The Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts working for the environment - April 2012.
James Forsyth is a River Warden for the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts (FOCVGB) and part of his operation is to clear invasive vegetation in the Constantia Valley. After discussion, negociation and with a request for help by Mr de Vos at
Pollsmoor Prison, a northeast section of invasive plants on the Pollsmoor property was cleared. This was funded by using some of the Grant in Aid money for Ward 71, which James had applied for and received for this financial year.
Mr de Vos asked if more could be done, so James approached Louise
Stafford of the
City of Cape Town's Early Detection Response Rapid department (EDRR). A quick plan was put into action and a contract team
hired from Akhanani, owned by Cynthia Lombo. Cynthia is from the Working
for Water Programme and has been a contractorr for Ukuvuka and Table Mountain National Park.
Her team of skilled, previously unemployed local residents was moved into work the Westlake River starting at the drift crossing and working down to the irrigation dam.
The contract team moving the cut trees and shrubs to the chipper.
Port Jackson, Rooikrans, Long leaf Acasia going into the chipper and flying out the shoot.
A Manatoka tree going into the chipper / grinder.
The team leader David Mgwali directing the action.
The working end of the chipper. It is capable of chewing up tree trunks up to 20cm in diameter.
Moses Mgwali from EDRR speaking to Mr de Vos and David Mgwali.
The pile of chippings is growing in
the background. A spare trailer was not availble.
Chainsaws going to reduce the trees to managable sizes.
The compost is used to feed the soil in the vegetable gardens. Pollsmoor is almost self sufficient for all the vegetable requirements for the whole prison. There is often an over supply of certain vegetables which are transported to other nearby prisons to feed the inmates. Pollsmoor is the largest remaining, diversified, working farmland left in the Constantia Valley.
Is this not a wonderful story of co-operation on many levels between national government departments, local government departments, volunteer civil society organisations
and local business working to rid sections of the invasive plant species and helping to promote biodiversity of all species in and along and banks of the catchment rivers of
The catchment rivers are the corridors for animal, bird, insect and botanical (seed and pollen) movement and survival, within the suburban residential areas we live, work and play in.
This is what the Sand River Catchment Forum advocates, embodies and strives to achieve amongst its members. This is truely working for the environment.
The representative groups working and benefitting together;
Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts