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Subcouncil resolution details

Subcouncil resolution details

Subcouncil 10

Agenda item no

10SUB 9/2/2019



Meeting date

Monday, February 18, 2019



Date closed

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Resolution details

. RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE – WIND & SEA CURRENTS To begin with, the IDP indicated that it was planning to move from sustainable development to resilience on account of extreme weather events arising from climate change and as a result of extreme poverty deepening the challenges the city is facing. However, it is very clear that this is an intention rather than a purposeful determination backed up by budget and action. The revised IDP does not lay the expected platform for the city to bounce back from such shocks and stresses caused by change in direction and intensity of both wind and sea currents. The altered path of sea currents is attacking the False Bay coastline frontally where historically these came at an angle and were ably subdued by dunes which were in a healthy state. Hard engineering has also removed the buffering that sandy beaches offered before and therefore exacerbated the situation. In a report titled, Sub-Saharan African Cities: A Five-City Network to Pioneer Climate Adaptation through Participatory Research & Local Action, authors Mark Tadross and Peter Johnstone write that “wind vectors”, for Cape Town, “tend to come more from the southeast during all seasons, which increases the wind speeds during all seasons, except for June July and August, when the dominant flow is normally from the west and reflects the northward position of the winter storm tracks. These changes reflect a strengthening of the anticyclonic atmospheric circulation over the southern Atlantic Ocean, particularly during winter and early spring … and which is partly responsible for a southward retreat of the mid-latitude storm tracks”. This is what leads to a decrease in winter rainfall. The authors urge that “the implications of increased wind strength during Sept-May must be considered in terms of any existing vulnerabilities that Cape Town may face, particularly the impact on harbour activity and wave action on the coastline. The above problem needs to be tackled in terms of climate change and that requires a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emission. For as long as the city continues to permit the wide scale use of fossil fuels, it will be attacking the symptom and not the cause. 2. THE MOUNTING PROBLEMS AT ESKOM There is another huge problem that qualifies for a bigger response in the city’s modified IDP, namely, the crisis at Eskom. With a massive debt of R450 billion, the power utility is unable to meet its interest payments. It needs a R100 billion bailout from the national government. To grant such a bailout imperils the nation government’s own weak position. The knock on effect will be felt in the city. Just as the water crisis affected farming and tourism, the impact of irregular supply will affect all spheres of economic activities. Escalating costs will impair payments and have a negative effect on revenue. The City should be seeking to use such portions of landfills that have been fully utilised and capped to install wind and solar electricity generators as these sites are regarded as contaminated and cannot be used for a long period. It should likewise utilise rooftops on municipal infrastructure to increase electricity generation for its own use. The less electricity it has to buy, the more it will be able to constrain tariff hikes and improve affordability. Just as the City Manager issued a directive calling for a budget intervention to support the financial impact of the drought relief actions, (p 2) the city manager should do the same to prioritise self-generation of electricity. With greater access to self-generated electricity with a once off capital outlay, the switchover to electric vehicles could be accelerated. While the proposed amendments forecast an average of $63.5 for Brent Crude, there is a likelihood of the price going up because of sanctions against Iran and political turmoil in Venezuela. A surplus of self-generated electricity and embracing EVs will buffer the city against rising petrol prices. 3 Most importantly it will help to curb greenhouse gas emission. The power generated by the Palmiet and Steenbras pumped storage stations can be greatly expanded. 3. THE LONG TERM FINANCIAL PLANNING According to National treasury MFMA circular No. 89 issued in December 2017, municipalities were compelled to reconcile data on the valuation roll, billing system and the deeds office. Data management and data mining are essential in the running of a modern city. Has his been done? Fourteen months have elapsed since the circular was issued. Revenue management is still a problem. About R7 billion is still outstanding. The collection rate for water is only about 70%. The fact that high water users during the drought period accounted for non-payments it is time that compromise settlements should be reached according to the circumstances of the householder and the reasons given for the high water use. Having a large debtors’ book is of no avail. On page 8, electricity sale is expected to decline by 2%. Rather than bemoaning the energy saving initiatives of responsible citizens, the city should look to reduce electricity purchase by making municipal buildings greener and smarter, using smart and connected LED street lights, managing demand by automatically switching off domestic geysers during peak demand periods, creating microgrids and following what the Smart Cities Council is reporting. On page 3, mention is made of “curbing” consumption of water and electricity by indigents so that they do not exceed their allocation. Here again, the creation of community managed microgrids, basic solar water heating and the installation of water tanks could provide a win-win situation. An amount of R500 million could permanently ease the burden of 100 000 indigent families. This money could be sourced from infrastructure grants, public donations and expenditure savings. The “affordability of providing free basic services to all households” must involve a quid pro quo gesture from those receiving free basic services. The city needs to educate recipients of such services that costs are involved and if costs become unaffordable for the ratepayers as a whole, free basic services 4 no longer become possible. They must be educated in respect of what they can do to pay in kind. On page 4, the issue of Smart Meters is raised. These smart water meters, particularly the ones with the blue lid, have raised the ire of many citizens. There are many reports of malfunctioning meters and water being cut off for days at a time. What research has been done regarding these smart meters and extensive is the unhappiness with their functioning? On page 5 the collection rate for property rates remains at 96%. Who is not paying rates and how often is a report laid out in front of full council to indicate who the defaulters are and whether these are serial offenders? On page 9, we learn that MFMA circular 89 and 91 “encourages municipalities to maintain tariff increases at levels that reflect an appropriate balance between the affordability to poorer households and other customers while ensuring the financial sustainability of the municipality.” For this to happen, the city has to work smarter. 4. ELECTRICITY The fact that 61% of the service’s total budget goes to bulk purchases is reason enough for the city to generate as much of the electricity it uses for its own purposes. Both the coffers and the climate will benefit. 5. RATES INCREASE The rates increases to come are attributed to reduced revenue from Fuel Levy, higher capital cost and the increased cost of capital investment. Without details these are just generalities. 6. WATER & SANITATION The future of our water supplies is going to be permanently under threat because of climate change. The rain is predicted to fall south of our land mass because of altered wind directions. The need for an accelerated drive to dump fossil fuels is now an imperative. It must be recorded as such and acted upon with alacrity. 5 That being said, the next problem is that of using potable high quality water for all purposes. This is not feasible at all. Furthermore using high pressure to distribute water for drinking, general purposes and fire-fighting creates leaks and having to attend to those leaks on a never ending basis. Loss of revenue on the one side and expenditure on fixing leaks will continue to mount with ageing infrastructure. The city must as a matter of urgency begin a phased alteration of water distribution. A narrow gauge and stronger pipe should feed potable water. This water will carry the higher price. Water for bathing, washing and watering can be fed to households via the present infrastructure. A lower pressure can be utilised. The water for fighting fires should be suitably coloured and will require the least processing. Fire hydrants with appropriate valves should be installed. In this way our drinking water can be guaranteed for longer and its use in households will be appropriately restricted. With the money the city has now borrowed to treat waste water, suitably treated water can be released as in many parts of the world for uses other than drinking and cooking. Having a triple system of supply will best meet all exigencies and provide the best value. Flushing faeces using potable water doesn’t make any sense at all. The need for water management devices will become superfluous. The problem of a significantly lower collection rate will also disappear. 7. REFUSE It is definitely a case of a tale of two cities when it comes to the refuse free part of the city and the littered part of the city. Rubble, garbage bags, glass and plastic bottles, and even baby diapers are strewn all over many parts of Cape Town. The situation in Joe Slovo in Milnerton and Du Noon are both sorry sites. The sides of roads have been made into rubbish dumping sites. A similar situation obtains on the Cape Flats as anyone who turns off from the N2 into Mew Way will testify. The fact that 26 sites have been identified helps a little. These need to be identified through hydrogen inflated balloons. Khayelitsha, for example, with nearly a quarter of the population of Cape Town has no dumping site. The IDP is serially negligent in disregarding the townships in respect of refuse control. Education, incentives for recycling, better rendering of services and effective policing must occur so that Cape Town becomes a 6 Kigali which at present is the cleanest city in the whole of Africa. If Kigali can do it why not Cape Town? On average Cape Town generates about 7 000 tons of waste every day. The three disposal landfill sites are nearing their capacity limits. The NEMWA waste minimisation requirements have to be met. San Franscisco has a proud record of diverting 80% of discarded items and rubbish from its landfill sites. To give longevity to our own landfill sites we will have to do the same. Removal of recyclable materials according to type has to occur at source as mentioned on page 12. Johannesburg has already implemented removal at source. Why is this not being implemented in Cape Town? In New Zealand and many other countries vermicomposting on an industrial scale is taking place. This is natural fertiliser of very high quality and potency. The sandy soil of Cape Town can do with vermicomposting on a very large scale. Why is this not being provided for? Toronto in Canada is composting wet diapers and sanitary pads. These pads have substances that hold liquids. As such composted diapers and sanitary pads can become compost with a premium price. Furthermore, such an activity will divert vast amounts of diapers and sanitary pads from the landfill and be a boon for gardeners and horticulturists in these water scarce times. The recycling of electronic wastes doesn’t even reflect on the radar and yet it is one of the biggest problems of the modern era. Toronto also has an effective e-waste disposal programme. City of Rochester residents, in New York State, can drop off electronic items such as the following for free: laptops desktops computer accessories TVs (Limit of 4 CRT TVs per vehicle) Monitorsaudio/video equipment mp3 players communications equipment servers and IT equipment printers scanners copiers fax machines cellphones PDAs medical/lab equipment anything else with a circuit board or cord! Last year, the city designated Saturday, April 14, as E-WASTE DAY. The following items, however, are not accepted: air conditioners, de-humidifiers, refrigerators, gas-powered equipment or household hazardous waste. The IDP is grievously short in respect of effective and ethical waste disposal. With political will and appropriate technology waste can be turned into cash. 8. DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS Although Section 29(1)(b)(i)(ii) of the Municipal Systems act, Act No. 32 of 2000 requires that the local community be consulted on its development needs and priorities and participate in the drafting of the IDP, the apartheid geography remains intact and townships remain townships as they were conceived before 1994. They are essentially dormitory areas far removed from the city centre. Any city that is conscious of the need for transformation to undo the legacy of apartheid will work with determination to do what President Ramaphosa is urging: create township industrial parks and seek investments for townships. The areas of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain can easily become environmentally friendly coastal resorts plugging into a readily 8 available niche market. These areas make out a very strong case for cultural tourism. 9. RENEWABLE ENERGY The IDP expressly recognises the importance of reliable energy from renewable sources as a contributor to the economy on the one hand and having the effect of minimising the negative impact of fossil fuels. The IDP, on page 26 of the published IDP document states that sound planning and adaptation of City systems and structures will ensure that Cape Town and its residents are resilient and be able to withstand and recover from economic, environmental and social shocks or disasters. These are beautiful words. What sort of sound planning has already taken place and what sort of adaptations of city systems has already occurred? That is what is important. 10. DIGITAL EXPANSION The IDP, on page 26 of the published IDP document states that the City, “through an aggressive digital expansion programme aimed at increasing access to technologies and information systems”, will enable residents to enjoy internet connectivity across the entire city. This will also result in Cape Town expanding its digital skills base, achieving knowledge transfer and people having access to information and government services. Technology-related industries would in the process enjoy a market foothold within the city. This process, the IDP promises, will be inclusive and progressive and lead to greater innovation across city departments and Cape Town businesses. In effect this, according to the IDP, will allow for social redress through modernisation and technology. All this is already included in the IDP. We are now in the third year of the IDP cycle and yet the aggressive roll out is not being witnessed. If people’s views were canvassed and they were led to believe that the IDP was the blueprint for what needed to be done, it is important to lift all of these promises from the pages of the IDP and start translating them into action across the whole city. 9 There are also additions that need to be made to the IDP to take account of present exigencies and developments. The above list indicates what these additions ought to be. Subcouncil 10 does not agree with the following proposal: 1. Change the percentage of rates clearance certificate issue within 10 days from 96% to 92%. The 96% target is to be retained as the number of rates clearance certificates issued affects the number of deeds of sale agreements signed with identified beneficiaries. This ultimately affects service delivery. 2. Number of deeds of sale agreements signed with identified beneficiaries per annum be changed from 2000 to 600. The target of 2000 should remain as we would be reducing property ownership if this target should be lowered. 3. Number of public Wi-Fi locations be reduced from 60 to 10 and Number of public access points to be reduced from 150 to 20. Cape Town wants to be leveraged for progress and Khayelitsha wants to be part of the global digital connectivity and information sharing which allows for growth and development. For these reasons we do not support the change of original targets for Public Wi-Fi locations and Public Wi-Fi access points. 4. Number of serviced sites in the informal settlements be changed from 2000 to 1480. We do not support this change as the majority of people in informal settlements do not have access to basic services like water and electricity. 5. Total number of Passenger journeys on MyCiti be changed from 19.5 million to 16.5 million. The original target of 19.5 million is to be retained as the reasons for wanting to reduce have got nothing to do with the use of MyCiti by residents. The MyCiti access still needs to be extended to other communities. The more the City extends the more passengers will us MyCiti. IRT Phase 2A for both feeder and trunk routes is going to be implemented which will also impact the number of passengers using my City. Action: J Yslie

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