Capetonians are invited to comment on the proposed boundaries and draft management plans for 17 sites across Cape Town that the City is in the process of proclaiming as Contract Nature Reserves under the Protected Areas Act. The majority of these areas have been historically managed as nature reserves by the City.
The areas to be proclaimed currently lack adequate conservation protection, which is necessary as they contribute greatly to Cape Town’s appeal as a tourism destination and provide us with critical ecosystem services. Many of the sites were proclaimed under the Nature Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974 as “Local Authority Nature Reserves”. Others obtained status under the Environmental Conservation Act (ECA) and some have no official conservation status at all. In many instances the reserves have grown, and the official reserve boundaries were never adjusted to include this newly acquired land. As such it is essential that all the nature reserves under the jurisdiction of the City acquire formal protection under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No. 57 of 2003) (‘PAA’).
Cape Town is well known for its rich and unique biodiversity, boasting over 3 250 native plant species and 19 vegetation types. Much of the city’s biodiversity is unfortunately threatened with extinction, and to date 13 of Cape Town’s plant species are globally extinct or extinct in the wild. A total of 319 species are Red Listed as threatened with extinction. The reality is that Cape Town’s nature is under threat, and we need to act now or it may be lost forever.
This is of huge concern as biodiversity provides us with critical ecosystem-services, including food, shelter and protection against flooding and wind-blown sand. It also underpins the tourism industry and offers critical resilience to the impacts of global climate change. By retaining and conserving natural systems in our urban environment we can maintain and enhance these ecosystem-services, and make Cape Town a more sustainable city.
The City is currently managing more than 30 nature reserves and natural areas scattered across Cape Town. Sites such as these provide critical refuges for threatened biodiversity, as well as important services to the public, including education, recreation and conservation of our natural heritage.
CapeNature is the authority responsible for the proclamation of nature reserves in the Western Cape. Seventeen city sites (listed below) have therefore been presented to CapeNature, which is in agreement that the sites warrant the highest status of Contract Nature Reserve.
The proposed reserves are largely what have always been considered and managed as nature reserves by the City. Two notable additions are the inclusion of the Botterblom Park in Vierlanden, Durbanville, and the proposed extension of the False Bay Ecology Park (FBEP) to include portions of the False Bay Coastline and become the False Bay Nature Reserve. Harmony Flats Nature Reserve in the Strand is already a proclaimed Provincial Nature Reserve which is an equivalent status to a Contract Nature Reserve. This reserve will therefore not be going through the proclamation process but its draft management plan will be going out for public comment along with the other sites.
Contract Nature Reserves must be managed in accordance with an approved Integrated Reserve Management Plan (IRMP). They are also available for viewing at each respective reserve office and at the closest public library to the reserve. Online copies are available below:
- Blouberg/Blaauwberg Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Bothasig Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Botterblom Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Bracken Nature Reserve (incl. Perdekop): Map | IRMP
- Diep River Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Durbanville Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Edith Stephens Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- False Bay Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP | Annexures
- Helderberg Nature Reserve (incl. Silverboomkloof): Map | IRMP
- Harmony Flats Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Steenbras Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Milnerton Race Course Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Rietvlei Wetland Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Tygerberg Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Uitkamp Wetland Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Wolfgat Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
- Zandvlei Nature Reserve: Map | IRMP
Comments can be faxed to Cliff Dorse, Biodiversity Coordinator on 021 511 1951,
e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, entered online or posted to PO Box 11 Maitland 7404 before 28 February 2011.
Several open days will be held where the public are invited to come and provide comment. These will be at:
|Avondale Civic Centre
|Somerset West Council Chambers
|Thusong Youth Center
|Grassy Park High School
|Edith Stephens Hall
|Durbanville Nature Reserve
Enquiries can be directed to Cliff Dorse, Biodiversity Co-ordinator on 021 514 4189.
The results of the public participation process and all inputs from the Subcouncils will be presented at the Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee (PEPCO) before being submitted to the Council agenda for approval to proclaim the Nature Reserves.
Following the City process, CapeNature will advertise the intent to declare these nature reserves in two national newspapers for a 60 day period as stipulated by the Protected Areas Act.