Zandvlei Trust

Draft minutes for the Meeting on 27 March 2013.

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

Minutes of the 6th Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF): 18:00, 27th March, 2013, Zandvlei Sports Club/Yacht Club.

ZEMF 6 Minutes ver A 20130404.

Summary of follow-up actions.

Action. Resposible Person. Date.
Follow-up with DEA & DP re sewage spills Pierre de Villiers April 2013.
Identification of representative from CoCT Security branch to sit on ZEMF. Dalton Gibbs April 2013.
Draft proposal for financial support for secretariat to be circulated for comment by ZEMF members Sandra Fowkes April 2013.
Historical ZEMF documents to be collated Lynn Jackson to forward to Gavin Lawson. Lynn Jackson April 2013.
Letter to be sent to Mr.Asmal re failure to implement aspects of the Pondweed Management Protocol. Sandra Fowkes April 2013.
Re-establishment of Pondweed TWG Ken Findlay/Josh Gericke April 2013.
Weekly harvesting reports  Joshua Gericke Ongoing.
Review of Pondweed Protocol TWG May 2013.
Letter drop to all houses around vlei to report poaching to 107. Request to local Security Company to be on alert for poaching incidents. John Fowkes April 2013.
Request to Councillor D’Alton. Sandra Fowkes April 2013.
Corrections to ZEMF 5 Report Lynn Jackson April 2013.



1. Welcome and introductions
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 and a copy of the Agenda at Annex 2. 
Apologies were received from Councillor D’Alton, Candice Haskins, Joshua Gericke, Wilna Kloppers, David Walker and Garnet Prince.

2. Matters arising from the 5th ZEMF Meeting

2.1 Submission to CapeNature on Sewage Spills
LJ had made contact with Joy Leaner and was subsequently put in contact with Russell Mehl, the Assistant Manager: Pollution and Chemicals Management at DEADP. SF had also had a discussion with him and PdV, and PdV will liaise with RM and arrange a meeting with the Water and Sanitation Department of the CoCT (Yusuf Ebrahim and Brian Thomson).

It was noted that it was the first time that this process had been used for a sewage spill (i.e. going through the PCC).

2.2 Link between Facebook page and ZVT website
GL reported that the link had been established. It was noted that a lot of complaints had been raised on the Facebook page and the question was raised as to whether ZEMF should respond to these complaints. Since it appeared that most of the complaints were unsubstantiated, it was agreed that ZEMF should rather just monitor the page and where appropriate, complainants should be invited to come and address the Forum directly.

There was a request that once the new Vlei by-law is available for comment, the Forum should engage directly with fishermen. In response to a comment regarding the difficulty of getting fishermen to establish a body which could represent them on the Forum, PdV noted that CapeNature do have a Forum for fishermen. This could possibly be an avenue for discussions around the by-law.

2.3 Funding assistance for by-law
It was reported that there had been no progress with regards funding. However, DG had consolidated the comments received and had made recommendations. It is anticipated that the next draft will be completed at the end of the month, and will be workshopped with user groups around September/October.

It was noted that there are now signs in place with regards the fishing restrictions (which are in the existing by-law), but there are still illegal fishing activities going on with little or no response from the Authorities to reports. The new Marine & Coastal Compliance Unit has been involved in a number of operations, but does not seem to respond to complaints. It was proposed that someone from the Security branch of the CoCT be nominated to sit on the Forum with a view to trying to address this issue. DG undertook to follow up on this. In the interim reports should continue to be made to 107 so that there is actually a record of reports of illegal fishing even if, for now, there is no response.

2.4 ZEMF Documents – version control
GL reported that he had had only 3 responses to the draft proposals on Version Control which had been circulated after the last meeting. There were no further changes other than that a footer containing the document filing reference should be added. The document was therefore formally adopted. Existing documents now need to be put into that format. LJ agreed to forward all the available historical documents to GL.

2.5 Proposal for financial support
The Chair reported that she had started work on this proposal and would circulate it for comment once the draft was complete. PdV suggested that the City’s Grants-in-Aid Programme might be an option. However, it has to be submitted in August for the following year, so would only be an option for 2014. DG noted that there might be a procurement issue, and it was agreed that he would discuss it with SF after the meeting.

3. Pondweed
The initial discussion on this item focussed on the status of the Recommendations from the Pondweed TWG/ Protocol for Pondweed Management. LJ reported that the proposals – together with those from the other TWGs – had been presented to a meeting of the relevant CoCT departments on 20th September, 2012 (the same meeting at which the Contingency Plan had been discussed). Her understanding was that the meeting endorsed the proposals, although there was no formal resolution on the matter. However, the proposals will be included into the updated version of the EMP which should be formally adopted once the final National Estuary Management Protocol has been gazetted (expected within the next month).

The fact that the Pondweed Protocol has not been implemented is most likely due to the fact that for the few months after the 20th September meeting, pondweed harvesting had been stopped altogether on the strength of recommendations from Scientific Services – based in turn, on the levels of phytoplankton in the water which suggested a need to encourage pondweed growth.

Following this there was a prolonged and wide-ranging discussion on pondweed harvesting, during which the following points were made:

  • If pondweed harvesting is conducted in an efficient manner, an entire cycle can be completed in 10 days. A 2nd machine is not required;
  • Harvesting was resumed in February, but only to a depth of about 30cm below the water surface. While this meets the needs of the canoeists, it is not sufficient for yachtsmen who require 1.5m;
  • Apart from the inconvenience, the presence of pondweed in the yachting areas is a safety issue as the youngsters get stuck in the weed and then need to be rescued and the rescue boat propeller gets entangled in weed This has meant that the area available for sailing has effectively been cut by around 50%;
  • There needs to be more regular feedback from the users to the managers (preferably through the TWG);
  • In addition to recreational needs, the pondweed in the entrance to the Marina needs to be cut on a regular basis as it affects circulation in the channels of the Marina;
  • It was proposed that the following be identified: i) node points where regular cutting is essential; and ii) indicators which could act as early warning signs that the pondweed needs to be cut;
  • The proposal to transport the pondweed to Phillippi for use by farmers has been previously investigated and found not to be cost-effective. Moreover, it currently goes to landfill sites where it does get composted.

It was proposed that ZEMF send a letter to Mr. Asmal requesting that the recommendations from the TWG be implemented. Specific points to be addressed were:

  • The need to have a second driver: this could be addressed in a number of ways eg. through an MoU with City Parks (who also have a harvesting machine); employment of an additional driver by the BMB to drive the recently acquired truck and be a backup for the harvesting machine; use of Coastcare personnel;
  • The driver must keep detailed records of which areas are cut on a map, using GPS. Alternatively, a reporting template could be developed for the driver to use;
  • The GPS must also be used to monitor the movement of the machine.

SF to draft a letter and circulate for comment.

In addition, it was proposed that:

  • The TWG be reconstituted: KF to take the lead with support from Damian Gibbs;
  • Weekly harvesting reports – including a map – should be sent to TWG members;
  • The Pondweed Protocol should be reviewed to take account of comments from the City as well as those from this meeting.

DG also requested that any problems with implementation of the Pondweed Protocol be promptly reported via the Pondweed WG so that Zandvlei management can be accountable to the Forum.

4. Any Other Business

4.1 AGM
It was noted that it is nearly a year since ZEMF was constituted and that there is a need for an AGM at which the positions of the various office-bearers, and the TWGs need to be revisited. It was proposed that the AGM be organised for around May/June, once the following are in place:

  • Pondweed management is functioning effectively;
  • Historical documents have been collated and are available on the website;
  • Law enforcement has improved; and
  • Funding for a Secretariat has been secured – or is in the pipeline.

The AGM should be distinct from the Public Meeting.

4.2 Poaching
It was reported that there has been an increase in prawn-pumping and cast-netting at night and that despite numerous reports being logged, there has been no response from the Authorities. It was proposed that the focus of the next meeting should be Law Enforcement. The Marine and Coastal Compliance Unit, DAFF and others should be invited to attend.

Other suggestions were:

  • To send an sms to Pierre;
  • Continue to log reports on 107 so at least there is a record of complaints;
  • There should be a letter drop to vlei residents regarding complaints about poaching;
  • A local security company should be requested to do drive pasts when complaints are logged so that there is a solid record of incidents.

4.3 Meeting Notices
There was a request that notices of future meetings be circulated using Outlook so that they automatically get incorporated into people’s diaries.

4.4 Zandvlei Office
Concerns were raised regarding the difficulty of getting through to the Zandvlei NR Office. It was pointed out that the staff spend a lot of time in the field, and that their cell phones are private and not paid for by the City. This situation should be addressed.

4.5 E-mail from Marina da Gama
There was discussion around an e-mail from BC relaying comments by some City Councillors regarding ZEMF and the Action Plan. This re-raised questions regarding the status of the EMP. LJ noted that the EMP, including the Action Plan, were due to be updated as part of her current contract. By the time the updating process has been completed, the NEMP should have been gazetted, and the EMP will then need to be officially endorsed by the CoCT.

DG also noted that the intention is that the Nature Reserve will be re-proclaimed under the NEM Protected Areas Act. The Nature Reserve then has to have a formal Management Plan of which the EMP will be a subsidiary component.

There was concern over the comments from Councillors, and it was proposed that Councillor D’Alton be requested to take the matter up internally.

4.6 Corrections to report on ZEMF 5
It was noted that a couple of corrections had been suggested to the Report of the last ZEMF meeting. It was agreed that these would be incorporated, and the revised version sent to GL for posting on the website. It was also agreed that in future, they report should be considered as minutes. Minutes would only be sent to representatives of member organisations, but are available on the ZVT website.

4.7 ZEMF as Advisory Committee
DG noted that once the NR has been re-proclaimed it is eligible to have an official Advisory Committee. A format for such committees has recently been agreed, and DG proposed that ZEMF becomes that committee, especially since the estuary makes up a large part of the Zandvlei NR. This should be the focus of a ZEMF meeting in a few months time.

4.8 Congratulations
Congratulations were extended to Josh Gericke who has recently become a father.

5. Dates and Content of Next Meetings and Closure.

The next meeting will be on the 24th of April, 2013 at 14:00. The focus will be on Law Enforcement.

The meeting closed at approximately 20:00.

Annex 1.

List of Attendees at the 6th Meeting of the ZEMF on 27th March 2013.

Organisation Name Rep/Alt/Ind

ZEMF Chair

Sandra Fowkes

CapeNature  Pierre de Villiers Rep
CoCT (BMB) Dalton Gibbs Alt 
CoCT(CSRM)  Martin Thompson Rep
CoCT (Water & San) Andrew Taylor Rep
Zandvlei Trust John Fowkes Rep
Peninsula Canoe Club Ken Findlay Rep
Cape Bird Club Gavin Lawson Rep
Fishing fraternity Case Veugelers  Rep
C & EC Lynn Jackson  Consultant.


Annex 2.

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

6th Meeting of the Zandvlei Estuary Management Forum (ZEMF) 18:00 – 20:00 : 27th March, 2013
Zandvlei Sports Club (Yacht Club).

Draft Agenda.

1.  Welcome and introductions, apologies etc.
2.  Matters arising from the 5th ZEMF Meeting 2.1 Follow-up on submission to CapeNature on sewage spills 2.2 Link btwn Facebook page & ZVT website 2.3 Funding assistance for work on vlei by-law 2.4 Documents – version control (adoption of GL proposal) 2.5 Proposal for financial support for Secretariat function.
3.  Pondweed (monitoring implementation of the Pondweed Management Protocol, re-establishment of TWG, harvesting reports, requests etc).
4.  Any Other Business.
5.  Dates and focus for next meetings in 2013.


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