Westlake Wetlands, Rutter Road, Task Team.

A group of 15 interested residents met on 23/05/2002 to hear Clifford Dorse (Zandvlei Nature Reserve Manager) explain and discuss the problem waterweed encountered in their area. He explained that to manage the area efficiently and effectively the Westlake Wetlands and other pockets of land need to be amalgamated so that a sustainable management programme can be applied.

Zandvlei Trust Exco re-initialised a proposal to Environmental Management and Council that certain land areas be incorporated into a Greater Zandvlei Estuary Reserve.
The catchment areas north of Zandvlei is where the problems usually occur. The water carries silt, water bourne and other nutrients and the exotic and invassive waterweed into the Westlake Wetlands and pose very expensive control measures to eradicate. The waterweed can pose a flood threat in the winter rainy months, if it is not kept in check. The natural reedbeds are not used to filter the silt, nutrients, waterweed and litter from the rivers before entering Zandvlei. This is a throwback to the 1960's when canals were Engineered all over the Cape Flats to remove the water as quickly as possible from residential areas.

The removal of the exotic waterweed is being managed with host plant weevils and mechanical means. Clifford explained that budgets have been cut and the neccessary funds are not available compared to last year.
He asked the group headed by John Fowkes to come up with working solutions to compliment the Council's effort, so that the residents can continue to enjoy the benefits of living near the waters edge.
The interest group will go and work out a plan and propose ideas, how all involved can have a win–win solution.


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