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Specialised weed harvester, the Otter, now patrolling Rietvlei <p>A weed harvester is a specialised vessel with blades underneath for the cutting of weeds. It is equipped to cut, gather, and remove weeds to improve water quality and assist recreational users. However, some algae is critical to the functioning of the vlei, thus, it is important to also keep these areas where weed is not harvested.<br></p><span><p>In Rietvlei in particular, the weed harvester is used to cut Sago Pondweed and also to remove algae build-up. This not only improves the environmental health of the wetland by removing excess nutrients, but makes the vlei more navigable and safer for watercrafts and all of the communities who use this vlei.<br></p><p><br></p><div>Following a public naming process, Rietvlei’s new weed harvester has been named ‘Otter’, while the recently delivered Zandvlei weed harvester was named the ‘Cape Shoveler’ after an aquatic bird species.<br></div><div><br></div><div>‘We have pledged to improve the water quality and management of our City’s precious recreational vleis, and we are pleased to reach another milestone with the delivery of this latest weed harvester at Rietvlei, which closely follows the delivery of Zandvlei’s first harvester late last year. These specialised vessels will go a long way to boosting the environmental health at both Rietvlei and Zandvlei. This will also be of major benefit to the thriving local economies around these vleis.</div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​</span><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>'Rietvlei is situated in the Table Bay Nature Reserve, and is a popular recreational waterbody. I am confident that the addition of the Otter weed harvester will make a significant impact in improving the water quality. It was wonderful seeing this impressive vessel taking to the vlei yesterday. On this note I want to mention that the Spatial Planning and Environment Directorate proposes to spend around R408 million for the rehabilitation of our vleis, including the river wardens job creation programme, water quality improvement programmes at Rietvlei, Zeekoevlei, Milnerton Lagoon and Zandvlei, the lowering of the weir at Zeekoevlei, and the procurement of a third brand new weed harvester for Zandvlei over the next three financial years,' said Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews, Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment.</p><p>'To ensure on-time delivery, the City's Fleet Management Department has closely monitored the production of this highly specialised vessel, which was proudly manufactured right here in Cape Town,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Alderman Theresa Uys.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:2137px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>Weed harvesting at Rietvlei focuses on the macrophyte <em>Stuckenia pectinata </em>or Sago Pondweed. Urban systems are frequently subject to increased nutrient loading, or eutrophication, and the Sago Pondweed absorbs some of these excess nutrients; however once the pondweed dies the nutrients are released back into the vlei, and pondweed reduction is implemented in order to assist in mitigation. The weed harvester also collects floating filamentous algal mats which can accumulate on the water surface in summer months.</p><p><strong>Caption: </strong>In attendance for Rietvlei's weed harvester delivery on Thursday, 9 May 2024, was Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis; Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews, and officials from the City's Environmental Management Department.<br></p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2024-05-09T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#d912c876-ddd8-4579-aaf5-70f1e189ba11;L0|#0d912c876-ddd8-4579-aaf5-70f1e189ba11|Rietvlei;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10

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