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City debtor drive to help create culture of paymentWe are appealing to all debtors to pay their outstanding debt ahead of the holidays<p>​The City thanks all of those customers who are making a positive contribution to our city by continually settling their accounts. In an effort to drive a culture of payment and to maintain a sustainable city, the City’s collection ratio has been a priority. This focus has yielded good results. The City’s current billings are over R2,6 billion per month. For the period ended 30 September 2017 the collection ratio was an excellent 95,24%.</p><p>‘We are appealing to all debtors to pay their outstanding debt ahead of the holidays, especially to prevent services from being cut off over the festive season due to non-payment. Ignoring the problem is not the answer, especially as there is help on offer,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Councillor Johan van der Merwe. </p><p>The City recently introduced a new SMS and email campaign reminding account holders to pay their monthly invoices by the pending due date if they have not yet done so. We have been encouraging those in arrears to pay up if they can, or to approach the City to discuss payment options and settle their arrear debt over an agreed period of time. </p><p>The City has already sent SMS notices for 127 204 overdue accounts. The total debt linked to these accounts as at 15 November 2017 was R715 million. Total payments received though this initiative amount to R219 million. </p><p>There are debtors who default across the metro and in every suburb of Cape Town. For years the City has intervened to establish a culture of payment, set progressive debt management policies, and put indigent relief in action.</p><p>The City’s Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy makes allowance for senior citizens or residents who are indigent to approach the City and access the range of benefits based on their total household income.</p><p>‘Residents are encouraged to visit their nearest municipal office for advice and guidance as soon as possible and ahead of the holidays should they have any queries regarding their arrears, or to make the necessary payment arrangements if applicable,’ said Councillor Van Der Merwe.</p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2017-11-20T22:00:00Z1
CSIR confirms sewage outfalls pose no significant risksThe 24-month long study was commissioned by the City of Cape Town in response to concerns about the impact of the wastewater outfalls on the marine environment and human health.<p>The 24-month long study was commissioned by the City of Cape Town in response to concerns about the impact of the wastewater outfalls on the marine environment and human health. It has also been reviewed by external scientists. </p><p>The City appointed the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2015 to undertake a detailed assessment. The study took place over a 24-month period starting in late 2015 and was completed in mid-2017.  </p><p>The findings of the study have confirmed the City’s position that the outfalls are not outstripping the assimilative capacity of the ocean. It also found that there are no measurable risks to human health posed by the outfalls through either swimming at the beach or consumption of fish caught off our coastlines. In addition, near-shore pollution (when it occurs) is as a result of urban run-off. This is typical of all urban environments.</p><p>To ensure a comprehensive assessment the study was designed to assess and measure: </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">the quality of the sea water near the outfalls</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">the possible accumulation of substances in ocean floor sediment</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">the possible accumulation of synthetic chemicals in animal tissue.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">the characteristics and toxicity of the effluent</div></li></ul><p>The final full report, data and analysis has also been externally reviewed by Dr Robin Carter from Lawndale Technologies, who found it to be scientifically robust, and who supported the findings and conclusions by the CSIR.<br> <br>The CSIR Report, the External Review and the proposed long-term monitoring programmer has been submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning as part of a new license application for the outfalls. The City will now continue with the ongoing long-term programmer of monitoring the outfalls to ensure public confidence and transparency going forward.<br> <br>In addition to the natural waste our bodies produce, effluent contains a variety of synthetic chemicals from sources such as cosmetics, household cleaning products, bath and shower water, dishwashing water and laundry water. However, based on the chemical characteristics of effluent, and various effluent dilution scenarios in the receiving environment, the analysis shows that most chemicals and compounds in the effluents are likely to be diluted to concentrations protective of marine fauna and flora shortly after discharge (i.e. within a small distance of points where the effluent is discharged).</p><p>Trends in the concentration of metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the tissue of black mussels and west coast rock lobsters collected at sites along the Atlantic Seaboard of the Cape Peninsula in 2016 also provided no evidence that mussels or rock lobsters collected inshore of the outfalls had accumulated these chemicals to excessive concentrations in their tissue. </p><p>‘Our society produces a lot of waste and it is unavoidable that this waste eventually finds its way back to the environment in one form or another. There are over 84 000 synthetic chemicals that have been made by humans and no wastewater treatment plant is able to remove all of these components from effluent. This study confirms, however, that at current levels this waste can be safely assimilated by the ocean,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councilor Xanthea Limberg.<br> <br>In addition to testing for the accumulation of synthetic chemicals, the study also looked at whether bacteria from the outfalls was reaching the bathing areas, finding that this was nothing for bathers to worry about. Bacteria dissipated within 300 meters of the diffusers (the outfalls are 1,7km off-shore), which is echoed by the results of our coastal waters monitoring programme, and the continued status of Camps Bay and Clifton as Blue Flag beaches.<br> <br>‘Given the often negative and sensationalist coverage around these outfalls we are happy to have conclusive proof that disposing of waste in this way is not posing significant risks to bathers or the marine environment. </p><p>‘Going forward, the City has developed an extensive monitoring program with the assistance of four external expert marine scientists. This monitoring programme was submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs and will be implemented as part of our permit to operate the outfalls,’ said Councillor Limberg.<br> <br>The full CSIR Report, the Lwandle Review as well as the long-term monitoring programme as developed by four top external scientists is available here <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2017-11-20T22:00:00Z1
City of Cape Town special Council resolutionThe said officials will be given seven days’ notice to provide written representations to Council on why they should not be placed on precautionary suspension. <p>This morning 21 November 2017 the City of Cape Town’s Council has unanimously resolved that the City’s Audit and Performance Audit Committee be instructed to appoint an independent investigator to investigate the allegations against the City Manager, Mr. Achmat Ebrahim; the Commissioner of the Transport and Urban Development Authority, Ms. Melissa Whitehead; and the Executive Director in the Office of the Mayor, Mr. Craig Kesson. </p><p>The said officials will be given seven days’ notice to provide written representations to Council on why they should not be placed on precautionary suspension. </p><p>‘After a confidential special Council meeting I ruled that the agenda, and all other documentation submitted to Council, be open to the public in the interest of transparency,’ said the City’s Speaker, Alderman Dirk Smit.</p><p>The relevant documentation is available on the City’s website: <a href=""></a></p><p><strong>End<br></strong></p>2017-11-20T22:00:00Z1
City steps up water testing in response to residents’ concernsThe increased monitoring and analysis of water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works is to reassure residents that the drinking water remains safe for consumption.<p>The City of Cape Town is experiencing a persistent drought that has seen our dam storage levels drop to an unprecedented low. </p><p>This week dam storage levels further declined to 36,2%. Only 26,2% of that water is useable. </p><p>Collective water usage by the residents of Cape Town currently stands at 602 million litres per day. This is 102 million litres above the target usage of 500 million litres per day that we require to see the city through the drought.</p><p>In order to manage our precious water resources, the City has introduced advanced water pressure management throughout the metro. As a result of this process, residents might notice changes in the taste and colour of their tap water, but the water remains safe to drink.</p><p>To reassure residents of the quality of their water, the City’s Water and Sanitation Department’s Scientific Services has increased the frequency of monitoring and analysis of water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works.</p><span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:509px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> The Scientific Services Branch in Athlone, which I visited today, monitors the city’s water quality all-year round. </span><p>Some water users might have noticed an earthy taste and odour to their municipally-supplied drinking water and I want to assure Capetonians that this does not pose any health risk.</p><p>Staff at the facility follow a rigorous water quality testing programme to analyse drinking water from our drinking water treatment works, the treated wastewater from wastewater treatment works and water from rivers and vleis. Air pollution testing is also performed. </p><p>This branch is one of several facilities across the city where our staff are working around the clock to ensure that the water supplied by the City is of the best quality.</p><p>If residents are worried about the water quality, especially after there has been an immediate water supply interruption due to advanced pressure management, they should not waste the water that first flows through the tap when supply is restored. They should store it in a container and use it for flushing.</p><p>We have nearly 300 monitoring sites all over the city to cover our huge drinking water distribution system. In addition to this, automatic online chlorine monitors assist with around-the-clock chlorine checks to protect water security. </p><p><span>​</span><span>​<span>​​The scientific services laboratory has to date tested more than 55 521 samples of water each year. Samples received by the labs are analysed daily. The National Department of Water and Sanitation also conducts frequent water quality checks.</span></span></p><span></span><p>The City published its annual water quality data recently and the figures confirm that the water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works complies with the standard limits published in the South African National Standard for Drinking Water (SANS 241:2015).</p><p>Residents can assist by logging all water taste and discoloration incidents with the City’s Contact Centre at 0860 103 089 (water option), by sending an email to <a href=""></a> or an SMS to 31373. </p><p>For more information on the current severe drought, water restrictions, how to reduce your water usage and all water-related matters, please visit <a href=""></a></p><p><br><strong>End </strong><br> <br></p>2017-11-19T22:00:00Z1





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