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City condemns vandalism of community hall during Joe Slovo protests<p>​Last night, 26 June 2017, protest action in Joe Slovo in Milnerton resulted in the burning of the City of Cape Town’s Joe Slovo community hall. The hall has been severely damaged and will be closed until further notice. </p><span>​<figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:461px;" /><figcaption> <p> <b>Damage to the Joe Slovo Hall</b><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span>The fire damage is extensive, resulting in almost all of the ceiling boards in the main hall being destroyed. These are now littering the floor of the hall. This is particularly hard to swallow when just yesterday the Recreation and Parks Department finished extensive repairs to all ceilings boards and doors in this facility after years of motivating for the funding for these repairs. <p> </p><p>No room within this facility was spared in this act of violence. The main hall and kitchen have both sustained substantial fire damage. Even the storeroom of the facility was burnt down, along with all of the recreation equipment stored within it. </p><p>Just last week this hall was humming with children at a series of Youth Day programmes and we had weeks of holiday programmes planned for winter. Now we have had to remove staff from the facility. This is extremely discouraging for our recreation staff. The City has spent years transforming this hall into one that the community can be proud of, where in any given week nearly 2 500 children and youth visit the centre for recreation programmes.</p><p>Regular programmes at the facility include aerobics, basketball, drama and crèche programmes. The centre also had a very popular gym.</p><p>The nearest community halls are the Summer Greens Hall and the Milnerton Hall and the City’s Recreation and Parks Department will accommodate users of the Joe Slovo Hall at these centres as far as possible.</p><p><strong></strong> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><span>​</span><p> </p>2017-06-26T22:00:00Z1
City’s Traffic Service puts the squeeze on ‘pirate’ taxi operators<p>The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Service held a week-long operation in the southern peninsula, in association with the South African Police Service, Metro Police and Law Enforcement, in response to tensions in the taxi industry.</p><p>Officers impounded 74 vehicles during operations in Vrygrond, Westlake, Heathfield, Retreat, Steenberg, Muizenberg and Wynberg after drivers could not produce operating licences or were found to be operating in contravention of their operating licences. </p><p>They also served 23 warrants, released 13 motorists on a warning, and issued 3 377 fines for various offences. Of the 18 arrests, three were for outstanding warrants, 12 for driving while intoxicated, and one each for reckless and negligent driving, failing to obey a lawful instruction, and possession of a fraudulent driver’s licence.</p><p>‘Recently, tensions flared again in the Retreat/Vrygrond area between legal and illegal operators. Our staff saturated the area in response and, based on the statistics, the operation was a success. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation to ensure that everyone stays in their lane and to help prevent a repeat of the violence we’ve seen in the area in the past,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.</p><p>The City’s Metro Police Department meanwhile arrested 89 suspects in the last week, including 71 for drunk driving. Officers also made arrests for drug possession (7) and various other offences, including possession of ammunition, possession of suspected stolen property, attempted murder, and assault on a police officer.</p><p>On Thursday 22 June 2017, Metro Police members were on general patrols when they were alerted to a Law Enforcement pursuit of a grey Mercedes Benz on Baden Powell Drive. Officers responded and spotted the vehicle heading towards the Capricorn traffic circle. When they arrived at the location, the suspects had abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. An eyewitness gave officers a description of the suspects and the direction they were headed. Officers searched the area and found the two men, who were positively identified by the witness. Officers later found that the Mercedes was a stolen vehicle that had been used in an armed robbery in the Langa area, and that both suspects were wanted on charges of armed robbery, theft, and possession of an illegal firearm for incidents in Milnerton and Macassar. </p><p>‘This was exceptional work by the City’s enforcement services and I laud their dogged determination in tracking down the suspects when the odds of finding them were slim. Because of their commitment, two potentially dangerous criminals are off the streets. I also want to thank the eyewitness for his assistance. This case is an example of how the community and enforcement services can work together to make Cape Town safer,’ added Alderman Smith.<br></p>2017-06-25T22:00:00Z1
Drought crisis: City mulls implementation of next level water restrictions<p>Dam storage levels are at 24,5% today, 26 June 2017. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 14,5%. Consumption is 630 million litres per day. This is 30 million litres above the current usage target of 600 million litres per day. </p><p>The City requests consumers to start moving towards the target of 500 million litres, irrespective of whether Level 4b restrictions have been formally implemented or not, by ensuring that all water users use less than 100 litres of water per person per day in total, whether at home, work or elsewhere. This would be in preparation for the proposed intensified restrictions. The City will also continue to target excessive users.  </p><p>‘It is incredibly important that we focus on building our reserves at the moment. The danger does exist that we will start exceeding our water usage target due to the cooler conditions and the rainfall that is being experienced at times. </p><p>‘Our dam levels remain critically lower than usual during the start of the winter. As we do not know how rainfall will pan out, we need to make sure that we save water while we have it. I know that many of us are doing everything in our power to use less water and I know it is difficult to keep on saving water, especially when the rain falls and the temperature drops, but we cannot afford to let our guard down. </p><p>‘We must continue to use less than 100 litres of water per person per day in total, whether we are at home, work, school or elsewhere. It may take a few seasons of normal rainfall for the dams to recover and we must bear in mind that we are expecting an even tougher summer in 2018,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg</p><p>The City’s Water Resilience Task Team has been set up to boost the City’s response to drought, to ensure that acute water shortages are avoided, and to transform Cape Town’s water landscape into one that ultimately relies less on surface water. </p><p>The City continues with all of its planned and proactive interventions, such as pressure reduction programmes and emergency work, as well as taking tough action on those who contravene the existing Level 4 restrictions. <br> <br>Residents can contact the City via email to <a href=""></a> for queries or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.</p><p>For further information on how to adhere to the less than 100-litre usage requirement, residents should please visit the water restrictions page on the City’s website: <a href=""></a> </p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><p><strong></strong> </p>2017-06-25T22:00:00Z1
City’s drug strategy puts prevention first<p>​The City of Cape Town will accelerate its substance abuse prevention programme in the year ahead to help stem the tide of young people falling into the cycle of abuse.</p><p>Since 2013, the City has developed and implemented a number of programmes specifically targeting children at both primary and secondary school level. While drug awareness is a key focus, programmes also hone in on building resilient individuals through soft skills interventions – allowing them to distinguish between right and wrong, the value of making good personal choices, and steering clear of anti-social influences.</p><p>Other interventions in the City’s basket of services to promote social development include the establishment of recreation centres, youth capacity-building and work skills programmes, leadership camps, and temporary work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme.</p><span>​<figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:340px;" /><figcaption> <p> <b>Foetal alcohol syndrome awareness</b><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure>‘There is a misguided perception that law enforcement is the answer to South Africa’s crippling drug and alcohol abuse problem. While effective enforcement is a deterrent, it is but one piece of the puzzle. Government and relevant stakeholders need to work together to fix the patchy social fabric that often acts as a catalyst for substance abuse. The best place to start is with our children and ensuring they know not only the dangers of substance abuse, but also how to avoid falling into the trap in the first place,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area Central, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli.</span><p> </p><p>Over the past four years, the Substance Abuse Programme has reached thousands of children and parents through its various interventions. It has also created more than 2 000 temporary work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme and rolled out 32 simulators to help children experience the impact of alcohol and other substances on babies. </p><p>Other aspects of the City’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Strategy focus on suppression through enforcement and intervention through treatment. </p><p>In the first quarter of this year, the City’s Metro Police and Traffic Services arrested 413 suspects for drug offences and confiscated nearly 7 000 units of drugs. <br></p><span>​<figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:583px;" /><figcaption> <p> <strong>Destruction of impounded alcohol</strong><br>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span>During the same period, they arrested 1 100 motorists for drunk driving. Recently, the Law Enforcement Department destroyed 12 000 bottles of alcohol that had been confiscated from beaches and public spaces over the festive season, in accordance with the City’s by-laws. <p> </p><p>The City’s six substance abuse treatment sites, following the Matrix® treatment model, have screened 832 new clients in the first half of this year. Substance dependency is viewed as a chronic illness and relapse is a characteristic of any chronic illness. The Matrix® programme provides the tools to analyse relapses and turn them into a learning experience to ensure that relapse is not repeated.</p><p>‘Our alcohol and drug strategy reflects the intent of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which encourages a transversal approach to tackling challenges facing Cape Town. It also links closely with the National Drug Master Plan. This plan is up for review this year and the City will make representations based on our experience of the last four years. As a country we need to re-evaluate our relationship with substances, both legal and illegal. We also need to realise that it’s not only a government problem, but everyone’s problem,’ added Councillor Mamkeli.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><span>​​</span>2017-06-24T22:00:00Z1




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