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Learn about the Source to Sea project and Zandvlei catchment

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The Source to Sea Project

Source to Sea is a growing network of partners and stakeholders all working together to manage water quality and quantity for the purpose of supporting the region’s wealth of biodiversity while also ensuring optimal utilisation of river corridors of the sustained benefit of all users.

The Source to Sea pilot project, an initiative within the broader management of the entire Zandvlei Catchment, connects Table Mountain National Park, a nationally protected area, to Zandvlei, an important estuary and municipal protected area via two primary river courses along the Diep and Prinskasteel / Keyers Rivers.   These corridors meanders through high, middle and low income areas, connecting residents, businesses, schools, sports clubs and faith institutions and challenging a wide range of stakeholders to be part of this transformative vision to restore healthy ecosystems, create jobs, build climate resilience and offer substantial recreational and mobility benefits.

Watch one of the following three YouTube videos of different lengths, which profile the Source to Sea River Corridor initiative:

Full-length (22 min): https://youtu.be/rhi515_5TwU

Medium-length (9 min): https://youtu.be/YAgvALwjpBo

Short-length (3 min): https://youtu.be/n9Ew52hzmUU

The full-length video includes inputs from various stakeholders who have been involved with the project, and presents the comprehensive vision for the Source to Sea project.


Download the Source to Sea Project Overview here

You can be part of Source to Sea simply by enjoying the river catchment area and doing your part to take care of the rivers that take care of us.

Why Protect Cape Town’s Zandvlei Catchment?

Cape Town is even more special than you realised. There’s an extremely rare and extremely beautiful type of plant that grows only in this region of the world, called fynbos. These beautiful low-lying shrubs are specially adapted to the climate here.

The Zandvlei catchment is a unique riverine system, both within Cape Town, globally and in the context of the Cape Floristic region. It links natural areas, connecting mountain fynbos with the low-lying Cape Flats, and therefore with the small remnants of critical Fynbos vegetation that still occur in sections of the municipal areas.

Why bother with these urban patches of vegetation? Consider this: There are 21 vegetation types that are critically endangered in South Africa. 11 of them are in Cape Town. Cape Flats Sand Fynbos is the most threatened South African vegetation type, with less than 1% of its original extent still remaining under formal protection, with a large portion of this being found in the Zandvlei catchment.

The remnant of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos as well as all the rivers and wetlands in this area have Category A status in the City of Cape Town’s biodiversity network.

Urban rivers are typically heavily-engineered and polluted with degraded habitats. They are therefore a priority for biodiversity restoration.

Ecosystem services

All economic activity and most of human well-being is based on a healthy, functioning environment. By focusing on the various benefits from nature – ecosystem services – we can see more clearly the direct and indirect ways that human well-being depends on the natural environment.

Nature’s benefits are multiple and include all our food; our water, safe places for living; materials such a timber, wool and cotton; and many of our medicines. Healthy natural systems regulate our climate, protect against hazards, meet energy needs, prevent soil erosion, and offer opportunities for recreation, cultural inspiration and spiritual fulfillment.


– An ecosystem is a whole bunch of living and non-living things interacting with one another.

– Biodiversity is the variety of living things. The more different species there are in an area, the more bio-diverse it is.

– Without biodiversity, we’re vulnerable. Imagine a landscape made up of only one type of grass. If there is a drought then all the grass will be affected the same way. This means all the grass might die.


With biodiversity, we’re more resilient. If we have many different species the ecosystem is healthier and more resilient.

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