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The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department, in partnership with the Western Cape Health Department, today  rolled out its first  universal access mat at Muizenberg beach. The Mobi-Mat, a roll-out walkway, is environmentally friendly, lightweight and creates easy access for wheelchairs and persons with walking aids within minutes.

In celebration of International Wheelchair Day on 1 March 2020, the City’s Recreation and Parks Department in partnership with the Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) Partnership Programme of the Western Cape Government, launched a universal access beach mat at Muizenberg Beach. The mat was donated by Western Cape Government Health via its WoW! Programme to support people with disabilities to get onto the sand and closer to the water.

Manufactured in France, the Mobi-Mat is environmentally friendly as it is made from 100% recycled polyester. Its lightweight roll-out technology, creates a pathway for outdoor access for wheelchairs, baby prams and walking chairs. The bright blue colour makes it easy to identify from a distance and the non-slip surface provides an easy transition from the pathway over the sand to the ocean. The length of the mat is approximately 50m and cost R390 000 to procure.

‘This is the launch of the first-ever Beach Access Mat in the province, accordingly, it is expected that the installation of the Mobi-Mat would facilitate the empowerment and social inclusiveness of persons with mobility impairments through their participation in coastal recreation and leisure activities. In addition, the mat should positively influence the attitudes that prevent differently-abled individuals from participating in the community, said the Western Cape Provincial Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.

‘As a Department, we recognised the need to give dignity and equal access to all members of society to our award-winning coastline. We are excited that these advancements in technology exist and would like to thank the WoW! Programme of the Western Cape Provincial Government who have so generously made this equipment available to us to improve the lives of those who depend on wheelchairs for mobility. Not only will make the beach more enjoyable for those with a disability/differently-abled, but it will also add value to mothers with baby strollers and the elderly,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

This project is being piloted at Muizenberg Beach which is the City’s flagship differently-abled-friendly beach. Muizenberg has demarcated parking for the disabled, ramps, hand railings, ablution facilities and an amphibious wheelchair, which helps those with a disability to submerge directly into the water.

“WoW! promotes inclusive healthy lifestyles for all. This specialised mat enables people using wheelchairs, and other aids for mobility, independent ease of access to the beach. The launch of the mat marks another step forwards towards co-creating inclusive healthy-lifestyle enabling environments. We are grateful to our partner, OCAL Global, for the support in procuring the Mobi-Mat” said Dr Frederick Marais, Deputy Director: Increasing Wellness, Western Cape Government.

The beach mat will now undergo a series of tests as part of the pilot project, and will only be available for public use once all legal documentation has been finalised. It is anticipated that this process will be concluded by the end of March 2020.

In addition to facility improvements, an important priority for the universal access project is to provide environmental education and awareness programmes for the differently-abled. Two programmes have already been developed: a rocky shore biodiversity programme for  those with a visualland physically disability and a waste programme adapted for the visually impaired.

The Department has also been conducting extensive research on universal access best practices around the world. An internal audit of all coastal facilities has since been conducted, in order to put a plan in place to ensure that as many beaches as possible become differently-abled-friendly.

“Developments and improvements in universal access to the City’s recreational nodes such as beaches and parks is a longstanding priority for the Recreation and Parks Department. Ultimately, the goal is to have these mats on every beach, although that will take some time to fund and implement”, said Cllr Badroodien.

For enquiries about universal access along the coast and any further queries, please contact the City’s Coastal Coordination Unit at beach.enquiries@capetown.gov.za.

For enquiries about the WoW! Healthy Lifestyles Partnership Programme, please contact team WoW! on wow@westerncape.gov.za

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Dams supplying the Cape metro have declined by 1,5% in the past week (17 February – 23 February 2020) bringing the level down to 65,9%. Read more below:

Water consumption for the same period has increased to 755 million litres/day. Consumption the previous week was at 743 million litres/day.

The recent acceleration in the rate at which dam levels are dropping is also due to hot and windy conditions which speed up the rate of evaporation.

As the city is still considered to be in a drought recovery phase, level one water restrictions are being maintained in order to protect current reserves.

‘The City last week held a press conference unveiling its Water Strategy in greater detail and shared an overview of where we are on our water journey towards Resilience, as well as a progress update on the Water Augmentation Schemes, and the outlook until 2022.

‘Rainfall data reflects that we are now in the fourth year of the drought, and in light of the significant uncertainties, the City must proceed with caution,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg.

The Water Strategy is an ambitious roadmap designed to steer Cape Town away from being in a precarious water security position again. Residents are encouraged to read the full strategy, which can be accessed online here: http://bit.do/WaterStrategy

Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for information relating to current water restrictions, guidelines around alternative water sources such as boreholes and rainwater tanks, tariff information, and other useful tools for enabling a water-wise city.

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If you were a fan of Apprentesses SA’s reality show, STER-STATUS, on VIA (DStv channel 147) last year and want to be a part of this year’s action, now is your chance… but you have to hurry, because entries close on 28 February 2020!

This program is the first of its kind in South Africa and focuses on preparing young women for life in the limelight by introducing them to the entertainment industry

Last year’s twelve finalists had to work their way through workshops, training sessions and various challenges, before Jaenette Jacobs of Pretoria was finally crowned as the winner… and she has not looked back since!

“Being on STER-STATUS taught me a lot about myself and to look at other people differently. It made me realize that you should never give up on your dreams and that you will reap the benefits of what you sow,” shares the beautiful brunette, who has already been cast in three music videos, including Snotkop and Ricus Nel’s popular hit Boerepompie, starred in her first television commercial for Paintmaster, spent time on the set of Getroud Met Rugby and has been selected as a brand ambassador for Wildebees clothing since winning the show.

Some of the other contestants who have also had great success include Theresho Makwiya who is now the face of Landine Professional; Jean-Marie Viljoen and Michélle Mostert who have also recently starred in music videos; and Natalene Makhubo, who landed a lash course at Flirt Lash & Beauty.

Jaenette will also be hosting the next season and is thrilled about this unique opportunity. “I feel privileged to be part of the next season and am looking forward to this exciting chapter in my career. It not only provides me with the chance to broaden my knowledge of the industry, but also to prepare for similar work opportunities in the future,” she says.

According to Tarien Cronjé, founder and executive director of Apprentesses SA, this year’s program promises to be even bigger and better than it was in 2019. “Due to the success of last year’s production, we are proud to announce that the show has now grown from six episodes to thirteen episodes! As a result, we added a raceway challenge and will also be shooting a short film, to challenge the participants and the industry and make things even more exciting,” Tarien explains.

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Branco du Preez will play in his 74th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament, Cecil Afrika his 63rd and Werner Kok his 50th, so it is fair to say that the Blitzboks will rock up at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Los Angeles with some serious experience for the HSBC LA Sevens on Saturday and Sunday.

On the other end of the Springbok Sevens scale you will find the likes of Sako Makata (seven tournaments) and Mfundo Ndhlovu (four tournaments), but both return to the USA leg of the circuit clear on what they need to do to add value to the Blitzboks’ effort on the weekend.

Makata is back in the tournament squad for the first time since June last year and Ndhlovu, the official reserve, also last played in Paris in 2019.

Makata made his World Series debut in Las Vegas a year ago and his second visit to the USA brings calm and determination to comply with his role and responsibility in the squad.

According to the former Sterling High School winger, now playing as a prop in the sevens code, getting back into the match day squad is a relief as well as a blessing.

He missed the start of the season due to an ankle injury and only made his return to the World Series last month, when he travelled to New Zealand and Australia as the official reserve. Makata was called into the squad in Sydney when Impi Visser was ruled out and played in the final against Fiji, which South Africa lost 12-10.

“I am excited to be back and that comes from some hard work behind the scenes, doing rehab and getting back to match fitness. I am pretty keen to contribute on the field now and give it my best shot,” the 22-year-old confessed.

The time off the field – excluding when he did rehabilitation and conditioning – was also spent watching the team play and learning from that, although only mentally.

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During his illustrious career, the Cape Town professor led ground-breaking research on the metabolism of the heart. He was known as one of the continent’s leading doctors before passing away last week. Read more below:

‘On behalf of the City of Cape Town, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Emeritus Professor Lionel Opie. Cape Town has been a place for innovation, having been the site of the first heart transplant, carried out by Dr Christiaan Barnard. Throughout his life, Emeritus Professor Opie worked on ground-breaking research to understand the biology of the human heart. He was a prolific researcher and worked closely with the late Dr Barnard. Opie’s passing is a great loss, but his innovative research has left a wealth of knowledge behind for the enrichment of the minds of future generations,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.

Born in 1933, Professor Opie obtained his medical degree at the University of Cape Town in 1955. He went on to study further at Oxford in 1957 and was also mentored by two Nobel prize winners, Professor Sir Hans Krebs at Oxford, and Professor Sir Ernst Chain at Imperial College, London. Opie published hundreds of scientific articles and books covering heart disease. He also made meaningful contributions to many other published works.

In 2006, he received the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver for his contribution to the field of cardiology.

In 2012, the University of Stellenbosch honoured Professor Opie with the degree Doctor of Science (DSc) for his contributions as an internationally acclaimed cardiologist as well as for his research work.

Opie’s passion for medicine and science never wavered and he remained active well into his golden years. We are grateful for his contribution to medical science.

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Mother City Comedy Festival

Thursday 27 February 2020, 8.45PM, Baxter Studio

Age Restriction: PG16

A comedy show about the funny side of a culture clash.  As if cohabitation between a man and a woman isn’t difficult enough, add two contrasting cultures trying to learn about each other in the multi-cultural epicenter of Cape Town and you have a laugh-a-minute show.

Within the current international obsession of who is right and who is wrong dominating our media, this show explores who all human beings are, at the core, the same – they just have different skin tones, languages, passports and ideas of appropriate footwear.
About Kurt Schoonraad …

Kurt Schoonraad is one of South Africa’s most instantly recognisable stand-up comedians. With his earthy humour
and comedic range he connects with audiences from every corner of South Africa, not to mention internationally,
even making the front page of the New York Times.

The actor and comedian says that hailing from Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s largest townships, was highly influential in developing his sense of humour and comedy style.

Kurt’s professional comedy career took off almost two decades ago. In that time he has been consistently
performing stand-up comedy onstage, and has also gone on to produce and perform his hugely successful one man
shows all over the country.

Kurt first earned attention as the quirky accidental tourist on the hit TV series “Going Nowhere Slowly”. He has since
been acknowledged as one of SA’s favourite TV personalities, hosting game shows, appearing in the well-known BBC
format “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Comedy Central presents Kurt Schoonraad”. He stars in various big
screen productions, with his most recent lead performance in the international award-winning South African movie
“Skeem”.

Kurt pioneered Cape Town Comedy Club from its humble festival origins, to its exciting permanent home at the
historic Pumphouse at the V&A Waterfront, becoming Cape Town’s only dedicated international stand-up comedy venue. The club was recently acknowledged as one of the ten best comedy clubs in the world.

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Two of the world’s best tennis players are set to do battle in the first ever tennis match at the Cape Town Stadium. Read more below:

Rafael Nadal is a 19-time Grand Slam singles champion

Fresh from competing in the Australian Open, 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will square off with long-time rival and 19-time Grand Slam singles champion Rafael Nadal.

The exhibition match, the sixth in the series, will be the first played on African soil under the auspices of the Roger Federer Foundation to raise funds for children’s education in Africa.

‘This event is a wonderful initiative that aims to give back to those less fortunate and, as the City of Cape Town, we are more than happy to lend our support especially to a cause that seeks to develop young people. As Africa’s leading festival and event destination, we are also very thrilled to be hosting this once-in-a-life-time spectacle’, said the City’s Executive Mayor Dan Plato.

In addition, event organisers will also attempt to break the world record for the most spectators to watch a single tennis match at the 50 000-seater Cape Town Stadium.

The City of Cape Town is contributing to this charitable cause by supporting the event in the form of City services.

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More than 56 000 fines issued as City clamps down on lawlessness

The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies issued more than 56 000 fines over the past week, with 164 people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Read more below:

‘Our departments have been ramping up efforts to stem the tide of lawlessness on our roads and in our communities. Traffic Service and the Metro Police Department issued more than 56 000 fines for various offences over the last five days for minor transgressions such as an expired license to more serious offences such as speeding, inconsiderate driving, jumping red traffic lights and stop street offences to name a few.

‘Clearly, people think they can get away with breaking the law as weekly our agencies arrest huge numbers of drunk drivers and fine thousands of others. The message is clear: the City’s Safety and Security Directorate will not allow the blatant disregard for law and order to continue,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

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