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At least 276 people are now known to have died in a massive bomb attack in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday.

A Turkish military plane is meeting victims, tweets Somali ambulance service Aamin Ambulance.

Officials say some people are then being evacuated to Turkey for medical treatment.

It is the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007.

President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed blamed the attack on the group, calling it a “heinous act”.

No group has yet said it was behind the bombing.

Full story here:


In recent days, we have witnessed extreme weather episodes in parts of the country that have left a trail of devastation. Elsewhere, hurricanes, earthquakes, runaway wildfires and volcanic eruptions have made headlines in the last few weeks.

The drought in large parts of South Africa, the Western Cape and Cape Town is well documented. Indications are that these extreme weather events are likely to become more commonplace as a result of climate change.

Against this backdrop, the message and efforts aligned to International Disaster Risk Reduction Day today become even more important. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction uses the day on 13 October to highlight initiatives that promote disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The theme this year is ‘Home Safe Home’ and focuses on the contribution that communities can make in safeguarding themselves, their homes, and their livelihoods in the event of natural disasters.

The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre conducts ongoing education and awareness drives regarding potential disasters as part of its mandate. In the last financial year, this included: Continue reading

Lights, camera, action is the order of the day in the Mother City as was highlighted at the opening of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival last night. The filming industry is exceeding expectations, with the City of Cape Town issuing around 7 000 permits each year for the last two years. 


The current boom in the filming industry has the potential to create additional economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMMEs. The trend has clearly been sustained over multiple years and looks set to follow the same pattern during this financial year (2017/18). Cape Town’s variety of locations, competitive film tariffs, and production costs underpin the city’s attractiveness as a filming destination.

The thousands of permits issued by City of Cape Town were for various film shoots, with the bulk being issued for the following filming categories:

  2016/17 2015/16
Production category Number of permits issued Number of permits issued
Micro-shoot 2 678 2 678
Commercials 1 811 2 184
Stills photography 1 729 1 703
Feature film 314 228
Television series 177 167
Short film 123 42

Continue reading

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 12: Alice Kgosana and Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille at the renaming of De Waal Drive to Philip Kgosana Drive South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – OCTOBER 12: Alice Kgosana and Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille at the renaming of De Waal Drive to Philip Kgosana Drive South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie)


The following speech was delivered by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the unveiling of Philip Kgosana Drive today, following a Council resolution earlier this year to rename De Waal drive after the struggle leader.

It really is an honour for me to be here with all of you today to celebrate a gentle giant, Philip Kgosana, who would have celebrated his 81st birthday today.

Philip spent some of his youth days in Langa and as a student at the University of Cape Town, he rose to prominence in politics here in Cape Town as the regional secretary of the Pan-Africanist Congress. For these reasons, he is very much a son of Cape Town.

He was a humble man, a servant of this country who sacrificed a lot in his life for what he believed in: the liberation of the people of South Africa from an oppressive apartheid regime. Continue reading

The number of active police reservists has sharply declined by 84% since 2008.  The decimation of the active reservist service is cause for concern and I will now be referring this matter to the Provincial Police Ombudsman for investigation in terms of his oversight powers and duties as set out in the Western Cape Community Safety Act.

Replies to my Parliamentary Questions reveal that since 2008, the Western Cape had 5059 active reservists, but this number has dwindled to a paltry 829, which is an 84% decline in the number of active reservists serving the police and our communities.

The decline in the number of reservists called up on duty with pay has also decreased dramatically. In 2008, the number of instances where reservists were called up on duty with pay totalled 22 159, but this number has also been in decline since. This year, zero reservists have been called up with pay.

While the number of active reservists and call-ups are in decline, the South African Police Service has also in effect stopped recruiting reservists, in spite of a new recruitment policy and public statements otherwise. Zero police reservists have been recruited in the Western Cape in the last five years, and only one reservist was re-recruited.

The SAPS informs us that in 2016, there were 461 applicants awaiting training, however by 2017 zero had been recruited. This year, in 2017, there have been 434 applicants who are also awaiting training. The Western Cape is the most under-resourced province with 85% of our stations being under-staffed. Continue reading


Commuter rail – the backbone of public transport in Cape Town – is on the brink of total collapse. Given the severity of the situation and the fact that 54% of commuter journeys are made by passenger rail, the City of Cape Town intends to request that the National Department of Transport (DoT) expedite the assignment of the urban rail function to the City, pending Council’s approval by the end of this month. Read more below:

Commuter rail in Cape Town is on the brink of total collapse.

The acute decrease in the number of passengers making use of commuter rail confirms the escalating decline that we have witnessed since 2015.

Passenger rail numbers in Cape Town have fallen by 30% from 2015/16 to 2016/17. According to the latest data received from Metrorail, there were on average 2,7 million fewer rail journeys in Cape Town per month in 2016/17 when compared with 2015/16.

Commuters have been and are still fleeing from passenger rail as they cannot rely on the trains to travel to and from work:
· Punctuality is virtually non-existent with four out of every 10 trains (43%) being on time when the international norm is 80%
· Personal safety and security is compromised – 26% of the complaints registered with the Transport Information Centre relate to inadequate security
· At least one out of every 10 trains (11%) is cancelled on a daily basis
· By April 2017, Metrorail was short of 20 train sets – the service was operating on 68 sets as opposed to the 88 train sets required to run an efficient service

Passenger rail is the backbone of public transport in Cape Town. More than half of all commuter journeys – that is 54% – are made by train. However, Metrorail’s data confirms that thousands of commuters have been displaced to road-based transport – be it private vehicles, minibus-taxis or buses – over the past two years.

We are facing a real risk that passenger rail in Cape Town could effectively collapse before the DoT’s National Rail Policy (draft White Paper) of June 2017 is finalised to devolve the management of passenger rail to municipalities. This could take another two to three years. Continue reading


Several key summer water-saving initiatives are set to kick off soon. The City’s focus is on local and international tourism especially, alongside the existing city-wide drought interventions. Read more below:

Dam storage levels are at 37,8%, with useable water at 27,8%. Consumption remains too high at 607 million litres of collective usage per day. This is 107 million litres above the crucial consumption target of 500 million litres per day. Alongside the implementation of disaster plans, such as water rationing which is currently under way, bringing on board emergency augmentation projects, and restricting high water usage, water saving awareness is being enhanced ahead of the traditional peak usage in summer.

The City of Cape Town will shortly be launching one of its key initiatives which we are calling the ‘Save like a local’ campaign. This will be used to drive awareness about the serious drought crisis, especially among visitors, while at the same time keeping the message as light and inspirational as possible.

The City will rely heavily on the tourism sector to spread awareness. The campaign will include airport billboards in multiple international languages and branded flags in the CBD and Waterfront areas. Mobile billboards on beaches and at tourist centres will also be used to amplify the message that Cape Town is a water-scarce region which is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history.

The City asks all tourism and related businesses to consider adding contextual digital adverts to their website homepages and booking technology to drive awareness.

‘As for local tourism, all options are being explored to spread the awareness at road entry points to the Western Cape and Cape Town. We have also started reaching out to cellphone service providers to see how they can come on board to assist us to call on our visitors and locals to save water. Continue reading

04 October 2017
Release: Immediate

Western Cape residents and relevant stakeholders have until tomorrow, 5 October 2017, to make their final written submissions on the Western Cape Housing Development Amendment Bill.

All submissions should be made to Ms Shumeeze Jones, Committee Coordinator, 4th Floor, 7 Wale Street, Cape Town 8000 by no later than Thursday 5 October 2017.

Thusfar, I am pleased with the fruitful engagement the Standing Committee on Human Settlements had with the stakeholders during the three public hearings which were held, earlier this month in George, Saldana Bay and here in Cape Town at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

The purpose of the Amendment Bill is for land or immovable properties to be acquired or disposed of, to further ensure that further housing opportunities are created for residents in the Province; to disestablish the current Western Cape Housing Development Fund (WCHDF) established by section 13 of the Act, seeing that it is dormant and no funds are being deposited in it and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

Based on the positive and insightful written and oral feedback that was received, it clearly demonstrates that the Act in its current form has to be amended.

Once we have received and collated all written and oral submissions, the Standing Committee on Human Settlements will consider and deliberate before a decision is taken on the Bill.

As the DA in the Western Cape we remain committed to not only delivering houses, but to build inclusive communities which residents can be proud of and enjoy.


At around 18:00 yesterday evening, 2 October 2017, a mob attacked one of the City of Cape Town’s Dial-a-Ride (DAR) vehicles at the corner of Symphony Way and Stellenbosch Arterial.

The windows of the vehicle were stoned. Inside, four commuters with special needs were sitting strapped in their seats with nowhere to go. These commuters are among the most vulnerable members of our society as they need special care – either because they are using wheelchairs, or are blind or partially sighted. The DAR service is a contracted service provided by the City for those residents with special needs who cannot make use of conventional public transport services.

I am shocked and horrified by this attack.

I cannot begin to imagine the fear these commuters must have felt while being attacked – three of them are wheelchair users and one commuter is blind. Continue reading

The National Department of Water and Sanitation, who is the custodian of national water resources, has sent an instruction to all water users of the Western Cape Water Supply Scheme, such as the metro, the agricultural sector and other municipalities in the Western Cape, to reduce usage further.

Water usage must be cut immediately to 500 million litres of collective usage per day. The City of Cape Town will also increasingly intervene in an effort to force consumption down. Collective usage is at 618 million litres per day. This is 118 million litres above the necessary consumption target.

According to the new National Government restriction targets, the City, as an urban user, must reduce its usage by 40%. To date, the national restriction has been 20%, which the City met successfully.

‘A reduction of 40% would equate to about 520 million litres of collective usage per day. As can be clearly seen, the City has been ahead of the curve by already having a target in place that is even lower than the new restriction target. This has been in an effort to act conservatively, proactively and to base our modelling on a worst-case scenario. Continue reading

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