Chairman's report - June 2012

Congratulations to Rob Maclean and the rest of the South African team, 17 of which come from the Zandvlei area, on their selection for the International Canoe Federation World Marathon Canoe Championships to be held in Rome this year. Rob is no stranger to this event and neither are the Zandvlei and Marina Canals, the 6th World Championships were held here in 1998 – they were a resounding success – the mixture of open vlei coupled with narrow sheltered canals with fast and tight corners rated the venue as 'one of the best'.

The above is a far cry from the situation that the vlei and canals have been in over the past two years. For a considerable portion of this time they were unfit for any recreational use choked with rotting and uncut pond weed – the weed is essential to the life of the vlei and canals but the management of the harvesting of it is just as important. Failures of management and machinery have left its toll on the area (please see the Waterways Report). We will continue our strongest efforts, in partnership with other concerned organisations, to ensure that a proper balance of ecology and recreation is achieved for the enjoyment of all users of the area. This was adequately dealt with in the past when weed harvesting was the responsibility of another directorate. The inability of some City Departments to interface and co-operate with each other is affecting all users of the area, passive and active, upsetting the balance of nature whilst decreasing local property values as a result of their internal squabbles.

After two years of trying, we have achieved an amendment to our constitution, now including in the name section the expression "The Marina da Gama Association - formerly known as the Eastlake Association". This statement was important in that some title deeds still retain the original term 'the Eastlake Association'. It is of no surprise to those dealing with this simple item, approved at the 2010 AGM, that the same City Directorate which is now responsible for the management of the waterways was also responsible for the totally unnecessary delay in approving the constitution change.

There is full support for the use of energy saving devices in the Marina area, including solar water heating and heat pumps, to that end an information sheet, relating to Solar Panels is attached to the Design Manual; this will be formally added to the Design Manual. Please, before considering installing any such items to your property take the time to read the information sheet and in the event of any queries please contact the office for advice. Our roof top skyline is one of the unique features of the area, we can retain it without compromising on energy saving.

At this time of the year the Marina properties do not, in some cases, look their best; whilst we will in the interests of all, press for standards to be upheld the washing/scrubbing of external walls and parapets may get you off the 'action list'. It is recognised that in these difficult financial times, that money may be tight, but please show some thought for others living in the area and make an effort to maintain the basic external standards required for your property. 

Bob Craske 

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