Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DE ZALZE UPDATE



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 :

Aqualights
Altacor,
Acarol
Azinophos Methyl
Budbreak
Bumper
Bozinan
Bulldock
Citrex
Copsul
Chlorpyriphos
Cypermethrin
Cascade
Chorus
Calypso
Coprox
Caltrac
CalciumNitrate
Citrole
Demildix
Dicarzol
Dithane
Dichlorvos
Dursban
Dormex
Droper
Endosulfan
Flint
Folpan
Fundazol
Glucomag
Goemar
Goldenthin
Hygrobuff
Indar
Judo
Kaptan Flo
Karbadust
Kumulus
Korog
Legend
Melody
Milraz
Manganese Sulphate
Maxinal
Mamba
Nustar
Nimrod
Nitrate & Runner
Nufilm
Oenosan
Prospur
Pencanozole
Promalin
Penncap M
Phosphite
Roundup
Rootmaster
Rubigan
Roval Aqua
Roval Flo
Sovrin Flo
Switch
Sulubor
Score
Sevin
Spiral
Thiovit
Topaz
Tokuthion
Teldor
Thioflo
Tracer
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   http://www.scribd.com/doc/102421519/DeZalze-01082012  ]  , 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.