Application for removal of restrictive title deed conditions to allow a Distillery, Tasting Room and Farm Shop on smallholding Erf 141
The RERA Chair sent out a WhatsApp notice notice to residents drawing their attention to a proposal by the owners of Erf 141 to have the smallholding rezoned to allow for the development of a Distillery and Tasting Room. They have asked
The proposal indicates that various environmental and other mitigating approaches will be used. Although it states that they will use the Pringle Bay entrance -- all the traffic still to date in carrying out building work is accessing through the Porter Drive entrance in Rooiels. This is of concern for the very fragile fynbos ecosystem on the slopes of Klein Hangklip, including the Rockjumpers. It is not sure how there can be a guarantee that the access to 141 will not continue to be Rooiels, or subsequently if the property is sold, be through an area which is of importance to biodiversity and Rooiels. Once the zoning has been changed, there are no measures to ensure which entrance is used.
All residents are asked to consider this carefully, advise RERA of the position they would like RERA to take, and/or if they consider it appropriate, also make their own response/objections to this proposal to the Overstrand Municipality before 4th June 2021 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The REC AGM was held at the Community Centre at Pringle Bay on 5th April.
The Chairman's report summarised the activities of REC during 2020 which despite the limitations of COVID saw progress in supporting Nature in Rooiels. See the Full Report and the 2020 Financials on the REC webpage.
A few of the highlights:
1. The Nature Reserve status was fully regularised with all the paperwork reconstructed and the Rooiels Nature Reserve now reflected as a registered nature reserve. The Management plan is in place emphasising the role of the RNR in preserving locally indigenous wetland fynbos.
2. Beach cleaning, dune rehabilitation and the hack all continued although it was not possible to enjoy the social interaction - good progress on clearing Rooikrans but the Chairman pointed to the real problem being faced as there is a resurgence after the fires and with the good rains.
3. With personal contact limited, REC promoted greater understanding of the need to adapt our lives as custodians of our natural heritage, through the production of a brochure for new residents and for visitors. REC also promotes the book Rooiels: tussen berge en die see which raises funds for nature and is available in the Village shop. A proposal was put forward for a new triannual RooielsWild Bulletin on nature. A limited number of printed sample copies were made available, thanks to an anonymous donor. You can download a PDF and see it here
No motions were put forward
A new REC committee was elected for 2021: Ivan Becker, Fiona Christelis, Leigh Elves, Veronica Jacobs, Hilgard Muller, Wofgang Steinbach
The RERA AGM was held at the Betty's Bay NG Church hall on 10th April and was also well attended. The Chairman's report focused on the Outreach activities which had helped to support Overstrand efforts to overcome the hunger and economic difficulties triggered by Covid19. Both RERA and REC provided over R10000 to the efforts (see financial reports) and many individuals contributed directly or through buying food to put in the buckets in the Village shop - and donations are still welcome.
The Chairman also reported that the grader used for the roads was too wide and had resulted in broken water pipes that were immediately fixed. But it was also noted that the damage on the road, especially on Rocklands Road near the Nature Reserve, had not yet been repaired and would result in inconvenience during the rains in winter. In the motions a proposal was made that one member of RERA be appointed to the Roads portfolio to provide residents with a contact point for action.
Covid19 limited meetings and engagement and some actions that affected public areas had been taken during 2020 without wide discussion. The Chairman assured the meeting that due process would now be followed and that in future a more transparent approach would be taken using digital communication. The Chairman reported that the Otter statue would be taken down to allow for due process to be followed and to legalise the situation. It was accepted that this is important or it could set a precedent for various individuals to apply their own preferences and impose them on the natural areas that are part of the public space.
There were a number of motions from the Floor including recognition of RESA and all the efforts to keep the village safe from the increasing crime - with a special thanks to the residents that steadfastly patrol every night. There was also a commitment made for RERA to be more transparent going forward and to consult the community with proposed changes that affect public space while acknowledging that the RERA committee may need to act quickly on urgent matters. In that instance feedback and report would be made to all.
The meeting accepted motions to share the RECOZ (Rooiels Conservation Protection Overlay Zone) with all the Rooiels residents and to work actively with OM to move the process forward. RECOZ was developed using the already implemented Rooiels Heritage Protection Overlay Zone that applies to all the areas in sight of the R44, village inputs and also using the Environmental Management overlay zone principles established by the Overstrand Municipality. It addresses the importance of retaining the character of Rooiels essentially codifying what we have been doing - as discussed by a well attended Cascades meeting in 2019. It includes a few provisions that are not in the REHPOZ e.g. that any property rented out on a short-term basis has someone living in Rooiels to take responsibility for briefing visitors and being available if there are problems. Also very important is that the road reserves in Rooiels are not clear cut. You can see the draft RECOZ here.
The New Committee for RERA 2021 is: Ivan Becker, Mike Christellis, Leigh Elves, Veronica Jacobs, Hilgard Muller and Allison Vienings
The Annual General Meeting of the Rooiels Conservancy will be held at the Community Centre in Pringle Bay on 5th April 2021 at 11 a.m. We hope you will all attend. If you cannot be there - please would you send in any nominations you may have for the committee and would you please give your proxy to another REC member.
The Agenda is available in English and in Afrikaans on the REC website page
Support the local Hangklip Community Care Centre and Birding Talks & Courses - learn more about the birds you see
The Hangklip Community Care Centre supports people in the Betty's Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels communities, providing meals, advice and shared fun and support. Read their latest Newsletter in the files below and consider becoming a member to boost their efforts - even if you are not in a position to become actively involved. For more information contact: Patricia Ackerberg 082 3781641 email@example.com
or send completed membership forms to Treasurer, Adrian de Kock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anton Odendal and Birdlife Overberg host a number of interesting webinars with lectures and courses on birds and for those interested attached are the fliers on the Talks and on the Courses for February. They are also able to send copies of past webinars so you do not have to attend at that day or time. Contact Elaine at email@example.com or WhatsApp at 082 455 8402
With COVID-19 this year the efforts to raise funds have had to go virtual -- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to bid. The List is also attached below the document in a PDF if you would like to download it.
Click the Link to go to the Rooiels Field Notes - or go to the Nature pages to learn more about nature in and around Rooiels
We live in a natural biosphere -- and this means that we pay a small price for all this wonder around us. We have to be really careful with our waste. No compost heaps and very secure bins on your property that are firmly secured at the opening and into the ground. Be sure to only put your waste into the bin on a Monday morning. Or alternatively just remove all your wet waste and take it home, or to the municipal waste stations. The Recycle (clean plastic, glass, paper and metal) can all be left at the Pringle Bay recycle station where it is regularly collected by a small local business. They have a special cage for it.
And dont forget that all those small little bits of anything clean that is not degradable can be put into an empty 2 litre Coke bottle to make EcoBricks. The EcoBricks can be used to build all sorts of things from houses to chairs! We collect them at RESA office and take them to Stellenbosch University, or to the local Eco School.
Plastic is causing really serious damage to global ecosystems with micro-plastics causing air and ocean pollution and killing living organisms. We can help by avoiding purchases of goods packaged in plastic - and being sure that we reuse all the plastic we use. Ecobricks are a great way to get rid of the small its of plast and the plastic wrappings. Making sure that you recycle all larger plastic items. But best of all is to send the message that we will buy only unwrapped, or goods in wrapping that is from totally degradable plastic. There are increasing options out there. They are a bit more expensive, but they are worth the expense.
Oceans Without Limits - is a South African group that are researching our oceans
A HEAVY TOLL ON WILDLIFEThousands of animals, from small finches to blue whales, die grisly deaths from eating and getting caught in plastic.
Go the the Rooiels Field Notes to see what people have been sending in - rare plants, baboons playing, and the some wonderful photos from visitors to Rooiels. It has been almost a year since we sent out a news note from the Rooiels website. With so much social media buzzing around us, less is more! But the Website does help us to keep a more permanent record that we can go back to over time. Perhaps now is the time to browse through and learn more about Rooiels, refresh your knowledge of the Vision and what our nature and area is all about. In case you didnt see the Leopard photos from the camera traps, we always put some of them onto the Blogs.
There have been updates on many pages including the Rooiels Conservancy, link to REC. There is a small group of people working as the Wildlife Action Group (WAG) and another identifying the diversity of the flora in the Rooiels Nature Reserve and it would be great if someone could get involved with looking at the insects, reptiles and amphibians the nature reserve supports.
Please email email@example.com if you have any suggestions, photos or links that you would like to share - about Nature, about the village or about sustainable living.
On sustainable living. Dont forget that you can help the Pringle Bay school build a classroom - or Stellenbosch university build houses - simply by collecting 2 litre empty bottles and filling them with bread bags, small bits of plastic and aluminium foil wrappers etc. See EcoBricks blog for details. All those straws and bits you pick up along the beach - and you will be surprised at how this reduces your own waste. It is easy - you just have to stuff it so that it weighs at least 500g. Hint you need a long stick that reaches the bottom to be able to compress it tight as soon as it is 20% -- then keep filling and compressing. I dont twist mine, prefer to just stuff it through the hole with a stick!
No magic bullets - just a reminder that it is our responsibility to protect our homes and cars from baboon thieves, as we do for human thieves elsewhere in the country!
RERA will organise to have signs in the village car park area reminding visitors to close their windows and lock their cars. Baboons know how to open car doors.
Rooiels Wildlife Action Group
(website link --- facebook link)
Response to baboon incidents of 4 and 7 June 2019
On 4 June 2019, several young baboons entered an unoccupied home through an open window with inadequate burglar bars. A few days later (7 June 2019), a baboon gained entry to a vehicle parked at the CBD, using his hand to open the unlocked door. The Rooiels Wildlife Action Group(WAG) has taken note of comments posted on the Village People WhatsApp group (VP), reviewed security camera footage and spoken with witnesses. We have written this report to address the most common concerns shared on VP and also to highlight some broader issues on baboons in the Overstrand.
The key issues
1) Baboons are gaining entry into some homes via inadequate baboon-proofing.
Proposed action: It is important to check the baboon-proofing of your home regularly. The recommendation is that all gaps in baboon bars and trellidoors be less than 8cm. If you are installing baboon-proofing for the first time, we recommend a gap of 7cm. Please close all doors and windows securely when you are not at home. This is a security as well as a baboon precaution. More recommendations can be obtained at: Baboon proofing your home
or contact Gavin Lundie (082 900 3173) or Wolfgang Steinbach (082 823 6821) via WhatsApp.
2) Baboons are successfully gaining access to food and rubbish in the CBD area.
The number of businesses with food and food waste has doubled in the past year.
Proposed action: It is in the best interest of businesses and the whole village, that baboons are strictly discouraged from hanging around the CBD. We strongly recommend the installation of electric wiring on all business buildings to prevent baboon access to rooftops and upper level, open eating areas. Restaurants with open eating areas on ground level will have to immediately chase baboons away when they come into the CBD. This should be done using humane measures such as shouting, clapping and/or brandishing a catapult. (To ensure the safety of patrons and visitors, and to protect parked vehicles, no projectiles should be shot from a catapult).
There must be effective waste disposal, appropriate baboon-proofing and customers, contractors and employees should all be made aware that it is strictly prohibited to feed baboons.
Pringle Bay is currently paying monitors R200,000/annum in salaries for partial monitoring (see below) and we believe that in RE this can be done, at least in the CBD, by vigilant staff/owners.
3) Car doors are routinely being left unlocked and car windows open.
No-one would think of leaving a car unlocked at a South African shopping mall and we must encourage the same mind set in the RE CBD, though for different reasons. Baboons can easily open unlocked vehicle doors and will do so. Windows should also be closed.
Proposed action: Signs should be erected alerting visitors to lock their vehicles. Please remind contractors and visitors to your property to do likewise.
Broader issues to consider
Overstrand planning on baboon management
At this time the Overstrand municipality does not have the mandate or the funding to provide baboon management, but they did sign an agreement in March 2019 to work with CapeNature and Dept of Environmental Affairs on the way forward. Details can be found on the
Overstrand Municipality Facebook page.
In May, three members of WAG attended the Hermanus Baboon Action Group community meeting. Baboon management strategies were discussed, as well as potential funding opportunities. Pringle Bay currently employs a small team of part-time baboon monitors to try to keep baboons out of the village at a cost of R200,000/annum for monitor salaries alone. This money is raised solely through resident donations, which has proven difficult in terms of long-term sustainability. Hermanus is now looking at initiatives to raise funds of well over R1 million/annum, which will allow them to employ a company that implements virtual fencing and monitors. These interventions will not replace the need for adequate baboon-proofing and being baboon-wise. WAG has been advised that the topography of our village and surrounds will provide significant challenges to keeping baboons out of the urban area.
Removal of baboons
Under Cape Nature jurisdiction, baboons are not relocated to other areas.
Individual baboons, believed to cause issues to human health and safety, can be euthanized, but only after a rigorous process is followed to determine whether removal (by euthanasia only) is appropriate. This can only be done where the individual baboon can be unequivocally identified (e.g. ear tags). However euthanasia is not a solution to raiding issues. Where one baboon learns a behaviour, so can the next. The onus is on us to prevent baboons accessing food, through careful waste management, garden management and keeping them out of our homes and cars.
Baboons are driven more by reward than punishment. Eliminating opportunities where they can access our food is much more effective than “teaching them a lesson”. Intentionally harming baboons is illegal. Firing pellet/air/paintball guns in a built-up area is also illegal. Please visit this link for more information on baboons and the law: Baboons and the law
Baboons & Safety
Baboons are wild, intelligent animals. They are not predators and rarely cause injury to people. Their sole interest in us relates to our food which we must keep out of their view and reach. A common misconception about baboon behaviour relates to their grimace (or showing of their teeth) which they do when startled or scared. This behaviour is not the same as a dog, which bears its teeth when displaying aggression. The fear grimace is usually accompanied by a ‘cack’, which sounds similar to a rough cough. Neither of these behaviours advertise aggression, but they do indicate fear and are routinely displayed when a baboon is cornered. Please read this link on our website with tips on what to do and how to behave if baboons get into your home or car. Baboon hits
Highlights of the different news and camera bulletins