Zandvlei Trust

Minutes for the 14th ZEMF meeting on 12 November 2014.

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

Starting at 13h30 to 16h00 on 12 November 2014 at the Zandvlei Sports Club / Imperial Yacht Club.

                                                                                       ZEMF 14 Minutes ver A 20141112


Telephone list on Contingency Plan to be amended, and then whole document to be circulated to ZEMF Members. Dalton Gibbs c/f May 2014.
Work with recreational user representatives to compile the pondweed clearing schedule for 2015. Josh Gericke Before 2015.
Send out 2 weekly report on pondweed cutting. Josh Gericke on going.
Communicate with BMB colleagues to view the constitution of PAACs and then to communicate with Chair to plan ZEMF’s response. Martin Thompson asap.
Compose an appropriate communication to MDGA about the reports in the newsletter and have it checked for the legal aspects. Sandra Fowkes asap.
Relevant extracts from MDGA newsletter to be forwarded to MT. Sandra Fowkes asap.
Request Dalton G gives his insights on ZEMF and PAACs when he returns from leave. Sandra Fowkes asap.
Prepare a draft timetable for 2015 for finalising at the next meeting Sandra Fowkes Jan 2014
Get clarity from SANBI on coral worm status and raise the profile of the ZEMFconcerns. Sandra Fowkes Jan 2014



1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
Apologies received from
Cllr D’Alton, Arne Purves, Dalton Gibbs, Brendon Fortuin, David Walker.

The Chair welcomed all present.
Apologies received from Cllr D’Alton, Arne Purves, Dalton Gibbs, David Walker (family crisis); Joshua Gericke (called out to fire); Damian Gibbs; Candice Haskins, Garnet Prince; Talcott Persent; Shihabuddeen Khan (new-born baby), Brendon Fortuin.

1a. Marina da Gama Association had requested to give a 15 Minute presentation.
This was not given as MdGA decided not to attend claiming that they had not been informed of the exact time of their presentation. (Note MDGA had been informed that the window was between 13h30 and 15h30.)

2. Adoption of the Minutes of the 13th ZEMF Meeting

Proposer: Martin Thompson. Seconded: John Fowkes.

3. Matters arising from the 13th ZEMF Meeting

Dealt with under agenda items.

4. Pondweed Management

JG reported that the Pondweed is growing back quite slowly. Weed harvester is up and running.

5. Communication and partnerships

5.1 Update on articles to publicise Zandvlei
Action items completed
DW  “What being a Sea Cadet at Zandvlei has meant” completed, submitted to False Bay Echo
GL  “The stories that the patterns uncovered by CWAC” nearly complete
SF  “Dealing with too much sand at the mouth of the Sand!” appeared in Zandvlei Trust Spring newsletter
SF  article around lowering of weir appeared in False Bay Echo 29 May.

5.2 Marina da Gama issues:
Various attempts have been made to rebuild constructive communication between MdGA and ZEMF. It is important to get through the impasse and the apparent gatekeeping in the interest of managing the vlei appropriately. The most recent efforts were to explore options for Marina input to the Pondweed TWG, followed by a further arrangement to meet with the MdGA Chair, Elaine Meyer. Unfortunately family illness in Elaine Meyer’s family prevented the planned meeting from happening.
In the meantime the Chair of ZEMF was made aware of the Waterways portfolio reports in the MdGA September newsletter written by John Ridely and Rob Maclean. The gross errors of fact and disingenuous attempts to discredit the work of ZEMF caused considerable annoyance among a number of Marina residents who have independently expressed their strong reactions to the Chair of MdGA and the authors of the reports, and who informed ZEMF members of the reports.

SF sent an email to MdGA Chair asking for a copy of the newsletter and date for copy to go into the next newsletter to exercise right of reply. To date, two weeks later, no reply had been received.

In addition the Chair was also informed about a presentation on 20 October to Subcouncil 19 by Mr Bob Craske in which he chose to continue an apparent campaign to discredit ZEMF. Dalton Gibbs was present at the Subcouncil and able to give information to counter errors of fact. SF has also been in discussion with the Subcouncil about this presentation and ZEMF’s future proactive communication with the Subcouncil.

JF noted that from City official’s point of view, they should know what is being said and requested that the relevant extracts from MdGA newsletter be forwarded to MT by the Chair.

It was felt that the statements in the MDGA newsletter cannot be ignored. The MDGA needs to understand that the publication of factually incorrect and defamatory comments is out of line. The specific facts need to be communicated by MDGA to all recipients of its newsletter. Chair to compose an appropriate communication to MDGA about the reports in the newsletter and have the legal aspects checked.

6. Mouth Management

6.1 Action item completed: JG Follow up on analysis of sediment cores taken near the mouth in order to inform options for disposal dredge spoil. Nov 2014.
From an email of 29 September “I finally got the sediment core analyses from UCT. It seems that the actual sand bar is almost free of organic sediments and is marine derived.”

6.2 Action item addressed: BMB/CSRM Initiation of discussions around EIA on Mouth Management options c/f April 2014.
From email from of 20 October from CH. As there are no funds available for foreseeable future, these dates are not practical. The detailed action item is reframed as “Initiate an investigation of longer-term sustainable solutions for mouth management” and will be appropriately altered in the Detailed Action Plan.

6.3 Dredging. MT reported that May is considered the desirable time to start dredging. Results from both Scientific Services and Dr Brent Newman report no significant contamination in the sediment to be removed so it could be used eg for landfill, cover material at the False Bay site etc. A check may be done to establish salt content. A sign should be erected warning that the spoil is not suitable for use in buildings. A suggestion was made that the spoil might be used in sandbags that could be used in the rubble weir. MT identified the need for publicity early next year in advance of the dredging.

6.4 Impact of weir lowering. MT reported that Talcott says there is more sea water flowing in and water levels are higher than expected. It is also more difficult to close mouth.
Other observations: Shoal of harder seen swimming against the current; at springs a wedge of clear sea water has been visible well beyond narrows; Marina water tastes more saline; lot of juvenile fish observed, more fish coming in than going out.
Sediment is being redistributed by the higher tidal energy. The channel is scoured deeper. Sand has moved further into vlei.
Sand prawns extend up to 3rd bend, something never seen in 25 years on observations.

The third bathymetric survey will be undertaken shortly so we will have some quantitative data.

G Laing commented that the fundamental issue is the sewer line. The weir lowering is mitigating some of the resulting problems but there is a danger that perceptions are created that Zandvlei’s problems are solved which is not the case.

7. Any Other Business

7.1 Governance:
Action item addressed Progress on proclamation of the nature reserve and advertising for Protected Area Advisory Committees (PAAC).
SF gave feedback that a proposal for PAACs had been tabled at the Energy Environment and Spatial planning Portfolio committee and was supported. After the formal resolution is published an advertisement will be placed to invite suggestions/ applications for membership. The response period is likely to be end January 2015

MT to communicate with BMB colleagues to view the constitution of PAACs and then to communicate with Chair to plan ZEMF’s response.

SF to request Dalton G gives his insights on ZEMF and PAACs when he returns from leave.

G Laing raised the option of ZEMF becoming part of the Berg and Olifants Catchment Management Agency (CMA) which is being established. MT noted that a previous CMA initiative struggled for years as it worked on such a big scale.
ZEMF will need to meet mid Jan to ensure that everything is in place to brief the wider ZEMF community on the PAAC option. JF asked for information on the operation of any other advisory committees in CoCT.

The experience of working with the Constitution prepared at the start of the Forum now enables ZEMF to amend its weak areas it so that it better guides the work of the Forum. This review will be scheduled once there is clarity on the PAACs and the relationship of ZEMF to PAACs.

Action item in process
SF to meet with LJ on Friday to collect all hard copy, electronic records. These then to be lodged with the ZEMF administrative support in Dalton G’s office.

7.2 Annual timetable of activities: The following activities need to be included in the planning for ZEMF’s work in 2015: input into budget and IDP; planning of clearing around events – yachting, paddling; submit research requests; M&E of the ZEMP detailed action plan; feedback meeting to public. ZEMF members requested to check this list and add or alter as necessary.
Chair to prepare a draft timetable for 2015 for finalising at the next meeting.

GL said that mouth opening times are still to come from Talcott.

JG to work with recreational user representatives to compile the pondweed clearing schedule for 2015.

7.3 Finalising EMP Detailed action plan.
The experience of application of the EMP has now given sufficient insight into the changes that are needed to make it a useful management document.
Input has been received on the detailed actions that are the responsibility of TCT (Catchment, Stormwater, and River management Branch of Transport Cape Town). The GZENR manager has also given input on actions that are his responsibility. The indicators for the remaining actions need to be checked for their usefulness.

7.4 Coral worm status. Research hopefully leading to improved control, championed by LJ has stalled with responsibility and budget in SANBI having fallen between 2 people. Suggestion that informal discussion held with one of the 2 by SF to get clarity from SANBI on coral worm status and raise the profile of the ZEMFconcerns.

8. Date and focus for next ZEMF meeting 21 January 2015. Focus PAACs and ZEMF, status of pondweed.



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