The requirement for security of tenure for the Zandvlei Sports Centre, to enable a pivot in how Zandvlei is managed was the single most supported idea at the visioning exercise held at the sports centre. About 22 area stakeholders attended, representing a variety of interest groups and active citizens from the area.
The visioning exercise asked individual participants to share and then prioritise their hopes, but also their fears, for the Zandvlei area so that goals could be set and risks identified. Pink and green dots showed individuals’ primary and secondary priorities while yellow and orange dots showed likely risks and those with a large potential impact.
Several themes arose from the exercise, namely:
- Community involvement
- Environmental and ecological
The idea of having security of tenure (5 pink, 5 green) was shared as it may provide a base of operations, a consistent presence in the vlei that could generate activity and be used to host activities and raise funding. This stability would provide a base for more adequate and effective management by the city (4 green) of the whole area.
Adequate funding (2 green) for projects and improvements was seen as necessary, and tied to participants’ level of participation and energy (2 green). Research-driven policy and management would improve meaningful implementation. Using a public private partnership model to effect change was also mentioned. Crime (3 orange, 1 yellow) and traffic congestion (2 yellow) were seen as plausible risks.
2. Community involvement
Community involvement (6 green); adequate, active stewardship and a sense of ownership by user community (4 green) tie directly into the call for: an overall masterplan (2 pink, 2 green); how these communities’ impact on irrigation as well as how development and sewage influences water quality (2 pink). This community involvement would then contribute to a sense of ownership and pride in young people, which would especially be visible in how they engage with visitors. Important tasks were identified as: re-engineering of the mouth and sewage line, solutions to backyard-dwellers’ waste management, and creating paths for cycling, walking and canoeing.
The most plausible risks identified were the City losing the ability to monitor ecological quality (4 yellow) leading to severe pollution (5 yellow) and surprise at the crash of the False Bay fishing industry due to the fish-nursery properties of the Zandvlei estuary being destroyed (4 yellow).
3. Environmental/ Ecological
A functional estuary (3 pink, 4 green) with the situation under control (6 green) characterized by a plastic-free Zandvlei (4 green) and interconnected and extended water ways (3 green) with circular access routes to and from all communities (1 pink) characterize a Dream Zandvlei.
This environment is impacted most by:
- research-inspired action (3 green),
- a mix of habitats and beautiful urban design (2 green),
- sewage systems that have an alternative to dump into the vlei,
- and a nature reserve system that works to address over-supply of nutrients, invasive species and plastics.
The fish nursery is nurtured and regular patrols of wetlands prevent and clean weed encroachment.
With a broader biodiversity (2 green) and a more diverse flora and fauna (3 green), integrated sporting facilities (as well as for night-time activities), Zandvlei is well frequented and very popular with a shared sense of ownership among users.
Next steps and recommendations
- A meeting with the ward councilor to discuss progress and ask for advice.
- A meeting with community members not reached in this first meeting – contacts available through Berenice (ZENR) and Sharon McCallum (Dream Zandvlei group)
- Better understand the current tenure of the Zandvlei Sports Centre and investigate alternative arrangements.
- Look at donor funding bodies that are aimed at a broad array of interests (youth and sporting development, environmental stewardship and conservation, infrastructure upgrades (re-engineering mouth, sewer line, promenade, sports and toilet facilities).