Zandvlei Trust

Draft minutes for the Meeting on 24 April 2012.

CAPE Estuaries Programme: Implementation of the Estuary Management Plan (EMP) for the Zandvlei Estuary, Muizenberg, Cape Town.

Minutes of the 1st Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF): 24th April, 2012, Muizenberg High School.

1. Welcome and introduction
Participants were welcomed to the meeting by Pierre de Villiers, the Programme Manager: Marine Protected Areas, Islands and Estuaries at CapeNature and Co-ordinator: 
CAPE Estuaries Programme. Pierre indicated that in light of the fact that there would be a Public Meeting immediately following the ZEMF meeting, he would prefer to focus on the establishment of the Forum and Technical Working Groups rather than getting into a debate on the recent events at Zandvlei. This was agreed, and the meeting moved on to the next agenda item.
A list of participants can be found at Annex 1.

2. Election of Chairperson
Following a call for nominations for Chair, Gavin Lawson - representative of the Cape Bird Club – nominated Sandra Fowkes on the strength of her experience in facilitation in the environmental field and the fact that she lives in the area and has been involved in Zandvlei for many years. Another participant referred to her role in the Ukuvuka Campaign. Gavin also indicated that Sandra had been approached in this regard, and had indicated that she was available.

There was unanimous support for this nomination, and Sandra was duly elected. Given that she was not present at the meeting, Pierre de Villiers continued in the Chair for this first meeting.

3. Draft Constitution/TOR for ZEMF
Pierre referred to the draft Constitution / TOR which had been circulated, but suggested that discussion on this be postponed to allow the newly elected Chair of ZEMF an opportunity to make inputs to it. This was agreed.

4. Establishment of Technical Working Groups (TWG)
Pierre referred to the document which had been circulated motivating the establishment of 3 Technical Working Groups (TWGs) namely a TWG on Pondweed Management, a TWG on Hydrodynamics and Water Quality, and a TWG on Fishing Activities. The proposal was based on discussions at Public Meetings on the 23rd of February and the 27th March, in particular those dealing with the recent fish kills and illegal fishing at Zandvlei.

The establishment of these groups was supported and revised TOR and lists of proposed members for each TWG can be found in Annex 2. It was agreed that Lynn Jackson would circulate potential meeting dates with a view to having a first meeting of each group by mid-May. It was also agreed that given the need to involve governmental officials in these groups they would probably need to be held during the day. On the other hand, since some members are self-employed and are giving of their time and expertise for free, a compromise time of 16:00 was proposed.

There was also a proposal from Bob Craske to establish an additional TWG on the recreational and other commercial aspects of the estuary such as sports tourism and bird-watching i.e. to look in more detail at the economic value of the estuary. It was pointed out that the City had undertaken an assessment of Zandvlei Users, and that this could be used as a starting point. In addition, Turpie and Clark (2007) had estimated the recreational value as between R 1 - 5 million / year. It was agreed that this additional group be established.

5. Forum Meetings
It was proposed that the Forum should meet, at least in the first year, at least once a quarter. Specific dates would be discussed with the Chair and circulated to members well in advance. It was proposed that they continue to be scheduled at 18:00 to accommodate representatives of civil organisations, many of whom are not available during working hours.

For the interim, Lynn Jackson would act as the Secretariat for the Forum.

6. General discussion
During and subsequent to the discussion on the TWGs a number of points were raised. These are summarised as follows:

With respect to law enforcement:

  • There is a need for an MoU between the City, CapeNature and DAFF;

  • The City is in the process of establishing a marine unit which will resolve the current dependence on general law enforcement officials who often have other priorities;

  • The legislation should be assessed to determine whether there is a need to write new by-laws;

  • The City could get accredited to implement/enforce the MLR Act;

  • The law enforcement aspect needs to be dealt with City-wide and not just at Zandvlei.

The meeting was reminded that the City does have emergency numbers which can be utilised during a crisis. These should be used in the interim – prior to the drafting of the proposed contingency plan. 
The general number is 107 while Biodiversity’s 24-hour number is 083 499 1717.

Councillor D’Alton requested that in future he should be notified of emergencies as soon as possible and noted that in the recent case, he had only heard about it through the press;

It was suggested that the Forum could act as a “Neighbourhood Watch” for the vlei;

A question was raised about where all the documents relating to the Forum – and the Zandvlei EMP generally – would be archived. It was agreed that in addition to the City and CapeNature websites, they would be put onto the Zandvlei Trust website;

Concerns were raised regarding the City’s communications during the recent event. It was explained that according to the City’s media policy, individual departments are not permitted to make media releases which instead have to go through their Corporate Communications Division. This is quite cumbersome and can give rise to delays.

It was proposed that the Forum could be used as a channel for the release of information in an emergency, and that consideration should be given to using Facebook.

7. Closure

The meeting was concluded at approximately 19:15.

Annex 1: List of attendees at the 1st meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Form 24 April 2012.

Organisation / sector Name Rep / Al / Ind
Ward 64 Councillor David D’Alton Rep
CoCT (Biodiversity) Julia Wood Alt
CoCT (Biodiversity) Dalton Gibbs Alt
CoCT(SRCM) Martin Thompson Rep
CoCT(SRCM) Candice Haskins Rep
CoCT (Env Health) Muzzamiel Gamieldien Rep
CoCT (City Parks) Leon Swartz Rep
CapeNature Pierre de Villiers Rep
CapeNature Nathan Cassels Alt
DWA Wilna Kloppers Rep
DAFF - Fisheries Stephen Lamberth Rep
Zandvlei Trust John Fowkes Rep
Muizenberg & Lakeside RPA Robin Solomons Rep
Peninsula Canoe Club Ken Findlay Rep
Peninsula Canoe Club Rob MacLean Alt
Cape Bird Club Gavin Lawson Rep
Marina da Gama John Ridley Rep
Marina da Gama Bob Craske Alt
Fishing fraternity Anton Ressel  Ind
Cape Piscatorial Society Garnet Prince Rep
C & EC Lynn Jackson Consultant


Annex 2: Establishment of TWG’s under ZEMF.


TWG on Management of Pondweed.

The management of pondweed in Zandvlei is an ongoing problem and has been exacerbated by the lack of availability of a second weedharvester. It is therefore proposed to establish a TWG to:

i) To review current management measures for pondweed and propose changes / additions / alternatives
ii) To identify priority information gaps and studies which may need to be undertaken in order to give effect to the management objectives.

Proposed Members: see the list of names under Pondweed.

TWG on Hydrodynamics and Water Quality at Zandvlei.

The recent fish kills and illegal fishing at Zandvlei appear to have been precipitated by water quality problems in the vlei combined with mouth management measures which prevented the fish from escaping from the low oxygen conditions and toxins caused by a bloom of the Golden Alga (Prymnesium parvum). It is therefore proposed that a TWG be established to look at the following:

i) To revisit the current monitoring programme to consider where adjustments could be made so as to have an “early warning” system in place for such events in the future;
ii) To develop proposals for responding to such events (in collaboration with the TWG on fishing);
iii) To revisit the management of the hydrodynamics of the vlei with a view to improving water turnover and reducing sedimentation;
iv) To identify information gaps and studies which may need to be undertaken in order to improve the response to algal blooms and other conditions affecting the vlei.
v) To develop a Contingency Plan to improve the response to crises such as the recent event involving the bloom of the Golden Alga – in collaboration with the TWG on Fishing.

It was noted that most of the discussion had focussed on the main body of the estuary and the Marina canals, and that no mention had been made of Westlake and its role as a filter for water quality.

Proposed Members: see the list of names under Hydrodynamics and Water Quality.

TWG on Fish and Fishing at Zandvlei

While the current EMP (2010) deals with fish, and factors affecting fish populations (such as salinity and mouth conditions), it does not specifically deal with fishing as an activity and the regulation thereof. In light of recent events, it is suggested that more detailed management proposals should be developed for inclusion in the EMP. Proposed TOR for such a group include:

i) To review the legislation and assess the need to develop new by-laws;
ii) To review any available data on the numbers of fishermen who utilise Zandvlei and assess their impact on the fish populations;
iii) To review the Zonation Plan with respect to fishing including the possibility of using recreational fishing to reduce/manage the populations of alien species;
iv) To develop proposals to improve enforcement of the fishing regulations ;
v) To develop a Code of Conduct for fishermen;
vi) To develop an educational programme aimed at recreational fishermen; and
vii) To work with the Hydrodynamics & Water Quality TWG to develop a Contingency Plan (and Crisis Group) to facilitate the response to crises such as the recent 
low oxygen/ Golden algal bloom.

Proposed members: see the list of names under Fish and Fishing.

Fish Crisis Group.

The following individuals volunteered to be available to assist during a crisis situation.

Name Organisation Tel
Anton Ressel - 083 564 4488
Ian Klopper - 082 782 2001
Chris Fallows - 021 788 1863
Cliff Rossenrode - 071 483 0817
Erik Hesse - 021 783 3666 / 083 698 4824

1. City of Cape Town (1988) Zandvlei User Assessment Survey. City of Cape Town.

2. Turpie, J. and Clark, B. (2007). Development of a Conservation Plan for Temperate South African Estuaries on the Basis of Biodiversity Importance, Ecosystem Health and Economic Costs and Benefits. Report prepared for the CAPE Regional Estuarine Management Programme. 109 pp.

3. Bob Craske has subsequently agreed to draw up Terms of Reference for the group.

4. Apologies - none.

5. Since Janine Adams is based in PE it might be difficult for her to attend meetings, but she could be requested to review the proposals. It was also noted that one of her former students is now lecturing in Cape Town and might be an alternative.

6. Ken Findlay volunteered to try and get a mandate to represent both the PCC and the Yacht Club (as Zandvlei Sports Club).

7. It was noted that there is a need for an MoU between the City, CapeNature and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) with respect to law enforcement. This cannot be done by the TWG, but it should put pressure on the relevant departments to ensure that it happens as soon as possible.


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