Nature park on the cards

Terry Murphy.

A proposal to establish a “nature park and conservancy area” along the Hout Bay River will be discussed at public meeting later this month.

The meeting, at Kronendal Primary School on Wednesday March 20, at 2pm, will be hosted by Terry Murphy, the chairman of the Hout Bay Rivers Catchment Forum.

Various public and City officials are expected to be at the meeting, which will look at a range of issues, including the potential involvement of schools in the project and safety.

Mr Murphy hopes the development will protect Hout Bay’s natural environment.

“My motivation is to protect this area forever. If you take the population explosion in Hout Bay, the danger is that the area will be overwhelmed by developments. Good and bad, private and public,” said Mr Murphy.

“I want to make sure that the conservancy area, which is along the river and the wetlands, is protected forever.”

The river, he said, was polluted by sewage overspills, due to failed infrastructure in Imizamo Yethu.

Despite wetlands being a natural filtration system, the population explosion in the settlements around the river, had led to a critical level of contamination, he said.

Mr Murphy is looking for financial backing for the project, which he says is still in its infancy.

“We’ve really got to show the community and departments who are responsible for public money that there’s a credible structure in place, which they can work through. I think we’re going to do that,” he said.

“There are a lot of good people about. What I’m trying to do is create a structure where those people can put themselves to good purposes,” he said.

An immediate goal is to raise more money to clear alien vegetation in the wetlands.

The park, according to Mr Murphy, will have walkways, toilets and picnic areas and will be place children can enjoy.

“I hope everyone can embrace the concept of having a safe space where people of all walks of life, can just wallow in the river’s beauty,” he said.

Residents of Hout Bay, Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu are encouraged to attend the briefing. RSVP to Sharon at 021 790 8147 or at sharon@marketingmixconferences.co.za