The following speech was delivered by the City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the full Council meeting today, 24 August 2017.
· The Water Resilience Task Team has developed and executed plans to reduce water consumption and to augment the water supply system
· The City will invest over R2 billion in new desalination, ground water extraction and water reuse plants; and another R1,3 billion in operational costs in the next two financial years
· A new Water Resilience Advisory Committee, with experts from academia, the business sector, and NGO sector, was established to advise the Mayor and the City on water resilience
· The City has done R13,6 billion worth of business with BBBEE-compliant vendors in the past financial year – that’s 92,7% of the City’s purchase orders
· The City’s budget is placed under unnecessary strain due to increased levels of vandalism to community facilities and infrastructure
· The City spent R1 million to renovate the Hanover Park Clinic after it was vandalised. The clinic has a new tuberculosis (TB) wing
Mr Speaker I would like to call for a moment of silence for Tyrell Arendse, a seven-year-old I met two years ago who was suffering with Batten disease and passed away on Sunday; ANC MP Timothy Khoza who passed away in a car accident in Paarl; 16-year-old Octavia Johannessen who was killed during the gang violence shootings in Hanover Park last week; the women and children who lost their lives due to abuse; and the fire and road accident victims in our city.
Mr Speaker, as we all know, the drought crisis is still gripping our city and as of this week, we have 22,5% useable water left in our dams.
It is once again shocking to note the collective consumption of 629 million litres of water per day, which is 129 million litres above the target of 500 million litres per day needed to build reserves for the expected harsh summer ahead.
As part of our drought interventions, the City is undertaking a range of measures including large-scale pressure reduction as well as installing water management devices to restrict the usage at extremely high consumption properties across Cape Town to 350 litres per day.
I started the roll-out of the water management devices with the teams at two properties in Constantia and one in Claremont last week.
Since last Wednesday, the teams have been installing water management devices at other high consumption properties in areas including Durbanville, Southfield, Retreat, Oakdale, Rondebosch, Maitland, Elsies River, Crawford, Three Anchor Bay and Parklands.
The abuse of water by these households is unacceptable and unfair on the majority of residents who are employing every means possible to reduce their consumption.
Since July, we have sent more than 21 500 letters to excessive users. It is outrageous that we are still seeing households where consumption per household was between 60 000 and 120 000 litres per month.
We are pleased that many households who received warning letters also wrote to us to inform the City that they had found a leak on their properties and had it repaired and we again remind residents that detecting and repairing leaks on their property is their responsibility.
Mr Speaker, as I communicated at a media briefing last week, we are making progress in advancing water resilience with our plan to secure an additional 500 million litres of drinking water per day through alternative sources.
But before we got here, the City has been proactive about water demand management and we have in fact had water restrictions in place for the past 15 years as part of our water demand management which won an international award in 2015.
Restrictions were intensified from the beginning of 2016 as per the accepted technique during extended periods of low rainfall because without these restrictions, Cape Town we would have run out of water a long time ago.
This is the quickest and most cost-effective way to ensure that we stretch our water supplies.
In terms of our Water Resilience Strategy, I would like to report back to Council following the resolution taken at the May Council meeting.
Over the last 11 weeks, under the leadership of the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) and with the support of the Water Resilience Task Team created by Council, a portfolio response has been developed and supported by professional consultants – some of whom have experience in responding to droughts in other parts of the world, including Australia and California. The CRO can deliver the presentation to the various party caucuses.
Various programmes, each with associated initiatives, have been established over the emergency and tactical phases which run until the end of June 2018, and the strategic phase which runs from July next year onwards.
In terms of the outcomes of the work undertaken by the Water Resilience Task Team thus far, we received more than 100 submissions from the private sector in response to the Request for Information (RFI) process.
The proposed solutions offered through the RFI process were varied, including desalination at various scales, inclusive of container solutions, barges and ships, water reuse technology at various scales, aquifer and borehole options, engineering and infrastructure options.
Following technical scrutiny of the submissions, experts were able to determine, with a significantly higher degree of clarity, the feasibility of commissioning various options and the time it would take, if procured, to deliver the options.
Importantly, the technical experts were also able to improve understanding of the costs involved. An extensive procurement plan is now in place and procurement has commenced.
From information obtained from the RFI, along with expert work done by our consultants and own staff, we envisage that for the immediate phases, the capital expenditure over this financial year and the next financial year will be in the region of R2 billion and the operating expenses will be upwards of R1,3 billion.
The first tender was issued last week on 16 August 2017, and for the next several weeks the full number of tenders will be issued.
Bid specification committees have been appointed, the development of bid specifications is in progress, and the bids are registered on the demand register.
Each batch of tenders will be processed as quickly as possible. Council has provided the administration with permission to use emergency procurement mechanisms in order to ensure that Cape Town is able to achieve a safe supply of water.
Within the rules of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), budgetary provisions for augmentation will need to be increased and reprioritised.
A variety of technologies will be introduced to augment the system and commissioning dates vary according to staging of procurement and complexities related to installation and site preparation.
For the immediate phases to get to the 500 million litres per day, 350 million litres will come from desalination, 100 million litres from ground water extraction, and 50 million litres from water reuse.
These augmentation schemes are in addition to planned augmentation of 10 million litres per day from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer and one million litres per day from the Oranjezicht Spring.
Where new water augmentation installations require licensing, inclusive of environmental authorisations and water use licences, these are being sought from the relevant competent authorities including the National Department of Environmental Affairs and the National Department of Water and Sanitation. Our officials have already made the two national departments aware of the extent of the authorisations that will be sought.
I was meant meet the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, yesterday to bring the City’s licensing applications to her attention but our meeting was cancelled and we will ensure that we meet with her as soon as possible.
Our efforts to mitigate the impacts of the current drought will receive a boost, with the addition of R20,8 million towards the City of Cape Town’s emergency disaster relief.
The City has been informed by the National Disaster Management Centre in the Department of Cooperative Governance that an amount of R20,8 million will be transferred to the City of Cape Town for emergency disaster relief.
We are extremely grateful to the Department for this contribution and thank them for coming on board to assist us with this very important task to supplement our water supplies.
Mr Speaker, Council provided a mandate for the creation of a Water Resilience Task Team and the Section 80 Water Resilience Advisory Committee be established to provide input into the Water Resilience measures and advise the task team and the Executive Mayor accordingly.
A report on the members of the Advisory Committee, which includes experts from a broad range of sectors and community members, is before Council today for ratification.
We are moving as swiftly as we can to build a water-resilient Cape Town and again I want to assure councillors and the residents of our city that we will not allow a well-run city to run out of water.
I ask that councillors help us to take this plan far and wide to keep residents updated in line with our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan principles of being a proactive, responsive and customer-centric administration.
Speaking of a well-run city, I am pleased to share with Council today some of the successes in terms of our financial and supply chain management.
The latest report on the City’s supply chain management (SCM) practices highlights integrity and transparency of the system.
For the 2016/17 financial year, the City of Cape Town received 2 704 tender submissions. There were 73 appeals lodged against the award of tenders and the Appeals Authority upheld appeals against 10 tenders.
We are extremely proud of our achievements in this vital area of governance.
Our statistics show that there remains a high degree of accuracy in our SCM processes and it further demonstrates that there is a solid level of public satisfaction in us as a government.
Compliance is enforced via a rigorous tender evaluation and award process. The City’s Bid Adjudication Committee meetings are also open to the public and therefore highly transparent.
Mr Speaker, we are also proud of the contribution that the City’s purchase orders bring to transformation by enabling companies to employ and empower more people through the work they do for the City.
For the financial year ending June 2017, the City has done R13,6 billion worth of business with BBBEE-compliant vendors. This means that more than 92,7% of the City’s purchase orders were placed with BBBEE-compliant vendors. This is up from R10,77 billion or 87% of total purchase orders in the 2013/14 financial year.
This is part of our commitment to redress through empowerment and economic inclusion.
I would like to thank the City Manager, Achmat Ebrahim, the Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Jacoby, and the Director of Supply Chain Management, Basil Chinasamy, and his team for their excellent work.
Mr Speaker, before us today is also the Adjustments Budget which the MFMA allows for in order to authorise spending of funds that were unspent at the end of the past financial year, where the under-spending could not reasonably have been foreseen at the time to include project roll-overs when the annual budget for the current year was approved by Council.
I will present the adjustments budget when the item is tabled later this morning.
Mr Speaker, each year our budget is also placed under unnecessary strain due to what we have again seen in the past few weeks, with increased levels of vandalism to community facilities and infrastructure.
It simply cannot be justified and tolerated that the very services that people are asking for and have waited for are destroyed in violent protests. We approve so many permits for protests and gatherings each week because we believe in the rule of law and the right to protest. There is no need for any community to resort to violence or for opportunists to break down what we have spent years and millions of rands on building.
The City has to use money that would have been spent on new services to repair and replace what was damaged.
In the past few days and weeks we have seen vandalism with the burning of the Masibambane community hall, while Councillor Anele Gabuza’s offices and house in Harare was attacked. This was part of an attempted land invasion by people from the Endlovini informal settlement. City staff members were also attacked by Endlovini protestors, while motorists were attacked on Baden Powell Drive.
We are also seeing a flare-up of land invasions in Khayelitsha and we have called on the community leaders to meet with mayoral committee members to resolve issues peacefully.
This past weekend, criminals targeted the Matthew Goniwe Clinic, Site B Male Clinic, and the Khayelitsha Environmental Health Department offices. To make matters worse, a City vehicle driven by an Environmental Health official was hijacked by three armed men and later recovered in Site B.
These incidents come just weeks after we highlighted several other incidents of theft and vandalism at our clinics.
Among the items stolen were computers needed to locate patient records and to capture clinical data and laboratory results, thus leading to increased waiting times for clients to be seen.
It is deeply disappointing that elements within the communities continue to hamper our progress in this manner.
To repair vandalised infrastructure is an incredible waste of money. The costs run into millions for several departments.
We are trying to build up our communities and on this course there are responsibilities for the City and for residents. None of us can walk around like a law unto ourselves.
In the end, it is thousands of people in our communities who suffer because of the destructive actions of a few.
We are trying everything to protect these community services, but it is also the duty of communities to take care of these facilities.
We have now expanded the facility protection officers pilot project which we launched earlier this year to curb vandalism and theft at 10 City facilities. It will now be expanded to hotspots across Cape Town.
During the pilot phase in Nyanga and Gugulethu earlier this year, with the appointment of 50 local neighbourhood watch members as facility wardens and eight auxiliary law enforcement officers, there have only been three cases of vandalism and theft from facilities, incurring damage of just over R70 000. This is compared with eight cases with damage incurred at just under R800 000 for the same period last year.
The City has dedicated a R20 million budget for the programme for this financial year for salaries, four weeks of training per recruit, equipment and vehicles. The number of staff will increase from the initial 58 to 224, comprising 64 auxiliary law enforcement officers as shift leaders and 160 facility wardens.
Mr Speaker, in Hanover Park and Manenberg our communities are living in fear because of gang violence and young children like Octavia’s lives are being cut short.
We condemn the violence and we are supporting the South African Police Service and doing all we can within our competencies to address these issues.
While we are suffering huge losses due to vandalism, we can thankfully still report on progress to areas like Hanover Park where the clinic is now operational after renovations. The Hanover Park Clinic was closed for three months while extensive renovations were completed to the tune of more than R1 million.
The funding for the project was made available through the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Project and I will be making further announcement on this project in the coming weeks.
Mr Speaker, we are delivering across the metro and earlier this month I had the honour of handing over keys to the beneficiaries of the Pella People’s Housing Project in Atlantis.
As always, it was so moving to see the excitement, relief and joy on the faces of the beneficiaries who waited so patiently for their turn.
Construction started in June and the project is moving swiftly as the first 25 families could move into their new homes at the beginning of August.
The R19,6 million projects will deliver homes for 180 families once completed in August 2018.
The People’s Housing Process is unique because the community was in control of constructing their own homes. The beneficiaries appointed their own service providers and procured building material for constructing their homes.
In Klipheuwel we had another great breakthrough when we were also finally able to switch on electricity for residents of the informal settlement.
This was a long battle as the residents were living on privately owned land since the late 1990s and neither the City nor Eskom could install electricity on privately owned land.
The area was the site of many protests and after endless meetings with the community and back and forth negotiations with the previous land owner, in February 2016, the City bought the land for R943 500. Eskom could then proceed with the electrification of the area for close to 800 families in Klipheuwel.
Mr Speaker, in order to continue bringing progress to even more communities, before Council today is a request to authorise the City to enter into new social housing partnership agreements and to advertise for social housing partnerships.
This will enable the City to pursue its strategy to facilitate the provision of affordable housing such as social and GAP housing in well-located parts of the city for people in low- and middle-income groups.
The City has entered into five-year partnership agreements with four social housing institutions namely, Madulammoho, the Social Housing Company (SOHCO), the Cape Town Community Housing Company, and Communicare.
The current partnership agreements with the four companies have expired and the City needs to enter into new agreements so that the companies can continue to work with the City to ensure that current and future projects are implemented without delay.
As part of our ODTP priorities to enhance service delivery, the City is in the process of upscaling and expediting the affordable housing programme and therefore needs more social housing partners.
We’ve had many successes with these partners in the past and these agreements hold a range of benefits, including allowing us to enter into performance agreements with the companies. We can continue the successful public-private partnership model for service delivery and the agreements stipulate the aims, goals and objectives of the parties regarding the delivery of affordable housing.
Mr Speaker, in closing, as we are commemorating Women’s Month, on Tuesday I visited the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children along with councillors where we donated about 50 new beds to the facility which provides a safe haven for hundreds of women and children each month.
I saluted these brave women for taking their lives into their own hands and walking away from abuse and potentially saving their lives and their children’s lives.
The City’s Social Development Department has a range of programmes in place to help rebuild families and family values and we are doing what we can within our competencies.
I want to make an appeal to councillors to remember that the social interventions are a very important part of the work we do.
Apart from the hard service delivery, we must do more to help women and children every day as we walk through our communities. We must look for more ways to help our residents so that we can put an end to this scourge.
I thank you.