Duiwenhoks Estuarine Management Plan

This is an important moment for our precious river! Your feedback is needed by 15 September 2019.

The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) is completing a programme of updating existing estuary management plans (EMPs), compiling 17 new estuary management plans, compiling 12 estuary mouth management plans and setting in place an overall estuary management framework for the province – collectively termed the Western Cape Estuarine Management Framework and Implementation Strategy (EMFIS).

The final drafts of both the situation assessment reports (SARs) and estuarine management plans (EMPs) for the new selected estuaries as part of EMFIS are now available for comment.

Plans were prepared for the following 17 estuaries:

  • West Coast District: Sout, Jakkalsvlei and Wadrift;            
  • Overberg District: Rooiels, Buffels Oos, Palmiet, Ratel and Klipdrifsfontein; and   
  • Garden Route District: Duiwenhoks, Blinde, Maalgate, Gwaing, Kaaimans, Piesang, Matjies, Sout (Oos), Groot (Wes).

Please use this link to the Duiwenhoks EMP August 2019 to review. 

We are currently in the period provided for public (written) comment.

In brief, the EMP proposes the following items as critical and to be addressed immediately and/or receive greatest effort in respect to human/financial resources:
• Marine resources are used within legal limits;
• All efforts are made to eradicate invasive alien plants;
• The no-take zone is enforced and enabled through the Marine Living Resources Act;
• Recreational use of the system is regulated effectively;
• Public access is provided and suitably managed;
• An additional public launch site is listed and operated in terms of an approved operational plan; and
• The DEA&DP to consider the appointment of a Regional estuarine management co-ordinator/champion within either DEA&DP or CapeNature, to support the RMA.

Feedback must reach Tandi Breetzke by the 15th of September 2019. Please respond directly to Tandi at tandi@coastwise.co.za.


Conservancy AGM 2019

The AGM was held on Easter Saturday, 2019 in Vermaaklikheid.

Here is the presentation from the meeting – AGM2019 Presentation

Click here to read the minutes: Conservancy AGM minutes 2019

Funding Appeal: The pre-school in the village has run out of funding and almost 20 children are missing out on a vital part of their early childhood development.  A new school board has been established to get it up and running again and raise the necessary funding for it to continue. Click here to read the funding appeal.  

Post-Fire Meeting in Vermaaklikheid, January 18th 2019


Duivenhoks Conservancy – John Thorne, Abie Pretorius

DEA: NRM, – Mr Japie Buckle

Garden Route Environmental forum (GREF) – Cobus Meiring 

Southern Cape Fire Protection Agency – Charl Wade, Philip Wilken

Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) – Rhett Hiseman

Thank you for the visit to Vermaaklikheid. The data provided at the Lourensford Wildfire Conference (December 2018) according to my memory was that 3500 Ha was burnt in the October 2018 fire.  

We (Officials from GREF, SCFPA, SCLI, DEA:NRM and GCBR) toured some of the areas of the burnt veld around the village and noted dense areas of small rooikrans seedlings starting to appear in certain areas.  In other areas there was minimal alien regrowth. A number indigenous pioneer plant species have also started to appear. In many areas the ground was baked hard by the heat of the fire with minimal topsoil remaining. During our visit it was evident that the strong SW wind was blowing away remaining topsoil. Some soil erosion mitigation interventions might be needed in future to prevent further soil loss.

Japie Buckle (DEA:NRM) stressed that now (next 12 months) is the time to remove the seedlings while they are small ( between 5cm and 60cm tall) and easily pulled out. However this is a huge undertaking due to the extent of the fire. Invasive Alien plants (IAP) control is the responsibility of the Individual landowners and they will need to fund the rehabilitation of their properties. The rooikrans stands (Acacia cyclops) will be even denser after the fire (due to massive long lived seed loads in the ground) if the situation is not addressed effectively.

It is important to note that if the land is not rehabilitated it will lose its value and rather than be an asset, it will become a liability as alien regrowth increases future fire risk and further degrades the land. It is important that landowners act now!

DEA: Natural Recourses Management (NRM), Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) and Southern Cape Fire Protection Association (SCFPA) will assist the Duivenhoks Conservancy & landowners where possible with:

  • developing a IAP control and rehabilitation plan for the area (GREF)
  • providing herbicide & training how to use it.
  • supporting the enforcement of local regulations around alien clearing.
  • technical assistance regarding best practice

We agreed the following: 

  • SCFPA will provide cadastral map of properties in the burnt area to DEA, copied to myself. Some of the properties will fall inside the conservancy and some outside. 
  • DEA: NRM will facilitate through GREF to produce a map that overlay burnt area map with previous IAP invested area to produce an IAP control and rehabilitation plan.
  • We schedule a meeting in the village (in March) to present plan to landowners. The objective is to get buy-in for the implementation of the plan. This will be a jointly convened by Duivenhoks Conservancy and SCFPA.
  • At the same meeting the Fire management unit will be discussed.

Initial thoughts regarding implementation process:

  • Train up a team in the village to pull seedlings and spray dense infested areas with herbicides. 
  • Landowners will fund this process.
  • Conservancy will attempt to raise further funding to partially subsidise the costs. 

Risks & challenges highlighted:

  • Costs of rehabilitation and the fact that some landowners will not be able to afford this process. 
  • Erosion of burnt slopes
  • Loss of fynbos due to longstanding aliens and heat caused by the fire. 

I think this is all for now. 


John Thorne

Chairman, Duivenhoks Conservancy

Duiwenhoks Conservancy NPC and NPO registration

Dear reader

We are pleased to announce that the Duiwenhoks Conservancy has successfully been registered as a Non-Profit Company (NPC) and a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO).  The NPC registration confirmation  and company details can be found in the links below. 

FORM COR 14.3 Registration cert

Company details doc

As a registered organisation, the Conservancy is required to submit financial statements that have been compiled by a registered accounting officer or a firm of auditors/accountants. If you are a registered accounting officer/accountant and would like to offer your services, please forward your details to duiwenhoksconservancy@gmail.com. 

An added benefit of the NPO registration is that the Conservancy is able to explore various fundraising options such as the use of crowdfunding campaigns. This is a fund raising option that we are excited to venture into. More information regarding this will be shared over the coming weeks so stay tuned.


Kind regards

Karen Morris

Web Admin

SANBI offers Biological Invasions Bursaries for 2018.

Dear Reader

SANBI is offering Biological Invasions Bursaries for 2018. Bursaries are available to conduct research as part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s work on biological invasions. The closing date for application is Friday 3 November 2017.

For more details on the types of projects that can be considered or different projects to do please click here.


Best regards

Karen Morris

Web Administrator

The passing of James Miggels

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of James Miggels. James passed away on the 10th of July 2017.  He was born in Vermaaklikheid and is survived by his wife Alida and his four children, Velicia (26), Jo-Jean (22), Allister (18) and Allison (14).

James was a valued member of the Vermaaklikheid community. He started the village food garden, and was a great source of knowledge about the plants and animals in the area. The Conservancy made a small donation to his family. He will be missed! 

Duiwenhoks latest updates

Dear all

The annual Conservancy AGM took place on Saturday the 15th April, at the Vredesaal. The event was well supported and it was great to see some new faces. Items discussed were:

– Update on the various projects
– Report back from myself
– Report back from Abie Pretorius
– Election of committee for the year head – positions chairman, treasurer, and committee member

Subscriptions continue to come in. Thank you. If you haven’t yet made a contribution, the bank details are: Duiwenhoks Conservancy, Standard Bank, Rondebosch, Branch Code: 02500911, A/c No: 0755 77623. Please use your surname and farm as reference.

The Conservancy website has had a refresh. If you have a picture you would like to contribute, please email it to us at duiwenhoksconservancy@gmail.com

The Conservancy has also commissioned a short documentary film that showcases the projects currently underway in the village. The documentary was filmed by Bart Love of Another Love Productions (www.anotherloveproductions.co.za). The video release is scheduled for later in June and will be published on the website.

With winter around the corner, now would be a good time to stock up on firewood. If you would like to place an order and have it delivered to your farm, please contact Abie on 076 6289579.

That’s all for now. Watch this space!

Warm regards

John Thorne