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One of the largest trees in the Company’s Garden has officially been recognised as a Champion Tree by the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. Towering at almost 27 meters, the majestic Ficus Elastica, or Rubber Tree, has a crown diameter of 38.4 metres and stands guard at the northern entrance to Cape Town’s oldest garden.

The National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries recently made the announcement after an amendment to the National Forests Act, 1998 was gazetted.

The Champion Tree Project started in 2003 and is a national initiative that identifies, protects and promotes exceptionally big and impressive trees in South Africa.

More than 90 trees have been identified thus far and the Ficus Elastica in the Company’s Garden stood out based on its size index and historical location.

Ficus Elastica is part of the Fig genus species, which is native to north-east India and southern Indonesia and forms part of the Banyan group of figs.

‘The City’s Recreation and Parks Department is delighted about the accolade. It is only through recognition, education and awareness that we will be better prepared to care for our trees which plays such an important role in our built environment. The recognition and acknowledgement means a lot as Champion Trees are now enjoying protected status,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

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The City’s Safety and Security Directorate is primed to play a key role in the administration’s efforts to ensure public safety. 

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate is once again leading the charge to keep residents and visitors safe this festive season.

The City has, over many years, devised an operational plan that serves as a blueprint and guides enforcement efforts, but also general public safety priorities and other demands on the administration over this period, like cleaning services, traffic congestion and Events.

A summary of the operational plan is available here:

‘In just a few weeks, Cape Town will usher in the festive season with the traditional switching on of the lights event on the Grand Parade. This is one of the biggest events on our annual calendar, and but one of the many demands on our City services over the period. Apart from boots on the ground to ensure safety and security, there are road closures to manage, public safety assessments from a disaster risk perspective and even post-event clean up. Many of us will be enjoying some downtime after a long year, and we would like to express our gratitude to the thousands of City staff who will be working very hard behind the scenes to keep us safe,’ said Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.

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Today, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, attended the launch of the Western Cape SAPS’ Safer Festive Season Campaign at the SAPS training academy in Philippi. Minister Fritz has welcomed the launch and calls on each individual in the province to play in their part in ensuring the safety of themselves and others over the festive break. Please see photos attached.

Minister Fritz said, “I note that SAPS’ festive plan was launched at 10pm last night and has already yielded results. As the Western Cape Government, we welcome the launch of the campaign as it aims to keep every citizen of the province safe. My Department will equally play its part by capacitating Neighbourhood Watches, Community Policing Forums and related initiatives. At the same time, I call on each and every individual to ensure their own safety, and those in their care, over the festive break to make it a truly enjoyable time for all.”

Minister Fritz added, “One the most significant initiatives hosted by the Department of Community Safety to ensure safety over the festive season is the youth and safety religious programme, which is currently in its 8th year of implementation. The YSRP works with over 141 faith based organisations and keeps young people off the street and out of harm’s way over the festive break.”

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JOE SLOVO (MILNERTON), CAPE TOWN: As the youth unemployment rate continues to increase in South Africa, the Youth Unemployment Prevention Programme (YUPP) hosted a seminar for approximately 300 youth in Joe Slovo, Milnerton, this past week. The motivation behind the event was in order for those in attendance to gain a significant revelation about how to get a competitive advantage above others when job hunting, with Nora Dawud, top immigration lawyer and Founder of Black Pen Immigration & Recruitment, sharing her extensive knowledge she has gained over the years as a specialist in the field.

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The City of Cape Town would like to encourage account holders not to wait until the last minute and rather pay their accounts as soon as possible to avoid possible debt management and legal action. Read more below:

The City is calling on all account holders to settle their accounts before year-end or face debt management actions which could negatively impact them over the festive season. Debt actions have been intensified, especially against frequent defaulters and those who are able to pay but choose not to do so. As always, the City has programmes in place to assist its vulnerable residents who genuinely do not have the means to pay.

‘We are appealing to all account holders to pay their outstanding debt ahead of the holidays, especially to prevent services from being cut off over the holiday period due to non-payment. There’s no need for those who are struggling financially to do so alone. Hoping that the debt will go away or ignoring the problem is not the answer, and there is help on offer.

‘As a caring city, we make allowance for residents who are unable to pay for basic services to make representation to the City for relief, and for those who are struggling to pay their municipal accounts to enter into an agreed arrangement/instalment plan to pay off their arrears,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Alderman Ian Neilson.

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The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department will be performing a zero pressure test on the water infrastructure in the Mamre area. Read more below:

The work will result in the disruption of the water supply on Monday, 18 November 2019 from 10:00 until 14:00.

Residents are kindly requested to store water in clean, sealed containers for use during this period.

It is advisable to keep all taps closed during this period to prevent any water loss and/or damage when the water supply is restored.

This work forms part of the City’s Water Demand Management Plan and will significantly reduce the occurrence of burst pipes and subsequent water losses.

The City apologises for any inconvenience that may be caused.

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Cape Town is one of the best-value business tourism and travel destinations for international visitors. Over the last year the city hosted 51 international association meetings, attracting over 26 000 delegates. The 30 bids secured over this last year has an estimated economic impact of more than R1.2 billion. Read more below:

It was a great pleasure to speak at the 4th Annual Tourism, Hotel Investment and Networking Conference (THINC) this morning.

My mission and vision for my directorate is to ensure we provide the environment that supports growth, so that we can attract investment which will lead to more jobs for the people of Cape Town.

Wesgro, one of the City funded Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), specifically focuses on promoting the City of Cape Town as the destination of choice for meetings, incentive travel offered by international businesses, conferences and events (MICE).

I am proud of the successes achieved by the Bureau and I am thrilled to confirm that our City will play host to many more MICE events in the coming year, especially the World Ophthalmology, Spaceops and the HIV Research for Prevention Conferences. These conventions will bring in almost 17 000 delegates with yet more positive knock-on benefits for our city.

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 The First Lady of SA Hip Hop, Ms Supa is thrilled to announce the release of her latest single titled Public Service Announcement (P.S.A).

Ms Supa was inspired to write and record P.S.A to firstly; communicate a message that addresses certain dynamics within the Hip Hop industry in South Africa whilst she secondly; celebrates female Hip Hop artists like Foxy Brown, who inspired and introduced her to the Hip Hop genre.

“I wrote this song because I wanted to pay homage to the Queens that got me to fall in love with Hip Hop. At the same time, I wanted to address the Hip Hop industry in SA. We have come miles ahead in terms of females; however, I do not like where we are headed as the double standards are still at play” Ms Supa says.

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