World Wetlands Day 2001: South Africa


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WWD 2001 was celebrated with great enthusiasm around the country. A major national event took place at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve whereby partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and the Working For Water (WFW) was formally launched. WFW is a poverty relief programme that has been hard at work to remove alien invasive plants that pose a major threat to the biological diversity and water security and preserve biodiversity of our country. Since one of the main objectives of the WFW programme is to enhance water security it was seen as a perfect vehicle for assisting the implementation of wetland rehabilitation across the country. Based on this background a partnership between the DEAT and the Working For Water was formed, for the rehabilitation of wetlands.

1. National WWD 2001 Celebration

DEAT in partnership with the WFW organized the main national wetlands day celebration that occurred at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. Particular focus for the day was placed on the recent formation of a partnership between DEAT and the WFW, for the rehabilitation of wetlands. This initiative which has generated projects worth R18million for the financial year 2000/2001, and has successfully linked the rehabilitation of wetlands to the provision of jobs, skills and opportunities for the poor and previously disadvantaged. Rietvlei Nature Reserve was chosen for the function in order to showcase the success of one of the pioneering rehabilitation projects underway in the reserve. The day was a big success whereby the Working for Water provided with the financial support and together with DEAT (Sub-Directorate Conservation Management (Directorate: Biodiversity Management), Directorate: Communications) was involved in the planning.

The function included all three tiers of government, emphasizing the importance of co-operative governance, as illustrated by the project at Rietvlei. Minister Valli Moosa presented a keynote address together with the speeches by the Mayor of the Tshwane City Metropolitan Municipality and the Gauteng MEC of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs. The audience consisted of delegates from local, provincial and national government departments, 120 school children (2 farm schools from Cullinan, 2 secondary schools from Tembisa and CR Swart High Shool, Waverley, Pretoria, the Working for Water workers, representatives from non -governmental organizations, people working on the Reserve and members of the public.

1.1 Activities

A play on wetlands was performed by the Working for Water workers. It was based on the theme of the importance of wetland rehabilitation in restoring or improving the ability of wetlands to store and purify water and through which jobs have been created. Singing was also part of the entertainment offered by the workers.

A field trip was organised to three wetland sites where the rehabilitation work is still in progress or has been completed. Piet-Louis Grundling who is the project manager of the WFW rehabilitation project at the Reserve was responsible for giving talks at each site that was visited.

An exhibition on displays related to wetland issues was held at the Rietvlei educational centre. The organizations that took part included DEAT, WFW, Friends of Rietvlei, Wetland Consultant Services, Land Care, Food and Trees for Africa, Mosstrossity Youth Group, and the Rennies Wetland Project

1.2 Resources

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in partnership with the Working for Water Programme produced a poster titled "The Wonder of Wetlands". The poster describes the benefits that could be derived from wetlands and also threats to wetlands. The poster was distributed to all who attended the function and also to the WWD co-ordinators in the provinces.

An information pack with wetland related topics was given to all the delegates. The pack was put in folders made from a wetland plant (iKhwane). The folders are produced by a craft group located at Mbongolwane, near Eshowe in KwaZulu Natal. The craft group is under the Land Care, South Africa project, facilitated by the Institute of Natural Resources, promoting the cultivation and sustainable use of natural products.

A set of eleven information leaflets on wetland values and benefits received from the Ramsar. One thousand copies of each leaflet was reprinted by DEAT and distributed at the function. The WWD co-ordinators did also receive the information leaflets to distribute.

1.3 Media Coverage

The minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism was interviewed on one of the radio station.

Various news papers which included the Star, Sowetan, Saturady Citizen, Beeld and Pretoria news did write articles about the day and the event at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

The event was also covered on national television on the 50/50 environmental programme.

2. WWD Activities in various Provinces

Although many activities did occur in the nine provinces around the country, not all the reports on the WWD activities were received. Below are the received reports from different provinces.

2.1 KwaZulu-Natal

Midlands Wetland Working Group (MWWG) World Wetlands Day (WWD) 2001 activities focussed on the involvement of rural communities and youth in awareness and educational talks and rehabilitation activities at various wetland sites within the KwaZulu-Natal midlands and north coast.

2.1.1 Resources

"Exploring Wetlands" educational pack

Jeanette Stewart of MWWG and the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) developed "Exploring Wetlands", an environmental education pack relating to wetland ecosystems. This pack, published by Share-Net, included activities for the classroom, wetland study worksheets and educational inserts. These packs were distributed to interested school groups and educational organisations free of charge for WWD 2001 by the Midlands Wetland Working Group (MWWG). Since the development of the packs earlier in the year, 1800 have been distributed to various interested parties within South Africa.

National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism wetland poster

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) produced a poster, titled "The Wonder of Wetlands". The poster describes the benefits of wetlands and the threats to wetlands, with an appropriate picture showing various wetland benefits to humans and animals. The poster was distributed at all WWD 2001 activities.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agricultural and Environmental Affairs

The Regional Department of Agricultural and Environmental Affairs provided t-shirts for WWD 2001, which were distributed to the people facilitating various sites within KZN.

Mini-poster design and distribution

An electronic poster was designed for distribution by means of e-mail to approximately twenty-four schools within the midlands (Refer to Appendix 1). This method was preferential in terms of alerting as many schools as possible in the short time period available. Only four schools, those appearing in green below, responded to the e-mail. For the remaining schools, it is unknown if they carried out their own activities without notifying the MWWG. The following is a list of all the schools that received the e-mail and mini-poster :

  • Athlone Primary School Michaelhouse College
  • Carter High School Pelham Senior Primary School
  • Clarendon Primary School Ridge Junior Primary School
  • Clifton School Scottsville Primary School
  • Cowan House St. Annes
  • Epworth School St. Charles
  • Girls High School St. Johns
  • Hilton College Treverton College
  • Longmarket Girls School Treverton Preparatory School
  • Maritzburg Christian School Voortreker High School
  • Maritzburg College Weston Agricultural College
  • Merchiston Preparatory School Wyekam Collegiate

2.1.2 Media coverage

The Mirror

The Mirror, a local newspaper, delivered weekly to approximately 40 000 households within Pietermaritzburg, printed an article prepared by the MWWG, accompanied by the WWD 2001 mini-poster. The article, titled ‘Helping to save our wetlands’, appeared in the issue of the paper distributed on 30 January 2001.

The Village Talk

The Village Talk, a local paper, delivered weekly to households within Howick, printed an article relating to the history of WWD and the importance of wetland systems within South Africa. Last year the Village talk printed an article distributed by the MWWG, but this year the article was printed on the newspaper own accord. This is an encouraging sign that the media is starting to emphasise the occurrence of WWD. The article, titled "The environmental value of wetlands" appeared in the issue of the paper distributed on Wednesday, 31 January 2001.


On 3 February 2001, Jeanette Stewart from WESSA provided a 10-minute telephone interview for African radio, answering questions on different aspects of wetlands. Africans Wildlife Campus is also receiving a copy of the "Exploring Wetland " pack, which will hopefully receive air-time.


The nature television program, 50/50, featured a number of wetland related issues on Sunday 4 February 2001, including interview material with Damian Walters, MWWG and Rennies Wetland Project. The features highlighted the importance of wetlands ecosystems and their importance as crane habitat. The trend towards wetland rehabilitation within South Africa and the Share-Net "Exploring Wetlands" packs were also featured on the show.

2.1.3 Events and educational talks

Mdloti Catchment Management Forum

Craig Cowden from MWWG was invited to speak to the members of the Mdloti Catchment Management Forum, on Thursday, 1 February 2001. The local community members are involved in a project to establish incema (Juncus krausii) within degraded wetland areas for them to be utilised for craft material production. The talk focussed on defining wetland areas, the importance of wetland systems within South Africa, threats to wetlands and the utilisation of wetland plants species for the production of craft material. The talk was then followed by slides showing various wetland types and various threats to wetlands. The members of the forum then asked questions relating to various issues regarding local wetlands and their projects. The forum consisted of approximately 30 people from various institutes, such as KZN Wildlife, WESSA, Mdloti conservancy, Umgeni water and members of the local community.

Athlone Primary School

Craig Cowden from MWWG was invited to speak to classes from Grades 5, 6 and 7, approximately 200 children, at Athlone Primary School on Friday, 2 February 2001. The talk included a general introduction to wetlands, the definition and functions of wetlands, and threats to wetlands. Current issues relating to wetland loss, such as alien plants, the floods in Mozambique and the Cholera epidemic within northern KwaZulu-Natal were also discussed. The children then asked various questions relating to the talk.

Weston Agricultural College

Jeanette Stewart from WESSA was invited to speak to all the pupils at Weston Agricultural College, approximately 230 pupils, on Friday, 2 February 2001. The talk included a general introduction to wetlands, the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention, the definition and functions of wetlands, and threats to wetlands. The talk largely focussed on the agricultural issues relating to wetlands and indicated why wetlands should be conserved and rehabilitated. Slides showing different kinds of wetlands and the 50/50 video on wetlands with John Wyatt followed the talk.


On Friday, 2 February 2001, an informative wetland talk was given at Thembalethu. This event was organised by Sipho Khubeka from the Greater Edendale Environmental Network (GREEN). There were approximately 15 - 20 people present, representing teachers and students from local schools, Keep Pietermaritzburg Clean Association (KPCA), GREEN, and local conservancies. Ernest Vorwerk gave an introduction to the subject and spoke about how wetlands in the Mkondeni / Cleland Conservancy area have often been the focal point of environmental and conservation efforts. The work in the area has prevented the illegal and ignorant dumping of waste and rubbish, as well as preventing the routing of a new road planned to cut straight through a wetland. The talk was well illustrated with a series of posters and maps of wetlands in the area. Phumlani Dlamini then gave a small presentation on the functions of wetlands. Mark Graham, from MWWG and Umgeni Water, then gave a short presentation and practical demonstration on the function and values of wetlands. There was good participation and discussion around all the presentations which was followed up with a visit and walk through wetlands in the Edendale Valley. Some of the threats to wetlands were identified in the field and participants were able to see how to overcome these problems. There looks to be good potential for local schools to adopt wetlands in this valley and begin rehabilitation projects.

Amatikulu wetland

On Friday, 2 February 2001, a group of approximately 20 youth from Macambini, near the mouth of the Amatikulu River, spent the morning involved in a wetlands event. The idea originated with Isaac Banda, from Enzangakho Consulting, who has been working closely with youth groups focussing on environmental issues such as ecotourism and the cultivation of muti plants.

The day began by visiting one of the community’s wetlands and discovering the benefits of wetlands and the impacts of human activities on these benefits (facilitated by Donovan Kotze from MWWG). Many of the community’s wetlands are still in reasonable condition. However, the wetlands are coming under increased pressure from land-use practices such as the poorly-planned planting of gum trees.

Next, the Amatikulu Prawn farm, also situated on community land, was visited, where a portion of wetland has been rehabilitated through the planting of incema (Juncus kraussii). This is part of pilot project at Amatikulu, facilitated by the Institute of Natural Resources. One of the most threatened wetland types in South Africa is incema marsh. At the same time incema is a very popular plant for weaving mats and other craftwork products. The great demand for incema means that many areas no longer have enough incema to harvest. This problem can be solved through the cultivation of incema, which is a fast growing plant easy to cultivate, provided that it is planted in a moist area and given adequate care. The cultivation and processing of incema certainly has great potential for increasing the welfare of poor communities and at the same time promoting the conservation of a threatened natural system.

The group then proceeded to the Amatikulu Nature Reserve Wetlands were the issues surrounding this estuarine wetland were discussed (facilitated by Nhlahla Nsele). Fun was had observing of some of the wetland dependent birds (facilitated by some of the youth who had recently trained as bird-guides at Wakkerstroom). It was great to see them passing on the skills they had acquired.

After lunch at the Amatikulu Health Centre the group met to discuss a way forward (e.g. arranging a meeting with indunas and farmers). An important contact made by the group was with Mdu Ngcobo, Department of Environmental Affairs, who is based nearby and will continue to work with the youth. Overall the day was useful in raising awareness and linking up key roleplayers around important issues affecting wetlands.

Mbongolwane wetland talk and Incema planting

At Mbongolwane wetland, a wetland talk and activities relating to the planting of Incema (Juncus kraussii) took place on Friday, 2 February 2001. The focus of the event was to promote the wise use of wetland plant species by planting Incema in the wetland. Pupils from 8 schools in Mbongolwane and Eshowe attended the event with some of the principals also participating. Other participants include Farmers Support Group representatives, Land Care Facilitators, Vuma nursery representatives and the various craft groups. In total approximately 100 people were present on the day. Vhangani Silima from RWP gave a talk during the course of the day, which included a general introduction to wetlands, the Ramsar Convention, the definition and functions of wetlands, and threats to wetlands. The talk also explained why Incema should be planted within the wetland and the method of planting incema was demonstrated. MWWG assisted in planning the event at Mbongolwane as well as assisting Vhangani in preparing his talk.

Mkondeni wetland

A workparty of volunteers, approximately 15 people, from the Cleland/Mkondeni Conservancy and Scottsville Primary School were involved in activities within the Mkondeni wetland on Saturday 3 February. The workparty assisted in rehabilitating a portion of the Mkondeni wetland that runs alongside the Oribi Airport. The party was also joined by Vhangani Silima from the Rennies Wetlands Project and Craig Cowden and Donovan Kotze from the Midlands Wetland Working Group. During a previous work party in October last year, conservancy members rallied together by Ernie Vorwerk cleared a dense clump of Mauritius Thorn and planted imizi in the exposed bare soil. During the World Wetland Day event, follow-up clearing of alien plants, especially khaki weed and syringa, was undertaken and more imizi (Cyperus sexangularis) was planted.

Scottsville Primary School

As well as being involved at the Mkondeni wetland’s activities on Saturday 3 February 2001, members of the Scottsville Primary School, also carried out alien plant clearing and collected litter and waste at their adopted wetland site near Hayfields shopping mall. The maintenance of this wetland area is an on going project for the school’s environmental group.

Hilton wetland

A small group of individuals from the Hilton Wildlife Society were involved in alien plant clearing on the morning of Saturday, 3 February 2001, using slashers and knapsack sprays. The wetland occurs within the boundaries of one of Mondi Forests timber plantations. Mondi Forests supplied the knapsack sprays and slashers, which were utilised on the day.

Home-schooled children

Within Pietermaritzburg a number of children are educated by means of home-schooling techniques. Following the release of the article in the Mirror, Craig Cowden of the MWWG was contacted and asked to lead a field exercise into a wetland with a number of home-schooled children. On Friday, 9 February 2001, approximately 15 children and parents were involved in discussions about wetlands at the University of Natal’s Denison wetland. The event was also joined by Vhangani Silima from the Rennies Wetlands Project. These discussions included identifying wetland plant and animal species, wetland processes and functions and the impact of alien vegetation. After walking through the wetland the children then helped clear Job’s tears plants, which were clogging up the main water course through the wetland. This was done to facilitate the spread of indigenous wetland plant species within the water course. Two holes were also dug within the wetland for the planting of imisi (Cyperus sexangularis) at a later time period.

Pelham Primary School

The school have adopted the upper portion of the wetland system which includes the University of Natal’s Denison Wetland and are involved in educational activities, alien plant clearing and the planting of indigenous tree species within the area. The maintenance of this wetland area is an on going project for the school’s environmental group. The Midlands Wetland Working Group supplied the environmental group with relevant resources and advice in support of their activities.

AmaHlubi settlement area.

The MWWG recently provided comment on the environmental management plan for the amaHlubi settlement area within the Estcourt region. The area owned by the amaHlubi Trust includes a wetland of national importance, Ntabamhlope vlei. The project team ensuring the implementation of the environmental management plan and education of the community members was supplied with the "Exploring Wetlands" pack.


The results from WWD 2001 are reassuring, as the amount of time and funding for this years events were limited. Despite these limitations the people facilitating the various events were able to involve a significant number of people. The number of people involved exceeds the target for last years event (600), which was considered optimistic even last year with funding and a large amount of time dedicated to WWD. The majority of events were focussed on rural and previously disadvantaged communities, which was the initial aim during the planning phase of the event for 2001.

2.2 Mpumalanga

The 30 anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention and WWD was celebrated in several ways on various localities throughout the province.

The main Provincial celebration took place in the little town of Wakkerstroom organised by the Ermelo Environmental Centre of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment. A total of 40 Environmental Officers from 16 offices attended, two local schools (250 pupils) namely the Wakkerstroom Combined Primary and the Wakkerstroom Combined Secondary schools attended and these schools participated in the program my means of musical items. Mr A. Linström from the Mpumalanga Parks Board gave an educational talk on wetlands and Mr. F. Guma, Deputy Director General presented the key note address on the importance of wetlands. Pupils and officials visited a wetland site close to town. The South African paper Pulp Industry (SAPPI) which was represented by Ms. Elsebe Coetzee sponsored this event.

The Lydenburg Environmental Centre of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment celebrated this year’s WWD with contributions to four environmental columns and the distribution of the latest wetland poster to 60 schools in the area. Ms. Marina Geldenhuis of this centre designed this poster. One of the high lights was a hands-on wetland "touch table" display in the Lydenburg Water Focus Centre where visitors are able to take note of the importance of wetlands and its different functions in our every day lives, examples of bio-diversity, materials for arts and crafts, etc. were displayed.

The Entheos Christian School (40 children) visited the Verloren Valei NR near Dullstroom. These kids were entertained with wetlands talks and a video by Mr Frans Krige and Gerhard Schultz (both from the Mpumalanga Parks Board). They received a hand’s on experience by means of a wetland walk and a swim.

In the Blyde River Catchment a total of 105 pupils of the Kadishi High School attended celebrations at the Kadishi wetland rehabilitation site. Wetland Rehabilitation is currently underway in a joint venture between the Working for Water Program, the local community and the Mpumalanga Parks Board. Mr. Morne Lizamore (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) gave a presentation on the importance of wetlands and Mrs. Hester Theron (Mpumalanga Parks Board) explained the importance of wetlands to the tourist industry. The Matibidi community were thanked and congratulated for their effort and interest in wetland preservation and conservation. At the same time the Working for Water Program held a wetland rehabilitation workshop with all the community leaders of the area. This year WWD celebrations were presented with great enthusiasm and we believe that wetland conservation got a major boost from all the above activities.

2.3 Western Cape

2.3.1. Authors overview

The natural and cultural environments of the City of Cape Town are unique and the catchments, rivers, wetlands, vleis and bays contribute to Cape Town being one of the most sought after addresses and tourist destinations in South Africa. These natural treasures form part of the drainage system of the City of Cape Town and as the city becomes more and more urbanised and run-off and pollution potentials increase, the management of wetlands as part of the urban landscape demands attention.

World Wetlands Day is a special day in the year and presents an opportunity to highlight the importance of the conservation, holistic management and functioning of one of these elements of our natural heritage, our wetlands.

Through the Catchment Forums, the Catchment Management Department co-ordinated a programme of several events including, policy workshops, student wetland walks, slide shows and drama on World Wetlands Day in 2000. A healthy partnership between Local Authorities, civil society and academic institutions was established and the programme in 2001 further honed and strengthened this partnership.

It must be stated at this juncture that the programme forms part of the overall awareness, education and communication strategy of the Department. As such, the programme seeks, not only to disseminate information and create awareness, but seeks also to strengthen and empower existing initiatives and initiate new programmes where appropriate, always cognisant of the role of education in integrated catchment management as a key element of the development of this city.

Through partnerships with community based and non-governmental organisations as well as support from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, six programmes were conducted across the Cape Metropolitan Area during the World Wetlands Day Programme 2001. The integration of these events conducted on the 2nd February with the existing educational programmes, capital projects and overall strategy of the Department bodes particularly well for the sustainability of future programmes and the success of integrated urban catchment management.

This annual programme goes a long way in promoting community ownership of our catchments and enhancing the interface between Local Authorities and communities. Perhaps this may best be summed up by an extract from one of the reports.

Partnerships leading to local awareness raising programmes around wetlands and other aspects of the environment are effective and should be encouraged and budgeted for. They are in the interests of the City, its inhabitants and the ecosystems, which underpin our lives.

Patrick Dowling – Wildlife and Environment Society, Western Cape.

2.3.2 An assimilation of the reports submitted by participating organizations

Reports submitted vary according to inherent capacity in terms of both human and physical resources and the nature of programmes that were undertaken by participating organisations. The limited budget put considerable constraints on programmes but the strength of the entire World Wetlands Day event was Council’s support for a "bottom-up" approach. As the programme is further honed, the interface between a "top-down" and "bottom-up" approach should be struck.

Rondevlei/Zeekoevlei programme

Sixty learners and two educators, Mr Hefte and Mrs Saunders of the Acacia and Plantation Primary Schools respectively, participated in the programme that highlighted the impact of urbanisation on the Lotus river system and the consequent impact on the major receiving bodies, Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei.

The emphasis of the programme was on wetland management and learners visited a range of wetlands under various management options. These included:

The Acacia Road Wetlands that are largely neglected and severely impacted through pollution, dumping, inappropriate development and poor environmental ethics

Zeekoevlei wetlands that are freely accessible to the public and managed as part of public open space Rondevlei that is managed as part of a local area nature reserve.

The visits were accompanied by clean-ups, slide shows on the ecological functioning of wetlands, general role of wetlands in the improvement of urban run-off and water quality testing exercises.

Hout Bay Wetland Programme – from headwaters to estuary

Hout Bay River Catchment Forum members and Hout Bay Museum guides conducted a tour of the river system and the Hout Bay Wetlands for learners from the Oranjekloof Moravian, Sentinel and Kronendal Primary Schools.

The tour and presentations provided learners with a history of the river and the associated wetlands, information about the changing land use patterns and the impact on the wetlands, an assessment of the river rehabilitation programme and the effects on the estuary and most of all an opportunity to become actively involved in wetland management by removing invasive aliens and by designing posters of wetlands to be displayed at spaza shops, the library and their own classrooms.

Schools are invited to attend follow-up workshops and a teacher-training workshop is planned.

Noordhoek Wetlands – a system of interconnected wetlands

The impact of Wastewater treatment on the wetlands, artificial and natural wetlands, reed-beds, toxic algal blooms and the use of groundwater form part of the urban landscape in the Noordhoek Catchment. Five primary schools namely Ukhanyo, Kommetjie, Marine, Kleinberg and Imhoff’s Gift Waldorf participated and shared their experiences on a particularly eventful and exciting educational excursion around the wetlands in Noordhoek.

What was particularly pleasing in this programme was the fact that the guides had been trained in earlier wetland focussed training workshops. These guides in association with community organisations in the area have also developed a "home grown" wetland pamphlet for use in tourism initiatives. The training demonstrated the need for capacity building to ensure sustainability of programmes.

Partnerships leading to local awareness were seen as crucial by those organisations active in awareness raising in the Noordhoek valley.

The Wetlands of Khayelitsha

The Durbanville Environmental Forum (DEF) hosted a series of talks and a display in the community library. Members of the (DEF), the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the City of Cape Town supplied exhibition material.

Topics covered by the talks included matters on policy related to wetland management, the impact of public behavioural patterns on wetlands, upstream-downstream relationships in the Kuils River catchment and the impact on the Khayelitsha wetlands and matters that contributed to a general awareness and civic responsibility.

In addition to this programme, the Environmental Justice Networking Forum co-ordinated a series of activities that exposed their membership to:

The human impacts on wetlands particularly those in Khayelitsha

The initiatives, programmes and activities embarked upon by communities, local authorities and others that impact on wetlands and their management or conservation

Possible areas of joint collaboration and action between civil society and local authorities around wetland management

Edith Stephens Wetland Park programme-restoring a wetland with people in mind

This is a project supported by the City of Cape Town, National Botanical Institute, Working for Water and the World Wide Fund for Nature. .About 50 years ago academic botanist Edith Stephens purchased about 4 ha of seasonal wetland on the Cape Flats in one of the major drainage basins on the Cape Flats ,the Lotus River System, and placed it in the hands of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

This World Wetlands day 2001 programme focussed on the conflict between conservation of natural ecosystems, the restoration of the wetland and the development of this area and adjacent land into a community park and conservation area. It was marked by an organised information and discussion session around the broader issues of wetland conservation and community development, and included an outing to Rondevlei wetland to view best wetland management practices.

The Working for Water Programme and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden assisted greatly in providing technical expertise and together with the participation of the community made this programme a most memorable one.

2.3.3 Conclusion

This programme, started in 1999 has mutated into one that is showing the fruits of trust, respect and empowerment. The true worth is the significant partnering relationship built between civil society and local authorities, the understanding of the impact of urbanisation on our wetlands and the will by stakeholders to get involved and DO!

2.3.4 List of participating organisations

The following organisations participated with the City of Cape Town in the programme.

  • Wildlife and Environment Society-Western Cape
  • Environmental Justice Networking Forum-Western Cape
  • Tsoga Environmental Centre
  • Durbanville Environmental Forum
  • Hout Bay Museum
  • Glenco Schools project
  • Edith Stephens Wetland Park
  • National Botanical Institute
  • World Wide Fund For Nature
  • Working For Water Programme (Dept of Water Affairs & Forestry)
  • Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group
  • Burning Spear Movement
  • Phillipi Youth Forum

The following officials of the City of Cape Town contributed to the success of the programme:Karen Patten & Sandy Hustwick- City of Cape Town AdministrationJulia Wood- South Peninsula Administration Ossie Asmal & Steyn Marais– City of Tygerberg AdministrationLindie Buirskie – CMC-AdministrationPatt Titmuss – Blaauwberg Administration

Report compiled by programme manager:

Randall Adriaans
City of Cape Town – CMC: Administration
Catchment Management Department
Tel: 4872453 email:

Reports on WWD activities compiled by:
Mmakoma Moloto
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

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