30 July 2020
With winter seemingly over already the recent snow dusting on the mountain was a sight for sore eyes. As the season is changing, so also the content of our newsletter this time. In a change from a stream of newsletters addressing Covid-19 related issues, this newsletter is more focused on environmental news and a bit of trivial information. Happy reading!
It is safe to say that the general aesthetic appearance of the Estate is slowly but surely improving. The introduction of Turfworx as environmental maintenance contractor has most definitely made a difference. The first three months of their involvement was very much focused on them finding their feet, creating their own rhythm and making the Estate neat and tidy. Recently their focus has shifted in starting to upgrade gardens with the flower beds around the entrance being the start. And more recently alien eradication. There were a few teething problems and a number of complaints were received. These were addressed as part of a process for them to become better.
Residents are kindly requested not to engage with Turfworx personnel. Recently a Turfworx employee was offered financial reward by a resident for a quick favor. This type of action may lead to such a worker being disciplined or even dismissed. If you have a request or complaint please contact the Estate Manager who in turn will convey the complaint or request to Turfworx.
NURSERY NOW OFFICIALLY OPERATIONAL !!!
It is quite mind boggling how many plants will be required to eventually upgrade the entire common area gardens to the higher standard and design as envisaged by the Environmental Committee. With a limited budget to buy new plants there will be a huge reliance on our new in-house nursery to produce plants over time. This is the most cost effective route to follow for such a project. It is therefore with great pleasure that we can announce that the nursery is now fully operational. The nursery will supply in the needs of the WHOA alone and will unfortunately not supply to residents.
The goal of the nursery is to do the following:
- The WHOA will hunt for specials to buy. This is particularly the case with wholesale nurseries that from time to time have stock clearance sales. The idea is to buy carefully selected plants to be cared for in our nursery to be used at the right time.
- To obtain smaller plants which are much cheaper to buy and to use our nursery to grow them to such a time when they are bigger and ready for planting. In a harsher environment such as our gardens where plants will receive minimum of additional water it is important that plants ready for planting is strong and healthy.
- To obtain mature plants that will be used as mother material. In other words one plant being divided into a number of smaller plants to be cared for in the nursery and to be introduced into gardens at the right time.
- But the main focus will be to use cuttings from our own gardens and to grow new plants from the cuttings. As a matter of fact in the last month or so almost 800 new plants were made from our own cuttings.
Now here is the challenge. The Environmental Committee has embarked on an initiative to source a large amount of cuttings so that the nursery can be filled to maximum. As a matter of fact the project to upgrade the rest of the Estate gardens is dependent on how soon we will be able to supply from our own nursery.
Residents are therefore encouraged to inform the members of the Environmental Committee of any excess plants or cuttings that may be available for use from your own garden. The nursery requires succulents, water wise and indigenous plants/cuttings in particular. Also don’t throw away the plastic pots in which you buy new plants as it can be reused. Please feel free to contact the following friendly Environmental Committee members. They will assess the suitability of the plants and if so it will then be collected by the nursery worker.
Village Ronell 082 829 5129
Estate Gertie 083 501 0575
Lizeth 084 976 1462
A big thanks to residents who acted on the request to plant more street trees. If you wish to buy and plant more trees, keep in mind that the Welgelegen HOA now has access to good quality trees at wholesale nurseries which may be a convenient and cost effective alternative. If you consider this option please contact the Estate Manager. In the meantime the suggested tree list has been expanded to include some stunning alternatives well suited for this region.
Waterbessie (Water Berry) Syzygium cordatum
Bosvlier (Forest Elder) Nuxia floribunda
Geelhout (Yellowwood) Podocarpus falcatus
Kasuur (Cheesewood) Pittosporum viridiflorum
Waterpeer (Water Pear) Syzygium guineense
Witpeer (White Pear) Apodytes dimidiata
Wilde Perske (Wild Peach) Kiggelaria africana
Just remember to water street trees regularly. They respond well to a bit of water now and then …….
The Environmental Committee is planning a special Arbour Day project and celebration of Arbour Week which is 1 – 7 September. More information regarding this will be made available soon.
GREEN AREAS NOW NAMED
It is funny to hear how different areas in the Estate are being referred to. Even the Environmental Committee sometimes found it hard to explain directions to these areas in particular. For this reason names were given to the main green areas in the Estate. The illustration provides the names for the different areas. In future small signboards will be erected with the names and also access points to these areas. The establishment of walking paths in these areas is still on the agenda.
OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS
A number of other environmental projects are underway and sadly one that will not get underway soon. First the sad news. Our reforestation project on the outside sidewalk will not get underway soon. National Forestry offices are still closed and all greening projects (of which ours is one) are on hold indefinitely.
Now on a more positive note. The Storm water project in conjunction with the Developer is progressing well. This has to do with stabilization of the river embankment at the bottom of Mooikloof. With Mooikloof a major storm water channel a lot of erosion of the valley and the river embankment has taken place which put the security fence at risk. The project is mainly about the construction of a gabion structure at the river edge.
Remedial and preventative work has also started at various locations along the northern perimeter fence. Damage to the embankment by storm water and the problem of silt building up against the security fence are being addressed. This is an ongoing project that will address problems and risks along the entire length of the northern perimeter fence.
“CLUBHOUSE” / ENTRANCE GATE
The planning process regarding a “clubhouse” and the upgrading of the entrance gate is at an advanced stage. As reported earlier a Task Team was created to manage the process and the project of finalizing proposals for a “clubhouse” as well as upgrading the entrance gate is being managed as one combined project.
The issue of a normal “clubhouse” which is focused on entertainment versus functional estate facilities that will contribute to better development and management of the Estate were considered in detail. Also keep in mind that the Developer is not obligated to build a new entrance gate. Consultation with the Developer however resulted in an agreement for the Developer to contribute to the cost of a mutually agreed design. In the meantime the Trustees (through its Task Team) considered a number of options with regards the need for a dedicated “clubhouse” in particular. The Trustees took cognizance of feedback from members at the 2019 AGM, the survey that was conducted and also comments from the interim 2020 AGM about the risk of erecting a White Elephant and opposite to that the real need for estate operational facilities. In the current economic situation the Trustees resolved and is more inclined to the following:
- Focus on the need for functional and operational infrastructure
- Consider sacrificing a “nice to have” entertainment complex which in all likelihood will become a white elephant and channel the budget into upgrading the main entrance and building estate operational (and functional) facilities. This will also alleviate the need for a special member financial contribution alongside the contribution from the Developer for the upgrade of the entrance gate in particular.
Following consultations with the Developer a suggested layout plan was accepted to be proposed. Detail design is now in process that will enable the calculation of capital required. Thereafter the design proposal will be presented to the members of WHOA for final acceptance.
The illustration below is by no means final but only provides an early indication of the design philosophy being considered for the entrance in particular. Members will be informed with more detail soon.
Our POO POLICE reports an increase in dog droppings in the Estate. It is clear that certain dog owners, taking their dogs for a walk, are extremely inconsiderate to other residents. Cleaning up after your dog is unfortunately part of the privilege of owning and keeping a dog in Welgelegen Estate. We urge dog owners to adhere to this really simple and reasonable request. Clean up after your dog!!! Please assist us in keeping Welgelegen Estate free of dog droppings and hygienic.
The Automatic Number Plate Recognition system (ANPR) is now operational but not without some teething problems. If your car registration number is not loaded on the system yet, please do so ASAP.
Remember that there is a time delay between stopping in front of the boom until the boom opens. This is to provide ample time for the security guard to observe the car and its occupants.