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Western Cape

Drought crisis: we must all be watch-dogs

Dam storage levels are now at 19,6%. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 9,6%. Disappointingly, consumption remains at 648 million litres per day, which is 48 million litres above the consumption target. Read more below:

While there is some rain predicted for this week, we need continuous rainfall over many weeks for our dam levels to reach sufficient levels. The City of Cape Town therefore appeals to residents and businesses to keep up water-saving measures and not to relax their efforts. The need to meet our water usage targets is becoming ever more pressing as we cannot be sure when we will get rains again, with the impacts of climate change being harshly felt in terms of reduced annual average rainfall.

For those who are looking to reduce their water consumption in innovative ways, the City will be running an expo at Canal Walk to showcase water-saving technologies from 10 – 11 June 2017. All residents who want to explore ways in which they can conserve water are encouraged to attend.

With the passing of Level 4 water restrictions, all outdoor use of drinking water has been banned. However, this on its own will not result in us meeting consumption targets. To meet our savings goals, we need every resident to limit their water use to no more than 100 litres per day. Those who exceed this target do so at the expense of other residents. We can only save water while we still have water to be saved and we need all residents to realise that this crisis can only be managed properly if everyone plays their part and reduces their consumption. Continue reading

City services and external agencies are on standby following a warning from the South African Weather Service of high rainfall, gale-force wind and possible snowfalls later this week. 

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has advised the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre that an intense cold front is expected to affect the Western and Northern Cape on Wednesday 7 June and Thursday 8 June 2017. The public are advised to expect heavy rain leading to flooding, gale-force coastal and interior winds, snowfalls, storm surges and high sea conditions. Below is a breakdown of the weather warnings issued by SAWS:

  • Heavy rain (50 mm of rain in a 24-hour period) is possible over the western parts of the Western Cape on Wednesday. The highest rainfall is expected particularly over the western mountainous areas. Further showers are expected in the west overnight into Thursday
  • The cold front may also lead to snowfalls over high-lying regions of the western half of the Western Cape and the southern high ground of the Northern Cape. Snowfalls are possible during Wednesdayafternoon/evening, but the majority of snowfalls are expected during Thursday. There are chances of some disruption as a result of these snowfalls
  • The intense cold front at the surface will cause gale-force winds (65 – 90 km/h) along the south-western coast on Wednesday, spreading to the southern coastline on Thursday. Gale-force winds can also be expected over the southern interior of the Northern Cape and most of the Western Cape interior where winds could reach 65 – 80 km/h
  • The effects of the weather system are also to be seen in the sea state, with high to very high seas and wave heights greater than 6 – 8 m expected south of Alexander Bay from Wednesday afternoon and reaching 9 – 12 m between Lamberts Bay and Cape Agulhas, spreading along the south coast by Thursday. These waves will also have high energy with the long wave period which will very likely cause storm surges and damage to the coastal regions all along the west and south-west coast and, to a lesser degree, the south coast due to the orientation of the bays and the westerly to south-westerly swell and wind conditions

Continue reading

Residents are advised that supply interruptions are now more likely due to intensified water pressure reduction measures. As such, residents should keep an emergency water supply on hand for drinking and basic hygiene. Furthermore, despite hoaxes to the contrary, municipal water remains safe to drink. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town advises residents that, in line with Level 4 restrictions, water pressure is being lowered further to the point where supply interruptions in higher-lying areas of the City’s supply zones will be experienced for short periods during the day.

As communicated before, we will lower the water pressure as part of our efforts to stretch our water supplies. We are now well into the winter season with no sufficient rain in sight and the City continues with its various plans to manage the drought crisis.

Furthermore, multi-storey buildings that do not make use of pumps and overhead tanks as required by the City’s building regulations are likely to experience supply problems. Residents are encouraged to approach their body corporates or managing agents to ensure that these systems are in place and operational.

‘The City’s aim with pressure management is to adjust our system so that as many people as possible are supplied at as low a pressure as possible. As we have never had to lower pressure to this level, reaching this equilibrium will require an element of trial and error,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements Water, and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. Continue reading

STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE

The following speech will be made by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, during the full Council meeting today, 31 May 2017.

Good morning, goeie dag, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

Mr Speaker,

Water is a vitally important resource in an urban environment.

It keeps our people healthy and hydrated; it is an input into economic production processes that support jobs and exports; and it ensures that our eco-systems are vibrant and supportive of all life.

Water is not to be taken for granted. To run out of useable water is to be presented with a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Over many decades, engineers and planners have built the water supply infrastructure in the city and in the surrounding areas that has served us well. This infrastructure and the associated water management techniques have previously navigated Cape Town through drought periods.

The drought we are currently experiencing is the most stubborn in recent history. It is a significant shock to the fabric our city and accentuates many other underlying stresses such as urbanisation.

We have had water restrictions in place since 2005, which were intensified in December 2015 – 18 months ago. These restrictions have gotten progressively tighter, which is the accepted technique of matching demand with availability during extended periods of low rainfall. Continue reading

With more than seven million tobacco-related deaths around the world every year, the City is committed to balancing the rights of smokers and non-smokers. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Health Department will put education and awareness in the spotlight to mark World No Tobacco Day tomorrow, 31 May 2017.

Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners use the day to highlight the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Tobacco is credited with more than seven million deaths a year. The WHO predicts that this figure could rise to more than eight million by 2030 unless action is taken.

In South Africa, City Health is one of a number of agencies responsible for monitoring compliance with the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act, but also raising awareness about the health and environmental risks associated with smoking.

Continue reading

Drought crisis warning: tougher restrictions imminent

Dam storage levels are now at 19,7%, which is 0,8% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 9,7%. Disappointingly, consumption remains at 666 million litres, which is above the consumption target of 600 million litres. While dam levels are low, the City assures residents that water remains safe to drink. 

We are currently in the most critical stage of this drought crisis, yet consumption remains too high. Residents are reminded to use water only for drinking, washing and cooking. Tougher restrictions will be implemented this week. The exact restrictions that will be passed must still be deliberated by Council, however a blanket ban on all irrigation, filling of pools and washing of cars with drinking water has been recommended (among other things) by the Mayoral Committee.

Notwithstanding restrictions, residents should please work towards the consumption target of under 100 litres per person per day. A five-minute shower can use between 40 litres and 70 litres, and flushing a toilet uses 6 – 21 litres, depending on the size of the cistern. One shower and five flushes of an average-sized toilet will push a person over their daily allowance, and this is not even taking into account other necessities such as drinking, cooking, and washing of clothes and dishes. As such, the City recommends limiting time under the shower to two minutes and only flushing the toilet when absolutely necessary.

Should residents be able to meet this level, a two-person household will use 6 kl during a billing cycle and a four-person household will use 12 kl during a billing cycle, and so on. Continue reading

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE BY THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN AND STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the City of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University has paved the way for the mixed development of the Bellville Park University property located along the N1 freeway. The MOA dovetails with the City’s efforts to ignite urban renewal, economic growth and job creation in Bellville. Read more below:

Stellenbosch University purchased a property of some 69 hectares (erven 23974 and 1682, Bellvile) from the former Bellville Municipality in 1982 with the specific objective of establishing a satellite campus in Bellville.

Part of the property currently accommodates the University’s Business School, the School of Public Leadership, the Division for Part-time Studies and the Bellvista Lodge, while another portion is occupied by a golf driving range and toboggan track.

The remainder of the property is vacant, although large areas of the site totalling approximately 23 ha are not suitable for urban development due to an old waste dump site and a quarry which have not been sufficiently stabilised.

‘The Memorandum of Agreement concluded between the City and the University now makes provision for the development of non-academic facilities such as offices, retail space and residential facilities on the property, in addition to academic uses as per the original purchase agreement. Continue reading

Drought crisis warning: Water use must be brought down by 100 million litres immediately

Dam storage levels are now at 20,7%, which is 0,7% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 10,7%. Consumption disappointingly remains at 93 million litres above the consumption target of 600 million litres. Read more below:

Water is only permitted for essential use.

The metro, as the largest water user of the Western Cape Water Supply System, has achieved the 20% savings target set by the National Department of Water and Sanitation. We thank all residents, businesses and government departments for their water saving efforts but we simply have to do a lot more as consumption remains too high.

We are asking all water users to reduce their water usage to 100 litres per person per day.

Cape Town is experiencing the harsh impacts of climate change, with reduced annual average rainfall and abnormal water patterns. No sufficient rain is predicted for the next three weeks.

In terms of stepping up our response to water leaks and complaints, the City of Cape Town has allocated R22 million to employ additional staff for our first-line response teams who are deployed to attend to water faults reported to our call centre.

Approximately 75 additional staff members have been employed to improve our response time to water complaints. These teams are able to identify the problem, do some repairs and/or isolate the leak, and call in the appropriate level of response to do major repairs.

The additional staff members are also deployed to deal with any water management device complaints and faults. Continue reading

Springbok tight forwards Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit are all in the DHL Stormers starting line-up to face the Blues at DHL Newlands on Friday.

Locks Etzebeth and Du Toit have both recovered from injury niggles whilst tighthead prop Malherbe was rested against the Hurricanes before last week’s bye as part of the Springbok management plan.

As a result Wilco Louw and Jan de Klerk will feature off the replacements bench, with the only other change to the forward pack coming at loosehead prop where Oli Kebble switches with Ali Vermaak to claim the starting spot.

In the backline Dillyn Leyds steps into the flyhalf role he performed in Wellingon when Rob du Preez was forced from the field with a torn pectoral muscle and a fit-again Seabelo Senatla takes his place out on the left wing.

Experienced centre Damian de Allende returns from an ankle injury to feature on the replacements bench alongside Brandon Thomson who will provide flyhalf cover for the clash with the Auckland side. Continue reading

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COMMUNICATION SERVES AS A CRITICAL WARNING TO ALL WATER USERS IN CAPE TOWN

Dam levels are now at 21,2% (storage levels), which is 0,8% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 11,2%. The latest consumption has jumped up again to 718 million litres, which is 118 million litres over the consumption target of 600 million litres. This communication serves as a critical warning to all water users in Cape Town to cut all non-essential use of water immediately. This is not a drill. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town warns all residents and businesses in Cape Town to cut non-essential municipal water use immediately. The City’s Mayoral Committee is expected to recommend to Council the implementation of Level 4 water restrictions tomorrow, 16 May 2017. This would entail a ban on all use of municipal water for outside and non-essential purposes.

‘We are essentially saying that you are only allowed to use a bit of water for drinking, cooking and washing. We are reaching a critical point in this drought crisis. Although we continue to work non-stop to force consumption down, overall use remains catastrophically high. This is not a request. We have seen huge saving-efforts, but the unseasonably hot autumn is exacerbating the situation and we must all do more. Continue reading

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