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City alerts residents to planned controlled burn at Table Bay Nature Reserve
The City of Cape Town is in the process of obtaining a permit to conduct an open burn of vegetation at the Zoarvlei Wetland Section of Table Bay Nature Reserve. This burn will take place when weather conditions are favourable between January and March 2013 to remove accumulated dry reeds and bulrushes. 
The City’s Environmental Resource Management Department is presently working in the wetlands to apply herbicide and cut and remove bulrushes that cause seed dispersal in the area.
The area that will be burnt lies between the Paarden Eiland industrial area to the west, and Brooklyn to the east. The burn will be conducted in terms of a permit for controlled burning as issued by Subcouncil 15 of the City of Cape Town. The Environmental Resource Management Department’s Biodiversity Management Branch will ensure that the procedure is conducted safely and efficiently.
The burn will take place on a suitable week day, Monday to Thursday, and will be completed within the course of one day. Neighbouring residents and land owners will be notified of the exact date of the burn by a letter-drop in their mailboxes and email notifications where available. Measures will be put in place to direct traffic away from any smoke and ash.
When the burn takes place, surrounding residents are advised to please keep their windows shut while burning takes place. Flammable items such as gas canisters should be removed from outside areas and laundry should be taken off washing lines to prevent odour contamination from the smoke. Sprinklers may be used to dampen gardens as a further precautionary measure.
The burn will assist managers in removing more of the bulrushes that have been invading the wetland over decades. The integrated management of bulrushes includes burning, cutting, removal and herbicide application. The removal of dry flammable material by means of a controlled burn will reduce the likelihood of future uncontrolled wildfires.
Some of the nature reserves managed by the City of Cape Town require the proliferation of a natural fire regime, without which our unique and irreplaceable indigenous vegetation would not be able to regenerate. The Table Bay Nature Reserve comprises various vegetation types, including Cape Flats sand fynbos, Cape Flats dune strandveld and Cape Lowlands freshwater wetlands which must burn occasionally to stimulate new growth and to remove flammable dead plant materials.
All owners and occupiers of adjacent properties have a right to lodge written objections to the proposed open burning with the City by 22 January 2013. Kindly direct all queries or objections to the City’s Air Pollution Control section on Tel: 021 590 1419; via fax to 021 590 1621; or via email to
For further enquiries, please contact Koos Retief, Area Manager: Milnerton Area, Biodiversity Management Branch, Environmental Resource Management Department on 082 788 6987.
For more information on the City’s nature reserves, visit

Published by the City of Cape Town.
© City of Cape Town, 2016