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Day Zero now likely to happen – new emergency measuresWe have reached a point of no return. Despite our urging for months, 60% of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day.<p><strong>In summary:</strong></p><ul><li>Day Zero is now likely</li><li>60% of Capetonians won’t save water and we must now force them</li><li>Punitive tariff to force high users to reduce demand</li><li>50 litres per person per day for the next 150 days </li><li>Drought Charge likely to be scrapped by Council </li></ul><p> It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero. At this point we must assume that they will not change their behaviour and that the chance of reaching Day Zero on 21 April 2018 is now very likely.</p><p>The people who are still wasting water seem to believe that Day Zero just can't happen or that the City’s seven augmentation projects - set to produce around 200 million litres per day – will be enough to save us. wThis is not the case and, while our water augmentation programme will make Cape Town more water resilient in the future, it was never going to be enough to stop Day Zero. </p><p>The crisis has reached a new severity necessitating a series of new emergency measures:</p><p><strong>A punitive tariff</strong></p><p>We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water. We must force them. We have listened to the comments of thousands of residents asking for fairness. Council will on Friday be voting on a punitive tariff that will charge residents exponentially higher rates for water usage above 6 000 litres per month.</p><p>The table below outlines the difference between the current and the proposed punitive tariffs:</p><span><div class="mobile-scroll"><br>  <table> <caption></caption> <thead style="text-align:center;"><tr><th style="width:149px;">Consumption per month</th><th style="width:197px;">Current tariffs - total household water bill</th><th style="width:178px;">New tariff - total household water bill</th></tr></thead><tbody style="text-align:center;"><tr><td style="width:149px;">6 000 litres</td><td style="width:197px;">R28.44</td><td style="width:178px;">R145.98</td></tr><tr><td style="width:149px;">10 500 litres</td><td style="width:197px;">R109.50</td><td style="width:178px;">R390.82</td></tr><tr><td style="width:149px;">20 000 litres</td><td style="width:197px;">R361.06</td><td style="width:178px;">R1 536.28</td></tr><tr><td rowspan="1" style="width:149px;">​35 000 litres</td><td rowspan="1" style="width:197px;">​R1 050.04</td><td rowspan="1" style="width:178px;">​R6 939.57</td></tr><tr><td rowspan="1" style="width:149px;">​50 000 litres</td><td rowspan="1" style="width:197px;">​R2 888.81</td><td rowspan="1" style="width:178px;">​R20 619.57</td></tr></tbody></table></div>​​​</span><p> </p><p>I will personally fight to ensure that the proposed punitive tariff exempts those who are using less than 6 000 litres per month.</p><p>Provision will be made for households larger than four people to ensure that they are not unfairly penalised. We ask residents to contact the City beforehand on <a href=""></a> or enquire at their nearest walk-in centre.</p><p>The proposed Drought Charge is likely to be dropped after a massive outcry from Capetonians that it was unfair. I understand that response and it has personally been a tough lesson for the City. I just want you to know that the City proposed the charge because we wanted to keep delivering important and essential services during this crisis. I wanted to continue making Cape Town a city that delivers opportunities for all. We are now going to have to make deep cuts to important projects. </p><p><strong>50 litres per day for 150 days</strong></p><p>We will be moving to level 6B restrictions with a new limit of 50 litres per person per day to make up for the many months of missing the 500 million litre per day collective consumption target. The new restrictions will come into effect on 1 February 2018. </p><p>The new daily collective consumption target is now 450 million litres per day. This will be in place for 150 days after which the City will reassess the situation. Level 6B restrictions will also limit irrigation using boreholes and wellpoints.</p><p><strong>Advanced Day Zero preparation</strong></p><p>The City has also advanced its planning for Day Zero with approximately 200 sites having been assessed. The City will be announcing everyone’s local collection points from next week so that communities can begin preparing for that eventuality. </p><p>We will also be making detailed Day Zero contingency plans available soon to answer all questions that residents and businesses might have.</p><p>In terms of the City’s work, we have been working hard to reduce demand through advanced pressure management, massively ramping up the installation of water management devices at high consumption households.  Our teams are also significantly intensifying the leak detection and repair programme, and we are rolling out education and awareness campaigns and extending our use of the treated effluent system which offsets the use of the drinking water for non-potable purposes.<br>Teams are working around the clock to deliver the emergency plan for desalination, groundwater and water reuse. But, as I have already said, this alone will simply not be enough to avoid Day Zero without savings from all residents.</p><p>Cape Town, this is the moment where we can bring about the fundamental behaviour change that is needed to save us all from running out of water.</p><p>The time to act for everyone’s sake is now. So if we reduce the demand enough now, we can still get our water delivered to our houses and not have to queue daily for our allocation.</p>2018-01-17T22:00:00Z1
Record income, passenger numbers for MyCiTi service Nearly 220 000 passenger journeys were recorded on the four N2 Express routes in November 2017.<p>A total of 219 157 passenger journeys were recorded on the four N2 Express routes operating between the Cape Town central business district (CBD), Kuyasa in Khayelitsha and Kapteinsklip in Mitchells Plain.</p><p>‘The first two MyCiTi routes to the metro-south east became operational in July 2014 and the other two commenced in October and November 2015, respectively. I am elated to say that during the past two years the number of passenger journeys on the four N2 Express routes has nearly doubled from 111 109 in November 2015 to 219 157 in November last year,’ said Councillor Brett Herron, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development.</p><p>Moreover, up to 99% of the MyCiTi buses that operated on the N2 Express routes during the afternoon peak hour period in November 2017 – that is between 15:00 and 19:00 on weekdays – were on time. </p><p>‘The major increase in the passenger numbers confirms that more and more commuters from the Metro South-east are relying on the MyCiTi service to get to work and school. That said, it is important to also acknowledge that the exceptional growth of the MyCiTi passenger numbers in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha coincides with the deterioration of the Metrorail Central line over the same period. On this note, I want to add that we are doing all we can to assist the rail commuters from the Metro Ssouth-east by deploying more buses on the N2 Express routes as and when the passenger demand so requires,’ said Councillor Herron.</p><p>The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority is also hosting a rail summit next month where role-players from across the board will convene to devise temporary solutions with the intention to stabilise the ailing urban rail service and to prevent a complete collapse of the Central line.</p><p>Another key milestone is that the MyCiTi bus service generated an estimated income of R21 409 327 from fares, advertising, events and chartered services in November 2017.</p><p>‘This is a record income, and the highest since the inception of the MyCiTi service in May 2010. A year-on-year comparison indicates that the income derived from the MyCiTi system has increased by over R2 million or 10,4% in November 2017 when compared with November 2016. This is a major achievement, and confirmation of our commitment to providing an affordable, but sustainable, public transport service to Cape Town’s residents,’ said Councillor Herron.</p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-01-17T22:00:00Z1
City Health responds to recent disease outbreaksThe City of Cape Town’s Health Department remains on high alert as concurrent disease outbreaks run their course. <p>This summer, health officials are not only contending with the annual diarrhoea season, but also face an increase in cases of other communicable diseases including pertussis and typhoid. Read more below:</p><p>Summer in Cape Town often sees a surge in diarrhoea cases which affect children under five years of age most severely.</p><p>'Due to increased efforts and the diligence of health practitioners, we have in recent years noted a decline in the number of diarrhoea-related deaths, and diarrheoa with dehydration during the season. Sadly, this drop in diarrhea cases was followed by an increase in pneumonia in this age group over the same period. Health officials now call this period the surge season,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.</p><p>Health officials remain vigilant as the City faces a number of other concurrent disease outbreaks. </p><p>‘In August 2017 we saw diphtheria and measles cases occurring and by now we have all heard about the national listeria outbreak. In addition to these, we have also had an increasing number of cases of pertussis and typhoid reported. </p><p>‘These diseases present a significant and costly challenge to the City. Not only are staff and resources under pressure, but the outbreak of any disease also puts lives and livelihoods at risk,’ said Alderman Smith.</p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure>​​</span>The diseases that City health officials are currently keeping track of are listed below.<br><p><strong>Typhoid </strong><br>In 2017, 26 cases of typhoid fever were reported in the City. Typhoid is caused by the bacterium <em>Salmonella typhi</em>. Individuals infected with the bacteria can spread it through contaminated food or drink. Water which has been exposed to sewerage containing the bacteria can also spread the disease. Typhoid presents with fever, stomach pains and sometimes a rash. Prevention of typhoid centres around good hand hygiene and safe food preparation.</p><p>City clinics have regular health talks about the prevention of water- and food-borne diseases and diarrheoa danger signs. Healthcare facilities ensure that individuals who are sick and dehydrated (especially children) are fast-tracked to prevent disease progression.</p><p><strong>Diphtheria and pertussis – vaccine preventable diseases</strong><br>A cluster of three diphtheria cases was reported in August 2017 and was successfully contained. Diphtheria is spread from person to person through ‘droplet spread’ of an infected person. Patients have flu-like symptoms, a sore throat and/or swollen neck. Swallowing and breathing may also be obstructed. </p><p>The number of pertussis cases in the city increased from 42 in 2016 to 101 in 2017. Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by bacteria which affect the upper airways causing swelling and the distinct “whooping” cough. </p><p>Both diphtheria and pertussis can be life threatening illnesses especially to infants and those who are immune-compromised. The two can be prevented with vaccines which are included in the South African Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and are available to all children, at no cost, at their nearest healthcare facility.</p><p>‘With advancements in healthcare and the current immunization programme, the seriousness of these illnesses has dropped out of public memory and there is a growing trend to not immunize. The rise in these two diseases can be, in part, attributed to this. When immunization coverage drops below a certain level in a community, the number of individuals who are susceptible to these forgotten diseases increases to the point of sustaining an outbreak. I encourage parents and caregivers to be vigilant and ensure that all children who require immunizations receive them. The City will continue to promote childhood vaccinations at all its healthcare facilities,’ said Alderman Smith.</p><p>In addition, the City of Cape Town’s environmental health practitioners identify hotspots and drive prevention activities in the communities which are most affected. Prevention activities include educating communities through public events, distributing posters, training residents on maintaining good hand washing practices without wasting water, oral rehydration solution recipes and the five key food safety tips, which are particularly relevant to the listeria outbreak. </p><p><strong>Listeria</strong><br>Listeria is a food-borne disease caused by the bacteria <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em>. It is spread through the consumption of contaminated food. The most common foods it can be found in are vegetables, raw or unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses, processed foods and smoked fish. </p><p>‘Listeria crosses income and race boundaries. It can be present in anyone's fridge. As a caring City, we are doing what we can to identify the source of contamination and ensure food safety across Cape Town, both at formal and informal food vendors. Listeria has been associated with certain types of foods, but it can be present in a wide range of food types. For this reason, the City’s environmental health department is sampling the entire fridge contents of persons who have contracted the disease in order to find the source. The City is now prepared to include testing for listeria in the routine checks on food samples from food retailers,’ said Alderman Smith.</p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure></span><p>As of 11 January 2018, a total of 748 cases have been identified nationally since 1 January 2017, with the majority of cases being from Gauteng (61%) and the Western Cape (13%). Thus far 67 of the reported cases have been fatal. </p><p>The City of Cape Town has seen a total of 47 cases of listeriosis since August 2017. </p><p>The five key food safety tips are:</p><ul><li>Wash your hands thoroughly</li><li>Separate raw and cooked food</li><li>Cook food thoroughly </li><li>Keep food at safe temperatures</li><li>Use clean water and fresh food</li></ul><p>‘While the outbreaks are not directly related to the drought, we need to ensure that health and hygiene standards are retained through creative methods and devices such as using squeeze bottles for hand washing. Providing quality healthcare is in line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP). The City is committed to providing basic primary healthcare to ensure the health and well-being of all our residents,’ said Alderman Smith.</p>2018-01-16T22:00:00Z1
Cape Town residents must reduce consumption to avoid Day ZeroToday I want to call on all Capetonians to do more to save water. There are only 95 days left before we reach Day Zero.<p>Day Zero has moved a day closer this week to 21 April 2018. Day Zero is when the City will be forced to turn off most of the taps and every resident will have to queue for 25 litres of water per day.</p><p>The only way Cape Town can avoid Day Zero is if every single resident saves water. But this is not the case.</p><p>During the past week only 39% of Cape Town’s residents used less than 87 litres of water per person per day – compared to 54% during the first week of January. I want to thank those residents who are saving.</p><p>Cape Town’s average daily collective consumption is still too high. It has increased to 618 million litres per day, up from 578 million litres per day.</p><p>For each day that Cape Town uses more than 500 million litres, the city moves closer to Day Zero. </p><p>Dam levels have dipped to 28,7% percent this past week – down by one percentage point. Only about 18,7% of this water is usable as the last 10% is difficult to abstract from the dams. </p><p>The City has ramped up pressure management to drive down consumption – aiming to stretch our water supply past the winter rainy season. </p><p>We have identified 25 areas across the city that could benefit from this pressure management technology over the next three months, and contractors have been brought in to speed up the programme.</p><p>Level 6 water restrictions, effective from 1 January 2018, aim to drive down consumption. All households that use more than 10,5 kilolitres per month will have a water management device fitted to their property’s water supply. This is part of the City’s commitment to work with residents to avoid Day Zero.</p><p>In addition, the City continues its work around the clock to bring additional water sources into our supply network. These projects include groundwater abstraction from the three aquifers around Cape Town, the three desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein and the V&A Waterfront, and the recycling of waste water. </p><p>These projects, however, will only ensure water security in the long run and we cannot relax our water saving efforts for one day. We must stay committed to saving water. It is the only way Cape Town can avoid Day Zero.</p><p>The City will continue working with residents to ensure that Cape Town’s taps don’t run dry. It is up to every resident to do his and her part to save water while we still have water to save. </p><p>The full dashboard can be viewed here: <a href=""></a></p><p>Please see <a href=""></a> for more water-related information.<br></p>2018-01-15T22:00:00Z1






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