Zandvlei Trust

Draft minutes for the Meeting on 25 June 2012 & 03 July 2012.

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

Report on the 2nd Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF): 25th June, 2012, Zandvlei Sports Club/Yacht Club.

1. Welcome and introduction
Participants were welcomed to the meeting by Sandra Fowkes, the Chair of the Forum. This was followed by a round of introductions. A list of participants can be found at Annex 1.

Apologies: were received from Martin Thompson, Muzzamiel Gamieldien, and Anton Ressel.

2. Matters Arising from the report of the previous meeting

2.1 Draft Constitution
The Chair proposed that in paragraph 2.1 of the draft Constitution, the Environmental Resource Management Division (ERMD) should be identified as the Estuary Management Authority. This was supported although it was proposed to also include the term inter alia to make it clear that the interaction between the Forum and the authorities was not limited to ERMD.

It was also proposed that the language in paragraphs 2.3 and 2.4 be changed to reflect the fact that the Forum is an advisory body. There was some ensuing discussion on the implications of the Reserve being declared under the Protected Areas Act – which is imminent – given that the PA Act stipulates that there must be an Advisory Board and that it must have a management plan. It was noted that the Reserve Management Plan is already in place, and that the Estuary Management Plan is a subsidiary of this.

Draft revised text for these paragraphs can be found at Annex 2.

2.2 Election of office-bearers
The draft Constitution calls for the election of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary/Treasurer. After some discussion it was agreed that the election of a Secretary/Treasurer could be delayed, given that Lynn Jackson (LJ) will fulfil the role of Secretariat until the end of the year, and that the Forum has no funds at present.

Three individuals were then nominated as candidates for the Vice-Chairperson: Gavin Lawson, Dalton Gibbs and Ken Findlay. After further discussion, it was agreed that given the potential for disagreement between the Forum and the City, Dalton Gibbs should instead be requested to play the role of liaison between the Forum and the City.
Gavin Lawson then declined his nomination which was accepted on the understanding that he is already playing a very important role on behalf of the Forum, namely communication of relevant information through the Zandvlei Trust website. Ken Findlay was thus duly elected as Vice-Chairperson.

3. Report from the Technical Working Groups

3.1 TWGs on Hydrodynamics & Water Quality, and Fishing (Joint)
Garnet Prince presented the draft recommendations from the Joint Meeting of the two TWGs and proposed that the recommendations from the first meeting of the TWG on Fishing be included. These were:

  • There should be catch and release only for all indigenous fish, whereas all alien fish should be removed;

  • With regards fishing methods, it was proposed that there be a requirement for barbless hooks only, which do not damage the fish;

  • At present the people fishing at Zandvlei may have either Freshwater Angling licences (issued by CapeNature), or Marine licences (issued on behalf of DAFF by the Post Office) – and it was noted that at present the Zandvlei staff do not have access to any kind of list of those issued by the Post Office. It was proposed that in future, all anglers at Zandvlei be required to have a Marine licence, and that proper records of such licences be kept and made available to the City staff.

The floor was then opened for discussion and it was also suggested that the recommendations pertaining to the draft Vlei by-law made by this group be included. There was subsequently some discussion on the status of this by-law, with Bob Craske reporting that the Marina had asked for the draft to be withdrawn as there had been inadequate Public Participation. However, Dalton Gibbs indicated that he had recently been provided with an updated draft by the City’s Legal Department.

Pierre de Villiers recommended that prior to being submitted to the Sub-Council the consolidated list of recommendations needed to be edited so as to limit it to those of greatest strategic priority.

More specific comments were made on the draft recommendations as follows:

Contingency Plan

  • The connection between the plan and the EMP needs to be made;

  • A 24-hour number for law enforcement officers is still outstanding;

  • There should be a more detailed report on this plan to the next Forum meeting.

Water Quality and Nutrients

  • The proposed diversion of the Westlake River through the reedbeds should be postponed until the assessment of nutrient inputs to the vlei had been completed;

  • Candice Haskins (CH) of Catchment, Stormwater and River Management (CSRM) indicated that if the above diversion were to go ahead, it might need an authorisation under NEMA. However, it could possibly be included in a City-wide authorisation which is currently being sought from DEADP and DWA for ongoing river maintenance activities. This could also apply to the proposed rehabilitation of the riparian buffers;

  • CH suggested that the proposed nutrient loading study be broadened to include identification of mitigation measures, a literature review of the ability of reedbeds to absorb nutrients and a bathymetric survey. It was agreed that CSRM would put together a Scope of Works for such a study – using a similar project done on Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei as a model – with a view to getting it into the September budgeting process for the next financial year (starting July 2013);

  • It was proposed that the possibility of external funding for this and other studies be investigated and LJ noted that her consultancy responsibilities included working on funding proposals;

  • CH would also follow up with Brent Newman of CSIR to see whether Zandvlei could be included in a study of contaminants in sediments and fish being undertaken by them;

  • Andrew Taylor (AT) of Water & Sanitation outlined the difficulties in getting accurate estimates of sewage spills. He also described in some detail the linkages of the sewer system all the way from Dalebrook to the sewer running under the outlet channel of Zandvlei (just upstream of the Royal Road Bridge) and the difficulties in maintaining it. He noted that the sewer system in the old part of Muizenberg is 50 – 60 years old. Efforts are being made to determine how and where sand is infiltrating the system;

  • Many blockages of the sewer system are caused through ignorance – or vandalism – with people disposing of a wide variety of solid objects into sewers. The realities of living in a developing country need to be recognised;

  • Sewage-related problems should be reported to the newly established Technical Operations Centre in Bellville (see Annex 3 for contact details). AT also recommended that Marina da Gama keep records of the spills they reported so that these could be compared with those of the Water & Sanitation Branch;

  • For purposes of the Contingency Plan, the best approach might be to identify high risk areas eg. location of pump stations;

  • It was suggested that the principle of “polluter pays” should be applied to sewage spills i.e. Water & Sanitation should bear the costs of response to and impacts of sewage spills – for example, application of bioremediation products;

  • It was also noted that there are many other potential sources of nutrients including fertiliser runoff from the agricultural areas in Constantia, backyard dwellers and stormwater which becomes contaminated through a variety of activities – for example, people washing their cars, washing of wheelie bins, Weber braais etc.

Coral worm

  • It was suggested that, providing the removal of coral worm was limited to those areas immediately around the bridges, there was no need for a scientific assessment of the amount to be removed from the system;

  • Ken Findlay offered to approach members of the Canoe Club to get volunteers to assist with this project which would be done in consultation with Joshua Gericke of Biodiversity Management who will be replacing Cassandra Sheasby when she leaves.

Relocation of the sewer line and rubble weir

  • With respect to the proposed relocation of the sewer line to allow the removal of the weir, it was noted that an EIA for this would probably take around 2 years. 
    Further that, in addition to the cost of building a new pump station (estimated at R 15 million) there would be ongoing additional operational costs. In particular, given the sensitivity of the area, it would need to have a dedicated generator. A proposal to relocate the sewer/remove the weir must cover all components;

  • It was noted that Waste & Sanitation had spent some time trying to identify options for the relocation of the sewer line but to date had been unable to come up with a feasible alternative;

  • It was proposed that a “Mouth Management” Workshop be held some time in the next 6 months in order to try and find a way forward.

Although litter had not been discussed in the TWGs, there was an extended discussion on this during which the following points were made:

  • It was noted that the EMP stated that metal litter traps be replaced with traps made of polywood (to prevent vandalism/theft). However, there had been concern that these might not be strong enough given the very large volumes of litter coming down the rivers. Gavin Lawson proposed that a company from Limpopo, who manufactures polywood products, be approached to supply some on an experimental basis;

  • The lack of involvement of the Solid Waste department once the litter reaches the aquatic environment was discussed and it was proposed that their mandate should be re-visited so that the responsibility for solid waste is based, not on the basis of site/location, but on a catchment basis. It was noted that discussions with Solid Waste are underway, and that Barry Wood should be contacted regarding their status;

  • It was also noted that the majority of the litter is coming from parts of Retreat where there are a large number of backyard dwellers who do not have adequate access to services. It was suggested that extra skips containers be placed in these areas and/or EPWP teams could be utilised to clear litter from the banks in these areas.

3.2 TWG on Pondweed
Given the time constraints, it was agreed to discuss this item as a reconvened meeting. It was noted that the Marina was making a submission to the Sub-Council of the 28th June, and could report back on this at the next meeting.

3.3 TWG on Tourism, Commerce & Recreation
This group has not been convened as yet.

4. Report to Sub-Council
It was agreed that it was premature to plan for a presentation to the Sub-Council at this stage as:

  • There was not yet consensus on all recommendations; and

  • The recommendations need further work, and only items of strategic importance should be included in the submission.

It was proposed that where consensus could not be reached, the report should reflect that.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation
The Chair stressed the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of the Forum and listed a number of items which had been agreed and whose progress could be monitored. 
These included:

  • The proposal to develop a Scope of Work for the broadened “nutrient loading” study for submission into the City’s September budget proposals;

  • The involvement of Water and Sanitation in the Forum;

  • The proposal to include the Westlake River diversion and rehabilitation of reedbeds into the scope of pre-authorised activities under River Maintenance;

  • The removal of coral worm from the bridges;

  • The completion of the Contingency Plan / Emergency Protocol;

  • Inclusion of Zandvlei into the CSIR study on contaminants in sediments and fish;

  • Workshop on Mouth Management.

6. Dates for Next Meetings and Closure
It was agreed to reconvene the Forum on the 4th July at 18:00 to discuss the recommendations from the Pondweed TWG. The report of the reconvened section of the meeting is attached as Annex 4.

The meeting was concluded at approximately 20:15.

Annex 1.

Organisation / sector. Name. Rep / Al / Ind.
Ward 64 Councillor David D’Alton Rep
CoCT (Biodiversity) Joshua Gericke Repl Rep
CoCT (Biodiversity) Dalton Gibbs Alt
CoCT (Biodiversity) Cassandra Sheasby Rep
CoCT(SRCM) Candice Haskins Rep
CoCT (Water & Sanit.) Andrew Taylor Rep
CapeNature Pierre de Villiers 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
Sea Cadets David Walker Rep
Cape Piscatorial Society Garnet Prince Rep
C & EC Lynn Jackson Consultant


Annex 2.

Draft Amendments to the Constitution of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum.

Para 2.1: To liaise with, and advise the City of Cape Town, particularly the Environmental Resource Management Division – as the Estuary Management Authority (EMA) - and other responsible authorities on any matter concerning the environmental management of the estuarine component of the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, including the setting of objectives, how to achieve those objectives and the priorities for environmental governance;

Para 2.3: To provide advice to the EMA with a view to ensuring that the Zandvlei Estuary is being managed in accordance with all applicable national and local legislation and in alignment with all prevailing policies;

Para 2.4: To provide a link between stakeholders, user groups and the responsible authorities with the intention of ensuring that recreational activities, both consumptive and non-consumptive, are carried out and permitted within a framework that guarantees sustainability and minimizes negative effects on the system.

Annex 3.

Water & Sanitation: Technical Operations Centre
(Emergencies such as leaks, burst pipes, sewer defects / blockages and complaints eg. low water pressure and water wastage).

Tele:         0860 103 089
SMS:        31373
Fax:          021 957 4726


6. The term inter alia has not been included as the text already says “and other responsible authorities”.
7. 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.
8. Ken Findlay volunteered to try and get a mandate to represent both the PCC and the Yacht Club (as Zandvlei Sports Club).
9. 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.

Report on the reconvened section of the 2nd Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF):  3rd July, 2012, Zandvlei Nature Reserve Offices.

1. Welcome and introduction
Participants were welcomed to the meeting by Sandra Fowkes, the Chair of the Forum. A list of participants can be found at Annex 4.

Apologies :
were received from Cllr David D’Alton, Pierre de Villiers, Martin Thompson, Candice Haskins, Andrew Taylor, Damian Gibbs, Wilna Kloppers, David Walker.

2. Status of the Meeting and Agenda
In response to queries received prior to the meeting, the Chair clarified the status of the meeting indicating that it should be seen as a reconvening of the 2nd ZEMF meeting of 25th June in order to complete the remaining agenda item, namely the report back of the Pondweed TWG to the Forum. The Chair further indicated that the document which would be used for the discussion was the most recent version of the TWG recommendations (dated 30 June, 2012) which the consultant, vice chair and chair had produced in an effort to align the document with the EMP and which also took into consideration comments received on the previous draft.

GL then requested that the Tourism TWG also be discussed. This was agreed, with further additional items including:

  • feedback on the MdG meeting with the Sub-Council; and
  • feedback from Cllr Dave D’Alton.

3. Report back on the Pondweed TWG Recommendations
The report dated June 30 was introduced by Ken Findlay. This was followed by wide-ranging discussions which clarified different interpretations of the proposed outcomes, and identified a number of points on which further work was required before the recommendations could be finalised. Despite this, there was consensus that a single weed harvester is unable to undertake the work required to manage the pondweed especially as spring and summer growth commences.

It was agreed that:

A. KF would prepare a consolidated document reflecting the agreements reached. This document will be circulated to all members of the Pondweed TWG.
B. Once consensus (or clear statement of underlying reasons for any points of difference) is obtained from TWG members, the final document will be presented to the Forum. It will also be used as the basis of the ZAC (see explanation below) engagement with relevant parts of the City.
C. JG would prepare an updated calculation of the areas to be cut from the co-ordinates to be supplied to him by KF.
D. Better estimates were needed of downtime both as a result of mechanical problems and weather.
E. The issue of removing the cut pondweed from site also needs to be addressed. Historical data should be obtained from City Parks for this purpose.
F. The multiplicity of City structures with responsibilities for management of the weed harvester created intractable complexity. There was unanimous agreement that a public-private partnership would be a far more effective way of managing the weed harvesters. MdG Association was suggested as a possible partner but its current constitution would not permit this. Zandvlei Trust could however play such a role.

4. The role of the Forum and ZAC
The discussion moved on to more general points regarding the role of the Forum and it was suggested that ZEMF was best suited to drive longer term, strategic and proactive management of Zandvlei. As such ZEMF will use the legislation which mandates it to work with appropriate national and provincial bodies to put pressure on the City to implement the ZEMP. Pierre de Villiers is to be requested to engage with provincial and national authorities, KF, JR, RS to assist with their contacts in province.

It was also proposed that there was a need for a reactive body able to respond quickly to emergencies and immediate short term needs. BC proposed that the previous ZAC (Zandvlei Action Committee) - a collective of user and interest groups and the responsible City Managers - which had lapsed on the formation of ZEMF, be re-constituted. Many of the representatives of user and interest groups who had been part of ZAC - namely the Bird Club, Cape Piscatorial Society, Lakeside and Muizenberg RPA, Marina da Gama Residents Association, Peninsula Canoe Club, Zandvlei Trust – were present at the ZEMF meeting and, with the proviso that representatives check the mandate from their organisations, all fully supported that ZAC should be reconstituted as an Emergency Task Group of ZEMF to address the current short term problems of management of pondweed particularly. It was noted that ZAC might also need to address issues like sewage spills. ZAC would only meet to deal with emergencies.

5. TWG on Tourism Commerce and Recreation
BC has drafted a ToR for this TWG but it has not yet been constituted. However, the importance of using the economic case to drive management of the estuary led to a decision to have the following key partners draft a paragraph justifying importance and value of Zandvlei in order to motivate the prompt implementation of the ZEMP:

Fishing value + breeding - Garnet Prince
Birding - Gavin Lawson
Tourism - Robin Solomons
Canoeing - Ken Findlay
Yachting - Damian Gibbs
Youth development - Dave Walker
Environmental Education - Gavin Lawson & Joshua Gericke.

Other stakeholders and items still to be included are the Muizenberg partnership, ecological goods and services, picnicking and braaing.

John Fowkes offered to provide the overall structure for the report. Submissions should be forwarded to him on:

6. Report back from Meeting with Sub-Council
Bob Craske informed ZEMF of the meeting between the Sub-Council and MdG Association. There had been constructive support from Ald Felicity Purchase and Cllr D’Alton. An outcome is that a meeting is to be arranged with the City Manager as soon as possible. Members of ZEMF directed that the meeting should be driven under the auspices of ZAC and stressed that ZEMF fully supports ZACs role in dealing with the pressing issue of managing the pondweed as it goes into its peak growth cycle (starting August). The emphasis should be on getting a second machine.

7. Report from Cllr D’Alton
Unfortunately his meeting with Osman Asmal, Japie Hugo and others was postponed due to the Cllr’s ill health. He has however, submitted a series of questions to be addressed.

8. Any other business
It was suggested that future meetings of ZEMF could be held at the Rendezvous.

Any commendations for the work done by Cassandra Sheasby should be sent to Bob Craske to be included in some form of illuminated scroll of appreciation.

9. Closure and next meeting

The meeting ended at 20h50. The next meeting will take place in September at a date to be advised.

  Annex 4.

List of attendees at the reconvened 2nd Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF):
3rd July, 2012,
Zandvlei Nature Reserve office.

Organisation / sector. Name. Rep/Alt/Ind.
Forum Chair Sandra Fowkes Chair 
CoCT (Biodiversity)  Dalton Gibbs Alt 
CoCT (Biodiversity) Joshua Gericke  Rep 
Zandvlei Trust John Fowkes Rep 
Muizenberg & Lakeside RPA Robin Solomons Rep 
Peninsula Canoe Club Ken Findlay Rep 
Cape Bird Club Gavin Lawson Rep
Marina da Gama John Ridley Rep 
Marina da Gama Bob Craske Alt 
Cape Piscatorial Society Garnet Prince Rep 
C & EC Lynn Jackson Consultant



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