“Do’s & Don’ts” – A Guide for Residents

Why Environmental Guidelines?

Royal Ascot is situated adjacent to one of the core botanical sites in Cape Town and as such deserves the highest degree of consideration and environmental protection. Royal Ascot is also close to Rietvlei Wetland Reserve which is one of the more important coastal wetland systems and bird habitats in South Africa. These guidelines provides some basic information to assist residents at Royal Ascot to become more environmentally responsible within their living environments. The guidelines are based on the Environmental Management Plan that has been in place since the start of the construction phase of Royal Ascot; with the intention of promoting and encouraging the continuation of this environmental ethic. An Environmental Management Committee has also been in existence since the start of development at Royal Ascot as it was a legal requirement. This committee meets regularly and helps to monitor environmental compliance at Royal Ascot. Representatives of the MPOA, Homeowners Associations, Developers, City of Cape Town, Friends of Rietvlei, Gold Circle and others serve on this committee.

Conservation Area

Natural fynbos within the old racecourse has been designated a conservation area. This area is environmentally extremely important with over 250 fynbos plant species, many rare, including at least 12 threatened species.

To ensure that the integrity of the Conservation Area is protected, please respect this by:

  • Not entering the southern portion
  • Staying on the path in the northern portion
  • Not walking dogs in the conservation area
  • Not picking any vegetation or disturbing any animals or birds
  • Removing litter when walking
  • Reporting any incidents of fire, picking of vegetation, harassment or removing wildlife, and littering or vandalism to the relevant authorities (see Contact Details).

Public Areas

The public areas of Royal Ascot are there for the enjoyment of all residents. The roadsides, play parks, and detention pond areas have been planted with waterwise fynbos and other species requiring low maintenance. When utilising these areas please undertake to:

  • Not pick flowers or damage plants
  • Not plant any plants in public areas
  • Not disturb indigenous birds and animals
  • Use the litter bins provided
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times and do not allow your dog to be a nuisance to other people
  • Clean up after dogs.

Wetland Detention Ponds

Royal Ascot has several wetland detention ponds that primarily act as stormwater and flood control, but also provide an important function in assisting to clean stormwater before it reaches Rietvlei and the sea. Polluted water reaching Rietvlei can seriously impact the sensitive wetland ecosystem negatively. These ponds also provide habitats for bird and animal life associated with wetlands, increasing biodiversity in an ever-increasing concrete jungle. Please stay on the paths provided.

Water Resource Management

South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, is prone to water shortages. DO something to alleviate this by reducing your own water consumption by:

  • Adhering to water restrictions AND by not watering gardens between 10am & 4pm
  • Water by hand when possible
  • Repair leaking taps and hosepipes
  • Report mains leaks to the Authorities
  • Use a bucket to wash vehicles, wash on grassed areas only. Ideally support the local carwash who have facilities to deal with detergents

• Collect rainwater and grey water for garden purposes.

Waste Management

There are several things YOU can do to contribute to the waste problem being experienced in Cape Town:

  • Recycle your own household waste (glass, tin and paper as a minimum). Refer to the Yellow Pages for appropriate recycling depots.
  • Starting a compost bin is a very handy way to get rid of kitchen waste and improve your gardening endeavours.
  • Encourage the residential estate you are living in to start a recycling programme.
  • Ensure that the waste you generate is correctly disposed of by removing your own garden waste and disposing of it at the nearest registered landfill site.
  • NEVER burn or bury any waste.
  • Be aware of litter when walking around – contribute to cleaning up the environment by picking it up and disposing of it in the litterbins provided.
  • Compel others to become waste conscious.

Pollution Control

Pollution is not only the problem of large industrial companies – you can also contribute to reducing pollution by following some simple basic rules:

  • Dispose of oil and petrol from home vehicle servicing at the Vissershok hazardous waste disposal site, or contact the Rose Foundation (see Contact Details).
  • Batteries can often be dropped off at garages that act as collection points.
  • Don’t allow contaminated water of any kind to enter the stormwater system via catchpits in the road verge, especially washing of refuse bins – this leads to contamination of the wetland detention areas within the development and ultimately natural areas as well.
  • Do not dispose of contaminated water down drains – wash paintbrushes, etc in old tins and allow to evaporate before disposing.
  • Report any incidents of dumping or polluting to the Authorities.

House Alterations

Controlling how construction is undertaken when commissioning house renovations can go a long way to ensuring that the integrity of the environment is maintained and protected.

As the client, you should ensure that the following is undertaken:

  • Approval for all alterations or additions must be obtained from the Master Properties Association.
  • All alterations must comply with the architectural guidelines for Royal Ascot.
  • All construction staff employed for alterations adhere to the environmental requirements for Royal Ascot – see Environmental Do’s & Don’ts for Maintenance and Renovations.
  • The Contractor has made adequate provision for the following: Ablution facilities, washing facilities for cement or concrete mixing equipment, washing facilities for cretestone paint equipment, waste collection facilities.
  • All construction waste and off-cuts are removed from the site as quickly as possible, both during and after the contract is complete.
  • Encourage recycling of construction waste where possible. Glass, tin and cardboard boxes can easily be recycled. Unused or off-cuts of roofing materials, wooden planks etc. can be used for building materials for low cost housing.
  • No concrete or mortar is mixed directly on the ground – the contractor must provide mortarboards (dugga boards) for this purpose.
  • No washing of construction equipment or vehicles is to take place on roadways.
  • The Contractor utilises roadworthy vehicles and all materials are securely tied down when travelling.
  • All construction personnel have the appropriate safety gear.
  • As a courtesy to your neighbours, ensure that the normal nuisance factors associated with construction activities, such as noise and dust generation, are minimised as far as possible, especially at night and over weekends.

Development Boundaries

Boundaries play a role in protecting privacy, improving security and creating an aesthetically pleasing environment. Keep the following in mind:

  • Defacing boundary walls of developments within Royal Ascot will lead to degradation of the area, and loss of property value.
  • Note that the architectural guidelines for Royal Ascot are applicable to all boundary walls.
  • Removing vegetation planted along the roadways or within developments will only contribute to a general decline in the aesthetic appeal of the area.
  • Please report any vandalism of walls to the Authorities.

Landscaping

Due to the proximity of Royal Ascot to an important botanical site, it is especially important to plant only indigenous species. Indigenous landscaping is also more waterwise and therefore contributes to the water saving initiative as well. Please refer to the approved plant list for Royal Ascot as to which species are appropriate for this area before embarking on landscaping. There are good gardening books to assist you in planning your garden, or go to the website www.plantzafrica.com for planting instructions, etc. Ensure that lawns are planted with locally indigenous grass species such as Buffalo grass or Kweek. Kikuyu should be avoided.

Emergency Procedures

Have the local emergency numbers clearly displayed in the house for easy reference. Have a serviced fire extinguisher easily accessible in the house and garage.

Contact Details

Should you need any more information on environmental management please feel free to contact any of the following people:

  • City of Cape Town: Environmental Management Services PAT TITMUSS TEL: 021 444 0597; FAX: 086 576 2229 E-mail: pat.titmuss@capetown.gov.za
  • Blaauwberg Law Enforcement TEL: 021 554 1306
  • Biodiversity Management: Area Manager KOOS RETIEF TEL: 021 444 0315 E-mail: mailto:jacobusj.retief@capetown.gov.za
  • Biodiversity Management: Site Manager LANDI LOUW TEL: 021 444 0315 E-mail: mailto:landi.louw@capetown.gov.za
  • Solid Waste Department ERICA GILBERT TEL: 086 010 3089; FAX: 021 400 4302
  • Water Pollution Control CAASHIEF ADAMS TEL: 021 550 1111 or 084 299 5569
  • Milnerton Fire Department TEL: 021 550 1348
  • Rabie Property Administrators Zulfa Solomon TEL/FAX: 021 550 7000 E-mail: zulfa@rabie.co.za
  • Snake Control TABLE BAY NATURE RESERVE – TEL: 021 444 0315 / 021 444 7225 CRIME WATCH – TEL: 021 552 1717
  • The Rose Foundation (Used oil collections) Free call: 0800 107 107

Conservation Organisations

There are several non-governmental conservation organisations active in the Western Cape. These organisations are always looking for new members and volunteers to assist in their important work. Those active locally are:

  • Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Western Cape Region) – WESSA. Tel: 021 701 1397; Fax: 021 701 1399 E-mail: roshan@wessa.co.za Website: http://www.wessa.org.za
  • Friends of Rietvlei E-mail: info@friendsofrietvlei.co.za Website: http://www.friendsofrietvlei.co.za