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MWF Minutes of the Meeting 220709

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					Mpumalanga Wetland Forum Minutes of the Meeting Held: 22 July 2009, 10h00 Venue: Mbombela Local Municipality (Civic Centre), Nelspruit. Issues 1. Welcome Gavin Cowden welcomed everyone present. He also thanked Patrick Khosa of Mbombela Local Municipality for hosting the meeting. 2. Attendance 2.1 Present See Attendance Register (attached). All present introduced themselves. 2.2 Apologies Hein Geldenhys – Dept of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Vusi Zwane - Mbombela Local Municipality Namhla Mbona – SANBI Koos Smit – Exxaro Resources Charl Nolte – Exxaro Resources Ronell Niemand – MTPA Andre Beetge – WfW Lael Richards – Clean Stream Environmental Services Adie Erasmus – Clean Stream Environmental Services Riana Van Rensburg - Clean Stream Environmental Services Sekwele Ramogale - DWAF 3. Acceptance of Agenda The agenda was accepted, subject to the following additional items: 9.2. Wetland Training – Anni Schwirzer 9.3. Tweefontein Prospecting – Chris Foster 4. Minutes of Previous Meeting 4.1 Acceptance of Minutes of Previous Meeting The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted without any changes and seconded by Tolmay Hopkins and Anni Schwirzer. Responsible Person

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Mpumalanga Wetland Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 July 2009

Issues Actions arising from the minutes: 1. The Msukaligwa / Albert Luthuli Environmental Management Framework (EMF) is still available for comment and those still wishing to become involved can contact Gavin Cowden. 2. Aletta Ntshabele was to provide feedback at the meeting on the Msukaligwa / Albert Luthuli EMF. This item remains open and will be actioned at the next MWF meeting. 3. Provision of data and water samples from the Komati catchment to Koos Pretorius remains ongoing. 4. Gavin Cowden followed up with David Lindley regarding how the Mondi Wetland Programme can support the forum. Feedback from David Lindley was that hiring a person to assist the forum with technical support was not what the forum needed. There needs to be more of a formation of ‘communities of practice’ whereby people learn from each other as the forum is full of expertise and learn through practice. The Mondi Wetland Programme is looking into how they can support communities of practice to aid the forum with any problems and issues. This is still being thought through and is open for discussion or comment. 5. Gavin Cowden to send out the Wetland Database to all members. 6. Chris Foster to follow up with Komatiland Forests on wetland information for the National Wetland Inventory. 4.2 Matters Arising not Listed on Agenda None. 5. Presentations 5.1 Greening Project in Mbombela – Patrick Khoza 84% of Mbombela Local Municipality is rural. The communities complain about illegal dumping and pollution. The past response of the municipality was to conduct one-day clean up campaigns, which proved to be ineffective. The municipality then got involved in a greening project (ending in July 2010). This project aims to educate as well as empower and capacitate the community and make the community responsible for the condition of their surrounding environment. The project helps develop community businesses (relating to greening) and provides the individual community businesses/projects with the expertise, support and equipment needed. Progress so far – 80% of ward committees have had workshops and business plans are starting to come in. Collection of data from all the wards, reviewing of the business plans received and subjecting successful applicants to training and capacity building is still to be completed. The programme was supported and encouraged by the MWF. Moses Makhweyane suggested that Mbombela use set aside some of the budget to engage stakeholders outside the project to assist with the programme (expertise
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Responsible Person

Aletta Ntshabele

All Members, DWAF, Eskom &MDALA

Gavin Cowden Chris Foster

Mpumalanga Wetland Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 July 2009

Issues etc.). David Lindley praised the municipality on the work they are doing and enjoyed the presentation however he brought up the issue of ‘social change’. The presentation focused on the ‘what’ of the programme but the important issue is ‘how?’ – How are you going to support the groups? How do you get people involved? How do you mobilise prior knowledge? How do you work with people? It is very difficult to achieve this and these questions were just provided for some thought. 5.2 Rehabilitation of Bergvlam Wetland – Ria Wilkin, representing the Innibos Bergvlam Mbombela Wetland Project. Innibos went ‘green’ this year. The Innibos Bergvlam Mbombela Wetland Project was launched on 2 July 2009 in conjunction with the Soccer Greening 2010. The aim of the project is to upgrade the whole river system flowing into the Bergvlam wetland. This will be done through removal of alien invasive species, restoration of river banks and the planting of indigenous plant species. The project would also like to make walking trails and bird hides. The project will involve the schools along the system and include training and education. The project is still in the planning stages, waiting on funding. If the Lotto funding does come through a total of 7 wetlands are planned to be rehabilitated. Tolmay Hopkins offered other potential stakeholders that may be willing to participate in the project – SANRAL, Mercure Hotel and Halls. David Lindley offered advice from previous mistakes the Mondi Wetland Programme has made, that it is important to work with surrounding landowners and community (through a social learning process) to ensure that once the wetland/river system is rehabilitated it will remain that way. Chris Foster mentioned that two years previously Komatiland Forests were approached and they sponsored fencing for the Bergvlam wetland. Gavin Cowden suggested that a stewardship programme for the project be looked into. Perhaps schools can become stewards of a particular section of the river and they can put up sign boards mentioning “ownership” and the project. Gavin Cowden also offered the use of the MWF for contacts and expertise. Patrick Khoza pointed out that the World Cup 2010 promotes the use of fewer vehicles (park and ride). Bergvlam is situated right near the fan park and thus a walking trail would definitely feed into that. Daleen Strydom mentioned that regarding alien invasive plant removal, Working for Water only works up until a certain point and thought needs to be put into who will maintain the surrounding areas. Ria Wilkin said a 5-year monitoring
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Responsible Person

Mpumalanga Wetland Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 July 2009

Issues programme with an external auditor every 3 months has been put into the plans. 6. Discussion 6.1 Kabokweni Wetland Patrick Khosa approached the MWF for assistance with a wetland in Kabokweni. The main issues surrounding the wetland are illegal dumping and soil erosion. David Lindley suggested this would be an ideal practical outing for the forum, which consists of expertise in various different fields, to learn from each other while helping Mbombela Municipality. Gavin Cowden to set a date for a field visit and inform forum members. Patrick Khosa to send Gavin Cowden possible dates he is available for the field visit. 6.2 MWF Annual Compliance Reporting It was agreed by the forum that a compliance working group should be established as discussed in previous meetings and that the MWF should play more of a monitoring role and provide feedback. Daleen Strydom brought to everyone’s attention that DWAF has a wetland task group (coordinated by Jackie Jay) which works on wetlands in distress and the template they use for categorizing and listing the wetlands is a very good one. Tolmay Hopkins is to send Gavin Cowden the DWAF template. Tolmay Hopkins also suggested that perhaps a way to play a monitoring role is to table the wetlands with issues and elevate that table up to the DWAF task team and if after that they require assistance the MWF can get involved. Tolmay Hopkins suggested contacting Fairbridge Mnisi in the compliance section of DWAF for the working group. Gavin Cowden requested contacts for the compliance working group. He will send out an email to all members regarding the working group and will set up a meeting. 6.3 MWF Strategic Planning Workshop David Lindley gave the brief history of the wetlands forums – 13 years ago the Wetland Indaba started by the South African Wetland Working Group (SAWWG) because people interested in and working in the wetland field wanted to get together to discuss wetland issues and learn from each other. As the wetland field grew so provincial forums formed. These forums have played key roles in wetland conservation. However, we seem to have lost track a little which needs to be discussed.
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Responsible Person

Gavin Cowden Patrick Khosa

Tolmay Hopkins

All Members Gavin Cowden

Mpumalanga Wetland Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 July 2009

Issues David Lindley introduced everyone to the theory of informal learning called ‘Communities of Practice’. This is the practice of people coming together and sharing their knowledge and learning from each other. David Lindley mentioned, from experience at the Mondi Wetland Programme, that theory is necessary however one needs the practical side to make meaning. We need to get back to basic understandings of wetlands and we need to structure learning better. Finding problems intrigues people. David Lindley also mentioned that today a lot of people are just involved in the wetland/environmental industry because it is a job and it pays the bills, and it is the forums role to bring back the passion and enthusiasm around wetlands/environment. Gavin Cowden asked the members present to please, on the pieces of paper provided, answer the following questions – “What do you want from the forum?” and “Why are you here today?”, the answers are to remain anonymous. Gavin Cowden suggested having a strategic planning workshop before the end of the year to determine if the forum is heading in the right direction and if not where it should be going. Leigh Potter suggested that the next get-together of the members be a full day session, with the strategic planning workshop in the morning and the normal MWF meeting in the afternoon. She also suggested a more central venue. The forum agreed to both these suggestions. Patrick Khoza suggested that to improve attendance be specific with the invites and include invites to municipal managers. 7. Feedback 7.1 National Wetland Inventory Kim Webb gave feedback on the first meeting of the NWI working group for Mpumalanga. The turnout was extremely poor and the meeting will be rescheduled. The forum agreed that the initiative is worth being involved in. Kim Webb requested that contact details of the correct people that need to be involved be sent to her, an email to all members will also be sent out with this request. Daleen Strydom volunteered to be involved and Chris Foster volunteered to send through contact information for a few people. 8. Items for Adoption None.
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Responsible Person

All Members Kim Webb Daleen Strydom Chris Foster

Mpumalanga Wetland Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 July 2009

Issues 9. General 9.1 MWF Newsletter Gavin Cowden let the forum know that whoever would like to contribute to the newsletter is more than welcome to and it would be greatly appreciated. If anyone would like to contribute please contact either Gavin Cowden or Kim Webb and a template will be forwarded. 9.2 Back to Basics Wetland Course Anni Schwirzer mentioned to the forum that the Gauteng Wetland Forum is holding a 2-day (13 – 14 August 2009) Back to Basics Wetland Course in Kyalami. Cost per person is R250.00. 9.3 Tweefontein Prospecting Makana Exploration and Mining have applied to prospect on the Tweefontein farm (borders Belfast). There are numerous natural wetlands and rehabilitated (by Working for Water) wetlands on the property. Chris Foster is to email the BID to Gavin Cowden to circulate to the members. Chris Foster is also to register on behalf of the MWF as an I&AP. 10. Next Meeting Date and Venue The next MWF meeting is scheduled for the 25 November 2009. Strategic Planning Workshop: 09h00 – 11h00, Meeting: 12h00 – 14h00. Venue to be arranged. 11. Thanks, Closure and Site Visit Gavin Cowden gave special thanks to Tolmay Hopkins, who is leaving Mpumalanga. Gavin Cowden thanked Tolmay Hopkins for her extraordinary effort in chairing the MWF and her continued involvement and support. Gavin Cowden also thanked Patrick Khosa for hosting the forum.

Responsible Person

All Members

Chris Foster Gavin Cowden

Gavin Cowden

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ATTENDANCE REGISTER
Meeting held on the 22 July 2009 at Mbombela Local Municipality Name Anni Schwirzer Chris Foster Daleen Strydom David Lindley Gavin Cowden Jimmy Sekgale Kim Webb Leigh Potter Moses Makhweyane Nocawe Mthombothi Patrick Khoza Raymond du Preez Ria Wilkin Simphiwe Ngwenya Tolmay Hopkins Organisation Maccaferri Telephone 083 282 9717 Fax No. 011 704 0159 086 613 6355 012 667 2741 011 462 5663 086 667 1235 013 754 2134 086 630 4313 e-mail anni.schwirzer@maccaferri.co.za cfoster@klf.co.za StrydomDa@dwaf.gov.za Lindley@wetland.org.za GCowden@mpg.gov.za kwebb@wessanorth.co.za leighp@ewt.org.za mmakhweyane@ledc.co.za Nocawe@mpg.gov.za PatrickK@mbombela.gov.za rdupreez@xstratacoal.co.za ria.wilkin@telkomsa.net Ngwenyasg@gmail.com hopkinst@dwaf.gov.za Area of Expertise Wetland Rehab & Erosion Control Alien Invasive Plant Control Wetland Rehab, Management & Education Strategic Env. Management EIAs & Compliance Monitoring Conservation Biology Predator Management Water Policy EIAs & Monitoring &

Komatiland Forests 083 677 0839 DWAF: Working for Water 082 335 8122 Mondi Wetlands Programme 083 222 9155 Mpumalanga Dept of DEDET 071 541 7783 076 673 0777

WESSA 072 880 1722 EWT Threatened Grassland 076 284 1136 Species Programme Ehlanzeni DM 013 759 8648 DEDET Mbombela Municipality XCSA 082 683 0594 082 771 7431 082 307 1354

Compliance

UmSinsi Env. Specialist 082 338 6934 MLM (volunteer env. 072 826 6478 Management) DWEA 082 808 2693

Operational & Env. Management Urban Ecologist & EIAs

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Description: MWF Minutes of the Meeting 220709