Fire fighting news

Message from SCFPA:

We would like to inform all that Eden District Municipality has decided, in light of the recent increase of wild veld fires, to lighten the burden of fire suppression costs on the landowners, through the following methods:

1. Ferry of Eden Fire and Rescue services resources to the fire and back are FREE

2. The first hour on the fire line is FREE

3. After the first hour, the costs will be carried by the landowner (does not affect the free ferry back)

4. To SCFPA members: You will receive a 50% DISCOUNT on the fire suppression cost, should it go over 1 hour. The SCFPA Working on Fire teams are also FREE for the whole duration of a fire (food and transport excluded)

This strategy is to motivate landowners to phone the Eden Fire and Rescue services, as well as the SCFPA, to stop fires before they get out of control.

Eden fire line – 044 805 507

AGM Reminder

Dear Duiwenhoks Conservancy members and friends

This is a reminder about the AGM on Easter Saturday at 10h00 in the Vredesaal at Vermaaklikheid.

Our beautiful village and river is at a crossroads. There has been an epidemic of crime over the past year with a number of people having their houses burgled and outboard motors and other possessions stolen. A month ago, a conservancy member had their house burnt down in an attack of arson, the second such incident in the village over the past 5 years. A suspect is in jail but the systemic problems remain.

At the 2013 AGM I took over the chairmanship of the conservancy.  However no-one else put their hand up leaving the conservancy short on man power and energy at a time when it is needed most. Like many of you, I have a full life in Cape Town. I am married with two teenage children and I have a full time job. But in spite of my limited time available, I believe I can make a difference. However I need active support from a committed group of people who can help me drive this conservancy forward.

The big questions that we need to answer are:

  • Do we extend the mandate of the Conservancy to get involved in broader social issues in the village? 
  • What is our pro-active response to the crime in the village? 
  • Do we change the conservancy to become an NGO so that it can raise funds and implement a program of activities that can combine alien clearing and livelihoods in the village. Currently the Conservancy has no status as a legal entity. 

At the heart of this, is the question: How can we ensure that the character of the village, the river and natural assets are managed in a sustainable manner for the all the people that use it.

I hope we can have a lively debate, develop a new vision and start to think about what we need to do make this vision a reality. I trust that members of the conservancy will put up their hands to join me in breathing new life into this organisation.

Please feel free to email me if you want to discuss anything.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Warm regards

John Thorne


The Invasive Wasp Project

The Invasive Wasps Project is a research project with both eradication/infestation control and communications components. The IWP project is managed by a consortium of researchers from the following institutions: Stellenbosch University, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the University of Cape Town, the Agricultural Research Council, CapeNature, and Iziko Museums.
The project is researching the feasibility of eradicating both invasive wasps from South Africa or, failing this, investigating ways to prevent their spread to new areas outside their current, limited distribution. This is necessary to avoid future human injury, and large scale biodiversity and economic impacts.

How you can help?
We are still pinpointing the exact distribution of both wasps in South Africa. If you see either of these wasps, please:
–    Provide us with clear, close-up photographs
–    Provide us with locality information – any landmarks or GPS co-ordinates will help us locate the wasps
–    Provide us with details of Vespula germanica nests or large (larger than A5 paper size) Polistes dominula nests.
–    Give us your contact details in case we need to follow up

See attached for more infoWasps brochure4