Zandvlei Trust

"Ou Voor" inspection 30 March 2009.

Brian Ratcliffe and Martin Thompson were the leaders for the morning, Brian doing the top section in Constantia and Martin lower section in Meadowridge / Bergvliet. 10 of us set off to establish the condition of the "Ou Voor".

Brian explained a little of the history, the beginings of the "voor" or water ditch was dug by slave labour in the 1700's.
It was lined with clay brought in by wheel barrows. The contours of the "voor" was above the Spaanschemat River starting at the Silverhurst Dam as it is known today. In places it is more than 2 meters deep today. In some places it was 6 meters deep when it opperated.

It extends to all the way down to Dreyersdal vlei and joined the Keysers River near White Road in Retreat.
The purpose of the "voor" was to supply perenial running water for the vegetable farmers on the flats in the valley.

We met in the car park off Constantia                                 Martin showed us the mapped route.
Main Road, near the Silverhurst dam.

Contractors were busy clearing wild ginger  and other           These two characters stopped to pose 
invassive plants from the Spaanschemat River.                   for their photos.

Brian explaining some of the restoration work               Some of the exposed old clay bank used 
which needs to be done.                                             to restore part of the dam wall.

Part of the group on the wall inspecting the              The water body is chocked presently with a variety of
invassive water weed samples.                                waterweeds and other plants.

This landowner has transgressed a number of building regulations, damaging historical artifacts and has
generally ignored common sense, in a bid to "glorify his ediface he calls home". There is a metal fence post recently concreted in the middle of the "voor". He has extended his boundary to encompass the "voor "and has erected notices that this public land is private property.

Local dumping by contractors to the next door       The "voor" leads under the Constantia Main Road
property, between the "voor"and the                      at this point.
Spaanschemat River 

Looking west down Constantia Main Road, across    Across the road and overlooking the Old Sillery farm.
the road from previous photo. The pedestrian           Where we are standing, has been illegally filled in over
bridge  also crosses the "voor".                              the "voor". It lies buried under this artificial bank,
                                                                           12 meters below.

Overlooking the old farm, with a partially                 Just off Roderick Way, we are being shown a land
restored wetland and waterbody.                             owners property betwwen the "voor" and the valley

The contractors have cleared some of the          It is like a "jungle" idown there. The contractors
very invassive plants creepers from the "voor".   have done a good job to clear a pathway. Annual work
                                                                      will have to be done to keep the path clear in this section.

We are off Brounger Road looking north              The "voor" follows the tree line just east of the farm
east at the rented land used for farming               fields from left to right. The "voor" crosses 
behind Spaanschemat Peddlers on the Bend       River Road about 50 meters down from this point.

This is all that remains of the head wall on Firgrove Way.

In Airlie Road, Bergvliet this headwall crosses the "voor". At this point is is used as a stormwater drain.

On to Dreyersdal Farm, with the beautifully restored Long House on the right. Belonging to the Louw family.

The "voor" used to run along the outside of this wall.  It has become a stormwater drain across the
                                                                             entrance road.

The manor house also kept in good condition.         The "voor" leads down to past the head wall in the
                                                                           centre  towards the Dreyersdal vlei.
                                                                           In the background is the Steenberg above Lakeside
                                                                            and Muizenberg.


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