Zandvlei Trust

Minutes for the 15th ZEMF meeting on 21 January 2015.

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


Starting at 13h30 to 16h00 on 21 Janauery 2015 at the Zandvlei Sports Club / Imperial Yacht Club.

                                                                                           ZEMF 15 Minutes ver B 20150121

SUMMARY OF FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS.

ACTION RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
Prepare a pondweed nutrient study motivation and SF to assist. Cherry Giljam March 2015.
Has some ideas about improving the litter situation and will discussion them with Josh Gericke. Cherry Giljam March 2015.
to send motivations to SF for inclusion in work of IDP TWG. Josh Gericke
Dalton Gibbs
asap.
to draft suitable communication about the dredging of the mouth and so send to SF GL for distribution through their various networks. Josh Gericke March 2015.
Representatives to renew their mandates from their organisations and send in nominations as soon as the adverts appear. All Feb / March 2015.
to contact KF that no info on scheduled events from paddlers. Sandra Fowkes asap.
to contact Muizenberg and Lakeside Ratepayers to encourage their return to ZEMF. Sandra Fowkes March 2015.
to distribute dredging article through their various networks Mar - Apr Sandra Fowkes
Gavin Lawson
March April  2015
Get clarity from SANBI on coral worm status and raise the profile of the ZEMFconcerns. Sandra Fowkes Jan 2014

 

MINUTES

1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
The Chair welcomed all present.
Apologies received from Cllr D’Alton, Arne Purves, Damian Gibbs (IYC); Candice Haskins, Garnet Prince, Natalie Williams, Ken Findlay (PPC)
Attendance: 15 as per signed register + B Craske.

1a. Invited presentation from B Craske Marina da Gama Association (Maureen Viviers and Alan Hepple of MDGA also attended. MDGA Chair Elaine Meyer sent apologies.)

BC gave the presentation that he had given to Subcouncil 19 in October 2014. The complaints listed below about ZEMF are copied from the presentation.

• No feedback on action plan – items outstanding.
• No external Audit. 
• Deliverables outstanding with no anticipated dates (refers to EMP consultants).
• No Annual Meeting.
• All Forum officers out of time. 
• Quorums not met – but decisions made.
• No address – physical – telephone - e-mail – PO number for public contact.
• Who is supposed to be overseeing these EMP plans?

JF asked about all the positive aspects of the functioning of Zandvlei referred to in the portfolio reports in the MDGA September newsletter. Maureen Viviers (newsletter editor) said those were just personal opinions, not those of the MDGA.
CG observed that BC liked everything to be “correct” but that it was a great pity not to find a way forward constructively.
DW supported CG’s point that BC wished “the letter of the law” to be observed and MT said that BC’s guidance would be helpful in how we operate. DaG commented that it is however, important to get the job done.
The issue was raised about the R400 000 spent on the preparation of the EMP, the formation of the Forum and associated work. BC claimed that he had tried to get details from the Mayor and three Mayco members. It was pointed out that the Forum had received no funding whatsoever and is therefore not the body to which such questions should be directed, nor responsibility ascribed. DaG said that BC had the option of laying a charge with the City’s Ombudsman who could investigate the implied financial irregularity.

AT challenged the issue of “All Forum officers out of time” (if absent at 2 successive meetings) asking if BC would prefer him to be at a meeting rather than attending to any sewerage incidents. It was pointed out that meetings were arranged around specific issues and civil servants then attended those meetings relevant to their functions so that their time and skills were not wasted.

SF said that 21 of the 29 detailed action items to be in progress or completed by 2014, were complete or in progress. Report backs on progress were made at each of the 14 meetings to date and were also made at the Public Feedback Meeting in March 2014. This feedback was included in the Forum minutes. These were posted on the Zandvlei Trust website and are fully available to interested parties.

SF pointed out that the Forum was not a legal body with staff and resources. Giving telephone numbers, addresses etc. was not relevant. Contact could be made with the representatives of the civil organisations on the Forum and to the City Call Centre. AT made the point that it is essential that the City Call Centre is used. Data is recorded on maps which helps with historical records e.g. of blockages. JG said that even we call that number for sake of the stats that are created. There is no point in contacting politicians as a first port of call.

DW asked what it would take for MDGA to return to ZEMF? BC responded that holding an Annual General Meeting and giving everybody a chance to get back on board.(Earlier BC commented that if there was a “proper” AGM we can raise funds and that the Tourism Board had offered to help.)
DaG noted that there is complexity in involving “communities” and that community is usefully defined as those people who want to be involved.

Marina residents were invited to stay for whole meeting. Alan and Pam Hepple remained and participated. Bob Craske and Maureen Viviers left

2. Adoption of the Minutes of the 14th ZEMF Meeting

To be changed: Typos and “on behalf of MDGA” to follow Mr Bob Craske in item 5.1.

Proposer: David Walker. Seconded: Gavin Lawson.

3. Matters arising from the 13th ZEMF Meeting

Action item completed: Telephone list on Contingency Plan to be amended, and then whole document to be circulated to ZEMF Members (to be circulated to members with minutes)

Action item completed: Communicate with BMB colleagues to view the constitution of PAACs and then to communicate with Chair to plan ZEMF’s response.

Action item completed: SF: Compose an appropriate communication to MDGA about the reports in the newsletter and have it checked for the legal aspects.

Action item completed: SF: Relevant extracts from MDGA newsletter to be forwarded to MT.

Remainder dealt with under Agenda items.

4. Mouth Management

JS reported that, between the bathymetric surveys of October 2013 and April 2014 there was an increase of about 6000 m3 of sand. He stressed that such surveying is blunt instrument. The next survey will be done in the coming week and will indicate the outcome of the weir lowering.

TP said that the mouth would be closed on a neap tide as there is too much outflow at spring tide. The mouth was opened in early January before due date because of the height of the water.

TP responded to a question that the rubble weir lowering had taken place in 3 events between July and August 2014.
AT informed the meeting that 2 years ago the sewerage pipe had been lined with a 5mm lining of fibreglass to be proactive about any deterioration in the old cast iron pipe.

The plans for dredging are progressing. It is essential that the public is informed about what will be happening.
MT JG to draft suitable communication about the dredging of the mouth and to send to SF GL for distribution through their various networks.

5. Pondweed Management

Regrowth of pondweed has been fairly slow and the main vlei is relatively clear. The harvester has been down but is functioning again and is now operating with the new “rice cutting” blades which have significantly improved its effectiveness. Appreciation was expressed to BC for his research and communication about the need to use such blades. JG is focusing on clearing blind canals in the Marina. CG commented on the good water quality and that the birds were breeding on the returning weed.
Alan Hepple asked if the second harvester could not be brought from Princess vlei. JG responded that it could but he did not believe that this was essential at this time and that the cost of transporting it – R70 000 - could be better used in other ways to enhance the state of the vlei.
AT stressed that for any sewer blockages it is essential to report it to the City call centre as they put any blockage on a map which gives a historical record which is crucial to inform management actions. It does not help to contact politicians. JG noted that “even we call that number for sake of stats that are created.” It was pointed out that ZEMF is an advisory body and communication with and from it was via the representatives of the participating organisations, hence the lack of direct contact details. As an advisory body it does not “make decisions” but makes recommendations thus the issue raised of quorums is of little relevance.

JG has prepared a new clearing schedule but still requires input from paddlers and cadets. SF to contact KF that no info on scheduled events from paddlers
CG asked to ensure that reserve areas are un-harvested. She also asked when we are going to get a grabber truck to clear harvested material?

GL commented that 3 White backed Ducks were seen on the vlei on 10 Janaury in a small patch of pondweed.

6. Communication and partnerships
CG commented that she does not think MdG residents are really aware of MDGA cutting off ties with this Forum. If that was known, quite a few would be somewhat upset as water quality affects every single resident living in the area. MDGA has an electronic newsletter which needs to be used to keep residents informed about vlei issues and actions.
JF noted that there is also an economic reason for active engagement by MDGA and its residents as houses on a good quality water body have been shown to have a value 10% higher than those away from the water. So it pays to look after water. CG added that from an aesthetic point of view Zandvlei has been undervalued for many years.

ZEMF will continue to work with MdG residents and MDGA to encourage a return to constructive collaboration. SF to contact Muizenberg and Lakeside Ratepayers to encourage their return to ZEMF.

7. Any Other Business

7.1. Protected Area Advisory Committees (PAAC). Following discussions with DaG (as per action item from Nov meeting) it was suggested to ZEMF members that it would be a constructive step for ZEMF to become part of the Zv PAAC. DaG read the Terms of Reference for PAACs as background. Members of the Forum were in agreement with the suggestion. As the majority of the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is the Estuary it would be particularly appropriate in this case. The City will be advertising for nomination to membership of PAACs for 17 of its Nature Reserves. Representatives would need to renew their mandates from their organisations and send in nominations as soon as the adverts appear.
DaG commented that the Protected Areas Act says that PA’s have to have a management plan. This is a legal document against which the area is to be managed. As such the management plan is quite powerful. It was noted that PAACs will have a common constitution (which is more appropriate than the current ZEMF constitution).CG commented that it is very important that the estuary be managed in the context of the whole catchment.

7.2 Annual timetable of ZEMF work. The Chair presented a draft timetable to be circulated with the minutes for comment by members.

7.3 Input into City IDP and budget. A technical working group (TWG) is to be set up. Key capital items required are a grabber truck and a new weed harvester. Suggested members GL, JG, SF and Anton Ressel to be invited. DaG and JG to send motivations to SF for inclusion in work of TWG.

7.4 Research requests. CG mentioned that pondweed used to be composted and used on school projects. It would be very useful to know how much nutrient the weed takes out of the water. This could make a good student project. CG to prepare a pondweed nutrient study motivation and SF to assist.
DW noted that CPUT had funding constraints and would look at a budget of about R100 000 to attract a student able to undertake research.

7.5 Coral worm status. SF has communicated with SANBI staff who have undertaken to follow up on what research has revealed about control options.

7.6 Carp die-off. JG reported that about a thousand carp died in November. Investigations were done to establish the cause. It was not things like salinity, toxins (other species would have died), low oxygen. Finally the Two Oceans Aquarium vet identified a Koi Herpes Virus and this was confirmed by a lab in Durban. DaG said that the same thing had happened at Strandfontein and Rondevlei (check) and it is likely that birds transport the virus in contaminated water or mud. It was first observed near Jonkershoek about 4 years ago. The disease was first diagnosed in the 1980s and is a notifiable disease as the Cape exports koi.

7.7 Dept Environment Affairs meeting on Estuary Management Plans(EMPs). SF reported that she and JG had attended this meeting on 30 & 31 October 2014. The purpose was to report back on a review of EMPs by CSIR and Prof Janine Adams. The Zandvlei EMP was considered a very good plan that needed minor changes to align it with the recently promulgated National Estuary Management Protocol.

7.8 Litter. DW noted that litter does not have a massive biological impact but does have a serious aesthetic impacts and ZEMF should make it a future focus. CG has some ideas about improving the litter situation and will discussion them with JG.

8. Date and focus for next ZEMF meeting

25 March 2015 at 13h30. Focus: Progress on PAACs and ZEMF; Litter.


List of Attendees at the 15th Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum, 21st January 2015.

Organisation
/ sector.
Name. Name
Abbrev.
Rep /
Alt /
Ind.
Present  - P
 Apology - A.
ZEMF Chairman. Sandra Fowkes SF Chairman P
ZEMF Vice Chair & Imperial Yacht Club Damian Gibbs DG Deputy Chair
 & Rep
A
Cape Bird Club Gavin Lawson GL Rep P
Cape Piscatorial Soc. Garnet Prince GP Rep A
CapeNature Pierre de Villiers PdV Rep -
CoCT (Water & Sanitation) Andy Taylor AT Rep P
CoCT Arne Purves AP Rep A
CoCT (Biodiversity)  Dalton Gibbs DaG Rep P
CoCT (Biodiversity)  Joshua Gericke JG Rep A
CoCT (Biodiversity)  Shihabbudin Khan SK Rep A
CoCT (Env Health) Muzzamiel Gamieldien MG Rep -
CoCT (Env Health) Brendon Fortuin BF Alt -
CoCT (SRCM) Candice Haskins CH Alt A
CoCT (SRCM) Martin Thompson MT Rep P
Councillor David D’Alton DA Rep A
Fishing fraternity Case Veugelers CV Observer P
Peninsula Canoe Club Ken Findlay KF Rep A
Sea Cadets David Walker DW Rep P
Zandvlei Trust John Fowkes JF Rep P

Invited Guests or Visitors.

Organisation
/ sector.
Name Name
Abbrev.
Marina da Gama Ass Bob Craske BC
Marina da Gama Ass Maureen Viviers MV
Marina da Gama Ass Alan Hepple AH
Marina resident Pam Hepple PH
Park Island Cherry Giljam CG

 

                                                                                                                                               

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