Public Areas and Roads
Public Areas and Roads
RAMPOA is responsible for the management and maintenance of the landscaping in the public areas in Royal Ascot. These are the road verges, the small playpark areas, and the areas around the stormwater detention ponds. The land itself belongs to the City, but the approval for the development of Royal Ascot gave RAMPOA the responsibility of maintaining the landscaping.
Landscaped public areas
Landscaped public areas
The objective is to develop and maintain a low maintenance cost and water wise landscaping environment in Royal Ascot. For this reason we use indigenous plants, most are indigenous to our area, others are indigenous to other parts of South Africa but have proved to grow well in our conditons. Most also have low water requirements. Using indigenous plants which have low maintenance requirements, our objective is not to create a show garden with neat planted flower beds and manicured lawns. Our landscaping will always have a slightly ‘wild’ look, and one can expect some wild growth, as well as some weeds among the plants. The plants are adapted to wet winters and hot dry summers. There is an irrigation system installed to water the plants; however the watering regime is not aimed at having beautiful lush green gardens and lawns throughout the year, but rather to provide the plants with the minimum amount of water required during dry spells. During winter months the irrigation is turned off completely, except for flushing for short periods to maintain the system. In summer we comply with the City’s water restriction requirements and guidelines by using as little water as possible.
Management and maintenance of public areas
The total area of landscaping in Royal Ascot is just over 55,000 square metres – that is 5.5ha. It is a large area, and because it is so stretched out, it is difficult to manage. To manage and maintain these areas RAMPOA have appointed landscape architects Planning Partners (who planned and designed the landscaping) to oversee the management and the landscape contractor Servest Landscaping to maintain the public areas. A subcontractor, Cape Rain CC, looks after the irrigation system. If precincts have any issues regarding the landscaping they wish to raise, please contact our Portfolio Manager (see Contact details). Approaching our contractors directly will not help, they will only attend to issues brought to their attention through the correct channels.
Vagrants in public areas
|One of the major problems we have right now is the state of the two detention ponds next to Milnerton Drive at the bottom end of Bridle Rd. These two artificial wetlands are designed to retain stormwater run-off from the southern part of Royal Ascot.|
|Unfortunately vagrants have chosen to make this area their home, and has caused considerable damage to the irrigation system and the vegetation in the area. Maintaining these areas are costing us a lot of money, and RAMPOA has now instructed the contractors to stop irrigating and maintaining the area until the Council has taken firm steps to remove the vagrants.|
|The issue of vagrants is a City-wide social problem which is getting worse due to the worsening economic situation of the country. The City has a department dealing with this, but the problem is that even if you remove the vagrants, they just return to the area within a few days. They are taken to places of refuge, but they cannot be forced to stay there. Please see the Municipal Contacts page for details about squatter control.|
|Please understand that this is City land and that the City is responsible for keeping the vagrants out. We hope this problem can be resolved soon so that we can again beautify and maintain these two areas.|
|Finally, our security company has no legal jurisdiction to remove the vagrants from this land – they can only take direct action if one of them breaches security in Royal Ascot, even then they have to get the police to arrest such a person.|
Stormwater Detention Ponds
There are four stormwater detention ponds in Royal Ascot. These ponds are not natural and were built to retain and filter stormwater. The reeds and aquatic vegetation in these ponds remove excess nutrients (mostly nitrogen and phosphates) from the water, and solid wastes and refuse washed down by the stormwater will settle to the bottom of the ponds. These ponds serve an important function, the filtering activity prevents polluted water from entering the City’s stormwater system and thus Rietvlei and the Diep River. Ponds like these have to be managed and from time to time excess reed growth is removed. However, to allow proper filtration we do not clear the reeds completely, and non-invasive grass is allowed to grow amongst the reeds where they also help with the filtration function. The water in these ponds is polluted and is not safe for swimming. Some of the ponds have fish from time to time, these are all exotic species and they are not safe for eating because of the polluted state of the water. On the other hand, the high nutrient content of the water do attract birds to the ponds, but only certain species find the ponds suitable. Even though they are pollution traps, they do provide an attractive and pleasant area where people can walk or sit and enjoy the view.