Zandvlei Trust

The Sand River Catchment Forum.

Minutes of the meeting held on: Thursday 12 May 2005 at 14h00 at the Alphen Centre,
in the Neville Riley Room.


B Nicolson CoCT: CSRM (Chairman)
Cllr H Syre CoCT: Councillor
Candice Haskins CoCT: Scientific Services
M Thompson CoCT: Engineering Services
D Davey Friends of Die Oog
G Evans Bervliet R&RPA
J Garman CoCT: Environmental Management
Cllr J Heming Councillor
R Camp Diep River R&RPA
C Giljam Marina da Gama (Sec)
V Marincowitz FBAC / Zandvlei Trust
Michael Dreyer Wynberg Resident
Desmond Firth Princessvlei Civic Association (New member)


James Forsyth Friends of Tokai Forest
B Ratcliffe Friends of Constantia Greenbelt
N Newman CoCT: Environmental Management
Mandy Noffke Working for Wetlands
E Foot CoCT: Nature Conservation Zandvlei
K Jacobs CoCT: Nature Conservation Zandvlei
T Persent CoCT: Dist 10 SPA Engineering
J Gibbs SP Dev Forum
Cllr I Jones Councillor
Cllr I Iverson Councillor
John Green Friends of Tokai Forest
Adele McCann SPA: Planning
John Fowkes


1. Previous Minutes
Accepted with one alteration to WQ Report "not" to read "noted".

2.  Interest Item: Abstraction, Water Restrictions & Groundwater.

BN outlined the current status wrt surface water abstractions namely;

  •  A task team consisting of BN, MT, CH and MRO are developing a guideline/policy which includes 1. A Background Information Document (BID) for general information on surface water usage such  as the legal aspects, environmental considerations and the need for regulation.
    2. A flowchart clarifying the application process and
    3. An application form for people wanting to abstract surface water.

  • Cllr Heming - reiterated her previous request that the Willow Road dam be used an indicator of over abstraction as it has reportedly suffered water level drops that are historically new occurances. She also suggested putting the draft policy on the City's web page marked as a discussion document.

  • Work done by the Friends of the Constantia Valley Green belts has resulted in a letter from DWAF which Brian Ratcliff is suggesting be distributed (with his assistance). The letter is an "Advisory Warning" and is an appeal to residents of Constantia Valley to desist from surface abstractions for irrigating their gardens encouraging them rather to use boreholes.

  • A groundwater task team is being established to develop guidelines for the management of this water resource within the city's boundaries. It is hoped that this guideline will be in place by next summer. BN will keep the forum updated.


3.1 Klein Constantia Dam

NN reported that construction is being done responsibly and with due care to the environment. She has requested that silt traps be left in position for one year after construction to ensure minimum silt deposits downstream. Construction is almost complete. NN will keep the meeting informed on progress. Cllr Joan Hemming requested that Groot Constantia be pressurized to honour their previous agreement to fund silt traps on the Grootboschkloof side of their property. BN and MT to try and find a copy of that agreement. (Action: BN and MT)

3.2 GZENR Progress Report

It was reported council approval was granted and that Province is now considering the application. A site visit is imminent and it is anticipated that approval will be granted for this extension and it is possible that a higher status will be granted than is currently enjoyed. Erica to keep the forum updated on progress. Also see ZAC minutes of their April 05 meeting attached as Annexure B.

3.3 Leopard Toad

It was noted that Oct and Nov are the critical times for breeding and that maintenance programs must be arranged around these times. The previously mentioned study from Anne Stewart (788-4972) was requested and she had apparently forwarded it to a forum member possibly John Green. BN to track down the paper. (Action: BN)

3.4 Infested tributaries to the Princess Kasteel River (JG/NN)

The Dept of Agriculture has served a notice on Public Works to clear Soetvlei. To this end a tender is out for this work. JG to keep the forum informed re progress. VM noted that the same mistake wrt to the Leopard Toad must not be repeated in this wetland.

It was reported that a site visit had taken place during February with Mandy Noffke & Japie Buckle (WfW), Julia Wood (TMF), Chris Botes (CPNP), Mark Wilmot (MTO) as well as council officials (NN,BN,MT) to examine possibilities for a 'Source to Sea' trail. In particular sites requiring inputs from 'Working for Water' (WfW) were visited. Outstanding is a visit to Louw's Farm to look at possible clearing to be done on that property. Joan Heming reminded the meeting of the 'Trails of Constantia' and wondered if this could be an extension of that already established set of walking trails.

3.5 Zandvlei Litter Traps

MT reported that TP had already procured the materials required and that construction was due to begin on 16 May.

3.6 Table Mountain Group Aquifer

BN reported that the City's Water Branch is running an extensive study and monitoring programme over a few years to determine the feasibility of using this water source in a sustainable fashion as a major supply augmentation scheme for potable water.


4.1 WQ Report - Scientific Services (See Annexure A sent as an attached email)

CH spoke to her tabled report, which is attached. Focus was on vleis where the prime parameters monitored are Chlorophyl and phosphorus. 
Langevlei responds to seasonal influences. Algal growth is stimulated by nutrients.
Princessvlei - a slight increase over time in algal growth is noted.
Die Oog - High levels of chlorophyll are recorded but since the draw-down lower levels are noted as well as reduced levels of phosphorus.
Sandvlei - Very little microscopic algae is present.
It is to be noted that vleis outside this catchment have considerable worse algal counts.
CH reported on the draft policy she is developing for the city on 'Integrated Aquatic Weed Control'. This policy outlines control methodologies, the legal framework, the need for integration of approach and reporting procedures. Once internal comment has been incorporated a public process will be initiated at which time forum members will have the opportunity to view the policy and comment.
JH noted that certain nurseries are still selling listed category 1 aliens.

4.2 SPM Projects [MT/TP]

No capital projects are currently underway due to lack of funding . Maintenance projects are on track. 

4.3 ZAC Report [NN] (See Appendix B for minutes from the last meeting)

It is to be noted that:-

  • The sand bar developing in the outlet channel will soon require dredging. (Action: MT & BN)

  • The walkways adjacent the canal outlet channel downstream of the bridge require attention to be made safe. (Action: MT & BN)

4.4 Die Oog [Prof Davey]

Denis Davey reported on the "Big Duck Launch" noting that some of the introduced ducks had fallen victim to predators (Cape Clawless Otter!). He noted that the fish kill had taken place and that the new indigenous fish will be introduced shortly. He noted that the island wall had partially collapsed due to undermining and asked MT to investigate and recommend a possible remedy. (Action : MT)

NN noted that a press release will occur after the reintroduction of the indigenous fish.

Subsequent to the meeting DD sent in this newsletter which gives a brief description of Die Oog for information.


Die Oog is a Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve in Bergvliet, Cape Town and consists of an "ancient" dam built in about 1745, a unique area of granite fynbos and a wetland which is a breeding area for the endangered Leopard Toad. The dam provides a sanctuary for ducks, heron and kingfishers and contains an island that is a major roosting site for cattle egrets, sacred ibis, hadeda ibis and reed cormorants. Die Oog is part of the surviving indigenous green belt of the Constantia Valley and includes a recreation area which is open to the public with view points of the dam. The Friends of Die Oog have undertaken an extensive ongoing programme of rehabilitation in collaboration with the City of Cape Town with the aid of grants from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund of the USA and the Rowland and Leta Hill Trust which is managed by the World-Wildlife Fund of South Africa.

Contact Prof D A Davey (Chairman)    021 -7121314   e-mail

4.5 WQ Monitoring; KRRP

CH to follow up. (Action: CH)


5.1 Fish kill - Keysers tributary - Tokai. CH reported on an incident which probably occurred on 3 May which had resulted in a kill of approx 200 fish. She had only received the news on 7 May and had done an inspection. Smaller fish were observed alive and well so it is presumed that this was a one-off event. BN has spoken to management of Blue Route Mall and the BP garage to ask that all tenants be watchful and exercise due care in handling potentially harmful substances. Caroline Hamilton of the Constantiaberg Buletin had spoken to BN and CH and the emergency number of Scientific Servisec (684-1000) had been given to her so that these types of incidents get reported earlier. (Another Emergency number to be noted is the Transport Roads and Stormwater all hours number for floods, leaks and spills : 021-957-4700) Caroline Hamilton is referred to Joan Heming for comment.

5.2 CSRM Symposium on Ponds

BN noted that this symposium has been postponed, possibly until 2006.

5.3 Diep River Flood disaster Management Plan - BN noted that the city is preparing an evacuation plan for the area Burnham Road to Alnwick Road in the event of a serious flood. TR&S and Disaster Management are involved with developing this plan. It was further stressed that capital works need to be undertaken, such as the upgrades recommended in the Liebenberg and Stander report. Thus far capital funding requests have been rejected by the decision makers. It was noted that the development of the old age home downstream of Rathfelder was about to commence. It was agreed that a meeting be held urgently with engineers and planners to ensure that due process is followed.

5.4 Princessvlei - Desmond Firth was encouraged to form a 'Friends of Princessvlei Group'. This forum would assist where possible. DF noted the success of the 'Adopt a Plot' initiative in his area which had resulted in school learners becoming involved in clean-ups and thereby earning funds for their schools. DF was welcomed as a new member on the forum and asked to give a small presentation on the vlei from his perspective for the next meeting. (Action DF).

5.5 Boyes Drive wash away - MT noted that the erosion, road closure and flooding of homes had been as a result of the denudation caused by the fires in February and not as a result of exceptional rains. Preventative measures will have to be taken to prevent a repeat. VM noted that poor planning of development near the old bakery area needed rectifying possibly by including a pond on the old river course. MT to investigate. (Action:MT)

5.6 AGM Zandvlei Trust - Cliff Dorse will address the meeting on the Fauna and Flora of Christan de Cunha. All are welcome to attend on 25 May.

NEXT MEETINGS:  Remaining schedule for 2005 is as follows: 11 August & 10 November.



Held on 11 April 2005 at the Zandvlei Sports Club.


Natalie Newman 710 8049 City of Cape Town (Chairperson)
Joy Garman 710 8049 City of Cape Town
Martin Thompson 710 8128 COCT Engineering
Gavin Lawson 705 5224 Zandvlei Trust
Cherry Giljam 788 7931 Friends of Park Island (Secretary)


Farrah and Micheal 701 7452 COCT Nature Conservation
Candice Haskins 684 1024 COCT Scientific Services


NN welcomed the small group present. The previous minutes were accepted.


All agreed that the next meeting would focus on the management / growth of the pondweed. Concern was raised that the water areas set aside as sanctuaries were being cut. Conservation and recreational needs needed to be re addressed.
ACTION NN to invite the Kingfisher drivers to attend the next meeting via Mr Herholdt for this item on the agenda.


Candice sent her apologies and had given all data to NN for discussion.

Salinity stats good but still insufficient data to chart turbidity. Needed to address this issue with user groups.

The litter trap for the Sand River canal and for enclosing the reed beds around the bird hide had been designed and the materials ordered.
ACTION TP to implement.


Council had endorsed the proposed application which was now with the Provincial Cape Nature for recommendation and approval.
The exact status of the reserve and the implications of an operational business plan still needed to be worked through and confirmed. 
ACTION Joy Garman was dedicated to the 'follow up' process and report back on all progress. Clifford Dorse was still committed to 'manage' the application. It was suggested that Joy and Clifford be invited to the next meeting to report back on the process.


Friends of Park Island and Zandvlei Trust would be planting again on our special Arbour Day June 16.

Large tracts of kikuya grass needed to be dealt with on the island as it was encroaching and strangling the newly rehabilitated areas. Needed to call Clifford to clarify the best time of year to eradicate.
ACTION Erika to organise systemic spray and labour.


The sand bar on the vlei side of the bridge was growing larger creating a problem for the recreational users of the vlei. Unnatural removal could have serious implications for the ecology.
ACTION: TP and EF to set up a site meeting with BN, MT, NN and Rob MacLean. To discuss the way forward.


Kate Snaddon an independent fresh water consultant had been asked to give her opinion on the wetland. Despite the relative small scale of the site it has been rated as a highly significant wetland. The developers had to go back to the 'drawing board' to create a design more sensitive to the surroundings or they would need to apply for an official EIA to be done with a view to 'filling in' the site.


There was speculation about the safety of the canal walls at the estuary mouth. 
ACTION TP and MT to assess


New student at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve was to make the topic of her 'thesis' the "Tube worm of Zandvlei' which should give us some useful insight into this fairly inconspicuous creature.


Zandvlei Management were planning a culling of mallards in the Marina da Gama. This plan would be accompanied by an appropriate publicity campaign to educate the local residents.

13 Yellow billed duck had been donated to Cape Nature and had been released in the Marina. Unfortunately 4 perished at the claws of a water mongoose before they were even released from the holding cage.


The plans for the proposed 'new look' were on display for all to peruse in the clubhouse. Construction would only begin once all the finance had been raised, primarily from membership debentures.

ACTION MT to keep informed of construction progress and liase with the Project Manager to ensure environmental norms be adhered to.

NEXT MEETING of ZAC: 14h00 Monday July 18, 2005 at the Zandvlei Sports Club.


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