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.
1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
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.
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.
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.)
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.
The plans for dredging are progressing. It is essential that the public is informed about what will be happening.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Invited Guests or Visitors.