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Restoration of the Pond
The Long Hard Battle to "Save the Pond".
The below photos of of the Open Day at the Pond on Sunday 17th March 2013 held to celebrate the Re Opening of the Pond after a number of years of effort.
If you continue to scroll down the page after the Open Day photos you will be able to follow the whole 'sorry saga'
The Commodore Peter Heathcote cuts the ribbon to signify the Re Opening of the Pond on Sunday 17th March 2013
Photo by Shaun Holland
A view of the busy harbour from the water.
Photo from Jim Shearing
All the activity at the sailing deck on Sunday the Re Opening Day
Photo by Shaun Holland
The Pond has never been this busy before what a grand Re Opening!
Photo by Shaun Holland
A view of the Navy section of the busy harbour.
Great photo from Jim Shearing

The new Model deck was fully occupied for the grand Re Opening!
Photo by Terry Flynn

The Long Hard Battle to "Save the Pond".
The 'Bad News'
For more than two and a half years (as of July 2012) the Pond has been unusailable as a sailing venue.
The city officials of that time (which was the build up to the soccer world cup in our country) decided in their wisdom, that the Pond would serve the community better if it was filled in to become a larger picnic area!
They gave the club notice to vacate the clubhouse and proceeded to 'plant' three large 'island' in the waters of the Pond supposedly to plant a palm trees on each one of them.
They demolished the retaining walls of the Pond and dumped the rubble resulting from the walls into the waters of the Pond thus ensuring that sailing was made impossible.
They had an EIA completed for work including the 'infill' of the Pond, to upgrade the paving around the Pond and to install high rise lighting
The paving and lighting improvements were approved but the 'infill' of the Pond was refused these decisions were made by the KZN Department of Environmental Affairs who also suggested that a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) was necessary to establish, how and where, the users of the Pond would be accommodated. This the city decided was unnecessary.
The city appealed against the decision that the KZN Department of Environmental Affairs had made in refusing to allow them to infill the Pond
Their appeal was denied.
The city then contacted a Gauteng, Social Impact Assessment Practioner to conduct a SIA
This was done and culminated in a general meeting of interested people at the Pond on a very cold Sunday morning.
Despite the weather there was a big, lively crowd that attended consisting of DRBC members and other members of the public who had heard ( through Facebook groups and community and mainstream newspapers) that the city intended to do away with this  well known and well used long standing unique facility
The SIA practioner and city officials that attended the meeting left the meeting understanding that their decision was unanimously rejected by all members of the public that had an interest in the area and the Pond
The result of the SIA has never been made available for inspection despite many requests being made.
The Pond was not maintained and weed and growth grew in the water almost covering the entire Pond
This was was the situation from the end of 2009 upto and including the begining of 2012.

The arrows shows the 'islands' and the workers beginning to create last of the 3 'islands' in the Pond

Photo Terry Flynn
Photo Terry Flynn
The SIA meeting
Photo Shaun Holland
More questions than answers at the SIA meeting
Photo Shaun Holland
Photo Terry Flynn
Photo Terry Flynn
The Long Hard Battle to "Save the Pond".
The 'Good News'
In January 2012 the DRBC had a long overdue AGM and a new committee of Commodore, Peter Heathcote, Vice Commodore, Roy Lorentz & Secretary & Treasurer, Terry Flynn were elected.
The Commodores first priority was to establish communications with the city officials, the previous head of the Special Projects Unit having moved on to another position, this was done that resulted in an eventual meeting
The Commodore was able to schedule a meeting with the responsible city officials and this took place in the middle of April 2012
To cut a long story short ,,,,,,,,,,On the 2nd May the city informed the Commodore that :
 The rehabilitation of the southern bank of the Umgeni River forms part of the Beachfront Upgrade Project in respect of which we have appointed Vumani Civil's and the clearing of the Pond  will be undertaken as part of this Contract.
The above mentioned work, as shown in the below photos, started in the last week of June 2012 and we will watch and report on the progress with great interest
10th July 2012
The contractors are currently making a 'road' through the middle of the Pond, lengthways, with the intention of deviding the water  into two distinct areas
Once this is done they are going to pump the half that is furthest from the river empty and then clear out the bottom of all obstructions and what ever else they find down there
They will then 'flood' the water from the half closest to the river into the newly cleaned half.
They will then clean out that half and then start removing the sand that has created the road through the Pond.
The Pond will then be refilled
As we learn more information we will add to this section, so keep checking back
18th July 2012

24th July 2012
1st August 2012 ~ On site meeting with the SPU of the City & the Contractors
Commodore & Vice Commodore in discusions with officials from the SPU and the contractors
14th August.
Full steam ahead with removing the mud from the bottom of the Pond.
The excavator as seen in the 3rd photo is seen starting to remove the temp road/dam wall from the sea end of the Pond
23 August 2012
2 Photos from Bjorn Hanssen that clearly shows the rapid progress that is being made clearing the Pond and removing the coffer dam walls that the excavator works from. Some of the mud on the banks has also been removed.
30 August 2012
Below are two photos of the progress that has been made in a week. The second photo shows the bird life that is being attracted to the Pond because of the mud being churned up by the excavator. Thank you Bjorn Hanssen for the photos
Friday 7th September
The below 2 photos taken by Mike Deyzel show the whole Pond in the two photos and just serves to remind us just how big this Model Yacht Pond is.
All of the mud removed from the city side of the Pond is evident on the bank
Tuesday 11 September 2012
The four photos featured below were taken on Tuesday 11 September and show that the removal of the 'islands' and other hazards from the water is now almost complete. The excavator was busy removing the sandbank from the water on the city side of the Pond that a number of people had seen earlier. All of the mud shown in the above two photos has been removed
The man made coffer dam walls or roads that had divided the Pond up have been removed and the sand that had been removed from the Pond and dumped on the side of the Pond has also been removed and the banks flattened out ready for the planned grassing and landscaping
The temp fence was removed and re-erected further away from the Pond side to allow the excavator to work down the whole side of the Pond
 Friday 19th October

We had our first attempt at 'sounding' the Pond for high spots. Our efforts were challenged by a few problems which we have now resolved and we will once again attempt to complete this exercise on Tuesday 23rd October.

Seen in this photo taken by Vice Commodore Roy Lorentz are the Commodore Peter Heathcote and Norrie Taylor in the dinghy doing the 'sounding' and Terry Flynn doing the recordings.
Commodore Peter Heathcote at the DRBC clubhouse this morning
This morning, Wednesday 19th December, the clubhouse including the 'galley' and 'heads' was handed back to the club.
The 'galley' area and 'heads' inside the DRBC clubhouse