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The City of Cape Town today, 20 November 2018, signed an urban wastewater management loan to the value of approximately R1,3 billion with the German government-owned KfW Development Bank. The loan, which was offered at a highly subsidised fixed interest rate of 8.107%, will be used to finance the expansion and refurbishment of some of the City’s 25 wastewater treatment plants over the next few years. Read more below:

This unsecured loan is payable over 15 years to spread the related costs over the lifetime of the wastewater projects to limit any undue burden on the ratepayer. All costs associated with taking up the loan have been considered in terms of affordability in advance.

Earmarked wastewater treatment plant projects include: Zandvliet, Cape Flats, Bellville, Macassar, Potsdam, Melkbosstrand, Mitchells Plain, Borchard’s Quarry, Hout Bay, Scottsdene, Wildevoevlei and Gordon’s Bay.

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City’s new mobile X-ray service improves patient care

The City of Cape Town’s Health Department is taking more services to more communities with the introduction of a new computerised mobile X-ray vehicle. The state-of-the-art unit was unveiled last week. Read more below:

The City’s X-ray service has come a long way from its one fixed room at the Chapel Street Clinic and four mobile vans at a time when X-rays were used as a screening tool for Tuberculosis (TB).

The new mobile X-ray unit is fully computerised and hard copies of images can be printed if required. The computerized X-ray machines are loaded with high-tech features that produce high-quality images in a short time.

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The City of Cape Town has made good progress with the Kommetjie Road Project, one of our flagship interventions to relieve congestion in the Kommetjie area in the Far South. Apart from the ongoing improvements to the road infrastructure, local residents have also benefitted from temporary work opportunities to the value of over R5,1 million since the start of the project to date. Read more below:

‘Residents from Kommetjie and Noordhoek would’ve noticed that we’ve started placing the asphalt layers on the newly constructed lanes along Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapse Weg last week. This marks an important milestone as the groundwork from the past 24 months or so is finally becoming visible, and hopefully this also gives the locals some satisfaction for enduring the inconvenience that goes with roadworks in general,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Alderman Felicity Purchase.

The Kommetjie Road Project is part of the City’s Congestion Management Programme and is due for completion by the end of 2019, pending any unforeseen challenges. The budget for this project is R194 million and approximately R100 million has been spent to date.

‘Apart from the improvements to the road infrastructure and the congestion relief this project will bring, one of the current and most important benefits is the temporary jobs that have been provided to local residents as part of the contract. Up to 45 local residents are currently employed as temporary workers on this project. In fact, since this project started in October 2016 to date, more than R5,1 million has been paid to men and women from the area who have been employed as temporary workers.

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The Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, and the Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, today expressed their anger, following a gang-related shooting incident in Ravensmead on Saturday, which saw the loss of one community member and four wounded minors.

The deceased, Ferdie Samuels aged 25, was standing outside when a car with an unknown registration number stopped in front of him and opened fire. The children, upon hearing the noise, ran outside and were caught in the cross fire. The suspect re-entered his vehicle and fled the scene.

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The recovery came during an operation along the Atlantic Seaboard, which is one of several in the past week that netted 131 suspects. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service arrested 131 suspects in the last week and issued 8 299 fines for various offences.

Of those arrested, 120 were motorists caught driving under the influence of alcohol at various roadblocks across the metropole. The highest number of arrests at a single roadblock occurred in Table View on Thursday 15 November 2018 where 22 motorists were taken into custody.

‘We’re heading into the period of year-end parties and general festive season merriment. My appeal to members of the public is to be mindful of their behaviour and to drink responsibly. There are so many different options available to us these days and I commend those people who have changed their behaviour by using private taxis or designated drivers to get to and from their destinations. However, the reality is that far too many people are still taking chances; often with devastating consequences,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

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Universal Children’s Day is an opportunity to create awareness on the importance of all children, including those living with a disability and to reflect on where society has failed them, says Lusito School principal, Deolinda Molina.

“As we celebrate Universal Children’s Day on November 20, let us remember that children are the future leaders of our world and only with our guidance, care, and nurturing, can they positively change our society. Unfortunately, children living with disabilities are often not seen or are forgotten in the eyes of society,” says Molina.

The 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes that children with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments should enjoy the same human rights and freedoms as other children. The Convention further explains, in all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration, with children living with disabilities having the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them.

The purpose of Universal Children’s Day is to highlight the progress being made towards the realisation and promotion of rights of children, whilst the South African government also declared the first Saturday of November as National Children’s Day, aimed at protecting them against abuse and violence.

But Molina says the lived reality of children living with disabilities is far from ideal.

“Due to the lack of data and research on child disability, not only in this country, but the world as a whole, the creation of effective policies and programmes that could be aimed at bettering the children’s lives is lacking. Add to that the stigma they have to put up with, and lack of infrastructure and resources that make navigating everyday life that much more difficult,” Molina explains.

Molina further explains that violence against children has a severe impact on South Africa’s economy.

“A report by Save the Children, says that the estimated economic value of disability-adjusted life years lost due to violence against children (including fatal and non-fatal) in 2015 totalled R202 billion.”

To lessen the load children living with disabilities faced, and create a conducive environment where learners could feel accepted, the Lusito Association, in 1979 launched the Lusito School, an establishment committed to improving the lives of differently abled children, with a mission of equipping each learner with the best possible skills to allow them to effectively progress through their lives.

“As Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF said: ‘All children have hopes and dreams including children with disabilities. All children deserve a fair and just opportunity to transform their dreams into a reality’. The Lusito School is but one entity, government has a huge onus to draft up and implement policies that will ensure all children are carted and cared for in South Africa, including children living with disabilities,” Molina concludes.

The City of Cape Town’s Bellville Library celebrates its 100th birthday next week. The library has grown from a building on the Elsies Kraal River to the landmark building in Charl Malan Street and boasts more than 11 000 patrons. Read more below:

The City’s Bellville Library will be celebrating its centenary with a range of events next week which caters for its 11 495 patrons who range in age from five months to 91 years old.

Bellville Library came into service in 1918 and was first housed in a building in Durban Road on the banks of the Elsies Kraal River with members required to pay an annual subscription fee.

A free public library service came to Bellville in 1964 in what is now Kruskal Avenue, but 25 years later the present library in Elizabeth Park was built. There is still some of the Kruskal history left, as some of the shelves are still being used in today’s Bellville Library.

‘Bellville is one of our flagship libraries and it is truly a beacon within the community. It is more than just a space for books and provides a place where knowledge can be promoted and where residents can interact, learn, hone skills and acquire new hobbies. All libraries play a significant role in our lives and help to shape our world view. Bellville has also shown us that librarians are not just your original search engines, they’re also innovators,’ said Alderman Smith.

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Today, it was reported in the Cape Argus that there are “allegations of abuse and financial mismanagement” against the CEO of the Amy Foundation, Kevin Chaplin. Further, that the staff of the Amy Foundation are calling for an audit, after a protest in front of its Athlone offices.

It should be noted that the Amy Foundation, which provides after-school care, is non-compliant for a number of reasons. However, the Provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) has made no allegations of abuse or financial mismanagement.

Amy Foundation’s registration expired in December 2017 and has not been renewed. For this reason, the Provincial DSD is no longer funding the Foundation. The Early Learning Resource Unit, a contracted social service provider who is assisting with the administrative process of registration, received all outstanding documents on 6 November for reregistration and will be doing on an onsite visit very soon to conclude this process. Their funding compliance documents are also outstanding including their first and second progress reports and their audited financial statements.

This saga follows an article on 7 November, in the Cape Argus, where the same Amy Foundation CEO Kevin Chaplin, was quoted saying, “new processes through the Department of Social Development are putting many of the well-established and respected organisations in jeopardy.” This is couldn’t be further from the truth.

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The leadership of Western Province Rugby has moved to distance themselves from reports of a mooted 25% salary cut for all staff, management and players earning more than R 20 000 a month and related equity participation in the commercial arm of Western Province Rugby.

The proposal, which was tabled by WPRFU Deputy President Zelt Marais, is not the official position of Western Province Rugby and does not have the support of the majority of the WPRFU Executive Committee or the Board.

While there are significant financial challenges in the current landscape, Western Province Rugby’s leadership moved to allay the concerns of staff, players and management as the proposal is not an option that the majority believe will be to the benefit of the Group in the long term.

Western Province Rugby currently has a commercial turnaround strategy in place and remains committed to the process adopted.

Although cash flow remains a challenge for Western Province Rugby and other rugby unions at present, the WPRFU are in the unique position of owning a number of unencumbered, high-value properties, which are intended to be utilised for the financial benefit of the Group.

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City clears the decks for the festive season

The City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Department has set in motion the disposal of thousands of litres of alcohol.

The disposal of the alcohol is symbolic of one of the biggest public safety headaches for the City, but also other enforcement and emergency service providers in Cape Town over the festive season.

In the previous financial year, our staff confiscated 16 926 bottles equating to 11 515,62 litres of alcohol.

Nearly half of the alcohol was confiscated on three priority days over the 2017/18 Festive Season: Continue reading

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