- April 2010

The condition of the vlei and the canals throughout the marina have given rise to a great deal of concern in recent months.

Due to warm weather the growth of weed has been strong, and the serviceability of the 'Kingfisher' harvesting machines has been extremely poor, which has resulted in the current condition of the vlei and the canals.

This situation has been addressed by the writer on numerous occasions, unfortunately with negative results.

The current situation, as of March 30, is that one 'Kingfisher' is back in action, and is starting operations at Sonnet Quay, followed by Baalen, Park Island, and the canoe routes. There is a major canoeing event taking place on April 6.

A meeting took lace on Friday March 26 March between Bob Craske, chairman, Marina Da Gama Association, Mr. Leon Swartz of Cape Town Council and the writer, to discuss the present situation, and endeavor to find a way forward.

The problems are many. Of the two 'Kingfishers' one is deployed at locations other than on the Marina from time to time, both machines are old, and hence liable to mechanical malfunction, and sadly, vandalism has also been a factor.


The machines were built in the U.S.A. and consequently spare parts have to be shipped from that country with attendant delays in shipping, customs etc. Not a satisfactory state of affairs.

We were told at the recent meeting that funding for a third machine was not a problem, a third machine would vastly improve the situation, with two being operational, and one on planned maintenance.

A suggestion was made that the council look into the possibility of having a third machine built locally, in South Africa, which, if it could be achieved, would immediately overcome to problem of spare parts availability.

The water levels at the present time are good, but the Zandvlei's estuary mouth does have to be opened to the sea from time to time, this is to maintain salinity levels within the system for the preservation of fish and plant life within the Marina system.

Every effort is made to ensure that this has a minimal effect on the normal use of the waterways, and on the water levels.
John Ridley.
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