Feedback from River Meeting

The meeting was not well attended. Nevertheless, here are the key points from the feedback we received from our representative:

1) A new set of updated set of River Regulations have been developed (and we will publish these as soon as we receive them). Apparently, a number of the points mentioned in our list of suggestions are already included.

2) There will be four separate management plans, in addition to the River Regs, one for each of the four rivers in the Hessequa, namely Gouritz, Goukou, Duiwenhoks and Breede. Each river management plan will be developed after a full study has been completed.The Gouritz and Breede are completed, the Goukou is being done currently, and the Duiwenhoks still has to be done. The latest Eden Mun. budget includes an amount for that, the budget has yet to be approved. A consultant has been appointed (by Eden) for the four rivers.

3) After the management plan is done, a River Forum will be set up to manage the river. The forum will consist of The Eden Mun, Hessequa Mun, Water Affairs, Cape Nature, Deadp, Local Inhabitants,Dept Agric,Marine and Coastal Man. Conservancy, etc. Obviously the Depts will have the same reps on all four management Forums.

4) More meetings will be held,in Vermaaklikheid, and possibly in CT to accommodate the many land owners that reside there.

5) The municipality is going ahead will the registration of the one public slipway. However land has to be acquired etc etc

Thanks to John for attending and giving us feedback.

Eden Coastal Management Program Workshops

Message received from Aidan Wood:

Please note that the preliminary dates for the second series of workshops
for the Eden Coastal Management Program, that were given at the 1st
workshops, no longer apply.

We are awaiting confirmation of additional funds from the various
Municipalities so that we can expand our public participation process. As
such we have decided to postpone the second workshops to the end of July and
beginning of August.

Once we have confirmation we will let you know of the new schedule.

The Draft is almost complete – just waiting for last few maps so I can
finalize. I anticipate that the Draft will be sent out towards the end of
next week. If it is too large to e-mail, it will be posted on the EFA and
Eden websites and you will be provided with the link to download it from
there. The hard copies will follow shortly after that.

Apologies for the delay or any inconvenience caused.

Urgent Request to join the Southern Cape Fire Protection Agency

A message from Chris Giffard:

At the Duiwenhoks Conservancy AGM on the Easter weekend, Charl Wade from the Southern Cape Fire Prevention Association (SCFPA) made a presentation on efforts in the area to reduce the fire risk and to enable effective fire fighting when fires do occur. The SCFPA is a voluntary association of landowners whose first task is to develop integrated fire prevention plans for local areas. Membership fees are so low as to be nominal. While membership is voluntary, there is a very good reason for all property owners in fire risk areas to become members. The reason is this: The National Veld and Forest Fire Act of 1998 states that if a fire begins on a property, and goes on to cause damage to other property, then the landowner where the fire started is presumed to have been negligent until the contrary is proved, unless they are a member of a fire prevention association such as the SCFPA, and have thus made efforts to reduce the risk of fire. In such circumstances, the landowner will be responsible for the damage caused, which is likely to be considerable in the case of a fire. So membership affords landowners legal protection against possible civil claims.

I have been requested to co-ordinate the relationship between the Conservancy and the SCFPA. The starting point is to get as many landowners along the Duiwenhoks and in the surrounding areas to become members. This will enable the association to develop a fire prevention strategy across property boundaries where necessary, in order to safeguard the entire region.

So far, there are about 8 property owners in the area who have joined the SCFPA. This is an appeal to everyone who owns property in the area to join the association. Although some of the properties along the Duiwenhoks River are quite small, it is still important that those property owners also become members. Remember, if a fire starts on your property, even if you are not there, and you cannot show that you have taken adequate steps to prevent such a fire (which includes joining the SCFPA), you may be liable for damage to your neighbours’ property.

This is also an urgent request to act now, and not to wait until next month or next year. The sooner the bulk of landowners sign up, the sooner the staff of the SCFPA can put together a fire security plan that will benefit the entire community. Membership application forms are available in MS Word right here SCFPAMembershipApplicationForm-EngAfr-MSWord(1). The form takes 5 minutes to complete. Once you’ve done it send it to Charl Wade at Alternatively, send an e-mail to and I will send you a form.

The Duiwenhoks River Stakeholder Meeting

Earlier this year, the Hessequa Municipality called for a meeting to begin the process of regulating the 4 rivers in the area. The Duiwenhoks Conservancy made a  submission to this meeting and an outcome of this meeting was the recognition that each of the 4 rivers needed to be regulated  separately.

The Hessequa Municipality have now set up a meeting to discuss issues relating to the regulation of the Duiwenhoks river. To do this effectively, they would like to engage as many stakeholders as possible. Issues are likely to include boating regulations, enforcement, boat registration, environmental issues, slipways etc.

The meeting is set for Friday 25 May 2012 at 9:00 at the municipal offices in Riversdale.
It will be held in the conference room of the Department Planning and Environment (opposite the Burgersentrum). People who would like to attend can confirm their attendance with Shagon Carelse on 028 713 2418 or at

A representative of the Duiwenhoks Conservancy will attend this meeting. If you’re not planning to attend and would like to raise an issue, please (leave a reply) comment on this page.

Review our initial submission  here: Submission to Hessequa 2012_01_24 If you have additional ideas/issues make a comment!

Update on the Kleinboer Initiative….

Received from Conrad:

I have had a very enlightening and encouraging conversation with Patrick Sambo from SCLC. re:

1) Contracts /leases

The majority of the other projects at Riversdale, Melkhoutfontein, and Heidelberg are done on an individual basis with the parties tailor making an agreement. The Department of Agriculture prefers a 5 year agreement , but concerns about selling land, costs , profit, ownership of fencing, water rights etc must be included to make it work for both.

2) Water

We at Vermaak have a situation that needs to be adressed. No farming endeavor would be sensible if water was not guaranteed. We can get the dept. of water affairs to be involved, Mr Sambo mentioned he was talking to them and we need to get involved in this process.

3) Type of crops

Firstly the aims are to produce food security , i.e. selling of excess to the local community then nearest town and so on. There is obviously a benefit to accessing high end buyers in cape town but help would be needed to find the right produce.

4) Other projects

There are a number of successful projects in the area we can visit to learn from

5) Type of assistance

Not financial , mostly seed, access to machinery , fencing, help with selling produce.

Patrick will get us a digital copy of a draft lease to use as a basis perhaps we should all use the same lease just to avoid general confusion.
We will be informed of the next meeting, and hopefully we can attend , but we must set something up when we will all be there.
There would obviously need to be established if the land is to be used for grazing or planting.

Check out the SCLC website on