Duiwenhoks Conservancy AGM news

Thanks to all who attended our virtual AGM earlier this week.

Aileen Anderson, who manages the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy, shared some of the lessons learnt in protecting rivers and landscapes.  Bertus Hayward and Hendrik Visser of the Hessequa Municipality gave us an overview of the process of developing a development plan for Vermaaklikheid (more below).

John Thorne resigned as chair, a position he has held since 2013. Josie Borain is our new chair, with Anthony Black remaining as vice chair. Sarah Ward and Mandy Zeelie resigned, and Justin Cooke was welcomed as a new member. John, Rooken Podesta & Margaux Newdigate remain members.


Vermaaklikheid Spatial Development Framework

“An SDF indicates which type of development should be allowed in a Municipality, where it should take place, and how such development should be undertaken to ensure the best outcomes for people, natural resources, and economy.”

 Bertus Hayward, Hessequa Municipality Manager:  Spatial and Economic Development and Hendrik Visser, Hessequa Municipal Manager outlined the process of setting up a Spatial Development Framework.  Sarah Ward initiated this process and Justin Cooke will represent the Duiwenhoks Conservancy going forward. The aim is to establish development guidelines for Vermaaklikheid.

Public participation is an important part of this process – so you’ll be hearing more on this.



In addition, Hessequa has sent all interested parties a notice that they intend to consider the Draft Municipal Smart EconomicDevelopment Strategy [SMART strategy]. The draft SMART strategy presents four characteristics of local government i.e., maximising social and economic growth, integrating and coordination, democratising development and leading and learning. 

The draft SMART Strategy is available on request and on the Hessequa Municipal Website and at all the Municipal Libraries’ computers.  A work session is planned for 11 May 2022 at 14h00 via Teams and comments can be submitted on/before 23 May 2022.  Interested parties should contact Bertus Hayward bertus@hessequa.gov.za

Finally, some rain! So here’s a lovely splash of local April colour – Brunsvigia orientalis.


Save the date: Duiwenhoks AGM Tuesday, April 12 at 4:00 pm

It’s time for our annual general meeting. We will be meeting via Google Meet on Tuesday, April 12 at 4:00 pm.

Aileen Anderson, who manages the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy, will talk about her success in protecting rivers and landscapes in the current economic climate. 

We also need to appoint a new chair as John Thorne is stepping down after nine years of service to this community. Thanks, John, for all the energy you’ve put in over the years.

Send Duiwenhoksconservancy@gmail.com a mail if you wish to be included in the meeting.

Erica mammosa, June 2021


Vermaaklikheid sports program

The holiday youth sports program was a great success! Many thanks to all contributors ❤ 
Allister Miggels led the program and says that the children learned new skills. ‘Some couldn’t kick a ball, some couldn’t play in teams and to some it felt strange to be on a sport field but never the less before Friday the 7th of January 2022 those children who couldn’t kick a ball knew how to kick a ball and to those who it felt strange to be on a sport field enjoyed themselves so much that they couldn’t get enough of playing a ball’.
We would like to thank the Western Cape government’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for funding the program. None of this would have been possible without the attention of our local librarian, Anneline Kistoor, who nominated the Duiwenhoks Conservancy to the program, via the Hessequa Municipality librarian service, and on to the Western Cape Library Service which supported our application.  Many thanks to each of you for your support. 
Children were provided with a small lunch every day, and there was a combination of outdoor and indoor activities. 

Vermaaklikheid children need sports

Abe Pretorius grew up in Vermaaklikheid. As a youngster, there was no dedicated place for children to kick a ball around, so they played in the street or someone’s yard.  They dreamed of a grassy field where they could play their favourite sport: football, rugby, netball or cricket.

Abe has helped make this dream a reality. He volunteers his time to support the current generation of children with healthy outdoor play. He also keeps the field maintained, by using his weed-eater and the occasional loan of a lawnmower from a kind resident.

We know how important it is for children to be able to have a safe place to develop physical skills but the benefits of outside play extend beyond exercise. Sport helps children make new friends, have fun, learn to be a team member, learn about play fair and improve their self-esteem.

With the help of GivenGain, and the Duiwenhoks Conservancy, Abe hopes to purchase a lawnmower, and employ a grounds person to do the necessary weekly maintenance.

Please contribute to the maintenance of the sports field for the children of Vermaaklikheid. Every donation helps. It’s simple to donate, click here now.  

Also please share this appeal in your network and help our kids to play.  

The Vermaaklikheid Sports Field Initiative

Phase Three: Providing for and ensuring the ongoing maintenance and management of the playing field and equipment

Purpose and Intention

The Vermaaklikheid community faces challenges that confront most rural communities in the Southern Cape: poverty, inadequate school facilities and limited employment opportunities.

To compound these problems Vermaaklikheid is isolated and many children do not complete their schooling. In addition a lack of any facilities for our under 18 year-old residents contributes to alcohol and drug abuse and the petty crime to support these habits.

There are approximately 90 children under the age of 18.

Progress to Date

The Vermaaklikheid Winkel Project is a non-profit association formed by a number of residents within Vermaaklikheid. The founders’ intention is for the Vermaaklikheid Winkel Project to serve as an association that facilitates the social development of the local community of Vermaaklikheid.  One of the first projects the concerned residents undertook was The Vermaaklikheid Sports Field Initiative.  To date, phases one and two have been completed.

Phase one: Community Engagement and an Assessment – Completed

In 2018, a number of concerned residents attempted to address some of these problems by initiating a consultative process that culminated in a survey of the community to assess the current situation. The survey focussed its inquiry around an achievable goal: the establishment of a multi-use playing field and providing sports equipment for the children of the village. The survey was returned with unanimous support for the facility from 35 households.

Phase two: Providing a useable playing field and basic equipment – Completed

  1. Secured the land needed for the field.
  2. Cleared the land of highly invasive and resilient reed and other weeds.
  3. Raised funds from local land owners (approximately R60 000) and installed an irrigation system and access to a water supply.
  4. Supported the establishment of indigenous grass.
  5. Provided half-sized football goals for children and youth. Rugby pole extensions are to be added shortly in response to the community’s needs.
  6. Provided a weed-eater to cut the grass

We now have a GivenGain fund-raiser for phase 3 of the Vermaaklikheid sports field.

Now we want to buy a lawnmower and employ a grounds person to ensure that the sports field grounds are maintained. We’re aiming for R24 200, which should cover a year’s maintenance, plus the purchase of a lawnmower.

If you can, please contribute to this initiative? Link is below. https://www.givengain.com/cause/53768/campaigns/23058/

GivenGain provides a secure, online donation and fundraising platform to charities, donors and fundraisers. All funds raised go directly to this initiative.


Shoes for school

Anneline Kistoor has launched a “SHOES FOR SCHOOL” initiative. Anneline is the librarian at both Brakfontein Primary as well as Vermaaklikheid.  Anneline noticed that many children come to school without proper school shoes.  She wants to buy each of the children at the Brakfontein Primary school a pair of leather school shoes.

There are 55 learners from Vermaaklikheid and the neighbouring farms currently attending the school.   

Anneline wants to raise enough to cover a pair of Student Prince leather shoes for each of the grade 1 to grade 6 learners. These shoes range in price from R170 to R220 a pair for larger sizes, but of course, any amount is welcome.

If this campaign is successful enough, Anneline would love to include another 9 Vermaaklikheid learners who attend school in Riversdale.  

Please contact Anneline on 060 721 4969 for more details. Alternatively, please deposit your contribution into her bank account, using these details:  FNB Cheque Account number 62167952764. Use SHOES and your name as a reference.

This is a great initiative for our local kids to have proper footwear.


Fire response: trailer!

During the devastating wild fires of October 2019, our community raised funds for equipment. Thanks go to Craig Irving for initiating this.

And now the good news is that we’ve used this fund to get Vermaaklikheid a fire trailer!

We’ve taken an existing fire pump and tank and mounted them on a trailer. The trailer will be primed and ready for use. Community members will now be able to easily move it and respond quickly to any wild fires.

Thanks to Konrad Stutterheim for overhauling and repairing the fire pump. 

The trailer is stored at the bakery – thanks to Konrad, Guy Tillim, Laurence Jones and Josie Borain for storing it. 

Please contact Konrad if you need to use it.

Thanks to Rooken Podesta for organising the trailer build and Alkem Pro Welding in Heidelberg for doing such a solid job. 

We hope that this is just good insurance and we don’t need to use it too often. 


Limestone fynbos booklet available again

Louisa Oberholzer’s much requested Limestone fynbos book is available again. In response to many requests for this booklet, first printed in 2010, it is now available at R180 (R150 for students).

This beautiful booklet describes the key features of the unusual Limestone flora, including a list of 171 species that have so far been identified. It is hoped that it will inspire readers to observe, photograph and continue to record examples of this fascinating flora.

Please contact Louisa Oberholzer to obtain copies of the booklet (072 9477775). Payments to be made to B J Oberholzer, Standard Bank, Hermanus Branch, Account Number 070222541.

Duiwenhoks Conservancy AGM 2021

Duiwenhoks Conservancy AGM 2021

We completed our first digital Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 24 March 21.

Many thanks to all who attended it and gave us feedback, especially during the committee election section. We really appreciate your interest. 

If you are interested in the recording, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfMPCgnWwnA

Our AGM agenda included:

  1. Chairman’s Report + finances 
  2. Review of 2020 initiatives
  3. Hessequa Municipality property valuation 2021
  4. Wild fire: Vermaaklikheid fire fund & February 2021 fire
  5. Alien clearing: Uitvlug case study
  6. Duiwenhoks Estuary Report by Dr Lara van Niekerk & Dr Stephen Lamberth
  7. Election of Committee for 2021/2

We will share more soon! 

Duiwenhoks Estuary overview presentation (Lamberth)

Dr Stephen Lamberth has been sampling the Duiwenhoks Estuary for more than two decades. Stephen spoke about the state of the fish in our river, including some shocking data about the fish stock levels. There are about 50 breeding pairs of dusky kob in the southern Cape – it really is a critically endangered species. We need to protect it. 

His talk is available here: Lamberth Duiwenhoks Talk 24 March fish-compressed

Dr Stephen Lamberth is a fisheries ecologist at the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). He has been involved in about 30 specialist studies focusing on freshwater flow requirements of river, estuarine and marine fish. He was the project leader in a comprehensive biological and socio-economic study of the South African beach-seine and gillnet fisheries.

Here’s a sample of his presentation showing the categories of our 45+ species: