History of the Cape Flats Vleis (Part III): More on Zeekoevlei

26 April 2011

Early shorelines of Zeekoevlei

Here’s some more pictorial information on the pans for the Wynberg Disposal works that I discussed in a previous post (see here). ¬†These images taken by Ian Pelteret show the pan on the eastern shore of Zeekoevlei, and the initial system of pans away through the dunes towards the coast.

View of the large pond on the eastern edge of Zeekoevlei, 1929

The system of ponds stretching south into the dunes (1929)

View south over the main Wynberg Works pan (note how well the gum trees on the vlei shore were established in 1929!)

Pond inspection (note the late model car on the far shore)

Construction of the ponds in the dune sand (1929)

View south through the new pan system (1929)

By 1959 the makings of the Strandfontein Works were starting to materialize, as show in the image below:

Transformation of the Wynberg pans, 1959

The shorelines of Zeekoevlei have changed dramatically since the 1940s when the influence of the weir changed the water chemistry to create a fresher (less saline) system.

Early view across Zeekoevlei to the west (1920s)

Shorelines before the weir and the reed planting

While the weir was being constructed, a start was made to plant the shorelines around the Yacht Club with reeds.  Schoenoplectus was used, mostly all gone now apart from one or two small stands surviving on the vlei side of the Typha that now dominates the shoreline.

Planting Schoenoplectus reeds (1946)

Yacht Club (late 1940s)

Near the Yacht Club (1940s) Canoeist may be Ian Beynon?

The brackish-tolerant Phragmites reeds flourished for a while until the vlei freshened and water levels became more constant, to the point where the Typha took over.

Mix of Phragmites and Schoenoplectus obscure the clubhouse


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