Zandvlei, the only functioning estuary on the False Bay Coast, is an important natural resource and in order to realise its true potential, it needs to become more attractive and interesting by diversifying and developing.
The informal path around Zandvlei is eroded and uneven, making it inaccessible to the elderly, the handicapped, mothers with prams and children on bicycles. At the moment it is predominantly used by dogs and their owners.
The proposed laterite walkway will make Zandvlei accessible to all and help encourage residents of Muizenberg, Lakeside, as well as the picnickers who visit every weekend, to lead healthy and active lifestyles. The walkway will link existing pedestrian walkways such as the Westlake Walkway, with the ultimate aim of almost circumnavigating the entire vlei and connecting the adjoining neighbourhoods. In time, we hope to add bird hides and jetties, to further broaden the experience of nature.
Restoration of vegetation
Zandvlei is also part of the rare and endangered Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, which contains 26 threatened Red List plant species. It is poorly conserved and only 7% of the False Bay Coast is in proclaimed reserves. With the aid of a donation from the Roland Leta Hill Trust, the first phase plantings of the rare and endangered Cape Flats Dune Strandveld has begun. The environment is challenging, but with the expertise of Mr Neil Major and the aid of drip irrigation and shade cloth wind barriers, we hope to re-establish pockets of vegetation.
The many visitors to Zandvlei present an environmental education opportunity that we feel is being missed. Murals, such as the one on the ablution block on the east bank, can be combined with signage that informs children and adults of their natural heritage, and encourages them to treat it with respect.
Healthy outdoor lifestyle
The current play equipment is uninspiring and poorly maintained. It is also based on tar, making potential falls dangerous. We would like to see more exciting play equipment, designed with input from children and their parents, with safety matting below. To complement the walkway which will be ideal for joggers, we would like to see “gym equipment” for strength- and flexibility-training. As shown in the photographs, this equipment would be of natural materials and blend with the environment.
The goals will be realised through partnerships with the City, business, and other NGOs and environmental organisations.
For visuals of the Zandvlei Trail click here: