FRIENDS OF THE HELDERBERG NATURE RESERVE
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON 15 MAY 2019 AT 17.30 IN THE MIKE WOODS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRE
PRESENT: Committee: Mrs Penny Clifton Smith (Chairman). Mr Peter Blaine, Mrs Freya Brett, Mrs Margie Humphries, Mr Adriaan Roux, Mrs Fay Rolando Mr James Silberbauer. Mr Owen Wittridge. Mrs M Rowcroft (Secretary). Thirty members were present as per attendance record.
APOLOGIES: Alistair and Maggie Munday, Mary Birch, Maggie and Alvan Riley, Julie Peters, Yvonne Hutchings, Bill Maycock, Bev Smith.
The Chairman welcomed all those present.
- MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON 9 MAY 2018.
The Minutes had been circulated and were taken as read and accepted as proposed by Jill Mortimer and seconded by Fay Rolando.
- CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
2.1 The Chairman thanked Messrs. Roy Ernstzen and Owen Wittridge and Sandiso Kraai for giving support and assistant to the Friends.
2.2 Alistair Munday was thanked for administering the finances. Major expenses had been on providing 38 extra parking bays outside the gates, new doors at the Visitor Centre and completion of the board walk, two new computers and a printer had been purchased and the website has been upgraded.
2.3 Membership generates the most income and 2680 people renewed or joined from March 2019. Thanks to Barbara O’Halloran and James Silberbauer for maintaining the data base. 170 Early Riser keys have been sold since 1 May 2019. Thanks to Fay Roland and the volunteers for managing Membership applications and Early Riser keys. Recently we welcomed new volunteers. Thanks to Bev Smith who does the newsletter, walk bookings, and Facebook which has over 6000 followers.
2.4 Linda Weinand and her volunteers continue their excellent work on the flower kiosk. The gardens around the Visitor Centre and at the gate are maintained by Christopher Amini.
2.5 A variety of walks including day walks, trees and birds and night walks were organized. The star gazing event was cancelled. These walks are attended by both members and non members who subsequently join. Thanks to Margie Humphris, Andreas Groenewald and Jill Mortimer and members of Gantouw and U3A hikers.
2.6 Ten hacks led by James Silberbauer have been undertaken including the Silverboomkloof area. The work done by the hackers over the ten hacks equates to 26 man/woman days of labour.
2.7 Eco-Schools continue to be run by Freya Brett and Berenice Minnaar. Two schools have achieved diamond status. Because of the high registration fee two schools have dropped out. The Friends give support towards the Bus Fund. Many scholars would not otherwise have the opportunity to go on outings.
2.8 The Sunset Concerts raised R111 000 and our thanks go to the sponsors who supported us. Hendrik Dieckman and the volunteers are thanked for all the work they did in organizing and running the concerts.
The Chairman thanked the Committee for the support received, with special thanks to Muriel Rowcroft and David Macdonald.
- FINANCIAL REPORT
Mr Adriaan Roux presented his report. A copy can be emailed to any member who requests a copy.
Thanks to those who put together the first books of entry.
Subscriptions contributed 35%, Gift Shop sales 31% and Sunset Concerts 18% to Gross Revenue. Operating expenses included Wages 33%, Volunteers 15%, and Maintenance 10%.
The surplus before Discretionary expenses amounted to R438 957 less Discretionary Expenses has left a deficit of R94 113.
A question about money spent on hand dryers and parking bays rather than on environmental education of the children was raised. It was suggested that the Committee should change its priorities in giving donations. However education is not the responsibility of Friends but of the Education Department of the City of Cape Town. The bus donation is given specifically for Freya to assist children from the Eco-Schools.
Adriaan was thanked for his presentation and his work throughout the year.
The Financial Report was accepted as proposed by Fay Rolando and seconded by Rene Lind.
- ELECTION OF COMMITTEE
Mr David Macdonald was asked to conduct the election of the new committee and he outlined the composition of the committee
All the current members of the Committee had made themselves available for re-election. There is one vacancy and the Committee may coopt a person to fill this vacancy.
It was proposed that Mrs Penny Clifton-Smith, Mr Peter Blaine, Mrs Margie Humphris, Mr Alistair Munday, Mrs Fay Rolando, Mr Adriaan Roux, Mrs Muriel Rowcroft and Mr James Silberbauer be re-elected together with nominated members Mrs Freya Brett and Mr Wittridge. This proposal was accepted and these members were duly elected.
5.1 It was noted that benches are placed in certain positions but members of the public move them. There are 142 benches in the Reserve.
5.2 In answer to a question about paths in the lower part of the Reserve being overgrown Mr Wittridge explained rationalization of some of the paths is taking place and staff are working on the paths that are being kept open.
5.3 The jojo tanks are not in use because the fittings had been stolen. The City is working on making new fittings secure to prevent theft. Security continues to cost the City, and R18 million a year is spent on security in nature reserves.
5.4 Rotary has donated money for additional trees but the threat of infestation by the shot borer beetle will delay planting of new trees.
5.5 The City of Cape Town won two of the three categories in the recent world-wide City Challenge.
5.6 Planning the new Environmental Educational Centre in the Reserve is proceeding but Green technology is very expensive.
5.7 In answer to a question about developing a new path up to Disa Gorge Mr Wittridge said he is to meet with Mr Ron du Toit about this matter. There has also been a suggestion for a Mountain Biking trail and the City will need to consider this.
5.8 Mr Norman MacFarlane thanked Owen and Roy and the CoCT for the new Fire base in the Reserve and thanks to the Friends for the use of the container for storing firefighting equipment.
In closing the meeting the Chairman thanked all who had attended for their support.
Signed as a correct record
P Clifton-Smith, Chairman