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.

Feeding Scheme for December 2017

CofN-Collection-Dec 17      LBC-Collection-Dec 17

We were once again able to make a generous donation to Church of the Nazarene in Bonteheuwel and Langa Baptist Church. 2 x 750 g coffee, 2 kg each of peanut butter and jam, 10 kg dry lentils, 10 kg dry soup mix, 20 kg samp, 1200 tea bags and 24 cans each of pilchards, baked beans all donated by Giant Hyper. 2 x 50kg gravity beans donated by Pioneer Foods.

Accepting on behalf of the Church of the Nazarene is Kyle Davids & Reverend Quinton Williams (top Left )and on behalf of Langa Baptist Church is Lorna Booi, NKO & Lubabalo (top right)

We once again thank all our sponsors for their continued dedication to this initiative in helping the less fortunate.