This content was on the Zandvlei Trust
12 April 2012.
To: Environmental Resource Management.
Attention: Mr Osman Asmal
phone: 021 487 2200
copy: Mrs Belinda Walker
phone: 021 400 1314
copy: Mr Jacob Hugo
phone: 021 400 1314
copy: Ms Naomi Higham
phone: 021 487 2319
Zandvlei - question still unanswered 12/04/2012.
Dear Mr Osman,
Last week I again emailed you as a follow up to the original letter (15/03/2012) for an answer of the date when the ERM Peace Officers cards will be returned to them, so that they may continue with the work they are employed to do.
I have not received any communication from you yet.
Infrastructure and resources continue to be stolen or vandalised in other City Nature Reserves. If these Peace Officers had been operational much could have been prevented and or arrests and convictions achieved.
I sat in a meeting yesterday listening to how the False Bay Ecology Park is “bleeding sections of fence lines” to theft and vandalism, which is an increasing in trend.
The other issues at Zandvlei and its catchment continue to compound with the lack of the required interventions from your department. This again highlights the inadequate Capital and Operating budgets required to address the complex issues of conservation for example at the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve.
We know there are 22 other Nature Reserves also under staffed with little adequate infrastructure, (Zandvlei Nature Reserve staff have had to build their own offices over a period of nearly 10 years, with no budgets – an employment condition I have never ever come across) yet these areas make up nearly 20 % of the City of Cape Towns terrestrial area and receive so little status or recognition, when compared with other departments infrastructure and operating budgets.
The budgeting models for determining the value of City Nature Reserve property is grossly skewed and needs to be seriously revisited and updated. If the accountants need a financial value to the unique intrinsic value of the properties, it is about high time you start giving it to them.
There should be an exponential value for the reserves, starting at a back date of say, 30 years. A factor should be used to determine what the population demand for land has removed from natural areas, and therefore biodiversity of all species from the Metropole. Then the value of the nature reserve areas should increase as a percentage and or ratio, as the natural biodiversity areas decrease due to housing and other developments. This could easily be determined using the existing City’s GIS for planning. The density expansion and explosion from the ‘70’s is graphically illustrated very well in the various overlays available.
The Nature Reserves in the City are a unique asset. Not only to Cape Town and South Africa but the rest of the world.
These areas will attract future visitors, part of the tourism drive to arrive in Cape Town, as they will be able to see part of the Fynbos Biome in their short time with all the other attractions our City offers. No other City on the planet has what is on offer here as far as a natural beauty experience with its particular uniqueness.
Are we the custodians or not?
Gavin Lawson. pp Chairman.