10 MARCH 2005
CITY’S GREEN HEART SAVES WATER
The Company’s Garden, the City of Cape Town’s green heart, annually saves ratepayers over half a million rand by watering the 4,2 hectares of land with water not suitable for drinking from the Molteno Dam in Oranjezicht.
Every year some 132 000 kilolitres of water are piped from the storage dam between Upper Orange, Camp and Hof Streets. This would have cost ratepayers R518 000 if normal drinking water was used from the City’s main water supply dams.
According to Yasmine Colley, Project Manager of the Company’s Garden, the water which is used, originates from the natural springs at the foothills of Table Mountain. The proximity of these springs was one of the reasons for the siting of the Company’s Gardens some 300 years ago.
Initially the water was led via canals into the gardens and the run-over flowed down into the sea. In the nineteenth century the City elders decided to construct the Molteno Dam to capture water from the natural springs which would have otherwise been lost into the sea.
Councillor Tozama Nomsa Mlanjeni, mayoral member for Health, Amenities and Sport says that residents and visitors should enjoy what the Garden has to offer. The Company’s Garden is the oldest public garden in South Africa and provides an oasis in the City. Capetonians and visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the central business district to find peace and tranquillity in our lush gardens. It is one of our region’s many tourist attractions.
“Apart from the abundant vegetation, the garden offers facilities such as benches where people can relax, ponds to promote tranquillity, an aviary with colourful birds and a sundial. Visitors can also enjoy a bite or a refreshing drink at the restaurant or visit our exquisite rose garden, historical sites including the Victorian restrooms,” says councillor Mlangeni.
An estimated 700 000 people visit this historical site each year.
Most of the plants in the Company’s Garden were donated or brought from abroad when it was established. But over the years a lot of indigenous trees were added.
Apart from being the green heart of Cape Town, the park has been used for various educational, cultural, entertainment and recreational events. It provides a scenic backdrop for wedding photographs and was also the venue for a luncheon for parliamentarians at the official opening of parliament.
“Some of the historic watering canals are still visible today, but with the water being piped we have better control over the usage. Despite being exempted from the current water restrictions, we are still using water wisely. Our aim is to keep the City’s green heart going by means of creative and innovative water-savings methods,” Mlangeni added.
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400-2201 FAX: 021 419 1929
MANAGER: COMPANY’S GARDEN
CELL: 084 625 0416