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Dream Zandvlei: Meeting with Sarah Chippendale

Sarah was project manager of the Source to Sea project a year ago. We met on the 4th of March to talk about how her time there influenced what she would like to see in the Zandvlei catchment.


Source to Sea: connecting rivers to the sea, education. Holistic river management, catchment management (was tension between more narrow river management and the broader vision. City moved towards the more holistic approach). It is a project that was about 30 years in the
making. The scope of Sarah’s work was to improve the relationship the City has with community groups. Now there is a frustration that there is much talking and not much doing. The frustration of working with the city is that they work in a complex system and is risk averse, which reduces their creativity. There is no budget to facilitate cross-cutting projects.

The Zandvlei system – Diepriver and Keysersriver – was initiated as an example of a City of Cape Town and SanParks partnership project to illustrate how to connect different spheres of government. Working relationships between the City and partner organisations (ICLEI-Africa, WESSA, SANParks) could be optimized and strengthened to reduce duplication of work and to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness with the implementation of initiatives. The website is intended as a platform for the many community groups,
showing who is working where and who the contact details are. But
government works in a very silo’d fashion.
Partners listed on website are not active, but they are all potential partners for private investment along the pilot river corridors.

Sarah’s Dream for Zandvlei?

  • To integrate projects and to move forward faster, would like to be
    able to operate the Source to Sea as a trust, or NGO, to collect
    investment. Run it as a Public-Private partnership (PPP).
  • “Multi-use corridors” for example use the Alphen trail for cycling
    as well. Public lobbying needed – to show that walkers and property
    owners support this. Survey results should be available – contact
  • Include/develop a spatial planning component.

Opportunity: There are about 22 schools along the Diepriver alone!
(from kindergartens to high schools)
Also education centres around the PrincessKasteel (name?) like a
science tech colleges.

The ideology is not about working towards pristine “no humans”
conditions, but working with nature, find ways to co-exist with nature
and the ecosystem services within it. Embrace “novel ecosystems”.

Open up the riverspaces, the greenspaces, for example cycling. Potential partners:

  • ERM
  • Pedal Power Association
  • Transport4CT

There was a Source to Sea report published and approved by Council in
2016 which Sarah kindly sent to Bernelle (The report item number may be 3397, or LC15948, or 5306/TCT11/7614) The report emphasises three recommendations:

  1. Delegated: for support by the Executive Mayor together with the Mayoral Committee:
    It is recommended that:
  2. a. The Source to Sea Initiative is supported.
    b. The prioritisation and implementation of the pilot phase of the Source to Sea initiative with the Zandvlei catchment is supported.
    c. A follow-up report to Council, motivating for budget, priority actions and associated timelines based on an investment and implementation strategy, is tabled in the next financial year (2016/2017).