Sunday, December 6, 2015


Due to recent reports, that aerial crop spraying will be taking place over Riebeek Kasteel on 10 & 11 December 2015, we thought that it would be a good opportunity to post the following link :

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The spraying season, within De Zalze Estate, has once again commenced for the year, and in this regard The TATIB Foundation has, as expected, started to receive more complaints by  several residents who allege that they have been caught in spray drift.

A few residents sent in photographs, of the pool of  one of  the residents, [ we assume that various photos are doing the rounds as a few residents have sent us the same photos ] , shortly after the spraying of the adjacent vineyards. The residents have described a shiny "oily " residue, in droplet form, floating on the surface of the water.

According to the residents, the Estate Manager was called in to see the evidence of spray drift on this residents swimming pool. He allegedly shook his head in disbelief and then took a sample, to be sent off to Pretoria. 

Given the toxicity of the products sprayed, we have advised the affected residents to take samples of the "oily residue" and to send these off for analysis, and to then also lay charges at the local Police Station.

The majority of agricultural pesticides/fungicides and herbicides used on the vineyards today, are in the form of a liquid emulsion. The active ingredients are often diluted in carrier oils or solvents, which helps them to "stick" to the target area, the vines and their leaves.  Oil floats on water, hence the residue seen floating on the surface of the swimming pool pictured above.

It is a well known fact, internationally, that more than often the inert /inactive ingredients, of an agricultural chemical, are more toxic than the active ingredients.  A common "carrier oil " or solvent used, is Benzene, which is a well known carcinogen.

When oil lands on the surface of a large body of water, like a swimming pool, the oil tends to spread out in a thin layer, eventually coating the entire surface of the pool. If you were to immerse yourself in the pool and then slowly get out, you would find that the oil, thats on the surface, would easily coat your entire body [think of adding a fragrant oil to your bath water and how it clings to you when you get out !]  And so swimming, in the pool above, could result in your being coated [skin, face, hair, eyes, body] in a thin layer of pesticide / fungicide laden oil.  Not an ideal situation !!

If the pool is covered with toxic residue, then what about the lawns, the pool deck, the windows, doors and other household surfaces?

  • Would you want your family, your children and loved ones, swimming in the pool above, knowing that the oily residue on its surface is more than likely spray drift from the vineyards?  
  • Would you be prepared to risk the health and well being of your family?


We have been told that a few residents living in this estate and others estates in the area, have allegedly spent several thousands of Rand on specialists and medication. In photos sent to us by a few residents it is evident that eyes and facial skin have been damaged. Doctors have allegedly advised the affected residents to sell up and move out, and or to take up temporary accommodation during the spraying season.

The HOA, in their newsletter of 7 March 2012, acknowledges that some residents may in fact be allergic to what is sprayed  :

"We request that owners co-operate to minimise any adverse reactions on those who are allergic to spraying, by heeding the 48 hour notices, closing doors and windows during periods of spraying and not venturing outside " 

Is this an acknowledgement, by the HOA, that their products could indeed cause an adverse reaction, and that as such they are advising the residents to stay indoors and not venture outside ?  So does this mean that one should avoid using ones swimming pool too, even hours and days after the spraying ? Clearly there is spray drift on the pool surface and so we guess that the pool is now also not safe to use ?

The photos below, show swollen and severely affected eyes as a result of  exposure to the residues that blow in from the vineyards.These photos are "doing the rounds" within the estate and were sent to us by a few residents.


The TATIB Foundation is in possession of some of the notifications that have been sent out recently with regards the products that have recently been sprayed.

We can confirm that the following have been sprayed :

  • DITHANE M 45
  • KOCIDE 2000

This product contains Mancozeb [Manganese] which is a heavy metal and known neurotoxin. After further international studies, Mancozeb, the active ingredient of Dithane, has been found to be a carcinogen, a developmental / reproductive toxin and an endocrine disruptor.

The Product Label can be found here  :
Note the special warnings :

Do not enter treated field/orchard until deposit has dried unless wearing protective clothing
Do not spray over water or allow spray drift onto water or adjacent areas not under treatment

By allowing spray drift to occur, ie for the product to get blown into peoples homes and gardens, the HOA is contravention of Act 36 of 1947 as they have ignored the statutory warnings on the Product Label.

The MSDS can be found here :


The Product Label and MSDS can be found here :

Note the special warnings that the product will cause substantial & serious damage to eyes and skin and that Dupont has classified this material as a known carcinogen

We could list the details and special warnings of all the other products, but dont want to burden you all with the same old toxic side effects. We suggest that you do your own research.

By allowing spray drift to occur, ie for the product to get blown into peoples homes and gardens, the HOA could very well be in contravention of Act 36 of 1947 as they have allegedly  ignored the statutory warnings on the Product Label.

The HOA appears to have got itself an attorney who is now allegedly threatening all, who have complained, with legal action should they not stop complaining, about their exposure to the unlawful spray drift.

The HOA have  allegedly admitted in writing that there is "spray drift" occurring within the estate and has advised the residents to stay indoors and to keep windows and doors closed during the spraying.  Is this not an admission that [a] spray drift is taking place  [b] that there could be an adverse and or allergic reaction to some of the compounds used ???   They have also allegedly advised the residents not to swim, in their own pools, after spraying, as the oily residue floating on the surface of the water could very well contain the active ingredient of what was sprayed.

So if spray drift , of potentially toxic agricultural chemicals is in fact taking place, resulting in "fall out"  in peoples gardens, pools and homes, then the law is being broken and the spraying is unlawful - certainly under Act 36 of 1947.

You would think therefore, that the HOA and its savvy attorneys, would rather want to continue in a law abiding manner, to stop all unlawful spray drift and to put the health and safety of the residents [ who pay their salaries ?] as priority number one, instead of threatening them , and anyone else who complains, with legal action.  Just what is it that they have to hide, if anything ?

Would it not be best for them to cease all unlawful spraying until such time as less toxic, less harmful alternatives can be found ?   

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


For almost 3 years now, The TATIB Foundation has been receiving "requests for help"  from Residents of DeZalze Estate, following their alleged exposure to potentially toxic spray drift.   In this regard we have investigated the matter and have, over the past  34 months, received an "unofficial"  list from numerous residents within the estate, of what has allegedly been sprayed.

This is what we have so far :

Azinophos Methyl
Kaptan Flo
Manganese Sulphate
Nitrate & Runner
Penncap M
Roval Aqua
Roval Flo
Sovrin Flo
Zinc Oxide

In order to get an official list of what has been sprayed, we have asked De Zalze Estate Management,  and the HOA,  to supply us with a list of what they have sprayed, what they are currently spraying and what they plan to spray, with the hopes that they would be open and transparent.  To date they are refusing to supply us with this list.

In order to encourage all concerned, to be open and transparent, we had also requested that a "public meeting" be held between the concerned residents, the HOA,  De Zalze Management, Stellenbosch Municipality and the relevant Government Departments, again with the hopes that the well documented problem of spray drift within the Estate, can be resolved in an open and transparent manner.

In this regard the HOA have rejected our requests for an open and transparent  public meeting and have instead, on 13 July 2012, met separately with those residents who have been "most vocal".  TATIB has received feedback, from a couple of residents, that they felt threatened and intimidated at the meeting of 13 July, that they have been "bullied"  and that a "divide and conquer" strategy had been employed.  They have also stated that they were allegedly threatened with a damages lawsuit should they continue to complain about the spray drift.

On 01 August 2012, we received a letter from the HOA [click here  ]  , in which they seem to continue to evade the issue, refusing yet again to supply us with a list of what they have been spraying, furthermore stating that this "historic information" has previously been submitted to affected residents.  How is TATIB expected to verify the "unofficial list"  if the HOA are refusing to confirm or deny that OUR list is correct or incorrect, by supplying us with their official list ?

  • Why are they refusing to hold a "public meeting " ?  
  • Why meet with the complainants separately ?
  • Does their letter of 1 August 2012 contain thinly veiled threats of legal action against us, and all concerned, should we continue with our expose of the matter?

Previously the HOA had stated that Stellenbosch Municipality had conducted some experimental spraying, within the Estate, on 16 April 2012.  David Beretti,  Stellenbosch Municipal Manager has in writing denied that any such spraying took place.

The HOA have made mention of a 10 M "buffer zone" being implemented between the vines and the windows / front doors of the residents. Yet it has been alleged that Kobus Hartman, an agricultural expert, has stated that a buffer zone of at least 30 M should be implemented.

  • If they are spraying within the ambit of the law, and as such there is no unlawful spray drift, why implement a buffer zone in the first place ?
  • When we initially complained to the HOA in late 2009, they decided that given the large number of complaints that they had received from affected residents, they would convert to an organic method of pest control. In this regard they allegedly switched to Oneosan for a period of time before going back to conventional chemical spraying.
  • Is money more important than human health ?  The HOA has previously stated that it is not "financially viable" to spray the vines by hand, nor to convert to an organic system of crop protection.
  • Are the vines within the Estate planted for commercial or decorative purposes. ie are they financially viable?  If not then what is the problem with not spraying them ? ie nothing to lose ?

Take a look at the attached photos below, and decide if there is a sufficient buffer zone between the tractor and the homes of residents. Bear in mind that spray drift can be blown over a distance of more than 150M, depending on the droplet size and ambient weather conditions.

It is clear than a 10M buffer zone - from the vines to people's windows-  will not be sufficient enough as it will not prevent spray drift from entering residential gardens, where the potentially toxic residues will come into contact with the residents, their pets and their children.

  • Should potentially toxic agricultural chemicals be sprayed in such close proximity to peoples homes and gardens ?
  • Should the Estate convert to organic, less harmful forms of "pest protection", as requested by the residents?
  • Is spray drift unlawful?
  • Would you have purchased into a working Estate had you known that potentially toxic agricultural chemicals would be sprayed so close to your home ?  
  • The HOA seems to believe that as the vineyards were already in place, when you purchased your property, that this means you have to accept the fact that you may be  exposed to spray drift of potentially toxic chemicals.
Spraying season starts again shortly and with it we will no doubt receive yet more complaints from residents.