Zandvlei Trust

The Zandvlei Action Committee.

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2007 at 14h00 in the Zandvlei Sports Club.

1. Welcome and Introductions

The acting Chairperson Cassandra Sheasby, opened the meeting at 14h05 and welcomed all members that were present. As this was the first meeting that included new faces, all members present introduced themselves. 

2. Attendance Register

Cassy Sheasby       Chair
Peter Joubert               
Judith Sher                  
Cherry Giljam              
Talcott Persent             
Martin Thompson        
A Smitheman 
R Wainwright 
F Howa                        
L Harrison 

3. Apologies

Malcolm Cupido          
Merrill Reed                 
Candice Haskins          
Leon Swartz                
Vincent Marincowitz    
Ricardo de la Cruz       
Rob Maclean               
Gavin Lawson               
Natalie Newman            
Pam Bilby

4. Water Levels

CG suggested that water levels are to be kept low during spring tides for ecological functioning. MT reported that the current water levels are good for recreational purposes. JS reported that she has events on the 09 -10 February. MT suggested that she time the events so that they coincide with spring tides. However, JS stated that she had no control over this since she was no longer on the Imperial Yacht Club Committee since Martin Pollock was no longer sitting in the committee. JS will follow up by trying to re-establish communication channels. Rob Maclean is to provide the schedule of canoeists. AS needs to send the dates of the Kontiki to CS.  Action:  RM and AS

5. Water Quality [see attached report from CH - not attached]

CS reported that water quality reports for December and January had been received, but were not accessible due to technical difficulties. CS to report in next meeting. MT reported that the water salinity was high. CS reported the nitrogen levels are low. CG reported that the water is clear. CG would like to start measuring turbidity again. CS/FH to write an article on water quality results that complied with the International Standards for Recreational Usage for Zandvlei Trust. CS needs to get a hard copy of sewage pumps and generators from CG and forward it to Gavin Lawson and other members. Action: SC, GC, CS/FH, CS.

6. Salinity and Turbidity

The salinity levels are increasing and the waterbody of the vlei and the Marina channels are continuing to emulate a natural estuarine system.

7. Pondweed [Operational Plan]

CG reported that the weed by Marina De Gama and that one kingfisher is still working. CG also reported that pondweed makes excellent compost and therefore suggested that we use the pondweed in many places. CS reported about Bowen’s project where the pondweed can be used in the nursery and stockpiling it is possible. PJ suggested that a chipper can also be used for mulch. However, the suggestion was denied because it involves a private organisation that will not give us chippings for free. CS to investigate possibility of acquiring chipper in future off capital budget COCT. Action: CS

8. Litter traps

TP reported that they took the refuse away from the litter traps. CG reported that there was rubbish by the second pedestrian bridge at Park Island that had been lying there for six months. TP offered to have this litter removed. RW reported that there was litter collecting on the western side of the estuary near the braai area. PJ reported that the holes in the litter net need attention because the litter goes through. CS reported that a meeting will be called to sort out the litter nets. CS also suggested that the use of buoys on the litter nets will be functional because the buoys will keep the litter net steady with the water level. CS to follow up with Parks and Recreation how often they clean up around the estuary. Action: TP, CS


CS reported that GZENR has been proclaimed as a local authority nature reserve. The Zandvlei Trust and CS discussed celebrating this event at the Yacht club in the previous Zandvlei Trust meeting. CS informed the committee that the date of this event is 28 March 2007 at 20:00. Committee agreed to CS taking GZENR off the agenda. 

10. Park Island

CG reported that the pedestrian bridges needs to be fixed because the handrails need to be replaced. CS will investigate the extent of work needing to be done and if possible, Zandvlei Nature Reserve staff will undertake the job. CG reported that Parks had not done maintenance in one and half years and that the gate to Park Island is only opened on Monday and is used by a wide variety of people. Gerbils, tortoises and Cape Hares have been reproducing and have been seen on regular occasions as well as a grysbok. CG reported that some pepper trees have been removed from the Island. CS reported that the kikuyu grass has not been sprayed due to time constraints, lack of staff and malfunctioning equipment. CS reported that Zandvlei Nature Reserve staff will be spraying the kikuyu during the summer season. Action: CS

11. Tube Worm

CS reported that F Feldman’s report has been misplaced but will be located for CG. CS also reported that tubeworms were not inspected under bridges lately. 

12. Mallards

CS reported that eradication is done by Cape Nature and that Cape Nature has not co-ordinated an eradication with CoCT for 2007. It is currently undertaken on Reserve level and needs to be co-ordinated with residents and other CoCT Nature Reserve staff. 

13. Channel Scouring/Thesens Bridge

John Coetzee has completed the study. MT reported that he will get the electronic version to forward. TP suggested that a vehicle be on standby when the mouth is opened to test how much material is scoured. PJ reported that the wooden blocks near litter trap are degraded. PJ will show TP what is happening there. TP reported that the concrete is degrading on the sides of the channel. It has been placed as a priority on Tender for this financial year. Action: PJ, TP

14. Invasive Waterweed

CG reported that the water hyacinth is flowering. CS was to put an eight man team into the Westlake river, however TP will be placing the weed harvester in the river to remove the hyacinth where the water is deep enough and thereafter it will be done manually. This will commence during February. CS will use her contract staff for other invasive alien work at GZENR, Park Island and Wildwood Island. Action: TP

15. New business

a. Litter campaigns and signage 
RW requested that there should be litter campaigns and more signage to combat the current litter problem. PJ gave some contacts to RW regarding this issue. 

b. Mowing on Park Island 
CS suggested that no mowing should take place on Park Island between September and October. PJ added that no mowing should not be done in such a manner as to strip the vegetation leaving open tracts of sand. 

c. Slipway for Girl Guides 
AS reported that the girl guides need a slipway. AS requested that she be permitted to put sand bags on the current slipway to prevent further degradation of the launch point. CG suggested the use of tracks to combat the problem. AS reported that she was told that the other slipways are closed by a locked boom. JS reported that there is a public slipway which the Guides can use. JS to ensure that the public slipway is open for usage by Girl Guides. Action: JS

d. Security problems of Yacht Club 
JS reported that Yacht Club has problems with a father-son duo that have been closing the booms without permission and have also taken advantage of these booms for monetary gain. The issue was raised with Councillors and will be taken further. 
JS reported that there will be new windsurfing members at the vlei. These members are from foreign countries and will be rotated every two weeks. 

e. Reserve Signage 
CG suggested that the reserve have new signage made now that Zandvlei is a proclaimed Nature Reserve. CG suggested that the signage should give information on fish and litter. CS to follow up. Action: CS

f. Fish trekking 
CG suggested that we should get more young people/volunteers involved in fish trekking. This may prove vital to recording fish trends. CS to forward dates of fish treks to CG for her contacts.CG suggested bringing back the 24 hour fish treks that Adele Pretorius undertook for once off research. CS will investigate the possibility if staff are available. Action: CS

16. Closure and date of next meeting

There being no further business to discuss, the chairperson closed the meeting at 16h15. 
The next meeting is scheduled for the 25th April 2007 at 14:00 in the Imperial Yacht Club.


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