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City plans synthetic pitch hat trick<p>​The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department will kick off construction of three more synthetic soccer pitches in the coming months. The facilities will be installed in Ocean View, Seawinds, and NY116 in Gugulethu at an overall cost of just over R20 million. </p><p>To date, the City has already invested more than R100 million in 29 synthetic pitches across Cape Town. There are 19 full-sized pitches and 10 five-a-side facilities in the following areas:</p><p>Full-sized: Hout Bay, Lwandle, Site C Sports Complex, Manenberg, Blue Downs, Nomzamo, Imizamo Yethu, Westridge, Nyanga, Scottsdene, Gugulethu, Langa, Valhalla Park Recreation Hub, Kewtown, Steenberg, Heideveld, Crossroads, Atlantis, and Hanover Park.</p><p>Five-a-side: Portlands Indoor Centre, Langa Sports Complex, Witsand Sports Complex, Ocean View Sports Complex, Grassy Park Sport and Recreation Centre, Elukhanisweni Sport and Recreation Centre, Lwandle sports field, Bishop Lavis sports grounds, Uitsig sports grounds, and the Valhalla Park Recreation Hub.</p><span>​<figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p> <b>Synthetic soccer pitch</b><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span>These are areas which were identified as being most under-served in terms of sports facilities. A number of the facilities also have floodlights installed to facilitate night-time use.<p><span></span> </p><p><span><span></span>The Recreation and Parks Department is working hard to optimise the booking system for synthetic pitches specifically to ensure that they are used to their capacity and are accessible to a wide range of clubs and users.​​</span></p><p><span></span> ‘The synthetic pitches are built according to FIFA specifications and they have several advantages over conventional fields. Not only can they be used for longer periods, but they are also more affordable to maintain and offer a water-wise alternative to grass fields. The latter is especially pertinent in the current climate.</p><p>‘These artificial turfs encourage extensive usage without interruption for rehabilitation. They go a long way towards alleviating the burden on existing grass soccer fields and are a solution to the land constraints which hinder the development of more playing surfaces at sports facilities. They provide an innovative and sustainable solution that has enabled the City to better meet the ever-growing needs of the sporting community,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.</p><span></span><span>​<figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p> <b>Synthetic pitch</b><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span>Earlier this year, the Recreation and Parks Department instituted a triage system for grass sports fields to mitigate the impact of the drought crisis. Fields are assessed against a set of criteria which then determines whether they are useable and for how long. <p> </p><p>‘We are trying to manage the situation as best as we can and we appreciate the cooperation of sporting codes affected by the situation. We’ve heard the calls for more synthetic pitches and as our track record shows, we’ve already made a significant investment in this regard. But the investment is costly, and therefore not an overnight solution. It is still the responsibility of everyone involved and affected to ensure that the sporting facilities at our disposal are used in a manner that will ensure long-term sustainability,’ added Alderman Smith.</p><p> <strong>End</strong></p><p> </p>2017-06-22T22:00:00Z1
Outdoor learning continues at City’s nature reserves during winter<p>Residents are encouraged to visit the City of Cape Town’s nature reserves during winter to enjoy the beauty of nature and learn more about the environment in a fun and interactive manner.</p><p>The 16 nature reserves that are managed by the City’s Environmental Management Department offer hikes, guided walks, bird-watching and environmental education programmes, among others, to the public. Picnic spots are also available at our nature reserves.</p><span><span>​<figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p> <b>Blaauwberg Nature Reserve</b><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure>​The first guided hike which will focus on plants and their identification along the new Coastal Dune Hiking Trail will take place at the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve on 1 July and 5 August 2017 from 09:00 to 13:00. Those who are interested in the walk can meet at the Environmental Education Centre (log cabin) at Eerste Steen Resort. The trail winds its way through the threatened Cape Flats dune strandveld vegetation and follows historical routes used in the area dating back to the early 1900s. Visitors to this reserve can also overnight at Montispectus, a cabin located on top of Blaauwberg Hill. Booking is essential.</span><p> </p><p>The Edith Stephens Nature Reserve invites the public to participate in the amphibian census programme which will take place between mid-July and mid-August. Participants will walk in the reserve and listen for different amphibian calls to identify the species.</p><p>If a full-moon walk and star-gazing sounds appealing, then residents need to visit the Tygerberg Nature Reserve on 9 July and 7 August 2017. A trail series run is also on the cards for 30 July 2017. During the daytime, visitors can enjoy a picnic under the recently completed shade structures to hide from the sun or winter drizzle.</p><p>Children who want to learn how to grow a new plant from a parent plant can attend the plant propagation course at Zandvlei Nature Reserve. Booking is essential.</p><p>Visitors to the Bracken Nature Reserve can enjoy the views of beautiful winter blooms, such as gladiolus priorii, lachenelia aloides, and many other bulbous plants.</p><span><p><figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:483px;" /><figcaption> <p> <b>Zandvlei</b><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></p></span><p><span>‘Residents need to make the most of the outdoor classroom as the City’s nature reserves have lots to offer for all ages. Families are encouraged to explore the beauty of nature while learning through interactive means about the importance of conserving and protecting our environment,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area North, Councillor Suzette Little.​​</span></p><p><span>‘Entry fees to our nature reserves are kept nominal and therefore visits are affordable and our nature reserves are accessible to everyone. Consequently, we get more feet through the gates and this optimises the use of our natural assets, which is in keeping with promoting resource efficiency and security, one of the transformational priorities in the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area South, Councillor Eddie Andrews.</span></p><p>Visitors are encouraged to contact their local nature reserves for more information about activities and events specific to their facilities – see more here.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p></span><p> </p>2017-06-22T22:00:00Z1
City mourns the tragic loss of a dedicated servant of the people, Councillor Xolile Gwangxu<p>​It is with shock and great sorrow that we mourn Philippi East councillor, Xolile Gwangxu, who was shot and killed while leaving his office last night. </p><p>It is understood that a lone man walked up to Councillor Gwangxu and shot him. He died on the scene. </p><p>I am devastated by this tragedy as Councillor Gwangxu was a dedicated, hard-working servant to his community. He served with distinction, with the matters of the community always close to his heart. This is a tremendous loss to the City of Cape Town. We have been robbed of a great community leader. </p><p>He served as a councillor for eight years.</p><p>We will do all we can and work with the authorities to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to book and faces the full might of the law. </p><p>The City is offering a reward of R50 000 for any information that leads to the arrest and successful conviction of the person responsible for this horrific crime. </p><p>Last night we also received the news of Ward 37 (Nyanga) councillor, Templeton Mgxekeni, who passed away in hospital after being critically ill for the past few months.</p><p>Councillor Templeton served as a councillor for 13 years in various terms of office. We extend our condolences to the ANC for their loss. </p><p>These are two great losses for the City and the communities they served.</p><p>We extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time of bereavement. </p><p><br><strong>End </strong></p>2017-06-21T22:00:00Z1
Out of the ashes comes a far better Imizamo Yethu<span> <div class="image-gallery-slider img-gal-1" id="img-gal-1" data-slides="5" data-slide="1" style="height:493.5px;"><div class="image-gallery-content" style="height:414px;">​​​​ <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-1"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <b>A devastating fire tore through Imizamo Yethu in March 2017</b>.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-2"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:946px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <b>The City's Fire and Rescue Services attended the scene and worked tirelessly to fight the blaze</b>.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-3"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:802px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <strong>Aerial view of the devastation after the fires were extinguished</strong>.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-4"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:946px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p>  <strong>A resident receives emergency medical treatment from EMS personnel</strong>.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-5"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:712px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <strong>Some of the City's Fire and Rescue Services staff who responded to the Imizamo Yethu fire.</strong></p> </figcaption> </figure> </div><div class="image-gallery-control"><div class="image-gallery-caption"><p> <strong>Images of the devastating Imizamo Yethu fires</strong>.</p></div><div class="image-gallery-nav"><div class="nav-info">1 of 5</div> <div class="slide-next"> <i class="icon arrow-white-next"></i> </div><div class="slide-prev"> <i class="icon arrow-white-prev"></i>​</div></div></div></div>​​</span> <p>​On 11 and 12 March 2017, a large section of Imizamo Yethu was devastated by fires that killed three people, affected 2 194 structures and displaced 9 700 people. It was one of the most devastating informal settlement fires in Cape Town's recent history and was followed by a second fire a month later, on Sunday 16 April, which razed 112 structures and displaced 425 people.</p><p>In its 25 year history, Imizamo Yethu has frequently been ravaged by fire, generally for the same reasons: widespread use of candles and paraffin for lighting and cooking, structures built so close together that flames jump from one to the other, and little or no access for emergency vehicles. This time, the circumstances of the fire and fighting it were little different - but the rebuilding was a complete departure from previous efforts.</p> <span><figure class="figure-credits right"><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:1080px;" /></a><figcaption> <p>Aerial view showing an overlay of the superblocking plan. The red routes provide emergency access into the area and will allow for rapid response in the event of fire or other emergencies.</p> </figcaption> </figure> </span>For the first time, an informal settlement community agreed to rebuild according to the City's 'superblocking' principles, where structures are rebuilt in such a way as to provide access for emergency vehicles and the provision of utilities. Superblocking will help prevent devastating fires in future. <p>In the aftermath of the fire, displaced residents were housed in temporary accommodation at several locations while the site was cleared, the blocks were laid out, services installed and structures rebuilt - itself a huge undertaking.</p><p>Although it came at great human and financial cost, the rebuilt section of Imizamo Yethu will be a safer, healthier place and the partnership with the community provides a model for how the City will manage similar incidents in the future.</p>2017-06-20T22:00:00Z1




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