Continued savings must remain part of our long-term strategy to avoid Day Zero

CITY OF CAPE TOWN

 7 MARCH 2018

 STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE DEPUTY MAYOR, ALDERMAN IAN NEILSON

Continued savings must remain part of our long-term strategy to avoid Day Zero

The City’s dashboard for this week shows a slight increase in water consumption. This bucks the recent downward trend of the last few weeks. Overall consumption as at 5 March 2018 was measured at 537 million litres per day (MLD) which is up from 516 MLD consumption recorded in the previous week.

Dam levels have dropped by 0,4% to 23,6%.  Please see http://coct.co/water-dashboard/.

The City now projects that, if there was to be no rainfall, Day Zero would arrive on 27 August 2018. As this date falls deep within the normal rainfall period, it is no longer appropriate to project the date without any consideration of rainfall. Thus, provided we continue our current water savings efforts, Day Zero can be avoided completely this year. It is now up to all of us. If we keep on saving, we will not have to queue for water this year.

I would therefore like to urge all Capetonians not to relax their savings efforts. While we are feeling more confident of avoiding Day Zero this year, we cannot predict the volume of rainfall still to come. If winter rainfall this year is as low as last year, or even lower, we are still in danger of reaching Day Zero early next year.

Now is the time to entrench our water saving habits and ensure that the behavioral shift we have undergone in the past months becomes second nature.

More and more Capetonians have met the challenge by lowering their consumption. Our water map shows a 5% increase in the number of households that used less than 6 kilolitres a month in January, as compared to December (see link below).

Our challenge now is to continue reinforcing these behavior changes, and to spread the message among our communities, at the workplace, at home, at school. Everywhere we go, we have an opportunity to act as water ambassadors and ensure that each and every Capetonian is aware of the seriousness of the situation. There is no shortage of water-saving resources that can be distributed to ensure that everyone gets the message.

A range of online resources can be found on the City of Cape Town’s website (see link below).

These resources include videos, presentations, posters, community water plans, checklists, stickers, water-saving tips, guides to finding and fixing leaks, greywater guidelines, and more. I would like to urge all Capetonians to make use of these resources.

The City is continuing to roll out its pressure demand management programme, and installing water meters at the homes of high water users. Together with our residents, we can bring consumption down to the required 450 MLD. If we redouble our efforts to ensure that every single resident uses no more than 50 litres of water a day, we will not only beat Day Zero this year but also avoid it next year.

Please visit www.capetown.gov/thinkwater for all water-related information, including information on Level 6B restrictions and FAQs about Day Zero as well as tips to lower usage even further.

Also visit www.capetown.gov.za/watermap to see if your household is painting the city green to avoid Day Zero.

Note to broadcasters: audio clips are available for download.

For English: https://soundcloud.com/ct-media/2018-03-07-water-dashboar-eng

For Afrikaans: https://soundcloud.com/ct-media/2018-03-07-water-dashboard-afr

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Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

 Media enquiries: Alderman Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1306 or Cell: 083 306 6730, Email: ian.neilson@capetown.gov.za (please always cc media@capetown.gov.za).

STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER

CITY OF CAPE TOWN

27 FEBRUARY 2018

STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND WASTE SERVICES; AND ENERGY, COUNCILLOR XANTHEA LIMBERG

 All residents and businesses urged to adhere to City’s Water By-law and related public notices

In view of the ongoing dire drought situation, the City of Cape Town has given notice to all residents and businesses residing in Cape Town of the following rules and regulations, in accordance with the City’s Water By-law.

The resale of unmodified municipal water without prior permission from the City of Cape Town’s Director: Water and Waste Services is prohibited and no permission for applications will be granted during this drought period. The use and selling of modified municipal water whether through filtration, ozone, carbonation and related methods, bottled or not, where the end product remains water, is hereby also prohibited during this period.

It should be noted that this prohibition excludes sodas and flavoured water (with additives), ice teas and related drinks but the Level 6B reduction in consumption of 45% for all non-residential use still applies. This restriction does not apply to water from alternative sources, e.g. springs.

All users of groundwater and surface water must comply with the National Water Act and its regulations. With regard to the regulations around springs; boreholes; well points; rivers; streams and vlei water, we would like to emphasise that residents must obtain permission from the National Department of Water and Sanitation (NDWS) in order to take water from a resource, i.e. ground or surface water. The City would like to remind residents that the National Department of Water and Sanitation has emphasised that water from private boreholes is not meant for sale and that commercial and industrial entities must still seek the necessary authorisation from the department to sell surface and groundwater. Businesses that are selling groundwater and/or surface water must declare the source and display proof of authorisation from NDWS on any vehicle/transportation mode and retail outlet dispensing such water.

Furthermore, we want to emphasise that all non-residential toilet facilities including office blocks and public facilities must retrofit their toilets with water efficient fittings, change the conventional urinals to waterless ones and shut off water to most hand basins and provide sanitisers for hand washing. The City has a tender in place to retrofit our own facilities and this is currently being rolled out.

I would once again like to thank the many residents who have really gone above and beyond the call of duty with their water saving efforts. We know this new normal is not an easy transition for anyone but we ask for your continued sense of urgency and adaptability during this unprecedented water crisis we are currently facing.

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Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1299 or Cell: 073 271 2054, Email: Xanthea.limberg@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media.account@capetown.gov.za).

LAUNCH OF THE GREATER CAPE TOWN WATER FUND PILOT PROJECT

CITY OF CAPE TOWN

22 FEBRUARY 2018

 SPEECH BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR FINANCE, COUNCILLOR JOHAN VAN DER MERWE, AT THE LAUNCH OF THE GREATER CAPE TOWN WATER FUND PILOT PROJECT

Note to editors: The following is an extract from a speech delivered at the launch of the Greater Cape Town Water Fund Pilot Project. The fund will contribute towards clearing alien vegetation that has grown on top of our aquifers to increase rainwater recharge and increase the sustainable yield of groundwater. Read more below.  

Cities are major contributors to climate change. Although they cover less than 2% of the earth’s surface, cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of all carbon dioxide and significant amounts of other greenhouse gas emissions, mainly through energy generation, vehicles, industry, and biomass use. At the same time, cities are extremely vulnerable to climate change. The World Bank forecasts that water availability in cities could decline by as much as two thirds by 2050 as a result of climate change and competition from energy generation and agriculture.

The reality is that many cities have not yet addressed climate change. However, when properly planned, capacitated, and managed through the appropriate governance structures, cities can be places of innovation and efficiency. Together with their local authorities, they have the potential to diminish the causes of climate change and effectively protect themselves from its impacts. This project which is being launched here today is an example of how cities can increase their resilience to climate change.

The project was initiated in 2014 when the City of Cape Town reached out to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) requesting it to establish a Water Fund for Cape Town. In 2015 a TNC delegation visited Cape Town and we agreed on Atlantis as the right location to run a pilot for four main reasons:

  • It serves as an example for other managed aquifers
  • It is in a key biodiversity area
  • We are able to create much-needed jobs for the local communities
  • Thirsty invader plants have a negative impact on the biodiversity and on water resources

The City of Cape Town however looks forward to work hand in hand with TNC and our partners to expand this work to benefit the greater Cape Town region.

Without water the city’s economic growth is limited, jobs are affected, it impacts stability in the region and has severe social consequences, especially on our poor communities.

It is time to think differently about our relationship with water. Water can no longer be taken for granted. The City of Cape Town, in collaboration with national and provincial government, industry and residents of Cape Town are working hard to avoid the immediate threat of running out of water.

But the threat to our water supply will not be simply avoided by receiving good rainfall this winter. We have to make sure that we plan for the medium term and position the city to cope with the unknown. That means among other things less reliance on surface water and a greater appreciation for diverse water supply options.

The City recognises the contribution by the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and commits to work with the Greater Cape Town Water Fund Partners to manage our water resources to ensure the region continues to serve its people. As we navigate the drought that has hit our region, it is important for us at all times to ensure that we build stronger partnerships to ensure that we can withstand the water-related shocks of the future. I wish this project every success, and look forward to seeing the results.

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Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Johan van der Merwe, Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 3794 or Cell: 074 568 3980, Email: Johannes.VanDerMerwe@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media.account@capetown.gov.za).

Defeating Day Zero is in sight if we sustain our water-saving efforts

CITY OF CAPE TOWN

 20 FEBRUARY 2018

STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE DEPUTY MAYOR, ALDERMAN IAN NEILSON

Defeating Day Zero is in sight if we sustain our water-saving efforts

Day Zero, the day we may have to start queueing for water, has now moved to 9 July due to a weekly drop in dam levels of only 0.5% (as compared to a 1.9% drop in 2014). This week’s lower rate of consumption can be attributed to the Groenland water reaching Steenbras Upper Dam last week and slightly increasing the dam level, as well as to a further reduction in Cape Town’s weekly average demand to 523 megalitres per day (MLD) compared to 1 130 MLD in 2014.

The Groenland water transfer and the reduction in our weekly average demand has had a dramatic impact on the Day Zero date, which is determined by assuming that the fortnightly trend of weekly dam storage change will continue unchanged. This precautionary outlook assumes no further rainfall and that water demand may not reduce over the next few months. It has been adopted to allow sufficient lead time for implementation of temporary water collection points in the event that these may be required.

 We anticipate that Day Zero could move back into June again once the Groenland transfer has been completed, unless we are able to meet the 450 MLD collective water usage target. Therefore it is imperative that we reach this target to make it through to the winter rains.

 Today I urge the residents of Cape Town not to ease up on their water-saving efforts. We cannot afford to slow down when the estimated Day Zero date moves out, simply because we cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come or when it will come. Last year we had abnormally low winter rainfall, and we cannot assume that this year will be any different.

The only way we can stretch our water supplies is to adhere to the 50 litres per person per day water allocation. Our water saving efforts across the metro have thus far been our greatest defense against Day Zero. Now is definitely not the time to ease up.

We once again want to thank the Groenland Water Users Farming Association for the water transfer, which made a considerable difference when we needed it most.

Our preparations for Day Zero continue as planned, along with the City’s aggressive roll-out of pressure management initiatives and the installation of water management devices at the properties of high users across the metro. Enforcement blitzes will also continue to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions.

Latest water dashboard (http://coct.co/water-dashboard/)

  •  Day Zero: 9 July 2018 (was 4 June 2018)
  • Dam Levels: 24,4% (decline of 0,5%)
  • Total consumption: 523 million litres per day (73 million litres above the target of 450 million litres per day)
  • Percentage of Capetonians saving: *note, due to the implementation of 50 litre targets, this calculation is under review

Level 6B restrictions make it compulsory for residents to use no more than 50 litres per person per day.

See the following link for the new tariff details: http://bit.ly/WaterTariff

 Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater to see what a community water plan could look like community_water_plan for all water-related information, including Level 6B restrictions and regularly updated FAQs about Day Zero as well as tips to lower usage even further.

 

Also visit www.capetown.gov.za/watermap to see if your household is painting the city green to avoid Day Zero.

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Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Alderman Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1306 or Cell: 083 306 6730, Email: ian.neilson@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media@capetown.gov.za).

Watershed ruling for Cape Town’s rivers, floodplains and wetlands

CITY OF CAPE TOWN

 19 FEBRUARY 2018

 MEDIA RELEASE

  Watershed ruling for Cape Town’s rivers, floodplains and wetlands

 The Western Cape High Court’s judgment in the Disa River case can be described as a watershed ruling for the preservation of Cape Town’s rivers, floodplains, and wetlands. The court has ordered the developer of the Hout Bay Beach Club to remove the soil, general rubble, and fill that was placed within the floodplain of the Disa River within 45 days. Read more below:

On 2 February 2018, World Wetlands Day, the Western Cape High Court ordered Really Useful Investments (Pty) Ltd, the developer of the Hout Bay Beach Club, to remove the material from the floodplain of the Hout Bay River, colloquially known as the Disa River, that was dumped there in 2011.

Really Useful Investments started infilling part of the wetland and floodplain of the Disa River in 2011 in order to develop its property, much to the ire of Hout Bay residents.

Although the land is privately owned, the court has found that infilling is in contravention of the City’s Stormwater Management By-law which prohibits land owners from dumping any material in a river, floodplain or wetland, or to reduce the capacity of the stormwater system (which includes floodplains) without the written consent of Council.

In April 2011, the City served a notice of contravention of the Stormwater Management By-law on the developer, which required it to immediately stop infilling into the floodplain of the Disa River and to remove the fill material that was placed within the floodplain. The City’s Environmental Management Department followed this with a directive in terms of the Environment Conservation Act which required that the fill material be removed from the floodplain.

Although Really Useful Investments at first indicated that it would comply with the directive, by late 2012 only a part of the wetland had been restored, and the fill material remained in stockpiles and spread out on the floodplain.

In 2014 the City commenced with court proceedings in an effort to force Really Useful Investments to comply fully with the notice and directive that had been served, while Really Useful Investments instituted its own court action in an attempt to claim compensation from the City. The compensation claim was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2015.

The City’s proceedings were delayed as both parties sought to find an amicable settlement, but when these efforts proved fruitless the City’s application was finally set down for hearing in court.

On 2 February 2018 judgment was handed down. The court declared the infilling of the floodplain to be in contravention of the Stormwater Management By-law. Furthermore, the court found that Really Useful Investments has failed to comply with the directive in terms of the Environment Conservation Act and directed them to do so within 45 days of the judgment.

Thus, the court has ordered Really Useful Investments to remove the soil, general rubble, and fill that was placed within the floodplain of the Disa River within 45 days. Should it not comply with the order, the City is authorised to enter the property and to remove the material, and to recover the costs from Really Useful Investments.

‘The outcome of the Disa River case in the Western Cape High Court is a major victory for the City. We do all we can to protect rivers, wetlands and floodplains, particularly as these form an essential part of Cape Town’s natural environment and biodiversity,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

‘Furthermore, this judgment sends a strong message to developers that they should abide by the City’s policies and by-laws.

‘The City’s Environmental Management Department has vigorously pursued this matter since 2011 given that protecting the wetland and floodplain of the Disa River is of extreme importance to the ecological  health and functioning of the watercourse.  Environmental Management will keep on monitoring the situation to ensure that Really Useful Investments abides by the court order, and that it does what is needed to restore the integrity of the Disa River,’ said Councillor Herron.

Really Useful Investments has also been directed to pay the City’s legal costs.

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Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1298 or Cell: 082 518 3264, Email: brett.herron@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media.account@capetown.gov.za).

Feeding Scheme for January 2018

Donation-LBC-Jan18CofN a

The ECID handed out the following food items to the Church of the Nazarene in Bonteheuwel and the Langa Baptist Church; 2 x 750g coffee, 1200 tea bags, 2 kg peanut butter, 2 kg jam, 24 cans each of pilchards and baked beans, 10 kg of lentils, 10 kg dry soup mix and 20 kg samp kindly donated by Giant Hyper. 100 kg beans donated by Pioneer Foods.

Accepting on behalf of Langa Baptist Church is Nowveliso Mjauyelwa and Winnie Vanqa (top left) and for the Church of the Nazarene is Sheldon Josias and Reverend Quinton Williams (top right)

We wish to thank our sponsors for their generosity in helping to care for the less privileged.