The City of Cape Town is focusing its resources on poverty alleviation and the sustainable delivery of services to the poorest communities of the city. These priorities are reflected in our Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which provides the vision for a better life with firm goals for creating a healthier, more liveable city.
The IDP illustrates how urban growth is associated with deterioration in air and water quality, which is particularly evident in the growth of poorly serviced informal settlement areas.
Air pollution is a key factor that affects the health of a city. In Cape Town, we have become accustomed to the south-easter wind, which, we may wrongly believe, rids the city of its air pollution.
"Air Quality in Cape Town" (Video clip, 10min, 12mb, WMV, 320x240)
(This video clip describes the status of air quality management in the City of Cape Town, the brown haze, the various sources of air pollution, the Air Quality Management Plan, the objectives of the plan as well as various initiatives in place to address air pollution such as the diesel vehicle testing programme and the Air Pollution Control By-law.)
Air pollution levels are frequently high in our informal areas and even inside shacks, which exposes children, women and the elderly to dangerous levels of air pollution. In winter, regular episodes of the so-called ’brown haze’ are a common sight as we look across the Cape Flats to the mountains that border our city. These episodes and levels of air pollution represent a major health risk to our citizens and portray Cape Town in a negative way to visitors, tourists and residents. As the custodians of our city and its people, the City of Cape Town has a responsibility to address the causes of air pollution and eliminate the risks to the health of our people. The information on these web pages presents the first milestone in our efforts to challenge the causes of air pollution and to minimise its effects.
The City is committed to developing and implementing an Air Quality Management Plan, which will form part of the IDP. By identifying and addressing the causes of air pollution, we make Cape Town a better place to live in for everyone. This process is in line with our constitutional responsibilities as local lovernment and, perhaps more importantly, with the perception of residents that air pollution is one of the key environmental challenges faced by Cape Town.
By contributing and participating in this process we will provide a cornerstone, ensuring that we can implement changes and work together to reduce pollution.
All the citizens of Cape Town are called upon to join in this challenge to address air pollution. Everyone has a role to play and each of us can contribute to making “Cape Town the city with the cleanest air in Africa.”