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City beefs up its air quality monitoring arsenalThe City of Cape Town has committed R1,2 million to procuring additional air quality monitoring equipment in the current financial year<p>The City of Cape Town has committed R1,2 million to procuring additional air quality monitoring equipment in the current financial year. This planned expenditure comes on the back of nearly R1,5 million spent in the last financial year to advance the work of our Air Quality Management Unit within the Specialised Environmental Health Department. This Department is a crucial role-player in ensuring that residents and visitors to Cape Town enjoy the right to clean air.</p><p>Our continued investment is particularly timely, considering that air quality is the theme of World Environmental Health Day which is being observed tomorrow, 26 September 2017. According to the World Health Organisation, infants and pre-schoolers who are exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution and second-hand smoke have an increased risk of pneumonia during childhood and a lifelong increased risk of chronic diseases, such as asthma, heart disease, stroke and cancer. I can personally attest to this, as someone who has been asthmatic for most of my life, having grown up in close proximity to a steel refinery.</p><p>The City’s Air Quality Management Unit focuses on the management of ambient air quality through the regulation of polluters in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act and the City’s Air Quality Management By-law. In addition, the City’s Scientific Services Department plays a crucial role in the scientific measurement of ambient air quality through a network of 13 community-based monitoring stations which measure the criteria pollutants prescribed in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.</p><p>Data obtained from the ambient air quality monitoring network has shown that Cape Town’s ambient air quality is generally in compliance with the annual ambient air quality standards. A total of 32 episode days were recorded in the last financial year in Wallacedene, Khayelitsha, Goodwood, the Foreshore, Bellville South and Table View. During the same period, two exceedances of the eight-hour running average for ozone were also recorded at the Atlantis and Plattekloof Reservoir monitoring sites. These episodes need to be seen in context and in comparison with those recorded on the Highveld where, for example, the Secunda monitoring station experienced 98 episode days and 1 130 ozone eight-hour running average exceedances.</p><p>The statistics show that our air quality is better than most, if not all other metros. It is, however, difficult to state this categorically as many metros are not able to consistently report reliable data.</p><p>In this regard, the City’s ambient air quality monitoring network is the most comprehensive of all local authorities, with just the City of Cape Town and eThekwini being in the position to contribute to the 2016 National State of Air Report.</p><p>The maintenance and replacement of our monitoring equipment is challenging as the air quality analysers are not only costly, but given that they have to be imported from the USA, Japan and Europe, there is an inevitable loss of data when a unit does fail.</p><p>As part of the financial investment in monitoring equipment, Scientific Services has also installed a camera monitoring system located on the Tygerberg Hills antennae to provide additional remote monitoring of air pollution episodes and industry. As far as we are aware, this is a first for Cape Town.</p><p>Our Diesel Vehicle Emission Testing Programme is the most comprehensive in the country, with three dedicated teams conducting daily roadside testing of vehicles in partnership with the City’s Traffic Service. Of the 7 798 vehicles that were tested in the last financial year, 223 failures were recorded (2,8%).  </p><p>Members of the public can help us fight air pollution by reporting polluting industries, notifying the City’s Metals Theft Unit of copper wire and tyre burning via the all-hours number of <a>021 596 1999</a>, and reporting smoking diesel vehicles to the Air Quality Management Unit on <a>021 590 5200</a> during office hours.</p><p>As transport-related emissions are our biggest air pollution challenge, we encourage the public to make use of public transport, ride a bicycle, or car-pool to help relieve congestion on the roads and limit air pollution. </p><p> <br> <strong>End</strong><br></p>2017-09-24T22:00:00Z1
Drought crisis: reduce water usage immediatelyWARNING TO ALL WATER USERS IN CAPE TOWN<p>​The City of Cape Town is embarking on a process to install approximately 2 000 water management devices per week on the properties of identified excessive users. The devices will be set at 350 litres per day. This is in an effort to force consumption down among those who have shown a flagrant disregard for the water restrictions which stipulate that every single person is only allowed to use 87 litres of water per day. This is collective consumption whether at home, work, school or at the gym. </p><p>‘As always, we thank all of our water ambassadors. The days are numbered for the delinquent water users. We call on all residents, businesses, and industry bodies to mobilise and join forces to help Team Cape Town get through this drought. Consumption must immediately be reduced to 500 million litres of collective usage per day. </p><p>‘This is our New Normal. All residents, businesses and other partners must start adapting to the New Normal which is a characteristic of a water-scarce city and province such as Cape Town and the Western Cape. We will continue to approach this drought crisis with every resource and avenue at our disposal. We need the whole of society to stand with us and to help us to get through this drought, but also to start laying the building blocks for a more resilient city over our longer-term future,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.</p><p>The City reminds residents to reduce water flow on their property through adjusting their private stopcocks or water control taps. Residents should please also install low-flow shower heads and not flush excessively at home or at work. </p><p>A video illustrating how to adjust a stopcock can be viewed here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1fAB-zDPeU" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1fAB-zDPeU</a> </p><p>For information on how to meet the 87-litre per day usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater" target="_blank">www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater</a> and utilise our water calculator: <a href="http://bit.ly/ThinkWaterCalculatorCT" target="_blank">http://bit.ly/ThinkWaterCalculatorCT</a></p><p>Residents can contact the City via email to <a href="mailto:water@capetown.gov.za" target="_blank">water@capetown.gov.za</a> for queries about the water pressure reduction which could increasingly lead to intermittent supply, or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373. Water-related faults can also now be reported by sending a message via WhatsApp to 063 407 3699. </p><p>Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards. Normal supply could be disrupted in order to lower demand. This is part of the aggressive pressure reduction programmes in place which are set to be intensified. </p><p>Residents should please check their water usage by registering on e-services <a href="http://cct.gov.za/sh5O5" target="_blank">http://cct.gov.za/sh5O5</a>. For more information on water management devices, residents can visit <a href="http://cct.gov.za/mXos4" target="_blank">http://cct.gov.za/mXos4</a></p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2017-09-24T22:00:00Z1
City and Eskom celebrate electricity switch-on with the residents of Uitkyk informal settlement Uitkyk informal settlement in Sir Lowry’s Pass where we officially switched on electricity for 63 homes. <p>​On Friday 22 September 2017, I had the pleasure of sharing in the joy of the residents of the Uitkyk informal settlement in Sir Lowry’s Pass where we officially switched on electricity for 63 homes. </p><span><figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/uitkyk2.jpg" style="width:535px;" /><figcaption> <p> © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span><p>We have worked with Eskom to electrify the area where residents had been living without electricity for more than 21 years. Over the years, the City of Cape Town has installed standpipes, taps and toilets.</p><p>Uitkyk is situated on a 1:50-year flood line which had been a barrier to installing electricity as Eskom was not able to proceed with electrification planning because the flood area posed a safety risk.</p><p>In 2014, I said that we have to try all avenues to get electricity to this community and I requested that a Basic Environmental Assessment (BEA) be conducted to ensure that the City exhausted all options before concluding that electrification cannot go ahead.</p><p>The City paid Eskom R350 000 in November 2015 to proceed with the BEA and in 2016 the outcome of the assessment was that electrification may go ahead and Eskom was then able to start the electrification planning process.</p><p>We overcame the challenges and were able to start the project, and within one year we could bring this service to the community in line with the commitments of our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan to enhance the delivery of basic services to informal settlements and bring progress through partnerships. </p><span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/uitkyk%201.jpg" style="width:559px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span><p>The name of this community, Uitkyk, means that the residents have been looking forward to days like these when step by step we improve the living conditions in the community. </p><p>I thank Eskom for working with us on this project and others across Cape Town where we are bringing electricity to many communities.</p><p>As a result of this partnership, 63 families have a better living experience. This is the mission of our new term of office: to take service delivery to the next level and work closely with partners and communities to make progress.<br>  <br>‘Eskom Western Cape has consistently met its electrification target for the last five years and is continually intensifying its electrification drive. Electrification is indisputably one of the most effective ways to provide communities with improved quality of life as well as opportunities for infrastructure development and business prospects,’ said Eskom Provincial Head, Alwie Lester.</p><p>The project is funded by the Department of Energy and the total cost after electrification and infrastructure completion will be close to R1 million. The Uitkyk customers will be serviced directly by Eskom.</p><p><br><strong>End </strong></p>2017-09-24T22:00:00Z1
City urging SAPS to arrest those responsible for violent attacks on Cape Towns’ public transport system​On Saturday afternoon, 23 September 2017, a bus driver from the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) was shot and killed in an attempted armed robbery in Nyanga while behind the wheel of a bus<p>​On Saturday afternoon, 23 September 2017, a bus driver from the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) was shot and killed in an attempted armed robbery in Nyanga while behind the wheel of a bus. I am shocked and sickened by this senseless attack and convey my condolences to the family of the deceased.</p><p>This attack followed in the same week that protesting minibus-taxi drivers stoned several MyCiTi and GABS buses on Monday, 18 September 2017. The protesters also set alight and burnt out a MyCiTi bus on the N2 highway and torched a GABS bus in Delft on the same day. Two passengers, including a pregnant commuter, were injured during these attacks. Apart from the violence, bus drivers and personnel at MyCiTi stations across the city were threatened. </p><p>I am urging the South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate these incidents with vigour and the necessary urgency, as we cannot allow criminals to undermine and sabotage our public transport system. </p><p>Our public transport system is already taking strain due to the unreliability of commuter rail. Over the past two to three years, our critical but ailing commuter rail system has also endured relentless attacks and vandalism. These have left the Metrorail service limping along, with devastating consequences for our commuters and our city’s economy.</p><p>The constant attacks on Metrorail and the vandalism of the ageing infrastructure have displaced millions of commuters. </p><p>The latest data indicates that there were 2,7 million fewer rail journeys in Cape Town per month in 2016/17 when compared with 2015/16. This confirms that a significant number of commuters have already transferred to road-based transport – be it in private vehicles, or road-based public transport such as minibus-taxis or buses.</p><p>The ongoing targeting of all of our public transport infrastructure and operators requires special attention from our justice cluster.  </p><p>The Criminal Matters Amendment Act, which provides for stricter bail conditions and harsher sentences, including up to 30 years imprisonment for those caught and convicted of destruction of essential infrastructure such as transportation, has been in operation for over a year. It was intended to act as a deterrent against rising attacks on essential infrastructure but it will serve no purpose unless perpetrators are apprehended, prosecuted and convicted.</p><p>In recent times we have seen Metrorail trains, GABS buses, MyCiTi buses and stations destroyed and damaged in attacks that more often than not have nothing to do with transportation. Our transport infrastructure has become an easy target. Those who perpetrate these crimes need to face certain prosecution and conviction if we are to save the transport infrastructure we have from total destruction.</p><p>We need the public and all of Cape Town to support us in protecting our assets – most importantly the personnel who are the backbone of our bus services, and secondly, the resources that make these services possible, such as our buses, stations and bus shelters.</p><p>I am urging anyone with information about the violent attacks to please contact their nearest police station. The public can also report vandalism and other important information to the City’s Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63.</p><p>All of our residents must join us in condemning the violent attacks. It is the communities who are dependent on public transport for their mobility who suffer the most – key among them women and children. Lower-income families spend, on average, up to 43% of their monthly income on transport costs and in some parts of Cape Town the costs are as high as 60%.</p><p>In the meantime, I want to assure residents that the City of Cape Town will do everything within our means to ensure commuter safety, as well as the safety of those employed by our public transport services.</p><p><strong> </strong><br><strong>End </strong><br></p>2017-09-24T22:00:00Z1

 

 

 

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