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GENERAL MEETING 1 June 2017

Evan welcomed everyone and Peteropened the meeting with a prayer.

1      Present: Evan Powell (CHR),Andrew Hudson, Diana van Rensburg,Nellie Morgan, Peter Craig-Cooper, Jim Morgan,Uschi Powell, Penelope Mayson, Oubaas Visser, Genie Retief, Lynette de Jong,Juan de Beer, Mel Fennel, Linda Benade, Errol Potgeiter, JJ van Rensburg,  Jane Campbell, Jeanette Newey, Geoff Sander.

2      Apologies :Joce Gordon. Graeme Altenkirk, John Webb,Lizzy Modiga, Rob Farquharson, Sandra Dill-Franzen, Paul Dill-Franzen,Johan Veldsman

3      Meetings feedback

        Evan reported on a meeting that he and Derrick had attended where SANPARKS had outlined their 10 year management plan to start 2018.  The buffer zones of KNP were discussed and the contractual agreements needed to becomeProtected Areas and Priority Natural Areas.  There are various criteria to meet to register as a Protected Area which include having a management plan, access control and rule enforcement.  All the different organisations in Marloth Park would have to co-operate to meet these conditions.

        Evan also reported on a FORUM meeting with Nkomazi Municipality officials which was positive and they gave undertakings and time frames to deal with the various issues raised.  For Town Planning the building inspector can stop the work until the necessary requirements are met.  There are more Peace Officers undergoing training.  The feasibility and sustainability of the lodges will be researched.  The access control for Makarios Farm is to be investigated and discussed with Mjejane who own the land.  Gate Control will be addressed.   The Ralf Kalwa report will be taken to the council.  The by-laws of an area have to be adhered to as well as rules for a Protected Area.

4      Bush Snippets                      

Photos taken on work parties were shown –  Queen of the Night in a pot inside a window and amusing signs at houses.  A porcupine had been seen at night near Lionspruit gate.  Aloes are appearing and Natal Spurfowl chicks have been seen.                                                                                                                                        

5      Forum Meeting – feedback as above.

6      Activities

·    Bird Walk  -  Saturday 1 June, meetcnr Crocodile / Volstruis at 7.00am.

July 1stbird walk will also start at 7.00

Genie asked for feedback on bird courses.  Should we have another basic bird course, possibly in school holidays which would attract visitors or a more detailed advanced one.

·        Lion Tracking – no report.

·  Snake report - no report.

Andrew reported that there was a Black Mamba outside his bedroom window.  Riaan had tried to catch it but it had gone up into the thatch roof and had not been seen again.  Oubaas had a Green Spotted Bush Snake which had disappeared into the bush.

·   Alien Plant Removal Work Parties

Uschi reported that 10different species of alien plants were removed with only 9 volunteers with 2 municipal workers and 2 gardeners assisting.     29 home owners were contacted withregard to removing alien plants on their stands with 4 complying, 11 are defaulters and have been reported to the DEA and others have asked to extend their time allowed.  In terms of the title deed alien plants must be removed.

Uschi said that we do need Working for Water teams to come in as are there are too many alien plants and too large an area to cover with our work teams.  Diana will follow up.  In the meantime Uschi appealed for more volunteers to help with the work parties.

The alien plant of the month is Jacobs Ladder.  We are seeing more of this planted as a hedge but it is also spreading into the parkland.  It is not indigenous and as the latex is poisonous it should be handled with care.  Full details are published on the website.

Suggestions of indigenous flowering plants are given and ask that home owners check if that plants are indigenous to Marloth Park before planting.  The nursery in KNP is particularly good.

All Municipalities should have a control plan in place for alien vegetation but only 4% have a plan in action.  Green Scorpions have been appointed and one will be responsible for our area.

Disposing alien plants is still a problem but the long term plan is to have a skip at the dump when it is completed.

·         Working for Water – addressed above.

·         Maintenance

The thatch on the hide at Frikkies dam will be inspected as it is already damaged again after being recently repaired.

·         Tree Tagging

Rob has been active with requests for tree tagging. Currently tags are R20 each but new tags may be more expensive.

7              Public Liaison – Facebook / Website

                Facebook posts are well received.

Andrew reported that the host server in the States had crashed and when restored a lot of information had to be re-entered.  However it is up to date now.

The rates inserts are sent out every month and although the contact list is current, some people are not listed.  If anyone does not receive the rates insert please let us know.  At present 1292 emails are despatched every month with 44% - 48% opened.

8              Fund Raising

                Fund raising is quiet and we should advertise the stickers, fridge magnets and grass seed.

9              Winter Fair 2017 / Easter Fair

The fair committee will meet afterwards. 

Genie again appealed for bottles for her table at the fair. 

10           Finances / Asset Register

Nellie reported on thefinance with expenses for maintenance and printing and income from the fair stalls.

11           General

There is concern about the male ostriches in the area surrounding 2 Trees.  They can be aggressive and unpredictable in their behaviour and it was suggested putting up signs warning people of the danger.  Definitely do not feed the Ostriches.

There was a good response to the request for volunteers to participate in regular game counts.  These counts will give useful information for veld and game management and indicate trends.  These figures are not for offtake purposes but will lead to a more accurate picture of the game and movement.

HR have been asked if they will do gate duty and welcome visitors over the long weekend of 16 June.  We still have some leaflets with the rules but may need more printing.

The trucks delivering the skips for builder’s rubble can cause unnecessary damage to the veld and should be monitored.

The large advertising sign at the end of Mamba should be reported to MPPOA, as should all signs.

A question was asked about the Fire Danger this winter.  There previously was a fire team who did a lot of work of the hydrants and this should become active again.  It should be run as a community project.  Graeme was the HR representative and he and Rob are responsible for the bakkie sakkie.                                    

There was no further business so the meeting finished at 10.00.

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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