Open Letter to all Zandvlei Sports Club members, comprising all Peninsula Canoe Club and Imperial Yacht

 Club members – 28 November 2020

It is with some disappointment and a lot of sadness that I write this letter. I have tried unsuccessfully to explain to the Zandvlei Sports Club (ZSC) Committee that Imperial Yacht club (IYC) will not be able to pay the levy that they intend to charge us, using the land area that our boat park occupies as your bases of calculation.

This proposal is described in Resolution 3 (a,b,c) of the voting that has been distributed.

  1. As a member of IYC and therefor a member of ZSC, I come down to the club so that my children can sail. They have grown so much in self-confidence by being able to resolve their own challenges on the water. I joined IYC because it was a dinghy sailing club that promoted development of sailing in children and welcomed families to come and have fun at the vlei. Some of the other sailing clubs are incredibly competitive and don’t seem to foster the community spirit that I have found at IYC.
  2. Dinghy sailing is not to be confused with yacht sailing. IYC keeps their membership fees as low as possible to make it possible for people who are of a less affluent backgrounds to be able to come learn to sail. Our membership fee is divided into a membership fee to ZSC, a membership fee to South African Sailing (SAS) and then a portion to IYC. Current Individual member fee R2050, R850 to ZSC, R550 to SAS, R650 to IYC. The portion to IYC is used to maintain and fuel the safety craft; maintain the training boats, maintain the rescue and mast shed. IYC is currently having to save up in order to replace the training boats as they can no longer be repaired. Our rescue shed and mast shed needs to have its whole roof replaced. I understand that ZSC needs to cover running cost using the membership fees, but we need to keep the increases affordable to retain our members. At the AGM the ZSC treasurer said R1250 to per member, would cover costs for the year. With many families being affected by the financial effects of the Covid Pandemic, I really don’t see how we can afford to start building up a reserve this year. At best we should break even, and put off all non-essential repairs until we have recovered financially.
  3. To use the land occupied as a measuring tool to calculate the perceived liability of IYC is unfair, as the land itself is rented from the City of Cape Town for less than R3000 per annum, the whole 10345m².That equates to R3.45 per square meter per year, thus the actual land cost is minimal. The City of Cape town has different tariffs. ZSC gets this reduced tariff because we are a recreational sports club. The City of Cape Town understands how important sport is for a community and as such provides land to us so that we can offer the paddling and sailing activities to our members.

    I feel that the amount, calculated on area of land that IYC occupies is unfair and discriminatory. IYC has expressed on previous occasions that they, as a club, do not have the necessary funds to pay such a levy on an ongoing basis and that it will cripple the club financially and within a few years IYC will be no longer be financially viable.
  4. The running costs of the shared area managed by ZSC is high, but that should be equally shared based on membership ratio, as it is currently. These costs directly apply to usage of these shared facilities rather than the land occupied by our respective craft. IYC members do not use more water, electricity or gas per member.
  5. The shared area comprises the clubhouse, the braai area and the bathrooms, and as members we should all have equal access to utilise these facilities. Unfortunately, even this is not always true. Hall hire is most often on the weekend, most of the sailing also happens on the weekend. A few weeks ago my eleven year old daughter wouldn’t go get changed in the bathroom after sailing. She finally told me that the cleaner had told her not to go into the bathroom wet because she had just mopped the floor for a hall hire party that evening. We were all sitting outside waiting for our kids to finish sailing because the hall was being prepped for the birthday party. The point is that sometimes we don’t get to use the hall or the bathrooms.
  6. Being part of a club means having to share. I understand that. I have no problem sharing and respecting the guests who hire our clubhouse. On the water and the slipway, IYC members happily greet PCC members, we all share a love of the water and the outdoors. Being part of a club means being part of something bigger than yourself, being part of a special community.
  7. The object of Zandvlei Sports Club, as stated in the constitution is:
    1. To fulfil the usual object of a sports club, and, in particular to promote the yacht sailing interest of the Imperial Yacht Club, the canoeing interest of the Peninsula Canoe Club…
    2. To determine and administer the common interest of all its Members
    3. To promote sporting and social relationships between Members of the Club

Currently ZSC is failing to promote sailing interest, is not acting in the interest of ALL its Members and is most certainly not promoting social relationships between the Members of the Club.

What we all fail to realise is that we are ZSC. You, me, your kids, my kids. It is our objective to make this shared club work. And if it means we need to respect each others space, respect each others different needs of the club, surely that is not too hard or too much to ask. Paddlers mainly paddle in the morning shower and go to work; or paddle in the evening, shower and go home. Sailing mainly happens during the day on the weekends. We hardly ever cross paths, but when we do, I have never experienced anything except camaraderie! All of us are members, all of pay the same amount to ZSC, all of us want to enjoy the vlei.

Please don’t vote IYC out just because one club has more money than another does? When it comes to members we really all contribute equally, and should continue to do so. If we need to raise more money to cover future maintenance, let us all fund raise together when the need arises. Let’s be a real club.

Kind regards

Judy Willemse
Member of IYC and ZSC

Open Letter to all Zandvlei Sports Club members