Zandvlei Trust


Minutes of the meeting held on: Monday 26th May 2008 at 13h30 at the Alphen Council Chambers


Martin Thompson   COCT RDS & Stormwater CSRM   [Chairman]
Candice Haskins   COCT
Dennis Davey   FODO
Virgil Jacobs   WFW
Zanie Cilliers   COCT
George Davis   SANBI
Sharon. McCallum   ZVT   [Secretary minutes]
Gavin Lawson   ZVT
Cherry.Giljam   ZVT / Friends of Park Island
Mark Arendse   COCT Nature Conservation – Zandvlei
Fay Howa   COCT Nature Conservation – Zandvlei
Larry Harrison   COCT Environmental Health
Suretha van Rooyen   COCT ERM
Leighan Mossop   SanParks TMNP 


James Forsyth   FOCUGB
Talcott Persent   COCT
Malcolm Cupido  COCT
Mandy Noffke   Wetland Solutions
Cassy Sheasby   COCT Nature Conservation
Vincent Marincowitz   ZVT
Demetri Qually    Councillor


L. Brunette  CHRA 

Martin Thompson, as Chairman of the SRCF welcomed all.

Subject to :

  • Item 4.5 - Bio Diversity changed to Biodiversity (one word); and

  • to provide under item 6 : HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS :
    Action James Forsyth to provide a definitive list of documents with authors and publishers and to advise where the documentation is physically housed the previous minutes were approved.


3.1. 5.5 of minutes : 
Sewage Spills – Brian Thompson in his presentation at the last meeting spoke about bio-remediation to treat water bodies after a spill. Martin Thompson has spoken to a gentleman at Scientific Services who has appointed CSIR to look into different bio-remediation products as Council cannot be seen to be favouring one product, to determine which is best for each situation. As soon as the investigation is complete, Martin Thompson will arrange for someone to address SRCF meeting on the topic.

Action – Martin Thompson (once information is available)

3.2. 8.3 of minutes :
In response to James Forsyth’s enquiry about who in authority should be contacted for permission to rehabilitate the wetland at Wolverkloof , Dennis Davey said in regard to wanting to do something at De Oog, permission must be obtained from DEAT and it is a long and complicated process which takes at least six months and they ended up not doing it. Legislation is strict. The group wishing to do the work should let Suretha have an information sheet and she will advise what steps they should take.

3.3. 8.6 of minutes : Who to report EIA infringements to?
Action James Forsyth to give Suretha a call and tell her what his problem is.
It is recorded that a suggestion was made that the Forum be provided with a flow chart of who to contact in what situation – with departments, names and telephone numbers.

3.4. 8.7 of minutes – Illegal land fills – depends on whose land it is.
Action Martin Thompson will find out who is best to approach.


Presentation by Candice Haskins which was enjoyed enormously by all present.

Candice presented on three different river systems. The one was Vygekraal in Athlone which she believes has potential for improving. Mark Arendse advised that he lives fairly close and residents often complain about the smell which is made much worse when it rains and the water levels rise. Mark will give Candice and Martin Thompson details of where the spill was which will be followed up.
Action – Martin Thompson


5.1. Previous inspection
Martin handed out the inspection report (prepared by Zanie) from the river walk inspection undertaken on a section of the Prinkasteel River on 3rd April 2008.
It had been decided that a report similar to the one generated would be prepared after each inspection noting the required actions and to be filed with photos. Cherry will send through to Zanie some of the photos that she took. It is felt that the report needs to be illustrated so that a reader can be aware of what is being reported.
Cherry suggested that a map of the area that was inspected is included with the relevant GPS points demarcated on the map. Zanie will try and add a map of the area.
Action – Cherry - photos; Zanie – map.

Gavin said that each person on the inspection should annotate their own areas of interest which would be compiled into one document for everybody to read. City Officials could then go and rectify any situation that needs attention, and the area could be revisited for comparison in some years time.

Some discussion followed about the follow-up after each inspection – are we going to a plan of action – it was felt that what actions are needed should at least be listed.

Martin asked for comments from members on the layout of the inspection report tabled, and also comments on what each person thinks needs to be done.
Action – All

5.2. Next inspection
The remaining section of the Prinkasteel River – on Tuesday, 8th July 2008 – to meet at 9.30. Martin will ask Mandy and James to take us through.
Action – Martin

At that meeting, it will be decided when the following inspection (Grootboskloof) will be done, probably early August.

Some discussion followed on how we are going to collate the information in the inspection reports so that it is easily available. Gavin Lawson will ask Dalton Gibbs if he is happy to have the river inspection information when finalized.
Action : – Gavin Lawson

Candice spoke of a new book by Water Research Commission (WRC) on the history of rivers in Cape Town which will be coming out soon – will be a valuable adjunct to what we are doing. It was commissioned by the Water Research Commission in response to an unsolicited proposal to do a history on the greater Cape Town rivers. However it does not only cover history, there is also ecology, culture – contributions from a number of different people. It is at the final review stage and will probably be out by the end of the year. It contains a large section on history – how parts of our current water system was started in Jan van Riebeeck’s time, also the old geology . One of the chapters is on the lessons we can learn from what we did in the past.

Leighan Mossop from TMNP said that all the rivers in the catchment are sourced on the Mountain. She will take the information from the inspection report on the Prinkasteel for their environmental management department.

6. PAMPHLETS [Martin Thompson]

6.1. Zandvlei – managing water levels
Martin handed out the new Zandvlei pamphlet dealing with the management of water levels which many said looks very good.

Gavin asked if it was available electronically as he would like to put it on the ZVT website. Candice said she would send to Gavin.
Action – Candice

6.2. Martin also handed out an information sheet on a proposed pamphlet entitled RIVERS IN SUBURBIA. He requested that all go through this document and come back to him with suggestions and changes and ideas.
Action – all

6.3. Martin asked for any other suggestions for pamphlets – to be considered. Cherry suggested a brochure to be handed out to surrounding residents when contractors move into an area to do work, explaining who they are, and what work they are doing in general terms. This would go some way towards obviating complaints and enquiries.
It was suggested that James’ historical documents may be worth doing as a pamphlet.
Biodiversity was another option. Fay Howa said she would speak to Julia Wood in relation to the City’s biodiversity activities.
Action : Fay Howa

7. HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS James Forsyth was not present.


8.1 Martin Thompson will get a list of the Friends groups and he will phone them a week before the next meeting, as only De Oog was represented – 9.1. below also refers.

8.2  ZVT – Gavin Lawson advised that there is one new EIA – an Engen tank installation in Tokai at the corner of Main Road. It is important that the right steps are taken so that spills are avoided which has happened in the past, into the Keyser River which took many years to rectify. Gavin added that there is no procedure to de-commission and rehabilitate.

Who should be attending?

9.1. More of the Friends groups. Gavin Lawson will let Martin have the names.
Action – Gavin Lawson

9.2. Virgil Jacobs who took over from Mandy Nofke as the Southern Peninsula head of Working for Water

9.3. Cherry Giljam said we need some representation from the community of Retreat or Steenberg as these communities are in the catchment and need to understand about the waterways. Sharon McCallum will give Martin Thompson the details of the Chairman of the Retreat Ratepayers Association who expressed an interest (if she still has them), so that he/she can be invited to the next meeting.
Action – Sharon

9.4. George Davis suggested a representative from one the businesses involved in the Keysers River Partnership. He suggested that Chris Beattie is asked to come and talk to SRCF.

9.5. Another suggestion was an environmental official from one of the vineyards in the area. Cherry Giljam said she may have a name of someone who can be invited. It was thought that Pierre du Plessis should be approached first.
Action - Cherry


10.1 Major developments
Nobody knew of any new developments in the area.

10.2. Sewerage spills & bio-remediation
We all need to know at a local level what we can do to address the problems with sewage.

10.3. George Davis asked about the link with SRCF and Source to Sea, which appears to be the same but involves stakeholders from Silvermine. There seems to be an overlap. Suggested that this be put on the agenda to discuss and it would be silly to duplicate if both organizations deal with the same matters.


Monday 25th August 2008 at 13h30 at the Alphen Chambers


Minutes of the quarterly committee meeting held at the Zandvlei Imperial Yacht Club on Wednesday, 21 May 2008 at 14:30.

1. Opening and welcome

The acting Chairperson (Fay Howa) welcomed all members that were present and opened the meeting. The Zandvlei student (Sebastian Osborne) was introduced to all the members.

Attendance Register

C Giljam
J Sher
M Thompson
F Howa
S Osborne
G Lawson
L Harrison
F Hare
Cllr D Qually
R De La Cruz


C Sheasby
T Persent
P Joubert

Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were checked and the following amendments were:
1. The error in M Thompson’s name was corrected
2. Agenda item 10 was taken off in the last meeting

2. Water levels
FH asked whether all present had received the e-mail regarding the opening and closing of the estuary mouth. It was decided that TP is to send all members an updated schedule of the planned dates for the opening and closing of the estuary to allow sufficient time to plan activities around the vlei.
Action - TP

3. Water Quality
FH reported that there was a sewage spill on Saturday, 17 May 2008, due to burst rising main on Military road. FH also reported that this main was repaired by 1 am on Monday morning, 19 May 2008. FH reported that e-mails sent to CS confirmed that the main had indeed been fixed and bio-control agents were used to treat the water by Bob Hadley. Bio agents were used on Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and twice on Monday. The final inspection was on Tuesday morning and the water was reported to be clear. MT reported that Brian Thompson can supply the reserve with the bio-agents, however, Bob Hadley should be contacted to learn how to apply the bio-agent. Brian Thompson needs to the e-mail addresses of the major user groups of the vlei in order to inform the user groups of sewage spills. LH reported that the water quality results are good and indicate that the vlei is healthy.

4. Pondweed
FH reported that complaints to Parks from Rob McLean were noted. FH also reported that CS has asked Parks to store pondweed for Cherry but it has not happened yet. RDLC reported that he could not do it because the grab machine was in for a service. RDLC also reported that only the dry pondweed could be removed.

5. Litter traps
FH reported that the contractors have been cleaning Sand River litter trap well. FH also reported that the nature conservation and volunteers did clean-ups on the following days with the respective 
results:22-03-2008 37 bags of litter04-04-2008 22 bags of litter08-05-2008 20 bags of litter15&16-05-2008 37 bags of litter, 1 mattressFurthermore, FH reported that the litter net closest to the houses needs to be moved because residents have been complaining about it. RDLC suggested that conservation staff clean the litter traps 1-2 days before rainy periods. RDLC also reported that the contractors that currently clean the litter traps will be reaching the end of their contract at the end of June.

6. Park Island
FH reported that nature conservation staff painted the inside of the Park Island Bird Hide to get rid of the graffiti. FH also reported that kikuyu spraying is top priority but nature conservation is still waiting for alien clearing team due to problems with procurement. If the contract does not come through, FH reported that the reserve staff will try to do it if possible. CG thanked RDLC for the maintenance of the island and asked for the maintenance to continue. CG also reported that the chipping program has been stopped. CG has also requested that the workers on Park Island are issued with a First Aid kit. CG reported that someone had bumped into the gate with a car and now the gate needs to be fixed. Lastly, FH reported that the Knox’s desert lizard project will still be undertaken by reserve staff.
Action - RDLC

7. Tube worms
Nothing new to report

8. Mallards
FH reported that the order for the sedative has been placed but there had been some problems regarding procurement deleting the supplier from the system. FH had also reported that once the water hyacinth team has started, they will be used two days a week for mallard eradication. CG will send a copy of an article regarding mallards to CS.
Action - CG

9. Fish
FH reported that the next fish trek will only be in July. Fish monitoring information is to be given to GL for the Zandvlei Trust website. CG is to give Mr Watt’s details to GZENR staff. SO reported 
that fishing inspections have been undertaken by reserve staff on a regular basis and so far the results have been positive because the public have become more environmentally aware of the 
fishing laws. CG requested that the fish permit laws be available and visible at Park Island and the Yacht Club. FH will pass along the fishing brochures to CG. FH reported that the by-law 
updating meeting with the fisherman took place and has become the starting point for the process to run forward.
Action - FH

10. Invasive Waterweed 
FH reported that the hyacinth is being cleared at Westlake wetlands and the Keysers River. FH asked MT whether it would be possible to get a dragline into the confluence to pull the hyacinth blockage out. MT reported it would be best to test it out first to determine if it would work and how well it would work. CS is to contact MT regarding this issue.
Action - CS

11. Signage
FH reported that the Schaapkraal depot was making the signage that will be placed from the mouth to the footbridge. There was request to combine the signs be incorporated with current signage and use the poles that were available.

12. Other business
a. Weather station
The contact details of Nick Orten were given as follows: 021 785 2250 or alternatively 073 227 3183. Mr Orten is to be contacted regarding weather recording gadgets.

b. Grysbok Park
FH reported that a member of the public has asked Helen Zille that all vegetation be cleared in Grysbok Park. FH also reported that Cassy has formulated a response to this request. RDLC reported that it is not clear who is responsible for this area. RDLC reported that this area must go back to CS but according to CS, the area is termed as public open space.

c. Leopard Toads
The leopard toad brochure that CS designed was shown to all present. FH reported that the brochure is in a graphics program and will be given as a draft to Mr Measey on 28-05-2008 at the Zandvlei Trust AGM. FH also reported that the pictures will be a higher resolution and the Zandvlei Trust website will be included under contacts. FH requested that all present send their comments to CS. CG requested a digital copy of the brochure.
Action -  CS and All

12. Closure and date of next meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 3rd September 2008 at 14:00 in the Imperial Yacht Club.


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