Black River Tributaries Corridor


The Black River is an urban river that moves through that Cape Flats before merging into the Salt River and flowing out into the Atlantic Ocean. There are a number of tributaries to the Black River, many of which are highly impacted by human disturbance.This corridor project focuses on some of the most intensely disturbed areas. The area of focus includes the Blomvlei, Vygekraal, and Jakkelsvlei tributaries, and the segment of the Black River that connects these tributaries with the Salt River.

Despite this being a relatively small area, it includes a wide variety of suburbs, of riverine habitats, and of environmental and human challenges. The tributaries and rivers pass through Sybrand Park, Pinelands, Belgravia, Heideveld, Langa, and Bonteheuwel, among other suburbs. A large part of the river system is canalised. Litter and dumping problems abound. The Black River has recently been the focus of cleanup activities and the state of the river is improving. Flamingos can be seen here with regularity. However, there is one characteristic that applies throughout this area: the rivers and canals are seen as unattractive hazards instead of being an asset to the areas.

Project goals

This project aims to decrease the human hazards that the river currently poses and to maximise the amount of biodiversity that the river hosts, enabling the river to become a biological corridor. We want to change people's perspectives around the river, by collaborating with local residents and existing community groups and partner organisations on the following activities:

  1. Assessment of the state of the rivers and canals, with a particular focus on the status of the vegetation.
  2. Identification of river banks and public space near the river where indigenous vegetation could be planted.
  3. Development of a 3-5 year greening strategy for the area.
  4. Training of local residents in the growing of fynbos and other indigenous species.
  5. Development of a network of home nurseries to grow the required plants in line with the greening strategy.
  6. Recruitment of garden custodians and volunteers from the area to take charge of the different plots.
  7. Preparation, planting, and maintenance of the garden plots by the local community members.
  8. Monitoring of the impact of our interventions

Communitree seeks to provide assistance to existing community groups and organisations that work on similar goals.

Progress to date

This project is still at the initial phases. We are starting to develop relationships with existing groups and organisation in the relevant areas to get a better understanding of the challenges and opportunties. In 2019 we established three stepping stone fynbos gardens in the Bonteheuwel and Belgravia area. These gardens are in proximity to the rivers and canals, but additional partnerships will be required to start working right along the canal, which has additional challenges.

David Profit Fynbos Peace Garden

Description

A piece of sidewalk next to the entrance to the Church of the Resurrection on David Profit Street in Bonteheuwel. This site started off covered in weedy grass that was layered over rubble but will be turned into a beuatiful garden for the residents of David Profit Street and the congregation of the church

View garden profile

Details

Site ID
96
Suburb
Bonteheuwel
GPS
-33.94637, 18.54433
Approximate size
130m²
Species Quantity
Carpobrotus edulis 20
Salvia africana-lutea 15
Eriocephalus africanus 15
Arctotis stoechadifolia 14
Pelargonium capitatum 14
Ruschia macowanii 7
Cotyledon orbiculata 5
Solanum africanum 4
Carpobrotus acinaciformis 3

Wilderoosmaryn Patch

Description

View garden profile

Details

Site ID
104
Suburb
Athlone
GPS
-33.96765, 18.51545
Approximate size
100m²
Species Quantity
Carpobrotus edulis 20
Salvia africana-lutea 15
Eriocephalus africanus 15
Arctotis stoechadifolia 14
Pelargonium capitatum 14
Cotyledon orbiculata 5
Solanum africanum 4
Carpobrotus acinaciformis 3

Black River Walkway

Description

This site forms part of the Liesbeek to Black river corridor, and it borders a walkway. It runs through the Little Mowbray business district towards the M5 bridge, which crosses over the Black River.

View garden profile

Details

Site ID
107
Suburb
Mowbray
GPS
-33.94745, 18.48413
Approximate size
180m²
Species Quantity
Salvia africana-lutea 0
Arctotis stoechadifolia 0
Solanum africanum 0
Cotyledon orbiculata 0
Carpobrotus edulis 0
Elegia tectorum 0
Pelargonium capitatum 0
Ruschia macowanii 0
Eriocephalus africanus 0

Camellia Garden

Description

View garden profile

Details

Site ID
109
Suburb
Bonteheuwel
GPS
-33.94644, 18.54571
Approximate size
0m²
Species Quantity

Overview

Genus Species Quantity
Arctotis Arctotis stoechadifolia 28
Carpobrotus Carpobrotus acinaciformis 6
Carpobrotus Carpobrotus edulis 40
Cotyledon Cotyledon orbiculata 10
Elegia Elegia tectorum 0
Eriocephalus Eriocephalus africanus 30
Pelargonium Pelargonium capitatum 28
Ruschia Ruschia macowanii 7
Salvia Salvia africana-lutea 30
Solanum Solanum africanum 8

Many thanks to the following partner(s) with whom we collaborate in this project.

This work is made possible, in part, by the following organisation(s).

Communitree Newsletter

Receive our monthly updates in your mailbox

Our sponsors

We thank our 2019 sponsors for their support in our work. If your company or organisation wants to help support Communitree, click here to get in touch.