THROW IT AWAY SOCIETY
“It’s a wonder ful World”
April / May 2019 NEWSLETTER
From The Estate Managerâ€™s Desk Important Numbers Important Dates Security Report Bss E-Visitor App Guard Of The Month New Guards Swimming Pool Regulations The Black Heron The Throw It Away Society Wildlife Sightings SPCA Parkrun Event
This magazine is designed & published in partnership by :
04 07 08 10 11 20 23 26 28 34 36 37
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ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Contact the Sales Team Blue Gill Homeowners Association, neither the Directors nor employees accredits, approves or endorsed any service provider being advertised in the newsletter. Any advertisements are done on a pay-buy placement basis. We do however recommend that before any advertised service provider is used you personally accredit them through references.
Tel: 032 946 3187 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Next Newsletter: June / July 2019
Disclaimer: This digi-mag is produced especially for residents of Blue Gill Estate to provide updates and useful information. It is produced by GLOVent Media & Fab Creative, on behalf of the Blue Gill Estate. Although every effort is taken to ensure accuracy of content, Blue Gill Estate HOA and/or the Publisher, cannot be held liable for any inaccurate information, and may not agree with all opinions expressed in this publication.
It never rains but always pours. We have experienced a very busy and productive two months, since our last newsletter publication. The month of February is known as the month of love, and so we decided to show our love towards others. We planted a Paperbark acasia tree in memory of one of our legend residents, Tom van der Merwe, at the dam. Uncle Tom, you will always be a part of Blue Gill and we will never forget you! We have also decided that our environment had to be given much love and attention. It paid off! Various wildlife creatures and birds visited us to the amazement and surprise of residents at Waterfront. The SPCA also benefitted from our love when we collected some money for their worthy cause to provide food, shelter and love to neglected animals. Read more about this on page 38. Projects galore! We have initiated and completed the dam clean-up and clearing of invasive plants project, including the two islands within the upper dam. The islands have never looked so beautiful. These projects have also been completed in time for Ekurhuleni to start with the repairs to the dam. We received the excellent news that Ekurhuleni has made funds available to start with the repairs to the dam, read more about it on page 32.
We have decided to improve our security and upgraded to the BSS visitor access system. The system has been implemented at the beginning of March 2019 and various residents have complimented the Directors on this decision, as it improves the safety of our Estate and is more cost effective. The system is explained under the Security section on page 10. Regards,
Estate Manager P.S - Please assist Elda Weideman with pictures of the Estate, which can be used for front pages of the newsletter. E-mail your pictures to email@example.com. Your assistance in this matter will be highly appreciated. Our newsletter is ours, so please feel free to share your stories with us, as you are part of our community.
Welcome to your April digi-mag! We as Fab Creative are very excited to have delved into the Digi Mag space after having started Estate Press 13 years ago (which later became FabMags). Estate magazines have always been the basis of our business, which in print media is focused in KZN. But having national digital mags is very exciting for us and staying within the estates space is what we love doing. Our team is dedicated and excited to read your many exciting stories and design the mag for you, so that for the residents, this is an amazing additional tool filled with exciting and interesting info! So sit back, grab your favourite beverage of choice and enjoy flipping through this mag on your laptop, iPad or phone!
Founder and Co-CEO (Because Boss Lady is not an Official Job Titile) 082 562 7202 firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT NUMBERS Estate Manager:
072 137 0277
079 889 7423
Blue Gill Gate:
011 391 6338
011 391 6156
011 391 4756
011 391 7684
Sunday, 21 April eASTER May your home be blessed with the joy and gladness of Easter, and all your life be filled with peace. Happy Easter!
We invite you to join us for a Workers Day braai on Wednesday 1 May 2019, from 11:00 to 14:00. We are planning fun activities for the children, so bring the little ones with and let them work in finding hidden treasure in the main garden area at the Clubhouse. We will supply the fire, tables and chairs. Bring the family and enjoy a lazy afternoon, in the company of fellow residents.
Refuse Collection Refuse collection is on Mondays, this includes on public holidays, except for Christmas day.
SECURITY REPORT W
e had no security breaches the last two months.
Various complaints were received though by residents regarding their neighboursâ€™ dogs constant barking, disturbing the peace; and others not complying with the estate rules by not walking their dogs on leashes nor picking up their dogsâ€™excrement. Your animals are your responsibility, please consider your neighbours and practise good neighbourliness by abiding by the estate conduct rules. Control your dogs, walk them on leashes and please pick up their excrement in public areas, especially around the dam.
ow do I obtain the app?
Firstly, ensure that you have completed the necessary form and supplied all details of every person who may allow visitors into the Estate. • Download the app on your Play Store or App Store, depending on the type of phone you have. Type BSS in the search block, which will show the BSS E-Visitor icon directly below the search bar. Tap on the icon and install it. People with iPhones may be asked for their personal security password before they can install the app. Should you not know your details, visit your service provider
to reset your password, then download and install the app. • Install the app and allow all access to information, camera and voice recorder of your phone. You will then type in your own phone number in the block provided on the screen and tap next, to obtain your OTP number which will be SMSed to you immediately. • Type in the OTP number and tap on next. Your phone will then be connected to the system and open on the settings page. In the top right-hand side, you will see the words “Sign Out”. NEVER sign out as you will then NOT be registered on the system anymore.
ow do I use the app?
You will see 5 icons on the page which will always open on the Inbox page, either at the top or bottom of your phone, depending on the type of phone you have. First icon will be BOOKINGS, second SOS, third INBOX, fourth SUPPORT TICKET and fifth SETTINGS. After you have gone out of the app,go into the icon on your phone, which is a big red E in a white and red oval, the phone will open on the message page.
AP ON THE BOOKINGS ICON, which will now be your first icon at the top or bottom of the page, depending on the type of phone you have and it will open a screen with 5 different options to invite visitors, as follows:
1. First allow the app permission to access your contact list at the bottom of the page. 2. Invite a contact from your contact list. Tap on the option, which will open a page with two pictures, top one will show visitor and the second contractor. Tap on visitor and choose the person who you wish to invite. Tap on the telephone number of the person. The app will open an option page, where you can choose how you wish to notify the visitor of their pin code created. Should you be registered on WhatsApp and your visitor is also registered on WhatsApp, choose the option and send the message to the chosen person. Note that this code will only be valid for 1 entry and 1 exit of a visitor as well as only valid for 24 hours.
3. Option 3 is for future bookings where you can invite people to the Estate for a future date. Tap on the icon, which will open a calendar for you, where you tap on the date in the future you wish to use and tap on ok at the bottom or top, depending on the type of phone you use. Invite your visitors individually as described in point 1 or 2. Visitors will only be able to use the pin on the future date which has been chosen. You can create future bookings, for only 30 days, not longer than 30 days. 4. Option 4 is for deliveries, collections and services. Tap on the option and it will open a page with the three options mentioned above. Tap on the type of visit and preferred option you need. Delivery and collection are selfexplanatory. Services will be uber, fiber installations or when Telkom has to repair your telephone line.
5. Tap on the name of the company, which is next on the page and fill it in for example Takealot, tap on the reference number, either type a reference number or your stand number. The next line is the start date, which will always be the date when you are creating the pin and the last line is where you can choose the end date, this can also be a date 30 days in advance, but not longer. Press done at the top right corner and the system will create you a code, which will be stored to your stand number on the system, where it will stay until it is utilized or deleted by yourself. You do not have to know who the driver is, who will deliver or collect your package. The code created will turn green from blue once the pin has been used.
6. Option 5 is where you can create regular visitors. This option will be used for your garden service or doggy parlour services. You will first have to create a code for the person to gain entry into the Estate so their personal information can be registered on the service for the first time. Once the person has entered into the Estate, tap on the regular option and then on the + or add right top. All the visitors who have entered into the Estate, which were invited by yourself will appear on the screen. Choose the person you wish to make a regular and tap on the small block on the right side of the personâ€™s facial photo. The personâ€™s details will turn light and you will see a button icon on the right of the line. Tap on the button to activate it to green, which will activate > Tap on the symbol which will take you to a second page, which will start with start date, this will be the date you
create the regular. The second line will be end date where you can choose a future date 3 months in advance. The system will deactivate your regular visitor after three months to ensure the person should still be a regular, which you then can re-activate. 7. This will ensure that your regular does not have permanent access to the Estate, in case you fired the garden service and forgot to delete them as a regular.The following line will show repeat, tap on the word which will open another screen where you can choose the days your regular visitor may enter the Estate. The last line is after hours, where you can activate the button to green to allow after hour visits or not. After hours is from 17:01 to 07:59 in the morning.
8. You have to save the options you have created by tapping on the word save in the top right-hand corner, only then you can notify your visitor as per option 1 or 2 above of their regular visitor status. You will see the pin code of a regular will start with. Should you wish to deactivate a regular visitor, go to the second page where the dates were created and tap on the delete schedule black square at the bottom right of the page. The system will take you to the first page and show the round button on the right-hand side of the personâ€™s details as off (not green). You can permanently delete a regular by tapping on the word edit at the top lefthand side of the regular page and tap in the small square next to the personâ€™s face, which will show as a green tick
mark and then tap on the word delete, which is on the right-hand side of the regular page. The regular visitor will then be permanently deleted. 9. Please note that you will NOT be able to make your foreign employee a regular, it is recommended to make a card for such a person at the office. The office will ensure that the foreign national has a valid work permit first and inform you a month in advance of when such permit has to be renewed. You will have to send such an employee a pin code every time they have to enter the Estate, should you choose not to make such a person a Blue Gill access card.
AP ON THE SOS ICON, which is the second icon next to the Bookings Icon. Allow the BSS system to have access to your cell phoneâ€™s voice recordings and location information. 1. The page will open and you will see a red panic button on the right, marked Panic! & a green button marked Medical Assist, with the picture of a first aid case. These buttons should only be used in cases of emergency. Please note that when you push the red panic button the system will start a recording of everything that is said and of events occurring. The recording will be saved on the BSS system and can be used in criminal investigations, even if criminals take your telephone. 15
2. Every member of the family registered on the system will also receive the panic alert and we request you NOT to phone the family member immediately, but allow the call centre operator to firstly make contact with the person who has pressed the button to establish the nature of the emergency. Family members should allow the call center at least 5 minutes to establish the nature of the emergency and to activate the necessary people to assist the resident in destress. 3. Please note that the call centre operator will ask you for your password. This will be the last four digits of your cellphone number. Should you be under duress and have the opportunity to talk to the call centre operator, give false information as to alert the person that you need assistance without the knowledge of the criminals who attacked you. You can also change your
password with the call centre, should you wish to do so. 4. This application is for the residents and to be used when you have an emergency inside the Estate. Management have put standard operational procedures in place to deal with such incidents and will not be able to assist residents when they have an emergency in an area outside the Estate. The call centre operator will be able to call you outside the Estate, but personnel working at the Estate will not be able to assist with the emergency as they are Estate bound.
AP ON THE INBOX ICON, which is the third icon, next to the SOS icon. This icon
shows as an envelope on the phone. The page will open and you will see three sub-divisions under the wording Inbox.
5. The first division is marked Courtesy, here you will see the photo and information of the person who has entered the Estate. More information will be revealed when you tap on the personâ€™s face. The system will open a second page, where you can obtain the vehicle information, number of passengers in the vehicle and telephone number of the person who entered the Estate. You will also receive a push notification when the person has entered the Estate and a green token will appear next to the personâ€™s details. You will receive a second push notification when the visitor has left the Estate and a red token will appear next to the personâ€™s details. 6. The second division is marked General, here you will find important message from Management regarding power outages,
water interruptions and security incidents. Tap on the message and it will open in a second page to enable you to read the full message or open attachments with more information regarding the issue reported. 7. The third division is marked Promotions, here you will find messages regarding social events of the Estate. 8. To delete messages, tap on mark all read and then tap on the words edit or delete, depending on the type of phone you have, iPhones you will swipe to the right and the delete function will appear, tap on delete. On Samsung and other phones tap on the word edit, symbol x will appear next to every message, tap on the x and the message will be deleted.
AP ON THE SUPPORT TICKET ICON, which is the fourth icon, next to the Inbox icon. This icon looks like a white tag, which is almost not visible on the phone. 1. This icon will open a page, tap on create new. The system will open a second page where New Ticket will be at the top. 2. Tap on Specify Query, which will give you 5 different topics to choose from. Choose the topic on which you wish to report on, by tapping on the topic. 3. Type your report or question in the area under Notes, by tapping in the block. 4. You can attach a file or photo to the notes, by tapping on Choose file, where you can attach a photo or file in support of your report or query. Tap on Save to create the ticket, which
can only be answered from the computer on which it is received. 5. The ticket will be closed once the query or report has been answered and there will be a permanent record of it on the system as it cannot be deleted by any person.
AP ON THE SETTINGS ICON, this will be the last icon, next to the Support Ticket
Icon. It is also the page where your phone will open for the first time after you have downloaded the app and is connected to the BSS system. 1. You will either see your name at the top or bottom right-hand corner of the phone, depending on the type of phone you have. Your stand number will also be under your name or at the top of the page.
2. This page is also where you can manage the type of notifications you wish or do not want to receive, by tapping on the on the green tick symbol next to the Notification Preferences 3. When you wish to go out of the app, a block will appear, where the system will ask if you are sure that you want to close BSS – Access Control? Tap on Yes when you are finished, BUT NEVER SIGN OUT at the top right-hand corner of the page. This you will only do once you have moved out of the Estate and are no longer authorized to use the app. Tip residents can give to their visitors, when entering or exiting the Estate: Inform your visitor to have their drivers license and pin code ready when stopping at the gate to enter or exit the gate. This will prevent holdups at the exit gate and assist the guard to scan the visitor out promptly.
ow do residents who do not have a smart phone, generate access codes for their visitors? For residents who do not own a smart phone the following procedures apply: • Save number 40481 as a contact on your cell phone. • SMS the word bge to the number. • The system will generate a one-time 24-hour pin code, which you can forward to your visitor. GENERAL: Residents please inform the office immediately if your cellphone is stolen, so as to deactivate your profile, until you can show proof that you have reported the loss to the service provider and have done a sim swap.
GUARD OF THE MONTH
January 2019 Obert Mthembu was guard of the
Obert Mthembu was aangewys as
month for January 2019. He has been
wag van die maandvir January
employed since March 2015. He is a
2019. Hy was in Maart 2015
widower and has five children. Obert
aangestel in diens van Blue Gill. Hy
enjoys visiting with his friends in his
is â€˜n wewenaaren het vyfkinders.
spare time. Thank you for your loyal
Oberthoudaarvan om tydsaam met
vriendedeurte bring in syspaartyd. Dankie vir jou getrouediens
GUARD OF THE MONTH
February 2019 Frans Hajane was guard of the month
Frans Hajane was aangewys as wag
for February 2019. He has been an
van die maandvirFebruarie 2019. Hy
employee of Blue Gill since February
is in diens van Blue Gill vanafFebruarie
2012. He is married and has three
2012. Hy is getroud met driekinders.
children. Frans enjoys walking his
Franshoudaarvan om met sy honed
dogs in his free time and playing with
testapen met sykinderstespeel
his children. Thank you for your loyal
in syspaartyd. Dankie vir jou
We have appointed three new guards in February 2019, read more about them below.
Bongani Khoza is 27 years old and was appointed on 1 February 2019. He is a C-grade guard and has been a security officer for the past 5 years. Bongani is not married has a 5-year-old daughter called Shantel. Bongani loves to read and spend most of his free time with his family. We are sure that Bongani will be
an asset to our Estate. We welcome you!
Bongani Khoza is 27 jaar oud en is op 1 Februarie 2019 in diensgeneem by Blue Gill. Hy is ‘n C-graad wag en ‘n sekuriteitsbeampte vir die laaste 5 jaar. Bongani is nie getroud nie, maar het ‘n 5 jarige dogtertjie, genaamd Shantel. Bongani is lief om te lees en spandeer meeste van sy vryetyd saam met sy familie. Ons is seker dat Bongani ‘n aanwinssal wees vir Blue Gill. Ons verwelkom jou!
Hlakane Mathabate is 38 years old and was appointed on 1 February 2019. He is a C-grade guard and has been a security officer for the past 7 years. Hlakane is married with four children, his oldest son, Neo is 12 years old. Hlakane is a religious person and loves to play soccer. We welcome you Hlakane and know
that you will serve the community of Blue Gill with pride!
Hlakane Mathabate is 38 jaar oud en is op 1 Februarie 2019 in diens geneem by Blue Gill. Hy is ‘n C-graad wag en ‘n sekuriteitsbeampte vir die laaste7 jaar. Hlakane is getrouden het vier kinders, waarvans youdste seun Neo, 12 jaar oud is. Hlakane is ‘n gelowige persoon en is lief om sokker te speel in sy spaartyd. Ons verwelkom jou Hlakane en weet dat jy die gemeenskap van Blue Gill met trots sal dien!
Johannes Zulu is 50 years old and was appointed on 1 February 2019. He is a C-grade guard and has been a security officer for the past 23 years. Johannes is married with four children, his eldest son, Mthokozis is 32 years old and works in Vryheid. Sesami is his youngest daughter and attends school in Tembisa. Johannes loves to garden in his spare time. We welcome you Johannes and know that you will serve the community of Blue Gill with pride!
Johannes Zulu is 50 jaar oud en is op 1 Februarie 2019 in diens geneem by
Blue Gill. Hy is â€˜n C-graad wag en â€˜n sekuriteitsbeampte vir die laaste26 jaar. Johannes is getrouden het vier kinders, waarvans youdste seun Mthokozis, 32 jaar oud is en werk in Vryheid. Sy jongste dogter Sesami is 8 jaar oud en gaan skool in Tembisa. Johannes hou daarvan om tuintemaak in sy spaartyd. Ons verwelkom jou Johannes en weet dat jy die gemeenskap van Blue Gill met trots sal dien!
The South African Bureau of Standards has
drowning. All pool covers and fences
prepared new regulations that all pool
need to be professionally installed
owners will have to comply with in order
and that a cover that is meant to stop
to avoid children drowning in private
evaporation wonâ€™t stop a child from
drowning. One of the regulations is
Drowning Prevention Manager at the NSRI, Andrew Ingram says as much as we need legislation, we also need to caution
that the pool net must be child-proof, professionally installed, and must carry the weight of an adult safely.
people of how dangerous swimming
Other requirements are self-closing gates
pools are. Drowning is silent and often you
in fences or walls around swimming pools
will not hear a splash when a child falls
and a new obligation on renters or other
into the pool, so the only way you would
non-owners are to keep unsafe pools,
know that the child is in danger, is if you
completely empty. Pool owners, please
are looking at the child.
comply with the above requirements to
It is advised that a life guard needs to be present at pool parties to prevent
keep your children and those of other people visiting safe
BACK TO BASICS
Adhere to the speed limit, maximum of 40 kilometers per hour. Stop at Stop streets! We are watching and taking random videos. Secure your animals in your property. Walk your dog on a leash. Pick up excrement as per Estate rules. Use bags on Lamp posts. Please attend to your dogâ€™s constant barking.
KEEP OUR KIDS ON THE ESTATE SAFE (40KMPH)!
The use of lawnmowers / machinery on a Sunday must only be between 09:00 and 13:00 and between 16:00 and 18:00. No Exceptions!!
Article by Corrie Snyman We are so fortunate to have this fascinating bird breeding here in the Blue Gill waters! One of the most interesting birds you could hope to see in action in South Africa, is the Black Heron. Itâ€™s a smallish species, 55cm long and less than 350g in weight. The black plumage and bright orange-yellow feet make it easily recognizable. The bird uses its wings to create an umbrella around its head, and then catches fish and tadpoles beneath. This serves as a dual purpose of preventing glare from the water and tricking prey to the shadow making it easier to see their prey. They are also known to wiggle their toes underwater to attract their fishy prey. Black Herons roost and breed usually in reedbeds over water, occasionally in trees and mangroves, usually only in years of high rainfall. Laying months Dec â€“ March rarely in other months (Ref Roberts Nests and Eggs as well as Dewetswild.com)
We have completed the clearing of invasive plants and trees on the two islands in the top dam, just in time for the CoE partial rehabilitation of the Blue Gill dam. All invasive Pampas Grass (category 1B), invasive Bug weed (category 1B), invasive Australian Blackwood trees (category 2), Spanish reeds (category 1B), Grey Poplar trees (Category 2) and water dropwort were removed on and around the two islands. The remaining trees were pruned from ground level up to 2 meters high and the roots were treated with appropriate poison. On each island, piles of wood have also been left to provide habitat for otters and mongoose. We will also maintain the islands in the pristine condition they are in now.
We request residents and their children not to go on the islands to allow the natural habitat for birds and other wildlife to stay undisturbed. Please take note that the quality of the water is not good and is polluted, as the dam is supplied by storm water from various areas in Glen Marais, beyond our control. Residents or children going into the dam or walking in the water do so at their own risk and could sustain illnesses due to the quality of the water. We wish to thank you, the residents, for your generous contributions and the efforts of the Environmental Committee and contractor, who made this project possible
For many residents, the state in which the Blue Gill dam was left at the time when the culverts along Quinine Road were constructed, remains a frustration. Despite several appeals, petitions and environmental studies, the state of both dams in Blue Gill continued to deteriorate due to the accumulation of silt washed down the stormwater system, together with sporadic (and lately a continuous) inflow of sewerage into the dam. There is however some light at the end of the tunnel, after the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) appointed a technical team consisting of civil engineering consultants and contractors to implement some of the remedial measures approved by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) on 20 June 2016, in response to a Basic Assessment study undertaken. In a letter granting Environmental Authorisation for the proposed engineering and rehabilitation measures at the Blue Gill Dam, Glen Marais Extension 22 (Ref Gauteng 002/15-16/E0244), the preferred alternative 4 was approved which is to entail the following:
• Upgrade of the existing spillway between the upper and lower dams, the lowering of existing spillway by 0.45 m between the two dams, being favoured by the stakeholders and found to be adequate by the Engineering Team and Applicant from a hydraulic (functional) perspective. • Close and reinstate the temporary spillway bypass between the upper and lower dams. • De-silt the upper dam. • Repair erosion near the inlet culverts which are located underneath Veld Street. • Repair the lower dam wall. • Rehabilitation of the dam. During discussions between representatives from the Blue Gill Home Owners Association (BGHOA) and CoE’s technical team, it was however confirmed that due to budget constraints, only activities listed as Bullets 1 and 2 are due to be addressed during this phase of the project. A ‘gabion box silt trap’ is also to be installed towards the inlet to the
dam (near Veld Street) as a means of limiting accumulation of further silt (soil) build-up in the dam. Although any initiative by the CoE to restore the dam to its former glory is appreciated, the BGHOA is concerned that implementation of the activity under bullet 2 will result in the upper dam’s water level rising by around 300 to 500mm, causing vast amounts of silt previously accumulated in the dam no longer being accessible for excavation. The consequence will be that several random silt ‘islands’ may still protrude above the water level, and where the silt is covered by water, the dam will be very shallow with a high risk of vegetation growth. A further concern raised by the BGHOA is that the contractor’s scope of work does not provide for activities listed under bullet 4 – ‘repair erosion near the inlet culverts that are located underneath Veld Street’.
The erosion referred to is not only creating a risk of possible damage / collapse of a sewer pipe already exposed by the erosion, but is also encroaching on townhouse garden walls in the vicinity. Activities listed under bullet 4 was therefore prioritised. The following scope of work was subsequently agreed upon for this phase of the rehabilitation project: • Upgrade of the existing spillway between the upper and lower dams, the lowering of existing spillway by 0.45 m between the two dams, being favoured by the stakeholders and found to be adequate by the Engineering Team and Applicant from a hydraulic (functional) perspective. • Repair erosion near the inlet culverts which are located underneath Veld Street. • Install ‘gabion box silt trap’. Commence desilting the inlet channel, starting from the culverts at Veld street and continuing in a northerly direction (towards the main dam). The extent to which the desilting will be done is subject to availability of funds within the current contract.
With the canal desilted, it will allow the BGHOA to gradually develop a wetland along the upper portion of the canal as a means of limiting the impact of sewerage spillage on the dam’s water quality. The contractor has established its facilities onsite on 4 March 2019 and construction is expected to last until 10 June 2019. The contractor will gain access to Blue Gill via the construction gate situated next to the Veld Street as a means of limiting the impact on Blue Gill traffic. Additional security will be provided at the gate. The contractor will further be required to meet the legally required health and safety standards, thus preventing risks and limiting the potential impact on Blue Gill residents. Although it was reported that desilting of the dam will be undertaken during the next financial year (starting 1 July 2019), there is no guarantee of this happening. The BGHOA is however monitoring the project progress and will try to have the dam rehabilitated to the Environmental Authorisation standards in the shortest possible time. Please remain vigilant during this process.
Article by Corrie Snyman IF YOU’VE EVER WALKED AROUND THE LOCAL DAMS AFTER A STORM, YOU CAN SEE THE REMNANTS OF OUR WORLDWIDE ‘THROW IT AWAY’ SOCIETY. • Bits of plastic debris litter our dams: plastic bottles and bags, fish line and other garbage. Scientists are researching how this scourge of plastic trash leaves a wake of death and disease that directly affects all wildlife. • Especially lethal, is discarded fishing gear. Cut line, lines with hooks and nets litter our dams causing slow painful deaths to an abundance of birdlife. Many of the birds that go to rehabilitation centres are impacted by fishing line and hooks, having ingested and/or been debilitated by carelessly discarded line that has wrapped their limbs, beaks and wings. • Large plastic debris such as bottles and packaging has well known-effects on bird life, strangling birds and fish and transporting alien species to new waters. Millimeter-sized plastic pellets clog dams and absorb toxic chemicals from waterways, poisoning the creatures that swallow them.
HOW DOES IT IMPACT US? • Fairly recently we experienced a tragic incident at the Blue Gill dam involving a Darter (Slanghalsvoel) that managed to get himself entwined with a piece of plastic road construction tape. As he could not extricate himself enough to free his beak, he was unable to eat and most probably slowlystarved to death. • There are things we can all do as individuals in our daily lives to minimize these tragic events. Around 40% of plastics ends up in landfill and 32% in eco-systems such as oceans – this is a horrifying prospect, so let’s act now and educate our communities to: • Reduce our use of disposable plastic products
• Re-use and recycle what we can • Buy reusable grocery bags to reduce plastic bag use • Tell others about the dangers of debris in our waterways • Pick up litter, USE our bins around our eco estate • Volunteer for stream and dam clean-ups • Remind others not to release balloons into the atmosphere • Petition manufacturers to reduce plastic packing on their products We have a functional recycling system at Blue Gill, so start to recycle immediately and make a difference! Please ask Elda Weideman at the Blue Gill Office for info regarding recycling.
We have had various wildlife and creatures visiting our Estate, lately. To the amazement of the children, they saw a wild rabbit hopping along merrily at the Waterfront dam area, before it disappeared into the veld area at the back of the Estate. Mongooses have also been spotted at the dam area by the passionate bird watchers. Mr. Derrick Kemper was also called to attend to a Nile monitor, who decided to hide out in a residentâ€™s garage while they were on leave. Mr. Kemper caught the reptile and released it at an open piece of veld at Serengeti. We wish to thank Mr. Kemper for his assistance in capturing the monitor and returning it to the safe surroundings of Mother Nature!
The Parkrun Event we joined at Bapsfontein was attended by our two and four-legged residents, who all enjoyed a 5 km walk in the farm fresh morning air! We wish to thank the residents of Blue Gill who made donations to the total value of R 2800, which was handed to the Kempton Park SPCA on our behalf by Elize Marais. We also issued them with a certificate of appreciation for their service to the community in caring for animals in need. We may also hold a few more collections for them in 2019. The SPCA really do battle and depend so much on donations. Thanks again to all for the kind-hearted gestures of support.