Newsletter for November 2012



Date: THURSDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2012. Time: 19h30



  1. WELCOME, Introductions and Apologies.


  1. MINUTES of the Quarterly General Meeting held on 30 August 2012 & matters arising.
  2. COUNCILLOR’s Report.
  3. TREASURER’s Report.
  4. CHAIRPERSON’s Report.


Our Guest Speaker:

 Dr Phil Richardson is currently the Project Manager of Human Wildlife Solutions (HWS) which is the service provider to the City of Cape Town in respect of Baboon Management in the Peninsula.

Dr Richarson is a graduate of the Universities of Cape Town, Pretoria and Oxford with vast experience of wildlife in Africa. His presentation will provide an overview of the strategy that HWS and the City are employing in order to manage the baboon population as well as give some input with regard to the behaviour of baboons in respect of the establishment of territorial boundaries.

Fish Hoek beach – our prime asset

The beach is generally looking good especially as our Exco member Lorraine Lemmon-Warde keeps a very keen eye on the place. The benches have been painted. If you don’t like the colour don’t worry the paint just lasts the summer!

Theft or vandalism remains a problem along the Cat Walk. The copper connections to the lights have been stolen twice in quick succession. The City responded very quickly the first time but understandably has been slow to replace the copper connections a second time. This is unfortunate because people will be walking along the Cat Walk in the evening now that summer is here and will be at risk of being mugged.  The drinking fountain donated by the Hacking family has been subject to vandalism and we have asked that consideration be given to moving it to the beach near the lighthouse.

Coastal Erosion in Fish Hoek Bay – impacts and some solutions

The migration of the Silvermine River southward and the subsequent undercutting of the dunes in front of the Sea Cottages has resulted in public speculation regarding solutions and even some frustration that the City ‘allowed’ the erosion to proceed too far. The City has been under pressure from concerned locals to bulldoze a direct channel seaward to ‘correct’ the sideways migration. This option is illegal in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

An Environmental Authorization (EA) to excavate in an estuary and to divert a river is required from the Dept. of Environmental Affairs (DEADP). This would involve an independent specialist investigation and public participation and could take months, even years to complete.  Notwithstanding this, on Monday 29 October City staff did bulldoze a channel straight to the sea in an attempt to redirect the river away from the toe of the dunes. The extent of the undercutting had become a potential emergency situation, in which case intervention by the City is legitimate.

Erosion of dunes by either wave action and/or undercutting by the river is part of a natural cycle in the dynamic coastal zone and City professionals monitoring the situation are reasonably confident that the beach and dunes will rebuild naturally in the next accretion cycle. The long term prognosis is however one of a coastline at risk as a result of sea level rise and increased storm frequency and intensity associated with Climate Change. This has significant future management and cost implications. The rows of unsightly cement filled drums and sleeper fences that were exposed during the rivers migration are remnants of historical attempts to keep the river under control.

Old photos of Fish Hoek Beach show the Silvermine Rive rentering the sea in line with the Fish Hoek Railway Station as well as unstable dunes from Clovelly Corner extending to the dune field around Peers Cave. The current situation of the narrow vegetated dune ridge and hard development immediately behind has been possible because of the relatively sheltered position in Fish Hoek Bay and because of a significant investment in establishing the protective dune barrier.  A catchment study for several City rivers including the Silvermine River is currently underway and it is planned to extend the brief to include manipulation of river mouths. The intention is to develop a DEADP approved Environmental Management Plan which will preclude the need for an Environmental Authorization whenever the City needs to respond to severe erosion by redirecting the river or moving sand to reinforce a dune.

The actions of people also contribute to dune damage and erosion. Trampling of vegetation by walking and sitting on the dunes is a big and ongoing problem. New signage warning people to keep off the dunes is being procured. There is public pressure to remove kelp from the beach – but kelp is essential to dune building, preventing erosion and for fertilizing the dune vegetation.

Gardening and the sparing use of water  

We would like to thank again all those who garden both their pavements and public areas around town. All their hard work is a pleasure for us all, especially as the spring flowers were particularly good this year.

Unfortunately the Cat Walk needs gardening attention as it has gone steadily downhill since the sterling work put in by Dave Anderson and Steve Cope. Any volunteer will be welcomed.

Summer has arrived with considerable windy force this year. Although the City’s water storage dams are presently full, it is time to be conscious of when and how we use water sparingly.

We repeat the water saving measures issued by the City, as contained in our May newsletter:

– Do not water gardens between 10am and 4pm and do not water gardens every day

– Cover swimming pools when not in use

– Do not wash cars using hoses without trigger nozzles

–  Do not hose down driveways – use a broom

– Mulch your flower beds to keep them moist longer

– Ensure washing machines and dishwashers have a full load before running

-Take short showers not long baths

– Re-use bath and sink water to water plants and lawns

– Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin not under running water

Main Road roadworks

The contractors are apparently doing their best in difficult circumstances but the frustration levels of motorists rise with long delays especially at peak times.  It is expected that the present phase will be completed by the end of March 2013 and that the road will be open to 2-way traffic during the builders’ holidays which should help a lot over the peak season.

Fish Hoek businesses, especially on Main Road, are feeling the effect as people from up the line are avoiding coming south because of the traffic delays. Please give these businesses all the support you can. They have provided good friendly service to us for many years.

Meanwhile many local residents and businesses are using Ou Kaapse Weg which has resulted in long queues both up and down the mountain moving, as one radio caller described it, at 2 kilometers a fortnight. We are concerned about the congestion and safety on Ou Kaapse Weg and have joined other civics in the South and the Westlake Business and Home Owners in asking the City to take measures to improve the situation.

We are concerned about the Silvermine intersection. After investigation the City has dismissed traffic lights or a roundabout but has decided to level the ‘koppie’ opposite the Silvermine Road to give better visibility. This has required an Environmental Impact Assessment which has taken 6 months but hopefully we shall see action in the new year. It is difficult to know what to do for the best as widening the road at the intersection may increase the speed of the north/south drivers and make it even more dangerous. We have asked that the passing lanes suggested in previous reports be reconsidered as the big trucks moving slowly do cause a lot of problem. There is space for 5 passing lanes in one direction and 3 in the other.

We have also asked that a signboard be put at the Sun Valley start of the Road to warn people if Ou  Kaapse  Weg is closed because of an accident. For some technical reasons this seems to be impossible!  We have also repeatedly requested that the toll gates on Chapman’s Peak Drive be opened for free flow in the event of an accident. This, too, has fallen on deaf ears!

New improved services infrastructure

You may have noticed the large structure being built at the bottom o fClovelly Road. It is the new improved water pump station! The pipes bringing the water from the dams into the Fish Hoek reservoir are being enlarged to ensure sufficient water in the South. The City is also laying new larger pipes from the pump station to the Harrington Road reservoir.

The City is furthermore laying new electricity cables from Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town. Rather than a more direct routing along Beach Road, for example, the actual routing through Fish Hoek is rather circuitous through many residential areas.

City of Cape Town’s Think Twice Curbside Recycling to include Clovelly

After years of waiting while households south of the Silvermine River have enjoyed a domestic recycling service paid for by the City’s Think Twice initiative, residents in Clovelly are to be part of the programme from December. The waste contractor for the area – WasteMart – will be handing out information in November. The recyclables collected from Clovelly will be transported to the premises of False Bay Recycling in Lekkerwater Road for separation and resale.

It is a sad reality that the packaging industry has not taken adequate measures to ensure that their packaging is reduced, reused or recycled. This has resulted in the City paying to ensure the removal of packaging from our refuse to extend the life expectancy of landfill sites. While the convenience of curbside recycling makes our lives a lot easier, it is still important to reduce the amount of packaging we bring home. Leave excess packaging at the point of purchase, especially if it is one of the non-recyclable plastics (black polystyrene and No7 plastic).

Liquor Licencing Authority

There have been complaints from residents about noisy revelers leaving a pub on the Main Road late at night and creating a disturbance. If you complain please do so preferably in writing and make sure the police take note of your complaint properly and log it for attention. Also write to the Chairman, Liquor Licencing Authority, 6th floor -WaldorfBuilding, 80St George’s Mall,Cape Town 8000.

It is important to note that liquor licences now have to be renewed every year and if there have been written complaints, renewal will not be automatic.

Welcome to Fine Music Radio (FMR) in Fish Hoek 

Fine Music Radio is now being received in Fish Hoek on 107.9 fm from the Elsies Peak transmitter. What a pleasure!  It is to be noted that FMR is a community radio station, not a commercial station. It is run by the FMR Association and is manned by volunteers. It relies on membership fees and limited advertising. The membership fee is presently R280 per annum. An electronic newsletter and programme guide are sent monthly to FMR subscribing listeners. Visit for more information and for the membership form. Forms will also be available at our QGM.

Appeal for new Exco members

The portfolios of Secretary, Treasurer (Accountant) and Coordinator (General meetings and Newsletter) are vacant. These portfolios are presently being handled by Janet Holwill and Allen Rose-Innes in addition to their respective Exco functions.  Please indicate your willingness to volunteer or alternatively indicate potential candidates to Janet Holwill.  Without the filling of these positions the Exco cannot operate effectively.  Honoraria as may be necessary will be considered.

 DIARY NOTE: Our Annual General Meeting will be on Thursday 28 February 2013

 The Guest speaker will be Dr Eleanor Yeld Hutchings (Manager: People and the Coast, WWF-SA) who presents the TV programme ‘Shoreline’ on TV3 on Sunday evenings.


Annual Subscriptions (R60 per householdbecome due on 1 January 2013. Your address label / e-mail letter indicates the current status of your subs.We appeal to members in arrears to pay their outstanding subscriptions.


Members unable to afford the subscription fees are advised to contact the Association’s Chairperson

(Tel: 021-785-1328), in full confidence and no obligation, to discuss a reduced fee.


Details of our bank account for Bank deposits or EFT payments:

A/C Name: FHVRRA. A/C No: 374203091. Bank: Standard – Fish Hoek.

Bank Code for deposits: 036009. Bank Code for EFT payments: 051001.

Indicate: “subs-your initials-your surname” in the payment reference.

Subs can also be posted to P.O. Box 22125 Fish Hoek 7974, or paid at the following establishments:

A.P.Jones (Bedding Dept. 1st floor), Regal Cycles and Pennylane (Valyland).

Please note: CASH ONLY at pay points – due to the exorbitant bank fees for cheques.

CHAIRPERSON, FHVRRA: Janet Holwill, P.O. Box 22125 Fish Hoek 7974

Tel: 021 785 1328   Cell: 082 920 7306  

 Prepared by the EXCO Committee of FHVRRA.



Subscriptions:         Membership: Allen Rose-Innes – Tel/Fax: 021 782 4279   E-mail:   

                        Postal Address – PO Box 22125, Fish Hoek, 7974