Portfolio Reports November 2023

EVENTS – Valerie Benson

Marina Children’s Christmas Party –Saturday 16 December 2023 at 1:15pm

  • Have provisionally booked Father Christmas (David Muller) pending costs
  • Have asked Boudje Giljam to put up his stakes in the vlei for Father Christmas’ pedalo to anchor on
  • Parents to drop off their children’s presents at the MDGA office week of 11th to 14th December 2023 (15th December 2023 is a public holiday)

Marina Christmas Carols – proposed date Sunday 17 December 2023

  • Band has been practising and will be ready to perform on the 17th December 2023
  • Confirmed Don Crawford from Eastlake Island as the piper for the Marina Carols. He has played at them before. 
  • Status of MDGA music equipment, speakers etc being checked with band leader today 20.11.2023
  • Have asked Boudje Giljam to put up his stakes in the vlei for the boats to anchor on
  • Have asked Peter Cawood to put up the lights at the bridge as usual and checked that there will be power provided by 4 Rusten Close
  • Edie lights info has gone out with the Carols info in the last Marina newsletter
  • MDGA Gardeners will prep and clean both of the above areas the Tuesday before.
  • Will send through expenses through treasurer, vice char and chair for approval, i.e. sweet bags for Marina children, Father Chrismas’ fees, magician fees and Three Kings and band refreshments

PARKS AND GARDENS – Valerie Benson

  • POS have finally been mowed after weeks of requesting council to cut the lawns
  • Council has not been collecting the garden refuse generated by the MDGA Gardeners every Tuesday regularly despite repeated reminders from Robbie and I. Eugene advised that his key staff member who organised this was not available for a few weeks. I am therefore investigating what it would cost to have a private contractor do this twice a month should council’s service not improve. The private contractor would only be used in the case of council not doing the collections regularly.

Uitsig Peninsula

  • Along with help from two local residents, Koemi Rowe is slowly repairing and extending the existing sprinkler system to get it to cover more of Uitsig Park which is great news. For several years now, only one third of the park had working sprinklers. The area from Uitsig Road to the section on the park where the swings are is now covered. Any further isn’t possible as the pump pressure isn’t great enough. The part of the park from the water to the swings used to be watered from council mains but that stopped with the drought. Will chat to council to see if this can be reactivated.
  • The MDGA Gardeners tidied up and cut back trees at the end of Oudevlei Road
  • Koemi has a key for the pump electrical box that drives the sprinklers. She will leave second key with me just as a backup. Someone is switching off the sprinklers just after she puts them on so she has locked the box now.

Park Island

  • MDGA Gardeners concentrated on tidying up, especially at the entrance, de Lille Square and the POS along Eastlake Drive, weeding and cutting back the encroaching reeds, collecting litter etc. 8 bags of donated vygies from PI reserve were planted on the corner of PI Way and T’Wagen behind the boat. Cherry has arranged for a local resident to water there and another lady, the gardens at the entrance by the guard hut.
  • Gardeners collected branches/cuttings/ palm fronds from the mowed areas and stacked at the Michele pump house and at the corner of Michele and T’Wagen for collection. They also cut back the reeds in front of the benches overlooking the waterway at the Thibault Park. On the way back, they tidied up/swept the street under the ficus tree where the paths go up to the pedestrian bridge.

Cannon Island and Eastlake Island

  • All garden refuse finally collected by council on CI and Eastlake Island after several weeks
  • MDGA Gardeners are due to work in this area tomorrow 21.11.2023

Koemi, Andie and Cherry will be providing Staffa and his team with an informal Christmas lunch on their last Tuesday in December, i.e. 12th December 2023, from their own funds. They don’t want the MDGA to fund this lunch as it is something they want to do personally to thank the MDGA Gardeners.


1.Crime and security

       Saps Sector 3

NO ISSUE(S) FOR DISCUSSION ISSUE(S) MENTIONED BY ISSUE(S) DISCUSSED RESPONSIBLE PERSON 6.11 (Sept) Pamphlets   Captain Knapp will send pamphlets (importance of reporting crime) to CPF for assistance with distributing them. Capt Knapp 8.3 (Sept) Street children/ day strollers   Hodsons mentioned that a variety of vehicles are being used to drop the youngsters off, not only the light blue bakkie mentioned previously   8.6 (Sept) Festive Season Planning   Festive season operational planning will be held on the 26 October 2023 directly after the Joint Operation meeting. Local security companies, Law Enforcement, representatives from the CPF and traffic were invited to attend. Col Lourens 8.3 Municipal Electricity Depot adjacent to Harcourts HG There is still a lot of activity in the grounds of the electricity depot which is accessed via a broken gate leading on to Harcourts property. Col Lourens has visited the site in the early mornings on a number of occasions. Heide Goodman approached Harcourts and logged C3’s for cleansing and for illegal occupation – both were “closed” by the system despite nothing having been done. PI Mkwazi says he has not been informed of the situation via the C3 reporting system and is therefore unaware of the issue. Cllr Kuhl is requested to take control of the situation Cllr Kuhl
 7. NEW MATTERS7.1 SAPS Report: Crime Overview (Trends and Arrests) 7.2 Report from Law Enforcement
7.1SAPS ReportLt Col Lourens7.1.1 Spike in property related crime, particularly in the MID area of Sector 3 wher multiple incidents of house and business robberies and theft of and out of motor vehicles have been reported. Muizenberg Community Watch is in the final stages of reorganising itself and will commence patrolling in early November. All security companies working in the MID/ME areas will be asked to report their opinions as to why property related crimes are occurring in the area. The CIB will be holding operations on the Muizenberg beachfront (Striped Horse to small circle) 7.1.2 Vrygrond and Hillview are still experiencing gang related criminality 7.1.3 The mobile station is deployed 5 days a week 7.1.4 Criminal gangs are targeting visitors to the area. In order to alert business owners to such activities, it is imperative to reactivate business forums in the affected areas (Kalk Bay and Muizenberg). The MID has such a forum and will add SAPS to the WhatsApp alert group.  Gail Daniels will set one up for Kalk Bay. The two groups need to be in contact 7.1.6 Festive Season WhatsApp group is o be established for the 2023/2024 season     
7.2LE 7.2.1 The current complement of officers is 12. This will increase during the festive season 7.2.2 The festive season operational plan is being finalised. The VOC will be run from the Muizenberg Civic Center 7.2.3 Suggest that all role players put pressure on Cllr Kuhl to be accountable for the presence of the people living in Muizenberg Park. Much of the crime in the area stems from this area 
8.1Neighbourhood WatchesVarious8.1.1 Lakeside Community Watch: CPF will do an intervention as the watch has problems 8.1.2 Bay Watch: the harassment order hearing will resume on 21 November in Muizenberg Court 8.1.3 Marine Estate: held a well-attended AGM 8.1.4 The DB/MCW WhatsApp group was deletedCPF/SAPS CPF DM 
8.2CSCVarious8.2.1 Francois Niemand reported that security officers were having difficulties in getting cases open at the CSC 8.2.2 Brenda Goldswain suggested that Mr James Booi be investigated as he appears to be interfering with policing matters whilst on duty at the CSC  
8.3IEC Dry Run This is scheduled for Sunday 29th, with registration of voters occurring on the 18 and 19 October  
 OperationsSAPS1) With 5 November falling on the weekend, a high alert will be in place over the entire weekend and will focus on the sale and letting off of fireworks and the customary antisocial behaviour associated with Guy Fawkwes celebrations. NWs in the affected areas will be engaged in this operation 2) Rugby World Cup final game: 28 October. There will be additional deployment in the perceived problematic areas  
 People living on the streetsSAPSThe number of people living on the streets/mountainside of Muizenberg is increasing rapidly as the festive season approaches. Cllr Kuhl is requested to be present at the next meeting to outline what steps are being taken to a) prevent the numbers increasing and b) to remove people who are permanently camped in Muizenberg ParkCllr Kuhl 
6. ADJOURNMENTMeeting adjourned at 11:00 

Note that the MID area of our sector remains the most crime infected. Whilst no murders were reported for this period, other crimes are increasing.

Note also the complaints on the negative attitude of reception staff to accepting crime cases and reports. We will monitor the promises of a marked improvement.

Good news is the successful re-establishment of the Muizenberg Community Watch and the Marine Estate Neighbourhood Watch.

Lakeside security  group is still non-functional.

                –Marina Da Gama Crime

Of great concern is two vehicle thefts during October, bringing to three the MV thefts under our watch. This is more than was recorded in total in the two years when we operated the Marina Guardians. MV theft now becomes our key priority.

Cannon IslandCannon Island WayTheft of M/V11.10.2315h00Yes MuizenbergTheft of M/V happened on 10.10.23 at 21h52. Owner only missed vehicle on the 11th
Battle RidgeBattle RidgeTheft Common23.10.2304h25Yes MuizenbergBicycle stolen out of open garage. 
UitsigCoot DrAtt HB24.10.23UnknownNoReceived report on 24.10.23 about two persons that was in yard about 2 weeks ago. No forced entry, nothing stolen
East Lake IslandEast Lake Island WayHBTUnknownUnknown Garage broken into whilst they were in Germany. Tools, bicycle and gas bottle stolen.
East LakeEast Lake DrTheft of M/V30.10.2320h12Yes MuizenbergVehicle was parked in road infront of house.

Perimeter  Cameras.

83 triggers received. 18 followed up, and 2 escorted from the Marina

MDGA subsidisation of the security precints.

The issue of MDGA subsidising the safety costs – or portion thereof –  of certain precints and not of others is clearly not sustainable. I have come to the conclusion that all precints should be subsidised according to a formula and a procedure to be established by the Excom. At least three of the precints are currently struggling to fund their existing security assets. I would recommend an overall figure of R200000.00 PA– approximately R150.00 per household.

This amount to be allocated by number of households as a proportion of 1300 for each precint but retained by MDGA. Once the Marina Guardians are re-established, they can be approached by precints with request for avaiable subsidy which in turn will depend on a number of conditions including the existence of a well-functioning safety committee; at least 50% of residents contributing money or sweat equity to safety undertakings, the purpose of the subsidy, etc.  If approved by the MG, it will be submitted to the excom for decision. Allocations not used by precints will accrue in their account.

If agreed, the contribution to repairing the North wall would be the first subsidy.

From the date of implementation, all moneys paid out as safety subsidies (ie cameras on the north wall and in Battleridge) would be debited to the precints` allocations.

4.Re-integrating the safety operations in the Marina.

Traditionally, the precints were Battleridge; Fishermans Quay; Cannon Island; Eastlake Island; Park Island and Uitsig. The gated lanes and precints prefer to manage their own safety operations. The essential principle in guarding is the autonomy of the precints. The Marina Guardians is therefore an open and voluntary operation where all those involved in precint safety can meet to share experiences; suggest new developments, and where stronger precints can assist weaker ones to more efficient levels of operations. The proposed subsidy would strongly incentivise better precint safety operations.

I am currently gathering names of volunteers and researching existing structures in Uitsig. Any help would be appreciated.

5.Rationalising camera management and all Safety costs

I have asked Jonathan to assist me assess the breakdown of safety costs for the last two years. I understand that he has new and most important responsibilities, but I do need his help here.

WATERWAYS – Ralph Richards

Zandvlei Mouth – Open 24th Oct, Closed 31st Oct, Open 17th Nov, Closed 28th Nov, Open 7th Dec, Closed 15th Dec.

Progress of New Weed Harvester – Delivery set for 30th November. Training first week in December, thereafter, commissioning and adjustments. I predict full operation around the end of January 2024

Kingfisher 0peration – Sighted in Cannon beat 26th October and Cannon Beat and Cannon Cove 31st October.

Dredging – Starts 24th January 2024

Nets and Grids in Sand River – 13 bags of litter collected 3rd Nov, 4 bags 13th Nov, 2 bags 15th Nov

Water Quality

e-coliNo results received from CoCT
Chlor0phyll (algae)

Boat Patrols by Reserve ManagemenDone weekly – Nothing untoward in October/November

Cleaning of Coral Worm – Some cleaning planned under bridges 21st to 28th November

Sewage Spills – Vrygrond road, 30th Oct – no effect on the Marina.

Liaison with Stakeholders

  1. Boudje and Cherry Giljam 20th October
    1. Discussion to meet and liaise with Stakeholders.
    1. A concern was raised as about the lack of public interaction and input in the specification of the construction of wetland upstream from the of Sand River mouth.
    1. Recommended that this be noted in the public comments of the ZEMP.
  • Aneeqah Rejaldien and Warrick Du Toit (CoCT) 2nd November.
    • Met with two employees of the CoCT responsible for cleaning the litter nets at the mouth of the Sand River.
    • Discuss my role as the Waterways representative of the Marina da Gama Association and to come to an agreement of co0peration with respect to the litter nets at the mouth of the Sand River.
    • Informed them that one of the actions of the waterways representative is to inform the residents of Marina da Gama as to the state and condition of the waterways.
    • The amount of litter in Zandvlei, the opening and closing of the mouth, sewage spills and water quality are but some of these actions.
    • The outcome of these actions are measured (if possible) and communicated to residents via a fortnightly newsletter, posting on the MDG Waterways WhatsApp group and reporting back to the Marina da Gama Executive committee.
    • They offered to send photographs of the amount of litter collected at the Coniston Road grids and litter nets at the mouth of the Sand River (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).
    • This will help in gauging the litter pollution loading that has been lessened and reduced into Zandvlei and can then be communicated to the Marina da Gama residents.
    • The work that is performed by the City to mitigate pollution loading will also be communicated and highlighted through this. 
    • They were thanked for the meeting and their cooperation in helping to keep the Zandvlei and Marin da Gama waterways in an environmentally acceptable condition.
    • The website needs to be rebuilt. I can’t currently change any pages or upload any more documents because the website isn’t supported anymore and uses outdated technology.
    • Numerous quotes have been requested, one has been forthcoming so far.
    • All the old newsletter documents on the website have been saved to the cloud and the rest of the documents will follow. This is to free up space on the current website.
    • Newsletters have been sent out on time.
    • Facebook has been changed to information only. Comments have been turned off.
  • COMMUNICATIONS – Lise Carswell
  • The website needs to be rebuilt. I can’t currently change any pages or upload any more documents because the website isn’t supported anymore and uses outdated technology.
  • 3 quotes have been received and will be discussed in the Excom meeting.
  • All the old newsletter documents on the website have been saved to the cloud and the rest of the documents will follow. This is to free up space on the current website.
  • Newsletters have been sent out on time.
  • Facebook has been changed to information only. Comments have been turned off
  • I have been interacting with Songezo regarding the Bob Cat to clean the bottom of the canals as last attended to in 2016
  • Songezo and I will be meeting to iron out a plan of action as this will entail removal of the nets at the end of Mullet Close . I’ll have to liase with Mike Ryder  as he installed the nets

Zandvlei estuarine management plan

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

Design manual explained: Part III


Having established why buildings in Marina da Gama have to comply with the requirements of the Design Manual and also explained the origins of the style of architecture on which the Design Manual is based, the next step is to explain the way the elements of a building are put together to comply with the Manual.

With the origins lying with the Cape Vernacular style of architecture it is important to adhere to certain basic principals of Building Form, both in plan and elevation.

The true vernacular style, in plan, tends to resemble certain letters of the alphabet, “U”,”T”, “L” & “H”

Bearing in mind that the Marina style is an adaptation of the vernacular, the plan shapes have been changed to suit the next design feature, which was the incorporation of mono-pitch roofs which typically extend over only one room width and are broken at the apex by a parapet wall. This, important feature was introduced to minimise the impact of the wind on the Marina.

These are the adaptations of the Alphabet shapes:

And the illustration below shows how the “one room” roof cover should be applied. It should be noted that this can be expanded to be one roof plus a passage.

Pitched roofs are to be detailed and constructed at between 10 and 25 degrees pitch and are to be black. Permitted materials are natural slate, fibre cement slate or cement roof tiles. Permitted colours are black, blue black or dark grey. The reason for these colour choices being that they fit most naturally into the palette of the original vernacular material which was thatch.

In addition to pitched roofs, lean-to flat roofs form part of the vernacular style and are permitted.

These can be at any pitch below 5 degrees and constructed out of concrete waterproofed board or profiled metal sheeting. In the case of concrete or waterproofed board a layer of stone chip should cover the waterproofing which is good practice because it protects the membrane but also reduces the likelihood of glare. In the case of metal roofs, they must be set between parapet walls or if not possible all side timbers should be screened with fascia boards.   The following illustrate the roof Forms which do not follow the vernacular and are not permitted

Marina da Gama Association Executive Committee

Design manual explained: Part II

In the last newsletter it was explained why Marina Da Gama has a Design Manual and this article will explain the roots of the architectural style that is dictated by the Design Manual. In South Africa where there is a rich and established vernacular style of architecture which stems back to the early settlers to this country. It is appropriate that it is this style which is dictated by the Design Manual rather than some fanciful European style of Architecture which has been adopted on some private estates.

The reason for this choice of architecture being that is pleasing to the eye, can be implemented in a variety of building shapes and the resultant suburb or precinct is lifted above the typical suburban sprawl so often seen in suburbia. It is also a relatively simple style of architecture both in massing of components and the absence of elaborate ornamental detailing. Buildings such as Rhodes Cottage in Muizenberg embody and illustrate this vernacular style. The principal elements are pitched roofs and horizontally proportioned white walls which have windows and doors “punched” into them rather than be coming dominant elements on the façade. The original roofs were pitched at 45 degrees because this is optimum in thatch construction which was the material of choice in the original examples. Thatch was not considered a suitable material for houses in the Marina and, as consequence slightly lower roof pitches are acceptable.

The strong south easterly winds were also considered when making this choice of style as it was easily adapted, by way of large and steep mono-pitch roofs, to be able to deflect the wind upwards. One only needs to stand on Park Island when the wind is blowing and compare the effect the wind is having on Zandvlei with the far calmer state of the water within the Marina. This is achieved by the combination of steep mono-pitch roofs and the intense planting of trees by the developers during the founding of Marina da Gama. For this reason, the Design Manual also covers the planting of verges and the protection of trees, whether on or off an individual property is entrenched in City of Cape Town regulations. Clearly the range of materials available to homeowners and the range of paint colours has increased over the years and the Design Manual has taken these into account. It is also for this reason that the Manual must be a dynamic document that requires to be updated from time to time. Future articles will deal with each element of a house and explain what materials may be used, what colour they may be as well as providing explanation for the rationale behind each of these.

The design Manual can be found via this link: https://mdga.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Design-Manual-MDGA-Approved-AGM-21Jun2022.pdf

Marina da Gama Association Executive Committee

Gordon Hart explains the MDGA Design Manual

To all our members …

Gordon Hart, resident architect and Archcom member will be writing a series of articles detailing the purpose and application of the Marina da Gama Design Manual. He will explain what powers the Design Manual affords Archcom and Excom and why the Marina even has a design manual. This will answer many questions around standards and implementation of the Design Manual, including the colour of exterior walls.

The design Manual can be found via this link: https://mdga.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Design-Manual-MDGA-Approved-AGM-21Jun2022.pdf

Why does Marina da Gama have a design manual?

Marina da Gama was conceived and developed by Anglo American Properties and the Marina as it exists today is only a minor part of what was originally envisaged.

In this conception was an understanding of the magnitude of building activity that would ensue, the sensitivity of the environment due to its proximity to nature areas as well as the impact that wind could have on the new suburb which were one side of the reason for controls being put in place and the desire to create an area where cohesive architecture added to the ambiance and value of property on the other.

For all these reasons they chose that, as part of the motivation to Council to rezone and sub-divide the land, all buildings within the Marina would be built in a particular architectural style that was appropriate to the environment and could be used to address the impact of wind.

To this end a very well thought through Design Manual accompanied the application to Council. This was approved and it became a condition of approval of the sub-division that an Association of Homeowners be formed and that they be entrusted with ensuring that the buildings built in the Marina complied with this Design Manual.

This right is still entrenched today insofar as compulsory membership of the MDGA is written to every title deed and the MDGA administrative committees, namely EXCOM and ARCHCOM have the responsibility of ensuring that the Design Manual is complied with.

Marina da Gama is also recognised as a special overlay area withing the Development Management Scheme of the City of Cape Town where compliance with the Design Manual is required and where special permission has to be sought to build or alter a building in the Marina.

The compliance of an application can only be evaluated in terms of the conditions set down in the Design Manual.

The major features that are entrenched in the Design Manual are the white walls, the black roofs, the opportunity for adding colour to elements such as windows and doors, design of boundary walls and other elements.

The Design Manual also contains regulations regarding elements such as verges, parking, aerials, solar panels & “Wendy Houses”.

All of these are there as “good housekeeping” and the intent of the Design Manual is to maintain the Marina as a homogenous, tidy and orderly suburb.

In a series of forthcoming articles, I will go through the document, outlining the various requirements of the Design Manual, the reason for their existence and how they should be implemented.

Marina da Gama Association Executive Committee