suggested that the forum revisit the rivers in the catchment to update on their status.

  • Motivate specific rivers to be prioritised

  • Use one river within the catchment as a ‘study example’ to identify its actual state and prioritise an action plan for holistic management

  • Walk each river to record its current physical features, both natural and built, including historical/social attributes and to report on any encroachments and management issues as well as recommendations.

MN would like to see a standardised ‘checklist’ of the river criteria designed with input from everyone. While it is recommended, for continuity, that at least ‘one’ person ‘walks’ every river, this may not always be practical. The ‘criteria checklist’ would enable individuals and Friends Groups to undertake these investigations knowing that the collected data was relevant. Photographic evidence should also be included in a consistent and regulated format.

JF presented the Forum with all the known studies, documents and published works on relevant topics to the SRC including historical information.
The Forum was very impressed with the numbers of specific research documents tabled. The information they contained was well researched and will continue to be of great interest to all concerned and should be referred to regularly when planning the ‘way forward’. The Forum recommended that a copy of all the documents listed become the property of the Catchment Management Library where the information they contain can be accessed by all interested parties on the premises.

Action All comment and suggestions on the way forward with the Rivers of our Catchment to be submitted by e mail to Martin Thompson before the end of January 2008.

5. PAMPHLETS

NN on behalf of MT distributed the newly published pamphlet for scrutiny on ‘Factors concerning Water Level Management at Zandvlei’. This pamphlet had been created to address the endless enquiries of Marina da Gama residents and the recreational users of Zandvlei as to how the manipulated estuary mouth was managed and why that management plan affected the water levels of the Zandvlei.

All were suitably impressed.

ACTION: NN/MT 500 english copies and 500 afrikaans copies. This pamphlet information was included in Marina News Letter.

Suggested pamphlets to prioritise in the future:

  • TITLE; ‘Do’s and Don’ts of River Management’

  • DISTRIBUTION; Property owners adjacent to SRC streams and rivers, schools, instutions and environmental groups, including Environmental Education and local nurseries.

  • CONTENT; All issues pertaining to the importance of streams , rivers within the SRC and how good management/maintenance can actually enhance property and aethetic value for the individual property owner as well as the community.

 

  • TITLE; ‘Do’s and Don’ts of River Maintenance’

  • DISTRIBUTION; Council contractors/labourers who are working in the SRC streams and rivers.

  • CONTENT; Some duplication from the abovementioned pamphlet but with the emphasis on the practical identification of plants/circumstances and how to deal with it / when to ask for advice etc.

 

  • TITLE: suggest ‘What are they up to in OUR river’

  • DISTRIBUTION; Properties adjacent to streams /rivers where maintenance is about to/is taking place

  • CONTENT; Why and who these labourers are doing/from what department on what authority. Give Names and contact numbers. Does not need to be too lengthy.

 

  • TITLE; Focused around a celebration of World Wetland Day. To illustrate the value of our local rivers and wetlands to the communities they traverse. Could also be informative about recreational opportunities ie walking, horse riding , mountain biking, bird watching etc

  • DISTRIBUTION; Insert to local community press could be area specific to emphasise local river/ canal issues.These pamplets could be produced after each river has been physically assessed and recorded.

  • CONTENT; Could use existing historical info and brochure content ie Peter Slingsby ‘Friends of the Greenbelt’ with credits of course, to draw attention to the value of SRC water courses and their intrinsic value at every stage between source to sea. General awareness brochure. This info can also be posted on dedicated websites ie WCWF, Zandvlei Trust etc

 

  • TITLE; River Health/Water Quality

  • DISTRIBUTION; selective or general

  • CONTENT;:Explanation of international safety regulations for water quality for different usages explaining local requirements and usage with particular reference to recreational use. Explain how and when testing is done, who responds to emergencies and how the fall out from these ‘emergencies’ is handled.
    Give Department names and contact numbers including after hour numbers for the public to get involved.

6. RIVER MAINTENANCE

Talcott Persent presented a Power Point Presentation with attached hard copy notes for all present. The content was explicit and informative covering the following topics : (see attached presentation)

River Maintenance manual
Plant
River Maintenance program
Annual River Tender

General discussion after the presentation focussed on challenges facing council delivery and performances as listed below:

Insufficient budget to complete “best practice” based on local natural built infrastructure needs.
i.e. Selected sandy areas needs 4 x gully cleanups a year to function properly but restrictions dictate only x 1 per year.
Certain canals in high litter areas are cleaned 4 x per year while others in more affluent areas are cleaned only once a year.

The positives and negatives of the annual Tender Process (see page in presentation under Annual Tender) with particular attention to the following:

  • The new river tender will be advertised 6 months before the current one expires. This will allow sufficient to deal with objections and allocations of new tenderers.

  • Consultations is to be held earlier with senior personnel dealing with stormwater cleaning to look at possible improvements for the new river tender. Often the tenders are awarded on lowest price only which can lead to exploitation of labour due to low rates.

  • Skills Training was the biggest issue discussed to address and maintain environmental integrity and empower the new labour force, relevant to both the contractor and their employees.

7. REPORTS

7.1  WQ status by Candice Haskins – Scientific Services (see report attached)
The stats are based on information gathered over a 12 month period. All areas complied to the seasonal norms with the exception of Die Oog. Unprecedented unseasonal high algal readings were recorded. Local Avian research has been collecting droppings that coincide with the unseasonal high algal readings and it is thought that the increased seasonal population of the bird life is the source of the extra nutrients.

Forum members were concerned as to how they could be informed of ‘pollution events’, detailing the source, extent and potential threat of the event. They wished to be of assistance to ‘manage the damage’ and notify their members and the public.
The emergency number to call in such an event is 021 684 1000

There was ongoing discussion as to what measures council was taking to upgrade their sewage/pump stations to avoid impending environmental disaster. This could be a ‘hot topic’ for a future SRCF.

7.2  ZAC Natalie Newman on behalf of Cassey Sheasby
No major issues to be discussed at Forum level. Please find the ZAC minutes attached. Please note that in future the ZAC meeting will be scheduled 1 week after the SRCF and will use the same WQ report to assess the health of the Zandvlei.

7.3  Working for Wetlands by Mandy Nofke
The Draft Rehabilitation Plan for 2008/9 needed to be in by the end of November 2007. Most of the projected work was concentrated in the Noordhoek catchment with only a small allocation for the SRC. They had had to rework this years budget and take stock of the work completed to date. There would be no more gabions built or clearing upwards of the Orpen Road. However PWD had some money which could be utilised to clear below Orpen Road to Soutvlei.

7.4  Friends groups

Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts and Friends of Tokai – James Forsyth
They have been busy clearing alien vegetation. Local residents want a management plan for Die Hel at Constantia Neck. Using the ‘old management plan’ they are now updating maps and boundaries with the Table Mountain National Park and setting new priorities.

Friends of Tokai – John Green
They were encouraged by the new co ordination between the Friends Groups as a direct result of the reinstatement of the Forum. He believed it was essential to select a dedicated Bio-diversity Co-ordinator who should be represented at every ‘in the field’ activity linked to Mandy Nofke’s activities so we could build a bio diversity overview of the catchment.

Zandvlei Trust – Gavin Lawson
They were involved in the EIA process on the following developments: Diep River, Silverhurst and the Pump Station at the Alphen.

Friends of die Oog – Prof. Dennis Davey
They were concerned about the lack of provision for ongoing maintenance in the operating budget. He reported how prolific the unique ‘granite fybos’ had been after the winter rain. Some of the latter had been planted as part of the rehabilitation process but it had already seeded and they hoped it would be self sustaining in the future.

7.5 Major Developments
Citadel and widening of the Diep River. 

8 GENERAL

With great emphasis on Bio-diversity it was thought that it would be a good topic for future meetings with particular reference to the Bio-diversity Wine Initiative very relevant in our catchment.

DWAF nominated x 4 champion trees as historical monuments in Tokai Forest.

9 NEXT MEETING: 25th February 2008


annexed

The Zandvlei Action Committee.

Minutes of the quarterly committee meeting: held at the Muizenberg Municipal Library on Wednesday,
24 October 2007 at 15:00.

1 Opening and welcome
Cassy Sheasby welcomed all present and opened the meeting. 

Attendance Register 

C Sheasby           CS
N Newman           NN
Cllr Qually            DQ
T Persent             TP
P Joubert             PJ
C Giljam              CG
J Sher                  JS

Apologies

M Thompsom       MT
R de La Cruz        RDLC
L Swart                LS
C Haskins            CH
D Gibbs                DG
M Cupido              MC
L Harrison             LH
G Lawson             GL
G Rowe                GR
L Dixon                 LD
S Fowkes             SD 
P Bilby                 PB
C Erasmus           CE
R Maclean            RM


Minutes of the previous meeting
Changes to minutes: Peter Joubert’s email address changed.

2 Water levels
The mouth was open during October, TP reported the closing would occur on 28/10/2007 which would be the third closing of the mouth for the season. Spring tide expected on 26 November between 1.1m and 1.2m when it would be opened. Expected ideal opening date for 24 December dependent on availability of machinery and staff. This is potentially dangerous to open due to school children playing in the area where the bulldozer operates. TP requested the calendar dates of boating occasions from JS. MT explanation on the water levels will be issued in the Marina newsletter and on the website. Action JS

3 Water Quality
CS reported the water in the centre of the vlei being of good quality. Low nutrient levels and good oxygen content. CS reported the latest problems with having two sewerage spills from the Langevlei pump station within 10 days of each other. The telemetry systems and pumps being out of commission were discussed. DQ has requested via email confirmation from relative parties as to what is being done to prevent further instances. CG requested that the sewerage spills into the vlei be put onto the agenda for the Sand River Catchment Forum. NN explained that signage is available from the Environmental Health Department. All requested that temporary signage be erected around the vlei when recent sewerage spills occur to inform public members especially in the high usage zones. CS to follow up on signage. Action CS

4 Pondweed
NN stated that pondweed visibly reduced. CG had no complaints to current pondweed levels. PJ reported having seen one of the kingfishers working on the water on that morning. CS to find out on the functionality of the machines. Action CS

5 Litter traps
CG reported that the Parks Dept had removed the pondweed with litter contained in it on the banks of Park Island with the contract litter team. Huge improvement from what it originally looked like. Idea of replacing the litter trap fences in the water with polyoak or plastic meshing that will not rust and therefore last longer. In capital may be more expensive, in longterm should be cheaper due to less maintenance etc. TP to look into the possibility. CG motivated that more Environmental Education programmes focus on the litter situation in the canals. CS to organise litter cleanup again soon. Action TP CS

6 Park Island
CS reported that the bridges on Park Island were fixed and the door of the bird hide was going to be left off. CG to send a wish list to RDLC eg chippings for paths etc. Need to replace sprinkler system at entrance using private funding. Two more benches to be put on Park Island: last two. CS to use 2007 alien clearing team to spray kikuyu with roundup. CS reported tearing down of wooden lookout in salt marsh by Nature Conservation staff. Any structure erected within a wetland needs to have full EIA undertaken especially in proclaimed Nature Reserve. CS to contact recreational users, set up meeting with CG and BMXers to discuss possible new area for these recreational activities. Action CS/CG/RDLC/CS

7 Tube worms
CS to start a new tube worm quarterly monitoring programme in 2008. Discussed in ZIMP meeting.
Action CS

8 Mallards
NN contacted Cape Nature and gave CS contact Gail Clever. CS to send Cape Nature a count of birds, set up meeting for mallard eradication joint venture. CS reported R20 000 of alien clearing money to be used for Mallard eradication in Marina da Gama. Alpha Chlorolose has been ordered. Action CS

9 Fish
CS contacted Corne Erasmus and requested fish trekking data. Will send through to monitor trends. Steve Lamberth of MCM to do presentation on fish numbers and trends in Zandvlei to committee in January when he is available. CS to write article on fish and fishing regulations for Marina Newsletter. CS has received reports of fish poaching at Zandvlei with Gill nets and trek nets at night. Action CS

10 Channel Scouring
CG stated sand bar has not moved. Need info from MT on status. Action MT

11 Invasive Waterweed
Keysers Westlake confluence clogged completely with hyacinth. TP and CS to have official site visit to discuss. The booms need to be replaced soon or with break through. Action CS/TP

12 Signage
CS reported small amount of budget for signage will be used by Muizenberg East this year. Plans to do generic signage for whole area and then other specific signage to follow. All budget dependent!  Action CS

Other Business:

a. Kite Festival
All agreed very successful with few problems.

b. Weather Station
Nothing to report.

c. Boardsail Inn
Nothing to report.

d. Westlake Wetlands
Irrigation system fixed by contractor. CS having trouble getting local police and law enforcement to respond. David and Vaughn visited site many times. CS sent information to vagrancy dept, no help.
CS suggested easiest way to improve situation is to spray reeds up to water with roundup and cut with brushcutter. Vagrants will have to sleep in the water. JS suggested asking The Mountain Men to raid the area at night. Action CS

13 Closure and date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for the 13 February 2008 at 14:00 in the Imperial Yacht Club.

                                                                                                                                   

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