Friends of Rietvlei
Member of the Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa Western Cape Region
Newsletter May/June 2009
We appeal to all ordinary and family members who have not yet renewed their membership for 2009-2010 to do so now. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.
Our AGM was held on 7 May 2009 at the Rietvlei Education Centre. The new committee for the coming year was elected – they are:
  Nelis Visagie (Chairman)
Pat Titmuss (Treasurer)
Pauline Potton (Secretary)
John Herring (Membership)
Niel van Wyk (Newsletter & Website)
After the formal business of the AGM, Reserve Manager Koos gave an interesting talk about the Estuary Management Plan for the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve. The new education intern, Conette Koorts, gave an update on her work with school groups at Rietvlei.
Please diarise THURSDAY 25 JUNE, AT 19h30 for 20h00 for a very interesting evening. We will be welcoming the two students who are working at Rietvlei, Cleo and Noxi. They are going to present their proposed Research projects to you. Your input and comments help them to improve their research.
We will also have a powerpoint presentation from Niel Van Wyk on the dune dynamics of our beachfront. There has been much discussion in the press and amongst residents on the declining beachfront at Table View. Niel’s presentation gives a much needed focus on the natural processes that are occurring – the talk will discuss the formation and dynamics of coastal sand dunes, and describe how interference with natural processes can result in severe future problems.
As the night will probably be cold and wet we ask you to brave the weather and join us for a glass of warming sherry, in the RIETVLEI EDUCATION CENTRE, off Grey/Sandpiper Roads, Table View ( next to Milnerton Aquatic Club). Please phone Pauline on 083 255 2537 if you have queries.
Membership Fees
Thank you so much to those annual paying members who have paid their subs and renewed for another year. A strong membership is needed when we have our say on activities that may impact Rietvlei and surrounding natural areas. If you haven’t renewed please do an EFT, or deposit at the bank, send a cheque to our postal address, or pay your fees at the Evening Meeting. Membership forms are available off the website - click here.
Actually, for those of you who have been watching all the building works along the R27, you will notice that it is the section of canal next to Pick n Pay on the R27 that is being rapidly transformed to a wider and flatter channel. The contractor, Lancer Civils started work in late April. They are at present cleaning out the old canal and relining the walls and bottom of the canal in the portion between Blaauwberg Road and where the canal enters the reedbeds at the northwestern part of Rietvlei. The work is being guided by a Construction Environmental Management Plan and monitored by an ECO. Another positive development with regard to the canal upgrade is that the taxi ranks in Blaauwberg Road will be replaced by the IRT bus station. This should significantly decrease the litter problem we presently have in this portion of Blaauwberg Road.
At the AGM a concern was expressed by Andre Swart that the otters of the area might be vulnerable with all the construction work happening for the new bus lanes. On Monday 25 May at 09h30 Pat Titmuss was driving along the R27 towards Blaauwberg Road and saw a dead otter on the yellow line on the west side of the road near the Waves Edge Pond. With the help of the surveyors working the area it was moved further off the road and marked with a beacon The otter must have been recently knocked on the head and killed. It was a beautiful specimen and not badly damaged by the accident. The Reserve staff rescued the body, which was a large male. He was not badly damaged but there was no freezer space available at the taxidermists. He was taken by Guy Palmer of Cape Nature so that valuable information could be collected about the animal.
Following the above sad news there is some good news. The money for fencing 700m of the Rietvlei R27 road boundary was allocated at a late stage of the City’s financial year. Koos Retief managed to get the contractors on site at short notice and you will see the new green mesh fence on the east side of the R27 from the gate to the model aircraft field northwards for 700m. It is hoped that the new financial year, starting in July 2009, will provide further fencing money to complete this section of the reserve.
In 2007 Table Mountain Fund allocated funding to Friends of Rietvlei to provide a conservator to start with on the ground management of the “Fynbos Corridor”. This biodiversity corridor will eventually link the Diep River from north of Blaauwberg Road to the Blaauwberg Conservation Area. Sandiso Kraai was appointed in this position and did pioneering work in the field for almost 2 years until January 2009. The City of Cape Town and Friends of Rietvlei have now signed a Memorandum Of Agreement for the Management and Restoration of the Diep River Fynbos Corridor Project. The City will allocate R150 000 to friends of Rietvlei to continue with the project. We are proud to be able to continue with this exciting groundbreaking corridor. It is hoped that other corporate donors might feel encouraged to assist with this project. An advert for a conservator to undertake work in the field will go out shortly but if anyone knows a potential candidate please ask them to send an email to
Friends of Rietvlei Membership Drive
1. The Rietvlei students will be hosting an information table at Pick n Pay, Table View Mall on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th June. This will be an opportunity for shoppers to get some information on Rietvlei.
2. We will be having a membership drive at The Paddocks shopping centre in Racecourse Road, Milnerton, on Saturday 20 June 2009. We hope to gain more members from the new developments in Royal Ascot as this lies within the catchment area of Rietvlei and the Milnerton lagoon.
If you know of anybody living in that area of Milnerton, please encourage them to visit our table at The Paddocks and join the Friends. Any members who would like to assist at the table would be most welcome. Please contact Pauline Potton on 083 255 2537 if you can assist.
Energy Efficiency or Energy Reduction
We are again being made aware by Eskom that the supply of electricity in South Africa is not enough to meet the demand. What can we as ordinary citizens do to reduce the demand for energy? The answer lies in applying the principles of energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency is not about reducing heat, light or power in your house; it is about wasting less energy. It is also not about doing less to save energy, but about doing the same or more with less energy. This basically comes down to using energy more efficiently with less wastage.
Energy efficiency has been described as a renewable energy resource that is perfectly cheap, abundant and immediately available. It can reduce carbon emissions and reduce our dependence on imported energy resources. It does not pollute, and it does not depend on the weather like solar and wind power.
There are several ways of improving energy efficiency in your home – here is one of them:
Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Only 4% of the energy used in a normal lightbulb produces light, the rest is wasted as heat. CFLs use 75% less power than an ordinary lightbulb and most of the energy it uses goes into light. They are more expensive than ordinary lightbulbs, but they last 8-10 times longer.
In our next newsletter we will have more energy efficiency tips for you.
Thanks go to Chevron Refinery for sponsoring envelopes for the posted newsletter.
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