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PORTFOLIO: WATERWAYS - December 2011

It is wonderful to be able to report that the good progress I reported last month has been sustained, and that we again   have both ‘Kingfishers’ working on the vlei.

Moves are afoot to source a third, much smaller weed harvester which would be more than capable of carrying out the relatively small volume of work that is required at Princess Vlei.

It is hoped, with some degree of confidence, that the appalling conditions which we have seen on the waterways earlier this year, will not continue to be an unwelcome feature of Marina life. Both ‘Kingfishers’ remaining permanently at Zandvlei is central to this, together with other issues, all of which have been raised with Councillor Dave D’Alton, and also with the Council Sub-Committee.

These issues are:

currently one ‘Kingfisher’ is operated by ‘parks & gardens’ the council department that have always been the operators, and consequently know the machine intimately, and the requirements of the job in great detail, while the other unit is operated by the environmental group, who have neither the budget, nor the personnel to perform the job adequately. Furthermore, weed cutting operations largely prevent them from carrying out their own environmental operations.

It has been proposed that both ‘Kingfishers’ again be operated by parks & gardens, as soon as this can be implemented. This has been approved in principle.

The other issue is one of ‘Kingfisher’ serviceability. One machine, that operated by the environmental group was removed from service for a major overhaul.

This cost considerably more than originally forecast, and was returned to service more than two months late. Upon its return, various engineering shortcomings were observed which would have embarrassed a first-year apprentice, despite its having been out of service for a time that in a different industry, would have allowed a major service to be carried out on an airliner.

The association has in the past put forward proposals to overcome this, adequate spares holdings, planned maintenance schedules etc. These proposals were (verbally) accepted by council, but have never been implemented.

It is hoped, that following discussions, and presentations to Councillor D’Alton, and to the sub-council, which were received with very positive responses, that these proposals will be implemented, to the benefit of all Marina Da Gama residents.

John Ridley.

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