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GENERAL MEETING 30 March 2017

Evanwelcomed everyone and Graemeopened the meeting with a prayer.

1      Present: Evan Powell (CHR),Graeme Altenkirk (2ic), Diana van Rensburg,Nellie Morgan, Joce Gordon,Peter Craig-Cooper, Jim Morgan,Rob Farquharson,Uschi Powell, Penelope Mayson, Oubaas Visser,Sandra Dill-Franzen, Paul Dill-Franzen, Lynette de Jong, Mel Fennell,Juan de Beer, Lizzy Modiga.

JJ van Rensburg,Philemon Nhlongo, Mark de Beer, Dylan de Lange

New Honorary Ranger Juan de Beer was presented with his caps and epaulettes.

2      Apologies :John Webb,Andrew Hudson, Linda Benade, Johan Veldsman, Peter Joubert, Lenara Joubert.

3      Feedback on First Aid Course

        The first aid course was a three day Level 1 Wilderness course designed for Marloth Park, which is over an hour away from a major centre.  Wild animals are present in the Park and animal attacks on humans can be rapid and violent causing tremendous damage.   Safety first was stressed with prevention and then treatment. 

        To train people to be first responders would involve setting up a plan of action and considerably more equipment would be needed.  An AED (automated external defibrillator) alone costs in the region of R30 000.00. Funds would have to be raised for these major expenses.  Other questions posed were who would be available to be called out and where would the equipment be stored.  At present the closest AED is in Malelane.

4      Bush Snippets

Evan showed a photo of a Mozambique Spitting Cobra which had eaten a mouse.

Paul showed a photo he had taken of a leopard lying on a bank across the river.

Peter reported that he had heard Trumpeter Hornbills

5      Forum Meeting – feedback

The Forum will meet to agree on the numbers of animals to be removed as per Ralf Kalwe’s report.

The report stated that the condition of the bush was much improved and the efforts of the various organisations who have assisted were favourably noted.

A question was asked if the Municipality would accept the proposed numbers but it was unknown.  The MTPB would only be involved at a later stage.

6      Activities

·Bird walks – Bird walk Saturday 1 April, meet at 2 Trees at 6.00am.

Next month bird walk May 6  -   the time and venue will be advertised.

·Lion Tracking – There were no photos available but the lions had been spotted in the thick

bush.  They had eaten a giraffe, which is not their favourite.

Snake report – John hasbeen away but Riaan had removed one Spotted Bush Snake, one Mozambique Spitting Cobra and one Black Mamba.

Alien Plant Removal Work Parties

Uschi has been in contact with The DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs) who will print information leaflets for us and include their logo.  Pre-directives are still under discussion with them.

Uschi reported that last month 12 different species of aliens were removed with the team being active for 116 hours, mostly in the Gruispan and Naboom areas.  19 Volunteers and 3 municipal workers were involved.  Cybertracker was being used to identify hot spots.

      The alien plant of the month is Devils Backbone.

Ralf Kalwe stated in his report that homeowners should take responsibility for their own properties. We encourage and support this. To this end Uschi will collect alien plants from houses since there is nowhere at the dump at present.  Contact Uschi 072 908 0350.

Starbur has been growing prolifically in some areas and although not a NEMBA categorised plant it is better to pull out or cut the stem if the ground is too hard to pull plants out.

Peter suggested having an audio visual clip showing Parthenium.  Any effort to increase awareness of alien plants is encouraged.  Estate agents could help as there is legislation in place regarding sale of houses with alien plants present.

Working for Water

Diana reported on meetings and inspections she has had with working for water management to motivate for teams in their new financial year.  They will include MP in their planning.

·         Maintenance

Graeme arranged for the thatch roof at Frikkies to be repaired and some trees cut back so they will not damage the thatch.  The boom at gate 2 was apparently repaired by the transport contractor who broke it and Graeme has the signs to fix back in place.  He also has the dedication signs ready to put up in Lionspruit.  Oubaas has repaired the benches on the Crocodile side with Graeme and Rob, those on the Seekoei side.   Vegetation is cut back so not to overhang the benches.

WTF are not able to put up the screen at Frikkies between the lapa and the toilets as planned so Graeme will now see if HR can undertake this.

If any repairs are needed please notify Graeme so he can inspect.  Paul is checking in Lionspruit.

·         Bush Rehabilitation

WTF are going ahead after Easter with thebush clearing project using LEFPAteams consisting of 2 cutters, 2 sprayers and 8 clearers.  Permission has been given by the Municipality for work on the parklands but which area is unknown.They estimate that they will remove 70 trees per day.

7              Public Liaison – Facebook / Website – no report

The next rates insert will be on Parthenium with the Winter Fair being the subject after that.  Anyone with ideas (a written article is not necessary) for future rates inserts, send to Evan.

8              Fund Raising

                Sales of grass seed, fridge magnets and alien plant brochures are low.

The Post Office and Daisy’s Den need more alien plant brochures.   Daisy’s Den will also assist with the cost of gifts from their shop e.g. for guest speakers.  The idea of our logo on gifts was discussed to promote HR.

We will follow up making the donation boxes to place in the shops with the boxes being decorated to make them more eye catching.

9              Winter Fair 2017 / Easter Fair

The fair committee will meet afterwards but plans are well in hand.

The Easter fair at Marlothi Shopping Centre will be on 15 April.  The roster which has been emailed to everyone was distributed so everyone can confirm their time slot.  We will have 2 stands with a display of alien plants.  It is also MPPOA AGM. There may not be enough candidates for the committee and the question was raised regarding the need to vote.  Evan statedthat we need to assume voting will happen and if anyone is going to give a proxy vote they continue with this.

10           Finances / Asset Register

Nellie reported that there had been little income and the main expense being the repair to the hide at Frikkies Dam

11           General

The dump is in the process of being rehabilitated. The front area will have skips for the rubbish and the back area will be covered with top soil and grass planted.  This will need watering to make sure it takes and Graeme and Rob will use the water in the HR bakkie sakkie.  Other organisations will also take a turn at watering.

Peter asked if we should go ahead with the talk on elephants.  Evan will check the website for details.

Sandra asked for any good photos taken in Marloth or Lionspruit for the notice boards.

Lizzy reported that the SPCA will take the domestic animals that have to be removed from Marloth Park and they will confirm this in writing.

              

There was no further business so the meeting finished at 9.30.

Our vision

hrOur vision is to support and assist the Nkomazi Municipality Conservation Department within Marloth Park with their management strategies and objectives while being an effective volunteer group. 
Read a brief  History of Honorary Rangers and the Conservancy

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