GENERAL MEETING 29 September 2016
Peterwelcomed everyone and Graeme opened the meeting with a prayer.
1 Present: Peter Craig-Cooper (CHR), Diana van Rensburg (Secretary), Jim Morgan, Graeme Altenkirk, Joce Gordon,Evan Powell, Uschi Powell, Penelope Mayson, Oubaas Visser, Dev Farquharson, Rob Farquharson, Lynette de Jong, Linda Benade, Annemarie Esterhuizen,
JJ van Rensburg, Jeanette Newey, Michael Raum, Geoff Sander, Derrick Bruins-lich, Errol Potgeiter, Mel Fennell.
2 Apologies :Genie Retief, Nellie Morgan, Andrew Hudson, John Webb, Lizzy Modiga,Johan Veldsman, Peter Joubert, Lenara Joubert, Tom Esterhuizen, Tinus Grobler.
The meeting started with an excellentPowerPoint presentation by Uschi giving a very interesting overview of the course on alien plants which she and Graeme recently attended in Nelspruit. This highlighted the need to remove alien plants and animals and the legislation which is going to be put in place to enforce it nationwide. Examples of the alien plants in the different categories e.g. 1a, 1b and 2 were shown. The obligations of both Municipalities and home owners were explained and the relevance to Marloth Park in particular
Annemarie addressed the meeting as she and Tom are leaving at the end of September. She explained that they had come to Marloth Park and joined the Honorary Rangers but realised that there were so many lonely people that they had become very involved in the community. She thanked everyone for their help over the last few weeks with Tom’s accident and are very sorry to be leaving such caring people. She promised to come back on holiday.
John Webber had resigned and his time and effort will be missed.
Genie Retief is standing down as 2ic due to work commitments but will continue to be part of the committee.
4 Bush Snippets
The male Nyala in Lionspruit is in good condition.
5 Forum Meeting – feedback
Evan reported on the Forum meeting which had discussed the proposed Code of Conduct for the members. HR had proposed this so all members would stand together and present a united front. It had been suggested that the Forum have a constitution.
There was an extra Forum meeting where one of the items was theMarloth in Crisis group. A joint meeting with them and Nkomazi has been proposed for 11 October.
Other items to be discussed further at the Forum are the problems of night walkers and rubbish cages.
6 Education / bird walks/talks
The next bird walk is on Saturday 1 October at 6.30. Meet cnr Crocodile/ Volstruis. All are welcome.
A repeat of the bird course could possibly be held in December when we could attract visitors.
7 Fund Raising
We are selling fridge magnets with emergency numbers on which are proving popular. They are in the shops or available from HR.
Grass seed was packed and is available at Daisy’s Den and will be at Marlothi Shopping Centre. If the rains do start soon then we must encourage everyone to plant grass. Instructions for planting are on the label on the bag.
8 Winter Fair 2017
There will be a meeting for the fair committee after the general meeting.
9 Indemnity forms / Constitution
We have indemnity forms to be signed before work parties.
10 Work Parties
We have looked at safety issues after the recent accident and put in place procedures and protocols for the work parties. Some HRs attended afirst aid course almost 3 years ago so their certification expires soon. Options for training will be investigated. Dev as a past Commandant of the Red Cross is willing to give advice.Other groups doing similar work will have the same safety concerns so these issues could be taken to the Forum.
Peter thanked all who have been involved in the work parties.
Graeme and Rob have been placing rocks along the river to demarcate the track to discourage people driving across the veld. He has 2 labourers to help and so far has placed 10 tons of rocks and is only part way along the first loop. We have had offers of financial assistance from residents so could employ more labourers. He is calling for more volunteers.
11 Work Parties - Flora
Uschi is organising the biocontrol work parties on Mondays and has purchased equipment to help with the removal and transport ofsmaller alien plants. On the last work party 50 Prickly Pears were removed. Other alien plantse.g. Goosefoot, Potato Creeper and Sisal are removed if small but large infestations are noted for removal at a later date. If large Sisal are found they can be chopped and sprayed in the centre, if small can be dug out, taking care to remove all the runners. Residents continue to clear their properties and dump unwanted material on parkland. There are houses with a large number of alien plants planted in the “garden”. These are noted and it is planned to go back to discuss with the owner when they are present.
Diana reported that SanParks have reorganised the Working for Water programme and have Field Managers responsible for different aspects. Earlier in the month we had a meeting with the manager who organises the teams for removal of alien plants with the exception of Prickly Pear and Parthenium. We prioritised the areasneeding teams. We also had a meeting this week with the manager dealing only with Parthenium. Once the rain comes, the small rosettes that are visible at the moment will grow and we need teams then. There are “hotspots” where the Parthenium is already active now and a team will be assigned to us soon to treat these areas. Terence has assisted in identifying areas needing immediate treatment but if any other areas need treatment then let us know.
12 Game Management and Game Counts
The game count figures were distributed. The Municipality has also completed an aerial count which included Lionspruit. The main concern is the low numbers of buffalos. Jaco had reported that they are not in good condition but are now being fed Lucerne. There are still some animals e.g. kudu on the original permit to be removed. There have been debates about too many animals being removed but as long as a starter herd remains the animals will breed. The only reason to get new animals is to introduce new blood lines.
There has been a large number of new houses built which affects the carrying capacity. One idea proposed was setting up a trust to buy up empty stands and making them parkland. Finer legal points were still to be investigated.
13 Public Liaison – Facebook / Website
Andrew sent a report that everything is up to date on the website with the latest minutes posted. The game count figures were available. The rates inserts were emailed successfully with few rejections. Almost half of those who receive the rates inserts open them.
A resident had asked about an article written a couple of years ago on lights left on outside houses and the pros and cons. We will check if the article is still available on the old website.
It was noted that John was good with posting regularly on Facebook.
14 Lion tracking/reporting
Joce reported that the lions are mostly feeding on buffalos and are in good condition.
15 Snake report
John had removed 2 Leguaans and 1 Puff Adder.
There have been different stories about Lionspruit’s future. We have invested a lot of time and money on the infrastructure so want it kept for the residents of Marloth Park.
14 Finances / Asset Register
Nellie was sick and not able to attend – no report.
Dev asked if her son, who is a tree feller would be allowed to cut alien trees across the fence on KNP land.
Michael thought that more instructions about cutting suitable sickle bush should be printed on the grass seed packets.
Photos were shown –
Queen of the Night and Mutation which have been infected with cochineal.
Graeme and Rob with the work party placing rocks.
Lions in Lionspruit looking healthy.
There was no further business so the meeting finished at 10.00.
Fair Committee meeting at 10.30.