Help with rehabilitation of greenbelt

Berta van Rooyen, Tokai

Fiona Chisholm is entitled to her views, how she would like to be seen and telling the reader of the forthcoming loss she and others are going to experience once the pines come down (“Let us have regrets about the felling of pines”, Bulletin, September 15), but then her tone changes as she tries hard to give a view of “the others”.

Tokai is a broken community. It is time to question the motives of people who keep on driving a wedge in our already divided community.

There is much more understanding than is thought, but there is also clarity regarding a life after the pines. I think I read in the same column years ago that the removal of the pines is allowing the walker with a beautiful view of the mountains.

The Keyser River (or Soetvlei) greenbelt was once a very popular walking site over weekends. The biking trail was installed last year after the then chair of the Tokai Residents’ Association did an open public participation process.

The horse trail was completed in 2014. The tar strip was always known for multiple users, as was indicated in the process to opening up a cycle track. Thus to state it as mainly or just a cycle path, is untrue. It is used by walkers, runners, cyclists, horse riders mothers with prams and children on baby bikes.

If the path is walked after 3.30pm it is already nice and cool in the vlei. There are trees on the ridge near the bridge to nowhere, or the oak trees at the Soetvlei entrance, where the ladies can meet and talk. The mornings are also cool and refreshing since the position of the path in the vlei.

The little hill rewards the walker with stunning views on Vlakkenberg and Constantia Kloof, especially if a storm is coming in.

The condition of the grass has been reported and the matter is getting attention. That will also enhance multiple usage. The fence between the greenbelt and the M3 should also be inspected.

The uphill path should be built properly to ensure minimum impact on the soil. These are all issues which could be addressed by a caring community group. May I suggest Fiona and her friends discuss the forming of a Friends group, Friends of the Keyser Greenbelt, and help with the rehabilitation of the greenbelt in co-operation with the City Council as a worthy replacement for the loss of the pines?

I am sure people from all divisions in Tokai would like to come and join. Together, the brown path around the fynbos of Lower Tokai and the Keyser greenbelt, will have the potential to become just as popular.