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                                CRUSADERS CANOE CLUB
                                 MONDAY 26 January 2009


            Name                       E-mail             Numbers                 Organisation
Steve Cohen               083 320 4200     DUCT

Andrew Booth                    033-3457571      DUCT

Gail Reid                    0844996494       Crusaders Canoe Club

Margaret Burger              083 630 5380     Umgeni Estuary Conservancy

Gary Cullen             0826595204       Cullen & Associates

Bongani Zwane    729253932            DSW Education

Akash Singh           0836331850       EWS Pollution & Environment

Gravel Lin Blonden               031-3362144      DWAF

Pat Reddy                     0828089927       DWAF

Jean Lindsey                0825504427       KZN Conservancies Assoc.

Chris Fennemore       0828046386       EWS Pollution & Environment
                                                                           Ethekwini Parks: Natural
Thami Kunene           0313124466       Resources

AK Kamdar                        0847869119       National Manpower

Lorraine Ralf                  0315792460       National Manpower

Liza Ralfe                     0315792460       National Manpower

Travis Wilkinson            0828896383       Kingfisher Canoe Club

Fred Deyzel                   0827880333       Kingfisher Canoe Club

             Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust               1


Steve Cohen (SC) welcomed participants to the meeting. He thanked everyone for
making an effort after normal working hours and commented on the excellent

Apologies: Dave Still, Peter Rowan, Steve Butler, Derrick Mathews, Carmen Anderson,
Anthony Jones


The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and, after amendments made,
accepted as a fair reflection of proceedings.


The actions list was reviewed and progress noted. See Annex 1 at end of minutes.


4.1.     Dusi Canoe Marathon
Gravel provided a summary of the activities of the role players involved in ensuring that
the water quality during the Dusi Canoe Marathon was as good as possible. The
initiative involved the collaboration of DWAF, Umgeni Water and the respective
municipalities. He stated that due to a number of infrastructure constraints such as those
as Darvell Sewerage Works, the single biggest risk factor is rain. The team targeted
hotspots on tributaries entering the Umsunduzi River. Hotspots were monitored 7-days a
week in the lead up to the race. The results from water quality tests before and during
the race were on the whole very good and a marked improvement on the previous year.

Discussion on the race focused on the blockages in the river due to thick stands of
aquatic invasives including water lettuce and hyacinth. Concern was also raised from
those who had raced the Dusi with regard to the black and smelly water on day 3
between pump house weirs and the N2. Potential reasons for this raised were a)
construction and excavations at the pump house weirs, b) high water levels absorbing
sewer leaks that had previously been collecting above the normal water line. SC offered
to send eThekwini Water and Sanitation a map depicting an area of the bad water
quality and Akash agreed in turn to investigate further.

On a sad note, Gravel informed the forum that he will be retiring. The chairperson
thanked him for all his effort, wisdom and support that he provided to the forum and
stakeholders of the river system over the years.

            Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust                 2

4.2.    Springfield River Conservation Project
Lorraine Ralf and AK Kamder provided a brief presentation on the status of the
Springfield project. There was solid progress on a number of fronts, including the
removal of aliens on the river frontage on Willowfield Road and rehabilitation of that river
bank. The project was also being used very successfully in raising environmental
awareness and appreciation amongst its workforce. The recruitment of other companies
to participate in the initiative was however proving quite slow.

Gary Cullen, who has been providing some technical support to the initiative, provided
further information on activities under the auspices of the conservation initiative. These
included the erection of trash booms and clearing of alien plants. He also provided some
insights into other initiatives, such as the design and development of a sustainable urban
drainage system for the local catchment that encompassed reed filtration and
rehabilitated wetlands. He noted that National Manpower is providing funding for Mvubu
co-operative to undertake much of the work in the clearing and rehabilitating the river

It was noted that Mvubu had filled at least 15 skips recently in clearing out waste on the
banks along Springfield Park. There was discussion on which authority was responsible
for a) cleaning up dumping in public areas and b) responsible for prosecuting offenders.
It was noted that DAEA and DSW responsible for dumping, but Metro police can fine –
031 361 0000. DAEA to be invited to the next meeting.

4.3.     Riverside Road Initiative/ Umgeni Estuary Conservancy
Margaret Burger provided an update on the progress being made by the Riverside Road
Initiative, largely sponsored by NCP Alcohols and activities of the Conservancy. Umvubu
cuts the grass and cleans the Riverside Road area approximately 3 times a week. There
was a request for new dustbins on the Riverside Road side of the river. The Riverside
Road Initiative and Umvubu Environmental Services are looking for additional funding for
the medium term (current contract with NCP ends February 2010).


Akash Singh from eThekwini Water & Sanitation delivered a presentation that inter alia
summarised the water quality results from testing on the Lower Mgeni over the last
quarter. He outlined some of the problems and what was sorted out. The burst rising
main at Kennedy bridge was fixed. A hand out of historical results was provided.

An oily soapy residue on the water was reported – it was agreed that eThekwini W&S
would monitor the area and keep an eye out for this.

            Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust                      3


It was noted that there was very bad dumping sites on the side of the river opposite
Papwa Seegolum golf course on day 3 of the Dusi. Discussion was held on which
authority was responsible for removing solid waste in open spaces and in riparian areas.
It was suggested that eThekwini Coastal and Drainage department was responsible for
dumping along watercourses. Bongani stated that DSWs mandate was verges and
residential properties. It was noted that the authorities need to increase environmental
awareness and outreach messaging among the youth. A site visit with Bongani was
suggested to ascertain the reasons and extent of the problem (such as poor collection
services). Gary suggested a broader site inspection of all the hotspots on the lower


Steve Butler tended his apologies for not attending as there was KNCU meeting at the
same time. However he relayed to the Chairman before the meeting that the current
management approach to the aquatic invasive problem on the Lower Mgeni was clearly
not working and urgent and co-ordinated action by the relevant role players was needed
to turn around the situation. It was noted that the 3rd day of the Dusi Marathon
highlighted the problem with large stretches of the river impassable to aquatic invasive


Andrew Booth provided a brief overview of DUCT’s efforts to improve the management
of sand mining on the Dusi & Mgeni Rivers. He stated that after initial enthusiasm from
the amakosi in the valley about setting up a Trust to manage sand winning operations in
the Valley, there has been very slow progress on their side. It was suggested that the
project focus on practical deliverables such as training community monitors to monitor
sites and undertake pilot rehabilitation exercises at degraded sites.


There was a proposal for a Saturday workshop to involve all local authorities to establish
and co-ordinate roles and responsibilities.

Gary Cullen noted that the challenges needd to addressed more holistically through a
catchment-wide process. He suggested a workshop or similar to discuss this
management approach with the key authorities and stakeholders.

AK indicated that Manpower would be producing a newsletter on the conservation
initiative and invited any contributions. It was noted that Mvubu and DUCT received
positive exposure in the latest Ezemvelo Wildside magazine. Mvubu also featured in
Simply Green internet publication. Travis Wilkinson indicated that he could assist with
creating publicity for DUCT around its achievements.

            Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust                   4


Tentative meeting dates: 30 March, 25 May, 27 July 2009.
Venue: Crusaders Canoe Club

Meeting ended.

Attachment A: Action List (next page)

           Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust   5

Annex A: Actions List as at 26 January 2009

Date        Action                                         Status as at 26 January
Ongoing     a) DWAF to update CMF on                       Pat Reddy informed that the
               investigations into illegal sand winning    process is ongoing.
Ongoing     b) DWAF update on CMF on prosecutions          It was suggested that Stuart
               on Lower Mgeni, including related to        Green from DAEA was
               Silver Pipes / Siripat Road land            involved in this investigation
               reclamation case.                           but he has been transferred to
                                                           Cape Town. Suggested that
                                                           Vanessa McClew be contacted
                                                           for update.
July        c) Steve Cohen to remind WSP                   Carl Haycock informed SC that
2008           Environmental of its pledge to              this will be commencing
               undertake water quality monitoring at       shortly. A signboard is being
               Connaught once a week.                      prepared to show the results at
July        d) Steve Butler/ Ethekwini to lodge official   SB not present at meeting to
2008           query with DME with regard to mining        provide update.
               at Little John.
Sep         e) Erection of barriers at dumping spot        Not clear if these have actually
2008           under N2 (Bongani Zwani)                    been erected. Margaret Burger
                                                           to do site visit.
Sep         f) DUCT to plan for placement of trash         Gary Cullen been appointed to
2008           booms at Blue Lagoon (Duct/                 manage this exercise.
               Springfield Conservancy, DSW)
Sep         g) DUCT to submit written motivation to        In progress. Request that
2008           eThekwini Water & Sanitation for            testing programme be widened
               increasing the testing of key sites on      to include testing for oil, paint
               Lower Mgeni. AS to facilitate the           and other heavy metals.
Sep         h) SC and MB to discuss admin issues           Mvubu Services have been
2008           regarding possible engagement of            appointed by DUCT to carry
               Mvubu services for water clean up.          out clean ups on a monthly
                                                           basis (focusing on inter-tidal
                                                           and hard to reach areas)
Sep         i) BZ to facilitate replacement of broken      Bins have been replaced.
2008           bins at Blue Lagoon and report back
Sep         j) BZ to liase with the Bird park to offer     This took place over the
2008           the opportunity of issuing free rubbish     December holidays.
               bags to children tourists on buses at
               the park to increase waste disposal
Sep         k) BZ to negotiate with DSW and Parks          Completed.
2008           Dept. to ensure that they work together
               to attend to the collection of waste
               material from the slipway side of the
               estuary and “garage” skips.
            l) SB to engage with authorities and           Ongoing.
                 Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust                   6

             Cedara regarding more effective
             aquatic weed control methods than are
             presently employed on Lower Mgeni.
             To make recommendations on control
          New Actions
January   m) Steve Cohen to send Akash Singh map
2009         depicting area on the Dusi race route
             where there was apparent bad water
January   n) Gary Cullen to provide update on
2009         installation of trash booms.
January   o) Bongani and Margaret to report back
2009         on whether bins have been replaced on
             Riverside Road.
January   p) Akash/ W&S to report back on
2009         incidence of oily residues on the water
January   q) Bongani to report back on waste
2009         collection and management services at
             Newlands West and Reservoir Hills
January   r) Gary Cullen to develop idea further
2009         about multi-stakeholder process in
             catchment to improve management of

           Administrative Support from Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust   7

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