The City of Cape Town encourages residents and interested and affected parties to comment on the draft management plan for the Zandvlei Estuary in Muizenberg. The commenting period closes on 30 November 2023. Read more below:
The Zandvlei Estuary – the point where Zandvlei meets the False Bay ocean in Muizenberg – has a catchment area of 92km². The estuary is highly modified, a temporarily open-closed system, and impacted by the surrounding urban suburbs of Constantia, Plumstead, Tokai, Retreat and Muizenberg that drain into the catchment.
The City’s Environmental Management Department is responsible for the management of the estuary and must develop an Estuarine Management Plan (EMP) that assesses its current state and determines management and monitoring actions.
The EMP is a strategic planning document that must be updated every five years, and the public now has the opportunity to comment on the latest review.
- Is a 2,5km long, shallow estuarine system, and is 0,5km wide at its widest point
- Receives flows from the Keysers, Sand and Westlake rivers
- Has a long history of alteration and management since the establishment of the Simon’s Town railway line across the estuary in the 19th century, and further alterations in the early 1970s
- Is a popular recreational waterbody with water-based activities including canoeing, yachting, paddle-boarding, angling etc.
- Is a critical nursery area for marine fish species, and provides a habitat for waterbirds such as waterfowl and waders
- Receives significant quantities of polluted and poor quality runoff from the urban catchment
‘The Zandvlei estuary is the last truly functional estuary on the False Bay coast, and it is vital from an ecological, social and economic perspective that we conserve this asset. It is possible with good management, targeted remediation and rehabilitation to reduce the nutrient build-up in the vlei. By improving the mouth management, we can enhance the estuary’s connection with the ocean, and rehabilitate the terrestrial and wetland areas that border the vlei,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.
The revised estuary management plan provides short-, medium-, and long-term management priorities and actions to maintain and enhance the estuarine function; protect the critical biodiversity and existing urban infrastructure bordering the vlei; and enable recreational and educational uses for current and future generations.
‘The quality of inflow from the catchment area, and sewage spills related to infrastructure failure and load-shedding, pose the biggest threats to the estuary’s water quality and overall health. The City is committed to addressing these challenges. We also note the priority action items listed in the revised plan, among which the proposal to dredge the marine sediments from the lower channel, the development of sewer pump station protocols to manage surcharge and failure events, the installation of back-up power for sewage pump stations in the catchment area, enforcement of residential, agricultural and commercial compliance in the wider catchment in accordance with the City’s stormwater by-laws, and to monitor runoff from sources such as agricultural areas and golf courses.
‘I encourage residents, the immediate community, recreational users, businesses and interested and affected parties to read the draft revised plan, and to submit comments. We are eager to receive your input on this very important plan that has been revised to help us improve the Zandvlei Estuary, its health and water quality over time,’ said Alderman Andrews.
The draft plan is available on the City’s website at: www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay.
The commenting period closes on 30 November 2023.
The high resolution map and photo are available here: https://bit.ly/466EShl