STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE
Today the City of Cape Town reached another milestone in its efforts to provide service delivery for fire-affected residents with the electrification of two areas in Imizamo Yethu.
In line with the objectives of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan to enhance service delivery, the City installed new electricity connections in the Disa Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) and the Petersen/Pipe Track area.
The City is establishing new connections for 355 families who will now be connected to the municipality’s electricity grid.
The majority of the families had their power switched on today, while the work on other properties will be completed over this coming weekend.
The City employed 18 residents from both the Disa TRA and the Pipe Track/Petersen area through the Expanded Public Works Programme to assist in the completion of the electrification project.
The City is making progress in electrifying several sections of the area as part of the super-blocking process. In August this year, we also switched on the electricity in the first section of the fire-affected area in Madiba Square. Continue reading
With more than 2 million visitors to Cape Town’s beaches expected over summer, the City is doing all it can to ensure everyone’s safety. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town has increased the number of lifeguards on its beaches this festive season to keep beach-goers safe.
Each year, more than 2 million people flock to the City’s beaches during the peak summer season. With the festive season now in full swing, the City would like to caution the public to stay safe this summer at the City’s amenities.
As at Wednesday 13 December 2017, two drownings have been recorded at Mnandi Beach on the False Bay coast – both victims were young girls.
Ordinarily, the City has more than 270 trained and accredited temporary lifeguards and over 1 500 volunteer lifeguards on duty, as well as the voluntary services of the various lifesaving clubs affiliated to Lifesaving Western Province. This year, the Recreation and Parks Department has a pool of 100 additional lifeguards for deployment as needed.
‘We made this arrangement to compensate for the closure of many municipal swimming pools that will more than likely see an increase in visitor numbers to our beaches and tidal pools. We also thank Lifesaving Western Province for their continued support in helping us build a safer city which is a critical priority in our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. Continue reading
The graduation of a batch of Traffic Services recruits today brings the total number of new traffic officers inducted into the City’s ranks to 50 since July.
The City of Cape Town’s newest traffic recruits will hit the streets just in time for the peak festive season. The group of 20 officers received their certificates at a graduation ceremony today after completing their studies and practical assessments.
In 2015 the Traffic Services Department embarked on a learnership programme to ensure the ongoing recruitment and training of officers to counter the natural attrition within its ranks.
The graduates are the latest group of recruits to have completed the programme, just six months after 30 others graduated after walking the same road. Increasing our staff complement aligns with the City’s commitment to promoting safer communities under the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.
As part of the selection process to whittle down the thousands of applications received, candidates had to complete written and physical assessments. This was followed by a round of interviews, medical examinations, criminal checks and reference checks. Continue reading
The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) will host a rail summit early in 2018 in an effort to find short-term solutions that will address the commuter rail crisis as we work towards the incremental takeover of the urban rail function. Read more below:
A rail summit will be hosted early in the new year when the City of Cape Town will meet with role-players from the private sector, business leaders, and other interested and affected parties to devise short-term interventions to address the current crisis that rail commuters face on a daily basis.
‘This morning I took the Metrorail northern line to experience what the conditions are like for commuters who travel between the northern suburbs and Cape Town station. The overcrowding, frustration, anxiety, and desperation of those who needed to get on the train to get to work were similar to what I personally saw and experienced on my commute on the Metrorail Central Line on 30 November.
‘We departed from Kraaifontein station shortly after 06:00. The carriage was packed beyond capacity – I did not expect this, given that the schools are closed and some people are already on leave. At one of the stations I was nearly pushed through the open door as desperate men and women were trying to get onto the train while others were trying to get off. It was harrowing, and I may have ended up on the tracks were it not for a young man who pulled me back in. Those making use of Metrorail literally have to fight their way in and out of the carriages every day. Commuting by train in Cape Town is stressful and degrading – you are exhausted once you reach your destination and then you still have to work an eight-hour day. Continue reading
Following on from last year’s format for the Cape Town Summer Market, the City of Cape Town has ticked all the boxes to ensure that this year’s market builds on the successes of the previous year. Once again, the central theme is fun activities that will keep young and old well entertained for the evening. Read more below:
The Cape Town Summer Market will take place over a seven-day period from 17 – 23 December 2017. It will be open to the public between 17:00 and 23:00 on each day.
The zones set up last year proved to be very popular and will feature again this year. This setup caters for a broad range of interests and goes beyond just selling trinkets; it’s about growing a culture of entrepreneurship and creativity.
‘I am pleased that we have found a winning formula for this family event. The various entertainment zones catering for young and old are guaranteed to keep all well entertained for the week. There will be a play zone, a kid’s zone, a sports zone and a music zone that will give families the opportunity to enjoy quality time together in a safe space. The addition of tinkering tables in the kid’s zone will allow for adventures in creativity, with activities focused on exploration and experimentation,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Play zone Continue reading
The City added some spice to this year’s Camp Cape Town event, which gives more than 100 teenagers the opportunity to experience the outdoors. The group of 120 young people, aged 15 and 16, were drawn from across the city to test their culinary skills at this year’s Camp Cape Town master chef competition.
The fifth annual Camp Cape Town kicked off on Monday 11 December at Zandvlei Resort, where 120 excited teens participated in a variety of outdoor activities during the week-long camp.
One of the highlights was the much anticipated master chef competition where participants showed off their cooking skills in a potjiekos competition.
The annual camp aims to develop leadership skills through participation in a range of team-building activities.
‘A goal of the camp is to develops life skills with a focus on learning through participation instead of lectures. These teenagers have been identified as role-models in their communities and we want to equip them to activate positive recreation programmes for other youth in their areas. The camp gives young people from various areas and backgrounds the opportunity to come together for a fun-filled week and I have no doubt that many friendships have been forged,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
The camp is aimed at youth who participate in the City’s recreation hub programmes on a regular basis.
The City of Cape Town has breathed new life into the large amount of data it has on hand through the Open Data Portal. Since its launch in 2015, the Open Data Portal has grown in popularity as a source of raw data that is used to develop applications, among a number of other uses. Read more below:
The City’s Open Data Portal was launched with 29 datasets. As at the end of last month, this number has increased to 106 datasets available free of charge to members of the public in a useable format. There have been more than 54 000 downloads off the portal since February 2015 which equates to, on average, 1 500 downloads per month.
The Open Data Portal seeks to promote the use of the City’s data for broader social and economic benefit. It has been used as a source for events such as hackathons, data quests and data challenges. At these events, stakeholders come together to apply their skills to the different ways in which data can be used. A number of ideas are generated at these forums and some develop into applications or products.
The City is aware of the following applications that have been developed using data from the Open Data Portal:
- The City’s address data on the portal feeding into: https://openaddresses.io/, which is increasingly being used by a number of location lookup services such as Mapbox and Mapzen
- An air quality application: http://opendata.tree4.mobi/
- A water watch online infographic using the City’s dam level data: https://dinebennett.github.io/water-watch/
- An online budget tool using the City’s budget data: http://capetownbudgetproject.org.za/
- An online platform developed by IBM using fire response data that will help to monitor fires
This Friday, everybody heading to Cape Town International Airport is encouraged to replace 5kg of their baggage allowance for 5l of water.
The flight route between Johannesburg and Cape Town is one of the busiest in the world, with over 4.4 million passengers flying it every year. Many passengers don’t use their full baggage allowance (ranging from 23 to 32 kilograms, depending on the airline).
Business travellers often only take carry-on luggage, and even some holidaymakers pack light in order to do shopping down in the Cape.
When arriving in Cape Town, passengers can either collect their guilt-free water from home to use during their stay, or they can opt to leave it at the collection point at Cape Town International Airport. The social experiment is inspired by the current drought heavily affecting Cape Town – one of South Africa’s major tourist destinations.
Keshin Govender, Head of Communications for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, says the severity of the crisis inspired them to do something. “Every year, Gautengers go to Cape Town for their holidays. If you consider that the daily per person water allocation is 87 litres, this places tremendous additional strain on the city.”
During the one-day activation at OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports, travellers can participate by having their luggage weighed at the Siemens AirDrop stand, located in the check-in hall opposite the self-service check-in counters (directly next to ACSA Info Desk at OR Tambo). Any travellers whose luggage is five (or more) kilos under the weight limit will be able to ‘exchange’ their unused kilograms for litres of water that will be delivered to Cape Town on their behalf.
“By simply exchanging unused luggage kilos for water, we hope to ‘airlift’ around 5 000 litres of drinking water to the city in a matter of hours. It is this kind of ingenuity that has made us a global leader in intelligent water management,” says Govender.
The AirDrop collection stand on the Cape Town side will be in the arrivals area, opposite Woolworths. Uncollected water will be donated to Gift of the Givers.
It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Professor Richard van der Ross, a Freeman of the City of Cape Town.
He passed away this morning at the age of 96.
Professor Van der Ross was awarded the Freedom of the City, the highest civic honour, on 5 September 1988.
The Freedom of the City recognises the extraordinary contributions or acts of service to our city and its residents. These include upholding the rights of others, serving their community above themselves, and contributing to nation-building through outstanding service and achievements.
Professor Van der Ross was a recipient of the Freedom of the City along with other great giants including former President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.
Van der Ross was a great son of Cape Town who made an immense contribution to the city as a teacher and activist during Apartheid, the first editor of the Cape Herald, and the rector of the University of the Western Cape. Most recently in 2016, he released his book, ‘In Our Own Skins: A Political History of the Coloured People’.
This is a great loss to the city and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his two children, Ben van der Ross and Freda Brock, and his seven grandchildren, family and friends.
They are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Golden Arrow Bus Services will regrettably be increasing its passenger fares by an average of 7% as of 25 December 2017. Pensioner fares and most off peak fares will not increase.
This adjustment has largely been necessitated by soaring fuel costs and has only been considered after all other cost absorption measures have been explored and exhausted.
Over the last 12 months the diesel price has increased by 12%, while the nationally determined wages increased by 9%. These two cost items make up approximately 74% of Golden Arrow’s total costs. This is further compounded by the cumulative shortfall in funds from the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) subsidy allocation, which has not been in line with the contracted escalation rate.
Despite this we have continued with our fleet recapitalization and over the last twelve calendar months, 65 buses have been added to the fleet at a cost of approximately R140 million. This programme will continue in 2018.
A decision to increase bus fares is never taken lightly or without careful consideration, but in this case it is simply unavoidable. We have however done everything possible to minimise the impact on our passengers by keeping the increase as low as possible and by excluding pensioner fares and most off peak fares.
The impending fare increase was also discussed with all our passenger forums at an end of year meeting held on 11 November and there was a general acceptance of the rationale outlined by the Company.
Passengers can postpone paying the increased fares until 07 January 2018 in the case of 10-ride clipcards (which are valid for 14 days) bought on Sunday 24 December 2017 and until 30 January 2018 in the case of monthly clipcards (valid for 37 days) bought on the same date.
Golden Arrow continues to strive to provide the highest quality service possible to its passengers, and despite the increase, bus travel remains a viable public transport alternative to travelling by private vehicle.
A schedule with details of selected fares is attached, alternatively the new fares can be obtained from Golden Arrow’s call centre on 0800 65 64 63.