"Several City of Cape Town departments are responsible for the management and maintenance of the vlei, but as the lead department, the City’s Recreation and Parks Department sincerely regrets the incident, where through the services being rendered by one of the City contractors, the eastern shoreline of the Princess Vlei was damaged.
As lead department, Recreation and Parks will facilitate the process to address this issue.
The Department investigated the incident and based on the outcome, the following will be actioned:
- A rehabilitation plan for the damaged site will be drafted in collaboration with Recreation and Parks Ecological management unit, Water and Sanitation as well as the Princess Vlei Forum
- Budget for the rehabilitation will be identified and the rehabilitation will be planned for a suitable time in the year when such activities can take place.
- In addition, a site assessment held on 14 May considered the possible rescuing of plants that were damaged, as well as identification of measures which must to be incorporated in the rehabilitation plan.
- Immediate actions include the removal of the dumped biomass from the damaged restoration site. Concurrently, plants will be rescued from the site and work will be coordinated by the Princess Vlei site manager and a representative of the Princess Vlei Forum.
The Recreation and Park Department undertakes to provide regular feedback to the Forum on progress made with regards the mentioned actions and the rehabilitation of the area in question. ENDS"
The Forum welcomes the City’s commitment to rehabilitate the damaged area, but would like to note the following:
- Any rehabilitation must be done in accordance with conservation science and best practice for restoration. This means no quick fixes, and ensuring, for example, that any plants replaced are restoration grade and suitably sourced.
- None of the plants were salvageable.
- While the City contractors worked conscientiously with us to restore the damaged shoreline, there remains a large layer of sludge from the vlei. This must be removed by hand before any planting can take place. It is the responsibility of City Parks to remove this - by mid August this had not been done
- This incident occurred due to weaknesses and breakdown in the operational management of Princess Vlei as a biodiversity site. We hope that City Parks will take this opportunity to reflect on these weaknesses. We look forward to continuing to working collaboratively with the City in restoring and managing the biodiversity on site.