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4.1 Legal framework

Table 3: Legal FrameworkThe following is a list of legislation applicable to the management of the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch. Repealed legislation has been included in greyed-out text for information purposes only.

Acts, ordinances, bylaws
Latest amendment date
Other notes
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 Lists South African citizens’ environmental rights N/A Chapter 2: Bill of Rights assigns citizens with particular rights
National legislation
National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), Act 107 of 1998 One of the most important environmental laws relating to most aspects of the environment, including environmental impact assessments (EIAs), environmental information and legal standing, etc.
  • Amendment Act 56 of 2002
  • Amended by GN 26018, Vol 464 of 13 February 2004
Provides for cooperative environmental governance
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, Act 10 of 2004 The objectives of the Act are to provide for:

  • the management and conservation of South Africa’s biodiversity within the framework of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998;
  • the protection of species and ecosystems that warrant national protection;
  • the sustainable use of indigenous biological resources;
  • the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from bio-prospecting involving indigenous biological resources; and
  • the establishment and functions of a South African National Biodiversity Institute.

In essence, the Act was put in place to safeguard the important biodiversity attributes in the country, while allowing people to benefit equally from the natural resources. In order to achieve these goals, the Act made provision for the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), which has been designated certain functions and afforded powers and duties in respect of this Act.

N/A The development of the IRMP will assist in ensuring that the objectives of this Act are achieved in the reserve.
National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003 To provide for:

  • the protection and conservation of ecologically viable areas representative of South Africa’s biological diversity and natural landscapes and seascapes;
  • the establishment of a national register of all national, provincial and local protected areas;
  • the management of those areas in accordance with national norms and standards;
  • intergovernmental cooperation and public consultation on matters concerning protected areas; and
  • matters in connection therewith.
  • Amendment Act 62 of 2008
  • Amendment Act 15 of 2009
Regulations Notice 1029 of 2009 lists specific regulations for reserves proclaimed by the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) (draft August 2009).
Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (CARA), Act 43 of 1983 The CARA regulations contain a list of alien invasive vegetation categorised according to their legal status. The Act regulates the sale, position and use of listed species.
  • Amended by GN R 2687 of 6 December 1985 and GN R 280 of 30 March 2001
Alien invasive plant legislation to be included under the Biodiversity Act in future
National Veld and Forest Fire Act, Act 101 of 1998 Relates to veld fire prevention, fire protection associations, fire danger indexing, enforcement of fire legislation, and the fighting of fires N/A A detailed fire management plan will be developed.
Marine Living Resources Act, Act 18 of 1998 Regulates conservation of the marine ecosystem and the long term sustainable utilisation of marine living resources
Environment Conservation Act, Act 73 of 1989 The Environment Conservation Act is the other law that relates specifically to the environment. Although most of this Act has been replaced by NEMA, some important sections still remain in operation. These sections relate to:

  • protected natural environments;
  • littering;
  • special nature reserves;
  • waste management;
  • limited-development areas;
  • regulations on noise, vibration and shock; and
  • EIAs.
  • Environment Conservation Amendment Act 98 of 1991
  • Environment Conservation Amendment Act 79 of 1992
  • Environment Conservation Second Amendment Act 115 of 1992
  • Environment Conservation Amendment Act 94 of 1993
  • Environment Conservation Second Amendment Act 52 of 1994
  • Proclamation R27 of 1995
  • Proclamation R43 of 1996
  • National Environment Management Act 107 of 1998
National Water Act, Act 36 of 1998 Relates to all use of water and the management of all water resources in South Africa
National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, Act 39 of 2004 To provide for enhancing the quality of ambient air for the sake of securing an environment that is not harmful to the health and well-being of the people Promulgated to give effect to section 24(b) of the Constitution.

The South African Air Quality Information System is a web-based system that provides information on the quality of ambient air across the country.

Animal Protection Act, Act 71 of 1962 To consolidate and amend the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals Animal Matters Amendment Act, Act 42 of 1993
Animal Diseases Act, Act 35 of 1985 Provides for control measures relating to animal diseases
Animal Health Act, Act 7 of 2002 Regulates animal health
Game Theft Act, Act 105 of 1991 Regulates the ownership and protection of game
Mountain Catchment Areas Act, Act 63 of 1970 Provides for catchment conservation Administered under the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act, Act 15 of 1998
National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 Provides for the protection of heritage resources N/A
World Heritage Conservation Act 49 of 1999 Incorporates the World Heritage Convention into South African law N/A
Problem Animal Control Ordinance, Ordinance 26 of 1957 Regulates problem animals Administered under the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act, Act 15 of 1998
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, Act 28 of 2002 Provides for equitable access to, and sustainable development of, mineral and petroleum resources
Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, Act 45 of 1965 Entire Act repealed on 1 April 2010 in favour of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, Act 39 of 2004
Provincial legislation
Land Use Planning Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1985 The purpose of the Ordinance is to regulate land use and to provide for incidental matters related to land use.
  • Assented to on 22 November 1985
  • Western Cape Land Use Planning Ordinance, 1985, Amendment Act, 2004
Although it might not have a direct application in the management of nature reserves, it does affect the surrounding properties, and could possibly be used to control activities/developments around the reserves to minimise negative effects, for example in applying zoning restrictions.
Cape Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance, Ordinance 19 of 1974 The purpose of this Ordinance is to regulate wild animals and plants, and the establishment of nature reserves. Publication date 1 September 1975 Administered under the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act, Act 15 of 1998
Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act, Act 15 of 1998 The purpose of this Act is to promote and ensure nature conservation, render services and provide facilities for research and training and to generate income Biodiversity agreements are signed under this Act.
Municipal legislation
Integrated Metropolitan Environmental Policy (IMEP), 2001 Envisages a set of Citywide aligned strategies dealing with all aspects of the environment. Influenced the Biodiversity Strategy, 2003
Biodiversity Strategy, 2003 To be a city that leads by example in the protection and enhancement of biodiversity
  • Draft amendment for 2009–2019
Influenced the development of the IRMP
City of Cape Town Bylaw relating to Stormwater Management, LA 31420 To provide for the regulation of stormwater management in the area of the City of Cape Town, and to regulate activities that may have a detrimental effect on the development, operation or maintenance of the stormwater system
  • Publication date 23 September 2005
Communication strategy and action plan will take effect to address the issues with the relevant departments
City of Cape Town Air Pollution Control Bylaw, LA 12649 The purpose of this bylaw is to give effect to the right contained in section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act (Act 108 of 1996) by controlling air pollution within the area of the Council’s jurisdiction; to ensure that air pollution is avoided, or, where it cannot be altogether avoided, is minimised and remedied.
  • Publication date 4 February 2003
Bylaw relating to Community Fire Safety, Province of the Western Cape, LA 11257 The purpose and scope of the bylaw is to promote the achievement of a fire-safe environment for the benefit of all persons within the municipality’s area of jurisdiction, and to provide for procedures, methods and practices to regulate fire safety within the municipal area.
  • Publication date 28 February 2002
A fire management plan to be designed
City of Cape Town Draft Animal Bylaw, 2009 The purpose of the Bylaw is to formulate a new single bylaw, including ten different municipal dog bylaws and the Animal Protection Act of 1962.

The Bylaw includes chapters on dogs, cats, poultry and working equines.

  • Draft, 2009
National legislation
Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 To provide for the health and safety of persons at work, and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for occupational health and safety, and to provide for matters connected therewith. Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act, No 181 of 1993
Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Act 3 of 1997 Provides for control measures pertaining to employment
  • Amendment Act 11 of 2002
Labour Relations Amendment Act, Act 66 of 1995 The Act aims to promote economic development, social justice, labour peace and democracy in the workplace.
  • Labour Relations Amendment Act, 42 of 1996
  • Afrikaans Labour Relations Amendment Act, 1998
  • Labour Relations Amendment Act, 127 of 1998
  • Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2000
  • Amendment Act 12 of 2002
Local Government Municipal Systems Act, Act 32 of 2000 Establishes core principles, processes and mechanisms relating to local government
Promotion of Equality/Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, Act 4 of 2000 Provides for the prevention of discrimination and other related matters
Criminal Procedure Act, Act 51 of 1977 Makes provision for procedures and related matters in criminal proceedings
  • Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, Act 65 of 2008
Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000 To establish a comprehensive and an effective system of firearms control and, to provide for matters connected therewith
Civil Aviation Act, Act 13 of 2009
Fencing Act, Act 31 of 1963 Regulates all matters relating to fencing
Hazardous Substances Act, Act 15 of 1973 Controls substances that may cause injury or ill health to, or death of, human beings by reason of their toxic nature
Land Survey Act, Act 8 of 1997 Regulates land surveying, beacons and other related matters
Promotion of Access to Information Act, Act 2 of 2000 Promotes access to information
Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, Act 3 of 2000 Provides for the promotion of administrative justice
  • Amendment Act 53 of 2002
Regional Services Council Act, Act 109 of 1985 Regulates and controls land, land use and other related matters
Skills Development Act, Act 97 of 1998 Promotes the development of skills
State Land Disposal Act, Act 48 of 1961 Regulates the disposal of state-owned land
Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, Act 70 of 1970 Regulates the subdivision of agricultural land
Tourism Act, Act 72 of 1993 Provides for the promotion of tourism, and regulates the tourism industry A tourism strategy is envisaged.
Public Resorts Ordinance, Ordinance 20 of 1971 Regulates nuisance and pollution control
Municipal Ordinance, Ordinance 20 of 1974 Regulates pollution and waste management
South African National Road Agency Limited and National Roads Act, Act 7 of 1998
Aviation Act, Act 74 of 1962 Provides for the control, regulation and encouragement of aviation activities in the Republic of South Africa
  • Repealed in favour of the Civil Aviation Act, Act 13 of 2009
Provincial legislation
Western Cape Land Administration Act, Act 6 of 1998 Regulates land and land use
Western Cape Planning and Development Act, Act 7 of 1999 Regulates planning and development within the province
Municipal legislation
City of Cape Town Bylaw relating to Filming, LA30441 The purpose of the Bylaw is to regulate and facilitate filming in Cape Town.
  • Provincial Gazette 6277, 24 June 2005
City of Cape Town Bylaw relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances, 2007 The purpose of the Bylaw is to regulate activities in streets and public places, and to prevent excessive noise nuisance
  • Promulgated 28 September 2007, PG 6469; LA 44559
City of Cape Town Bylaw relating to signage

4.2 Administrative framework

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is managed by the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch in the Strategy and Planning Department. The reserve falls under the oversight of the district manager, and is the management responsibility of an area manager, who is assisted by one operational staff member. The operational management of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is supported by various other City of Cape Town departments, including, but not limited to, Law Enforcement, Roads and Stormwater Management, Catchment Management, Water & Sanitation, Information Systems & Technology, City Parks, Sport and Recreation, Public Amenities, Human Resources, and Finance.

Table 4: Current staffing complement of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

Designation Number of staff Workweek Supervisor
Area manager 1 40 hours, Monday–Friday Regional manager
Senior field ranger 1 40 hours, Monday–Friday Area manager
People &conservation officer 1 40 hours, Monday–Friday Area manager
Mechanical plant operator 1 40 hours, Monday–Friday Area manager
Experiential training student Varies 40 hours, Monday–Friday Area manager


5.1 Management objectives

5.1.1 Biodiversity and heritage objectives

The following table lists the management objectives for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve:

Table 5: Management objectives for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

High-level objective Objective Sub-objective Initiative Low-level plan
To conserve a representative sample of the region’s ecosystems in a linked landscape, and maintain or restore environmental processes to enable natural spatial and temporal variation in structural, functional and compositional components of biodiversity
Representative ecosystems
To incorporate a spectrum of viable aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems characteristic of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, and to re-introduce missing elements where possible
Consolidation and expansion of land areas
Consolidate protected areas, focusing on underrepresented ecosystems, functional linkages and processes
(1) Identify underrepresented habitats/ecosystems
(2) Consolidate reserve boundaries
(3) Incorporate untransformed vegetation
(4) Establish corridors linking the Peninsula mountain chain and the False Bay coastline
Reserve expansion plan (needs to be developed)
Re-introduction of biota
Where possible, re-establish locally extinct or depleted biodiversity components and populations in accordance with IUCN principles and guidelines
(1) Re-establish indigenous fauna complement within constraints of reserve size and urban setting Faunal management plan (management guidelines for larger wildlife and their habitats)
Fire management
Apply appropriate fire regime in strandveld and fynbos areas (frequency, season, intensity, size)
(1) Implement a fire management plan in accordance with objectives of conserving biodiversity and threatened biota
(2) Monitor impact of fire management regime
Fire management plan
Threatened biota
Maintain viable populations of threatened species in order to meet obligations in terms of international agreements and conventions
(1) Maintain viable populations of rare/threatened plant and animal species (identify, locate and monitor populations of priority species) Threatened-biota plan (needs to be developed)
Monitoring plan

Implement and maintain an approved monitoring plan for the reserve

(1) Implement and maintain a biological monitoring programme for the reserve Monitoring plan (exists in part)
Rehabilitate degraded areas, including the re-establishment of natural biodiversity patterns, and the restoration of key processes that support the long-term persistence of biodiversity
Re-establish physical, chemical and biological processes in degraded vegetation areas
(1) Rehabilitate all old, degraded sites Vegetation rehabilitation plan (needs to be developed in consultation with biospecialist)
Alien plants and other alien biota
Control and, where possible, eliminate alien biota to facilitate re-establishment of natural biodiversity patterns and process in invaded areas
(1) Establish the distribution and density of invasive species
(2) Prioritise areas for alien removal, focusing on biodiversity restoration
(3) Implement removal programmes for priority species and areas
Invasive-plant management plan

Invasive-animal management plan

APO (exists)

Estuary functioning

Establish protocols maintaining estuary functioning

1) Establish estuary protocols for breaching of estuary mouth Estuary breaching protocols (done)
To reduce threats and pressures and limit environmental impacts resulting from non-biodiversity management aspects and operations on surrounding land and resource use
Reconciling biodiversity with other reserve objectives
To ensure that non-biodiversity management aspects of reserve operations (revenue generation, including visitor, resource use, developments, management activities, etc.) are informed and constrained by biodiversity conservation objectives, and that the impacts of these activities on biodiversity are minimised
Internal developments
Minimise the impacts associated with the development and maintenance of visitor and reserve management infrastructure, and ensure that such developments do not compromise biodiversity objectives
(1) Reserve zoning
(2) Develop and implement Conservation Development Framework (CDF)
(3) Develop in accordance with environmental impact assessment (EIA) process (NEMA) and corporate policies
(4) Establish visitor carrying capacities
(5) Implement green standards and environmental best practice based on corporate policy
CDF (exists in part)
Internal activities
Minimise the impacts associated with visitor and reserve management activities, and ensure that such activities do not compromise biodiversity objectives
Extractive resource use
Minimise the impacts of extractive resource use, and ensure that such activities are aligned with corporate guidelines, are within management capacity constraints, and do not compromise biodiversity objectives
(1) Quantify current extractive resource activities
(2) Define opportunities and constraints in line with corporate guidelines
(3) Regulate resource use according to adaptive management process
Sustainable resource use management plan (needs to be developed)

Note: This is a long-term process, as research into sustainable yields needs to be conducted first.

Reconciling biodiversity with external threats
To reduce external threats and pressures, and limit impacts of surrounding land and resource use on biodiversity conservation within the reserve
External developments
Minimise the impacts associated with inappropriate developments outside the reserve
(1) Engage regional land management authorities, including IDPs and spatial development frameworks at local and regional level
(2) Align with bioregional planning, including explicitly identified areas for the maintenance of important biodiversity patterns and processes with appropriate land use guidelines
(3) Provide input into planning and decision-making processes for external development that may compromise reserve and biodiversity network objectives
(4) Negotiate to ensure that external developments are not visually obtrusive or out of character with the reserve
Branch-wide communication strategy and action plan
External activities
Negotiate to ensure that external resource and land use do not detrimentally affect ecological processes within the reserve
(1) Negotiate to mitigate or improve the management of external, potentially detrimental impacts
(2) Encourage eco-friendly resource use and land management practices on adjacent properties
(3) Mitigate the impacts of oil, sewage, chemical and other pollution events through appropriate contingency planning
Emergency spill contingency plan
(cooperative governance and communication plan) (Environmental Resource Management Department plan)
Illegal harvesting of resources:
Prevent the illegal collection, removal and destruction of physical and biological resources
  1. Public liaison and awareness campaigns
  2. Law enforcement
Reserve protection plan

Safety and security plan

To maintain and restore wildness/remoteness in Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve so that the spiritual and experiential qualities of wildness are maintained, enhanced or, where necessary, restored
Range of experiences
Provide a range of visitor experiences
(1) Reserve zoning
(2) Develop CDF and sensitivity-value analysis
(1) CDF
(2) Reserve expansion plan
(3) Draft invasive-species management plan
Sense of place
Maintain or restore appropriate sense of place
(1) Implement and update CDF
(2) Establish and apply appropriate visitor carrying capacity
(3) Negotiate to ensure that external developments are not visually obtrusive or out of character with the reserve

To investigate and manage all cultural assets

Conserve and manage cultural heritage assets N/A (1) Develop a database of all tangible and intangible cultural assets, including inventory, maps and relevant documentation

(2) Develop site management plans for each cultural heritage site, with monitoring systems in place for management priorities and prescriptions

(3) Facilitate appropriate interpretation of cultural heritage associated with the reserve

Cultural heritage management plan (needs to be developed in consultation with heritage authorities)

5.1.2 Socio-economic objectives:

Table 6: Socio-economic objectives for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

High-level objective Objective Sub-objective (where required) Initiative Low-level plan
Nurture productive and mutually beneficial partnerships that will result in gains in economic and biodiversity equity Enhance socio- economic benefits to local communities Develop partnerships with external and internal stakeholders to facilitate opportunities, such as tourism,local economic development, Working for Water/fire brigade (1) Contribute to local community development by supporting the Expanded Public Works Programme/poverty relief initiatives

(2) Contribute to local skills development by supporting the skillsand learnership programmes

(3) Identify and facilitate the creation of business opportunities in association with the reserve

(4) Support community-based social development initiatives

Local socio-economic development plan (to-be-developed branch-wide plan)
Increase environmental awareness, and encourage participation in conservation initiatives Inspire visitors and communities to consider the environment as an interrelated and interdependent system, of which they are an integral part (1) Develop and implement an interpretation plan that feeds into both the education and zoning plans

(2) Implement environmental education and youth development programmes suited to the needs of each focus group (i.e. tailor-made programmes for each focus group)

Education development plan (southern region’s to be developed)
Educate learners, educators and other community focus groups to be able to take environmental action
Support educators and community leaders with resource and information materials (1) Establish and market an environmental resource centre and outdoor classrooms, with a range of interpretive and information resources
Support cooperative governance that will build custodianship Maintain good reserve/community/stakeholder relations N/A (1) Identify and involve all relevant stakeholders in the reserve advisory forum.

(2) Develop effective communication mechanisms and responsibilities for representatives

(3) Actively support the ongoing involvement of Zandvlei Trust

Stakeholder relationship plan (to-be-developed branch-wide plan)
Effective cooperative governance Minimise degrading impact and consequences of inappropriate development and actions in and around the reserve (1) Establish and maintain good working relationships with relevant government departments as well as internal City of Cape Town departments
Ensure support/buy-in for management decisions through participatory decision-making processes (1) Define roles and responsibilities with stakeholder groups, partnerships and government through written agreements/terms of reference (TOR) and MOUs
Enhance the reserve as a nature-based visitor destination Develop, manage and enhance a range of sustainable visitor products (1) Design customer satisfaction survey

(2) Analyse current product usage, and identify opportunities

Visitor plan andinfrastructure programme
(3) Plan for visitor infrastructure and facilities, as identified by the CDF,business framework and business plan

(4) Develop and implement the infrastructure management plan (in compliance with State of Infrastructure report)

(5) Compile a State of Infrastructure report

Conserve and manage cultural heritage assets (1) Develop a database of all tangible and intangible cultural assets, including inventory, maps and relevant documentation

(2) Develop management plans for each cultural heritage site, with monitoring systems in place for management priorities and prescriptions

(3) Facilitate appropriate interpretation of cultural heritage associated with the reserve

Cultural heritage management plan (to be developed in conjunction with the Environmental Heritage Branch)
Grow the domestic visitor profile to be representative of South African society Grow the domestic visitor profile of the reserve to be representative of regional demographics N/A (1) Promote and manage access to the reserve

(2) Actively market reserve resources and services

Marketing plan (to-be-developed branch-wide plan)
Enhance the City of Cape Town’s reputation Enhance the reserve’s reputation N/A (1) Develop and implement a communication plan to promote reserve activities Communication strategy and action plan (branch-wide)
Advance strategic human resource management Ensure good human resource management N/A (1) Implement and support learnerships and volunteer programmes

(2) Ensure that all staff have access to training initiatives, as per the Workplace Skills Plan

(3) Ensure that all corporate human resource policies are adhered to

Staff capacity-building programme/institutional development and staff capacity-building programme
Financial management Ensure sound financial management practices are applied to and underpin the reserve N/A (1) Manage cost spending appropriately

(2) Ensure that adequate budgets are apportioned to the reserve in light of the developments required to ensure its ongoing operation

Financial sustainability programme
Achieve good corporate governance/management Manage risk profile effectively N/A Conduct legal review Risk management programme

5.2 SWOT analysis

Table 7 contains a preliminary strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats (SWOT) analysis for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve.

Table 7. Preliminary SWOT analysis

Conservation strengths: Existing long-standing local-authority nature reserve Lack of public awareness: Vision of the reserve, information about the management, relevant environmental legislation
Ecosystem strengths: Encompassing a functional tidal estuary, seasonal wetlands, wetland linkages, connectivity corridors and catchment-to-coast benefits Fragmentation of natural areas: Bisections of roads, railways, developments, bulk services and canals
Regional strengths: Linkages with the Peninsula mountain chain, river corridor systems and False Bay coastline Site integrity weaknesses: Site integrity compromised by canals bringing in solid waste and pollution; public open space producing solid waste
Biodiversity strengths: Home to 440 plants, 23 mammals, 167 birds, 24 reptiles, seven amphibians and 30 fish. Protecting three national vegetation types: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Cape Flats Dune Strandveld nd Peninsula Granite Fynbos. Compliance management capacity weakness: Insufficient capacity to patrol current area; insufficient capacity to provide 24 x 7 coverage
Institutional strengths: Managed by the City of Cape Town, which has diverse support and ancillary line functions Present inadequate office, administrative and operational facilities
Planning strengths: Forming part of the City of Cape Town’s biodiversity network, promoting the City of Cape Town’s biodiversity strategy, and aligning with C.A.P.E and the C.A.P.E estuaries programme Shortage of experienced, qualified environmental and/or conservation staff in the industry
Administrative strengths: Section-specific management objectives and management committees (Zandvlei Action Committee) Lack of public support for conservation objectives
Usage strengths: Utilisation for environmental education purposes, by Friends groups, residents and recreational groups, including water sports, bird-watching and fishing Access control: Large portion of reserve boundaries is not easily secured or fenced, preventing control over access and use
Resource strengths: Permanent staff, dedicated budget, facilities secured, fixed and movable assets in place, communications Existing bylaws and legislation inadequate for current use
Awareness-raising opportunities: Media releases, open days, public forums, informative signage, printed publications and internet platforms Impacts of bulk services on environment: Stormwater, sanitation, wastewater reticulation, road lighting and water pipelines
Connectivity opportunities: Corridors to Peninsula mountain chain, along river corridors and the False Bay coastline Uncontrolled access: Persons, domestic animals and watercraft
Training opportunities: Workplace Skills Plan, cooperative training, internships and skills development programmes Edge effects from developments: Dumping, littering, poor water quality and alien fauna and flora
Partnership building with other law enforcement agencies, government agencies and Council line functions Alien and invasive infestations: Established populations of alien invasive fauna and flora
Management facilities: Upgrade of office and environmental education facilities Unnatural fire regime: Either too often, or completely lacking
Career-streaming opportunities for students and interns Negative public perceptions: Nuisance of excessive pondweed, seeds, pollen, insects and smoke from fires
Liaison with Friends groups, and supportive relationships Negative public perceptions: Nuisance of excessive pondweed, seeds, pollen, insects and smoke from fires
Stewardship opportunities for nearby landowners that share in the biodiversity network Increasing development: Population growth, more bulk services, more recreational pressure and more pollution of environment
Creation of an overarching advisory board Irregular funding: Students, interns, operating and capital budgets
Revision of old bylaws, and drafting of a new Recreational Water Areas Bylaw Loss of biodiversity: Development of adjacent areas causing ‘hardening’ of urban landscape,over-utilisation of biodiversity resources
Liaison and advice to managing lines functions of the caravan park and picnic areas Changing political structures: Discontinuity in political support

5.3 Protected-area management policy framework and guiding principles

5.3.1 Community participation

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve will strive to facilitate productive and mutually beneficial partnerships, which will result in appropriate and sustainable recreational and educational activities. This will be achieved through engaging with the various users, line functions, residents and interested parties that utilise the estuary and environs.

The reserve will conduct an environmental education programme in order to raise local environmental awareness and encourage participation in conservation initiatives. This will be done through an environmental education plan that will aim to achieve the following:

  • To inspire visitors and communities to consider the environment as an interrelated and interdependent system, of which they are an integral part
  • To educate students, educators and community focus groups, and support such groups with resources and information materials
  • To develop and implement environmental education programmes suited to the needs of various focus groups
  • To develop and implement an interpretation plan that complements the environmental education plan

The programme will be based at the Zandvlei Environmental Education Centre, and will use the greater Zandvlei area. The programme will make use of permanent staff, volunteers and community members in order to present its programmes.

In order to develop and maintain good reserve/community/stakeholder relations, the Zandvlei Action Committee meets quarterly to deal with operational issues. This committee comprises all relevant stakeholders from Council, civil society and recreational groups.

Formal recreational organisations presently lease land adjacent to the reserve, where two facilities for yachting, rowing, wind surfing and sea cadets have been erected.

5.3.2 Safety and security

A safety and security audit aimed at completing a rapid and verifiable analysis of the current security situation, risk zones, security services, infrastructure, staffing and social context has been carried out on Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. See appendix 10 for an executive summary of this report.

5.3.3 Culture-historical, archaeological and paleontological management

Our present understanding is that, although the Muizenberg area is rich in culture-historical assets, nothing of significance is to be found within the boundaries of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. However, the City of Cape Town’s Cultural Resources Department should review the area, and a culture-historical, archaeological and paleontological zoning should be developed.

5.3.4 Tourism development and management

The Muizenberg area has a variety of economic tourism activities that are currently pursued. A number of these, such as the western-shore picnic area, braai area and caravan park, are located immediately adjacent to the reserve. A fully integrated precinct plan should be developed for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, which would indicate suitable tourism and recreational development nodes, and will be guided by the infrastructure and zoning plans.

5.3.5 Infrastructure management

The reserve presently has limited infrastructure, with offices, a works building, bridges and three bird hides. However, there are sizable structures, such as roads, bridges, railway lines and bulk services, immediately adjacent to the reserve. Various departments within the City of Cape Town and National Government share responsibility for these structures.

A five-year maintenance plan should be drawn up, and derelict infrastructure with no use should be demolished and the sites rehabilitated.

5.3.6 Biodiversity conservation management Community-based natural resource management

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve presently provides a range of goods and services, varying from direct consumptive use to non-consumptive, passive use. The presence of the water body and estuary positively affects the aesthetic, recreational and therefore also the commercial value of the surrounding area.

Direct-use values: These values comprise the use of the natural resources of the estuary for commercial or subsistence purposes. These can be consumptive uses – for example, the use of fish as food – or non-consumptive, such as the use of the estuary for recreation.

Consumptive uses: Fishing is the primary form of consumptive use, with an unknown quantity of fish being removed from Zandvlei annually. These are primarily alien fish, such as Cyprinus carpio (carp),as well as indigenous estuarine species, such as Liza and Mugil species (harders) and Lichia amia (leervis). Fishing activities are regulated through the issuance of provincial and national fishing permits. Awareness raising campaigns are needed to educate the general public on the permit requirements, the bag and size limits applicable and the identification of fish species.

Callianassa krausii (Sand prawn) is often illegally harvested by means of pumping on the submerged sand flats at the estuary mouth.

From available knowledge, a limited amount of plant material is illegally harvested. This is primarily for the cut flower and gardening trade.

Non-consumptive uses: The wide variety of recreational activities that take place on the vlei would fall into this category. These include wind surfing, yachting, rowing, canoeing and kite surfing. Adjacent recreational activities, such as picnics, braais, walking and camping, are all as a result of the presence of the vlei.

Recreational fishing on a catch-and-release basis, a common pastime at Zandvlei, would also fall into this category. Fire management

Fire plays an essential ecological role in the lifecycle of fynbos species. Fire is crucial to the long-term conservation of species in Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, and is therefore considered an important component of nature reserve management. Fire management involves varying the season, frequency and intensity of fires, and reconciling ecological and practical requirements. Too frequent fires, or fires that burn out of phase with the natural burning regime, present a threat to slower-growing species, which may be eliminated entirely. If fire is excluded from the area, encroachment may result in species losses. Conversely, if vegetation is allowed to burn too frequently, the area becomes degraded, and alien species, especially grasses, could invade. Grasses maintain a shorter fire cycle, and permanently change the vegetation structure and biodiversity value of the area.

The fire management programme for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve involves the monitoring of large wildfires as well as smaller fires,whether natural or unnatural (see appendix 11 for fire management plan). Historic records of fire events in the reserve area as well as post-fire monitoring records assist in the documentation of veld ages, which, in turn, influence fire management. Minimal interference takes place when naturally ignited fires occur. In cases where human-induced fires occur that would simulate a natural fire, the same management responses would apply. Natural fires are limited in spread within the constraints of ecological, project and public safety requirements. All possible actions are taken to prevent the spread of fire onto the adjacent properties. All unnatural fires that threaten the reserve ecologically, or pose a threat to infrastructure and/or public safety, are controlled (Sheasby 2009).

Prescribed burning of vegetation is a management option in areas where vegetation becomes senescent (old) and there is a risk of species loss. The use of prescribed burning practices would assist in maintaining a vegetation mosaic that promotes plant and animal diversity. Accurate fire records and post-fire monitoring data will facilitate the initiation of prescribed burns in the core area of the reserve. The decision to administer prescribed burns is considered on an annual basis and, if required, planned and implemented accordingly including newspaper articles and letter drops of neighbouring properties to increase awareness. Fire may be used to keep fuel loads low, so as to reduce the risk of uncontrolled fires, particularly on the urban edge and in areas that pose a potential risk to infrastructure and public safety. Firebreaks and other fire control measures required by law will be implemented where necessary and feasible (Sheasby 2009).

The nature of the area’s terrain, property boundaries and extensive areas of natural veld increase the chances of fire spreading both into and out of the reserve. Reasonable pre-fire protection measures are necessary, as well as a plan of action in the event of wildfire. The interaction with various City of Cape Town departments and independent stakeholders, and continuous public and private landowner involvement are essential. The development of fire protection and response plans is an important component of the reserve’s fire management.

Fire management implementation in Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve involves the following:

  • Application of guidelines on seasonal burning intervals and species requirements acquired from relevant documentation and biophysical specialists
  • Accurate record keeping of all fires, including details and maps
  • Use of fire data and geographic information systems for recording and mapping
  • Application of post-fire monitoring programmes
  • Application of fire data to determine prescribed burning needs
  • Development and implementation of a fire protection and response plan, including affected stakeholders, such as additional City of Cape Town departments and private landowners neighbouring the reserve Soil erosion and control

Due to the flat topography of Zandvlei, there is very limited soil movement. However, upper portions of the catchment, in particular the Keysers river, are on the slopes of Constantia mountain. This steep terrain, coupled with the agricultural activities and urbanised hardening of the catchment, results in sediment being carried by these rivers. The rate of sedimentation in Zandvlei is presently unknown, and requires investigation in terms of its long-term impacts.

Natural erosion events from flooding, wave action or the natural depositing of banks are monitored annually but are not treated unless they pose a risk to adjacent residential property. Invasive-species management

The management of invasive species is a priority within ZandvleiEstuary Nature Reserve. Alien biota need to be controlled and, where possible, eliminated in order to facilitate the re-establishment of natural biodiversity and processes in invaded areas.

Invasive species are plants and animals occurring outside their natural distribution ranges, establishing themselves, spreading, and outcompeting and replacing indigenous species. Alien species are species introduced to areas outside their natural distribution range – alien to a country or region.

Invasive alien species are introduced species, alien to the country/region,which establish, spread, and outcompete/replace indigenous species.

Invasive and alien-species management within the reserve is applied in accordance with the City of Cape Town’s invasive alien species strategy and in coordination with various government-funded initiatives, including Working for Water and Working for Wetlands. Invasive alien plant species could spread rapidly should management fail to continue to implement a properly planned and coordinated programme.

Until recently, invasive species management had focused mainly on woody alien plant species, such as Acacia saligna and Acacia cyclops. Herbacious weeds had been largely ignored. Recent monitoring and the development of an extensive herbaceous weed and grass species survey for the reserve have however shown that some herbaceous species already pose a risk to biodiversity in the area, while others could become one.

In order to protect indigenous species from invasive aliens, the following is required:

  • Prioritisation of areas for alien removal, focusing on biodiversity restoration
  • The implementation of removal programmes for priority species and areas
  • The development and implementation of an invasive and alien management plan as well as a management plan for alien biota

Note: Section 76 of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act refers to the need for an invasive-species control and eradication strategy:

In terms of section 76 of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act –

(1) The management authority of a protected area preparing a management plan for the area in terms of the Protected Areas Act must incorporate into the management plan an invasive species control and eradication strategy.

The definition of ‘invasive species’ should be noted. An invasive species is any species that establishes and spreads outside its natural distribution range:

(4) An invasive species monitoring, control and eradication plan must include-

(a) a detailed list and description of any listed invasive species occurring on the relevant land;

(b) a description of the parts of that land that are infested with such listed invasive species;

(c) an assessment of the extent of such infestation;

(d) a status report on the efficacy of previous control and eradication measures;

(e) the current measures to monitor, control and eradicate such invasive species; and

(f) measurable indicators of progress and success, and indicators of when the control plan is to be completed.

Invasive and alien faunal species are also controlled in the reserve. Formal plans outlining the monitoring of removal of identified species are however required.

Catchment management and invasive species management need to work in partnership in the riverine and wetland areas. Of concern is the eutrophication of the waterways due to urban stormwater runoff and nutrient loading from agricultural areas. This is causing increased siltation leading to shallow wetlands and expansion of reedbeds. Species introductions

Species that were historically indigenous to the Zandvlei area, and for which suitable habitat and eco-niches are available,may be re-introduced. Several fauna species that previously occurred in Zandvlei are no longer present or down to small numbers.

Prior to the re-introduction of any species, a full proposal is required. Investigation into the availability of suitable habitat for the species with reference to public utilisation of areas is required, as is an investigation into the historical occurrence and status of the species. The effect of re-introducing species to the area must also be researched. Re-introduction of potentially dangerous and problematic species may also require a public participation process. An investigation of suitable sources is also necessary.

All proposed re-introductions need to be recommended and approved by the flora and fauna management committees as well as provincial authorities before implementation. The implementation of any re-introduction programmes must be specified in a plan of action, and documented accurately. Strategic research

The collection of baseline data is essential for determining the presence of species, and to determine the extent to which management actions should take place. Monitoring is required to determine the success of management actions as well as to provide an indication of long-term change. Research on the property is vital for obtaining more knowledge on the environment.

CapeNature has numerous manuals on monitoring and baseline data collection, for further reference and guidance.

5.4 Sensitivity analysis of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is a considerable asset to the City of Cape Town and significantly contributes to national vegetation targets of threatened vegetation types, as listed in the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (Driver et al. 2005), as well as providing a service and facilities to local residents and schools.

The development of the sensitivity and zoning plan is one of the steps required in compiling a CDF for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. CDFs are tools to reconcile the various landuse needs, and to delineate visitor user zones and the positioning and nature of new infrastructure, access points, roads and facilities.

The CDF process has grown in response to the requirements of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act of 2004, and seeks to comply with the spatial planning requirements of the Act. The CDFs will ensure that best practice and sustainable development principles are integrated with spatial planning in protected areas.

The sensitivity-value analysis is the landscape analysis portion of the broader CDF. It is a multi-criteria decision-support tool for spatial planning, designed to present the best available information in a format that enables defensible and transparent decision making. The sensitivity-value process is based on the principle that the acceptability of a development (or placement of a structure) at a site is based on that site’s value (arising from the site’s biodiversity, heritage, aesthetic or other values) and its sensitivity or vulnerability to a variety of disturbances (Holness 2005).

The sensitivity-value analysis, the CDF and the associated zoning plan should form part of an adaptive management system, and will grow and change over time as the understanding of the landscapes and ecosystems improves. However, they will never replace the need for detailed site and precinct planning and EIA compliance at site level.

The methodology used for both the sensitivity-value analysis and the zoning process was adapted from Holness and Skowno (2008) and SRK Consulting (20081; 20082). All geographic information work was carried out in ESRI’s ArcMap, version 9.3.1, using the ArcInfo licence level, with Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst extensions. See appendix 12 for the complete sensitivity-value analysis and zoning process (Purves 2010).

5.5 Zoning plan of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

5.5.1 Zoning informants

This section briefly outlines the values underlying the identification of broad tourism use zones. It is important to remember that the landscape/biodiversity analysis is just one of the informants in the zoning process. Although the biodiversity analysis is intrinsically a relatively objective scientific process, other informants to the zoning process are not.

Although every attempt is made to place high sensitivity-value sites into more protected zones where possible, the zoning process is essentially a compromise between environment and development. In particular, the identified high-value sites are often the key biodiversity assets that need to be made available to the eco-tourism market in an appropriate manner. The biodiversity layers and the spatial management of the reserve are directly linked during the identification of special management areas. Even within broad high-tourist use zones, some areas are likely to be subject to very tight conservation controls (potentially including complete exclusion of human impacts from an area).

Underlying decision-making rules used in the zoning process

  • The zoning process is aimed at striking a balance between environmental protection and the development required to meet the broader economic and social objectives of the reserve.
  • The zoning process takes into account existing development footprints and tourism access routes.
  • This is based on the underlying principle that, all else being equal, an existing transformed site is preferable to a green-field site, from a biodiversity perspective.
  • Infrastructure costs are dramatically increased when developments take place away from existing infrastructure.
  • Existing tourism nodes and access routes are a reality of the economic landscape, and it would not be possible to shut down existing tourism sites that compromise the development objectives of the reserve.
  • Where existing development nodes, tourist sites and access routes occur in areas with high sensitivity-value, the broad-use zoning aims to keep the development footprint as small as is realistically possible, preferably within the existing transformed site.
  • Where possible, sites with high biodiversity sensitivity-value are put into stronger protection zones.
  • Peripheral development is favoured and should, where possible, be located outside the conservation area.
  • The designation of a broad-use zone does not imply that all sites within that zone would be suitable for all the development types anticipated. Detailed site-level planning is still required, and many sites may prove to be unsuitable at a site/precinct/EIA level of planning.
  • Special management areas/overlays need to be formalised and linked to the management plans.

5.5.2 Zoning definitions and descriptions

The zoning definitions and descriptions were workshopped with area and regional managers. Four categories were decided on, namely primary conservation zone, conservation zone, low-intensity leisure zone and high-intensity leisure zone. Appendix 12 outlines the proposed zoning and zone descriptions within the Sensitivity and value analysis report. Map 6 outlines the zoning for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. The process is still linked to the zoning used for the CapeNature reserves (Holness& Skowno 2008), as there should be general alignment of the broader use zones to enable comparison and integration if provincial documents so require.

Map 6: Reserve zoning


The development plan is still to be completed within the detailed precinct planning for the high-intensity use zone. This plan will indicate suitable development nodes, and will be guided by the infrastructure and zoning management plans.


Table 8: Broad costing management plan for the reserve

The costing plan details the broad-category breakdown for management interventions for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve for the period 2011–2016.

Management action Funding source Approximate costs
Approximate costs
Approximate costs
Approximate costs
Approximate costs
1. Invasive alien plant programme

  • Clearing of important alien plants 1 & 2
Grant funding R20 000 R21 000 R22 050 R23 153 R24 310
2. Fire management

  • Maintenance of fire belts
Operating R15 000 R15 750 R16 000 R16 537 R17 364
3. Road and trail maintenance

  • Road repairs
  • Footpath maintenance


R4 750

R5 000

R4 987

R5 250

R5 236

R5 512

R5 498

R5 788

R5 773

R6 077

4. Fencing

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • New fence reserve



Capital expenditure

R15 000

R123 000

R15 750

R16 000

R16 537

R17 364

5. Infrastructure development

  • Zandvlei, office complex
Capital expenditure R300 000
6. Human resources

  • Direct human resources costs
Operating R1 250 000 R1 350 000 R1 458 000 R1 574 640 R1 700 611
7. General expenses

  • General operating costs
Operating R825 000 R866 250 R909 562 R955 040 R1 002 792
8. Special projects

  • Zandvlei Trust
  • Signage and interpretation

Capital expenditure

R10 000

R20 000

R10 500

R11 025

R11 576

R12 155


Human resources costs are escalated at 8% per annum.

Operating expenditure is escalated at 5% per annum.