Southern Cape FPAProgress Report GRRI Environmental Working Group 18 August
DEA NRMP, Knysna Municipality, Eden District Disaster Management (and Municipality), the Southern Cape FPA, WoF, SANParks and Cape Nature, and several others, collectively address environmental rehabilitation in the burn scar.

1. Erosion Control
GRRI Environmental interventions prevent tons of topsoil from washing down steep slopes into down stream properties in the Knysna area.

Stabilization of the environment is increasingly proving to be a vital component of the GRRI rapid(environmental) restoration response.

In total Knysna received between 27 mm rain 16th August – Diepwalle automatic rainfall sensor -to 38,2 mm – Knysna automatic rainfall sensor, causing significant soil displacement.

Erosion control focus, for the time being, will be focussed on where there is risk to human lifeand infrastructure.

Problems were most severe at Featherbed as well as Brenton on Lake, but pro-active soilremediation proved to be a tremendous help, at all the high risk areas where work has been done no major soil displacements occurred.

Installation of Fibre Blankets Installation of Fibre Blanket

7500m2 of fibre blankets were installed

1. Sites Worked/ In progress:

  1. White Location
  2. Phantom Pass
  3. Sheer Cliffs (Brenton on sea)
  4. Brenton Quarry
  5. Featherbed Bay 1
  6. Featherbed Bay 2
  7. Belvidere Estate/ Railway Line
  8. Belvidere Heights

Unloading Fibre Rolls Transporting Fibre Rolls

500 Fibre Rolls were installed – covering 7000m

Installed Fibre Roll Fibre Roll and BlanketInstallation of Fibre Roll and Blanket Installed Fibre Roll and Blanket

2. Private landowners getting involved with erosion control measures:

Landowners are steadily busy securing their land

Examples include:

  1. Buffels Bay
  2. Belvidere Heights

Buffels Bay Belvidere Heights Erosion Control Measures

3. Re-growth Patterns:

On all sites there are indications of re-growth

Re-growth Belvidere Slopes Re-growth Belvidere

Indigenous grass re-growth on Belvidere slopes and areas covered with fibre blankets

Indigenous re-growth in pre-burnt Brenton Fresh sprouting from burnt Sugar Gum tree

Indigenous re-growth in pre-burnt Brenton – three weeks prior to major fires in Knysna
Fresh sprouting from burnt Sugar Gumtree – Eucalyptus Cladocalyx

Bracken re-growth on several landscapes

4. Working on Fire Teams /Training and Maintenance:
On a weekly basis training takes place on:

Working on Fire Teams Training and Maintenance

Erosion control
Stacking of dead bio mass
Chain Saw Maintenance

5. SANRAL – Clearing slopes
SANRAL is actively clearing slopes of dead trees.

SANRAL - Clearing slopes

6. Media / Communications:

Media Die Burger article Media Herald article

Various articles (referring to environmental work) appeared in the print media (Die Burger/ TheHerald, RSG).

GRRI Website
SCLI/SAFPA/WoF Websites

7. Data Management and Development of an Invasive Alien Plant Strategy:

Data Management and Development of IAPs Working Group defining the Burn Scar

Working Group defining the Burn Scar and finding erosion hot spots

GRRI Environmental Working Group has embarked with the development of a comprehensiveinvasive alien plant management strategy. All conservation entities will be consulted.

8. Norms and Standards:

DEA NRMP – Norms and Standards – expressed satisfaction with work done to date.

9. Knysna on this day:

Knysna Knysna
Knysna Knysna

(Report compiled by SCLI on behalf of GRRI)

Enquiries: Cobus Meiring – 083 626 7619

The Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI), is a public platform for landowners and land managers who have an interest in the control and eradication of invasive alien plants. As part of its Water Stewardship Initiative, SCLI is piloting WEP systems in the Southern Cape. SCLI is supported by the Table Mountain Fund, an associated trust of WWF SA, visit www.wwf.org.za for more information.

Written by Cobus Meiring