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Launch of the Greater Cape Town Water Fund Pilot Project The fund will contribute towards clearing alien vegetation that has grown on top of our aquifers to increase rainwater recharge and increase the sustainable yield of groundwater.<p>Cities are major contributors to climate change. Although they cover less than 2% of the earth’s surface, cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of all carbon dioxide and significant amounts of other greenhouse gas emissions, mainly through energy generation, vehicles, industry, and biomass use. At the same time, cities are extremely vulnerable to climate change. The World Bank forecasts that water availability in cities could decline by as much as two thirds by 2050 as a result of climate change and competition from energy generation and agriculture.</p><p>The reality is that many cities have not yet addressed climate change. However, when properly planned, capacitated, and managed through the appropriate governance structures, cities can be places of innovation and efficiency. Together with their local authorities, they have the potential to diminish the causes of climate change and effectively protect themselves from its impacts. This project which is being launched here today is an example of how cities can increase their resilience to climate change.</p><p>The project was initiated in 2014 when the City of Cape Town reached out to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) requesting it to establish a Water Fund for Cape Town. In 2015 a TNC delegation visited Cape Town and we agreed on Atlantis as the right location to run a pilot for four main reasons:</p><ul><li> It serves as an example for other managed aquifers </li><li> It is in a key biodiversity area </li><li> We are able to create much-needed jobs for the local communities </li><li> Thirsty invader plants have a negative impact on the biodiversity and on water resources </li></ul><p>The City of Cape Town however looks forward to work hand in hand with TNC and our partners to expand this work to benefit the greater Cape Town region. </p><p>Without water the city’s economic growth is limited, jobs are affected, it impacts stability in the region and has severe social consequences, especially on our poor communities.</p><p>It is time to think differently about our relationship with water. Water can no longer be taken for granted. The City of Cape Town, in collaboration with national and provincial government, industry and residents of Cape Town are working hard to avoid the immediate threat of running out of water.  </p><p>But the threat to our water supply will not be simply avoided by receiving good rainfall this winter. We have to make sure that we plan for the medium term and position the city to cope with the unknown. That means among other things less reliance on surface water and a greater appreciation for diverse water supply options.</p><p>The City recognises the contribution by the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and commits to work with the Greater Cape Town Water Fund Partners to manage our water resources to ensure the region continues to serve its people. As we navigate the drought that has hit our region, it is important for us at all times to ensure that we build stronger partnerships to ensure that we can withstand the water-related shocks of the future. I wish this project every success, and look forward to seeing the results.</p><p> <strong>End</strong></p>2018-02-21T22:00:00Z1
City donates wheelchairs to residents in DelftSelfless local heroes who are serving a range of vulnerable groups and those most in need of our help in Delft<p>​​​​​​Today I had the pleasure of spending an inspiring morning with many selfless local heroes who are serving a range of vulnerable groups and those most in need of our help in Delft. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1028px;" /> </figure> <span> <p>​​​​​​These local community organisations play an important role in our efforts to build a caring city. I commend and thank them for their work as they recognise the importance of serving the community but especially empowering those with disabilities. </p> <p>Today, as part of the City’s work to build a caring city, I handed over 16 wheelchairs to beneficiaries from Delft. These residents will now have greater mobility and will be empowered to do more for themselves.</p> <p>Each year the City donates wheelchairs to residents in need. Last year a total of 83 wheelchairs were given to beneficiaries across the city.</p> <p>The City’s Social Development Department offers a range of programmes and support services to assist vulnerable groups and senior citizens such as home-based care and recreational activities.</p> <p>As a firm testament of our partnership with important community structures, Delft ward councillors host regular programmes with organisations in the area who provide assistance to and care for vulnerable groups. </p> <p>Some of the outstanding work is led by the Delft Disability Forum which was formed by Epilepsy South Africa and is coordinated by social worker Jaydene Basson in collaboration with Councillor Michelle Adonis. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:930px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span>​​</span><span> <p>​​​​​​The forum’s main objective is to provide projects in the community which maintain and enhance both individual and collective wellbeing. To achieve these objectives, the forum meets on a weekly basis at The Hague Recreational Centre to plan and implement various activities such as recreational afternoons, self-help groups, capacity-building workshops, and to provide economic and educational opportunities as well as family support. </p> <p>The Delft Disability Forum was launched in September last year when various role-players came together including Epilepsy South Africa, the City’s Recreation and Parks department, the Department of Social Development, the Masithembele Centre, Quad Para Association Western Cape, African Legend, the Oasis Day Centre, Roosendal Special School and the Delft Community Health Centre. </p> <p>Through ward allocation funding the local councillor also made provision for sporting equipment for the various recreational activities on offer for vulnerable groups. </p> <p>All of these combined efforts are making a positive impact in the lives of the vulnerable residents who are often forgotten and who do not always have access to tools to help them lead a normal life.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1133px;" /> </figure>​​</span> <p>We have seen time and time again that when we empower vulnerable groups, they are able to make positive contributions in their communities. </p><p>I thank all the councillors and community groups for their hard work and passion for people with disabilities. Their commitment is to be commended and is of great value to the beneficiaries and the City’s collective efforts to build a caring city. </p><p>There are many other heroes and excellent community groups across Cape Town and I want to thank them as well for the great work they do to uplift our communities. </p><p>By empowering more people with disabilities through recreational and self-help activities, we are showing that we can make progress possible together and that we can turn obstacles into opportunities for all. </p><p> <strong>End</strong> </p>2018-02-21T22:00:00Z1
City unveils MyEstate mobile housing officeThe MyEstate office will fill the gap left by the closure of satellite housing offices that have been underutilised in some communities.<p>The MyEstate office will fill the gap left by the closure of satellite housing offices that have been underutilised in some communities.</p><p>As part of the pilot test phase of this project, the mobile MyEstate office has been servicing the Albow Gardens complex in Brooklyn. </p> <span>​<figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:473px;" /><figcaption> <p> © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure></span>The old satellite housing office that occupied a ground floor unit in the Albow Gardens complex was underutilised as it was only operational on certain days of the week. A decision was taken last year to turn the office into a residential unit for tenancy occupation. It was allocated to a beneficiary (a pensioner) who had been on the housing database for 27 years. <p>The MyEstate mobile office operates from the parking area adjacent to the clinic and library in Brooklyn, which augments the one-stop centralised service.</p><p>Last year, Council adopted the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) that aims to transform the lives of residents by becoming a more customer-focused organisation.</p><p>‘I am pleased that we are on point and well aligned with the key priorities of the ODTP. The MyEstate mobile housing office takes a critical service to the doorstep of the city’s most vulnerable residents. This is what being customer-centric truly means – creating a platform for our residents to access services on their doorstep, affording them the opportunity to ask questions of clarity and receive immediate guidance and feedback,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Councillor Stuart Diamond.</p> <span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:500px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> <p>The MyEstate Mobile office has been in operation since December 2017 rendering various tenancy management services such as logging service requests on behalf of residents, assisting residents with rent relief applications, housing database queries and new applications, completion of lease agreements, arrangements for arrears rental accounts, general enquiries and even providing personalised service for a resident who is unable to walk.</p> <p>‘It is heart-warming to see residents making use of this opportunity. The mobile MyEstate office will be moving to other communities in due course and the relevant communities will be advised when it will be in their area,’ added Councillor Diamond.</p> <p>The vehicle has been fully fitted with furniture and equipment to ensure the comfort of residents who make use of this facility.</p> <p>The Albow Gardens housing estate comprises 212 units which are home to approximately 1 272 residents. </p>​​</span> <p> <strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-02-20T22:00:00Z1
City responds to claims around the cancellation of the Bayhill Premier Cup<p>The City of Cape Town notes with concern the comments attributed to the South African Football Association (SAFA) Cape Town about the cancellation of the Bayhill Premier Cup. This is the latest in a series of misleading comments by SAFA CT about the upcoming soccer season and contingency plans that have been in effect during the prevailing drought crisis. </p><p>For the record, the City has not cancelled the Bayhill tournament as we are not the event organisers. In fact, there have been multiple positive engagements with the organisers aimed at finding a way to allow this tournament to continue, and to prepare the fields required for this purpose, within the limitations set by Level 6B water restrictions.</p><p>The City recognises the importance of the tournament in the development of young soccer players. Last year the City did everything within its power to ensure that this tournament went ahead, including the trucking in of non-potable water to irrigate fields ahead of the tournament. Similar efforts were in place in preparation for the 2018 instalment of the tournament.</p><p>During a meeting this morning, the organisers indicated that they had decided to cancel the tournament for a number of reasons which they will elaborate on in due course. It is indeed a pity that the tournament has had to be cancelled, but we thank the organisers for their mature view of the drought crisis and the impact it is having on life as we know it.</p><p>In terms of the comments attributed to SAFA Cape Town in recent days and the allegation that the City ‘does not have a plan’ to deal with the impact of the drought on local football, allow me to state the following:</p><ul><li>On 29 January 2018 the City requested that SAFA (and other sports federations) submit a list of their most important fixtures so that we could prioritise the fields required for irrigation with treated effluent or borehole water</li><li>This was reiterated at a mass communication session held with all sporting federations on 10 February 2018 </li><li>Numerous federations (cricket, rugby, softball and baseball) have already made significant changes to their fixtures and schedules. The City has yet to receive this list from SAFA</li><li>Furthermore, it was decided that the City’s 29 artificial turfs will be used to accommodate as many of the major soccer fixtures as possible and that their use would be determined by SAFA</li><li>The City has suggested a number of contingency plans to ensure that sport can continue as far as possible, such as the use of community halls for junior games where a soccer ball is replaced with a softer, indoor ball</li><li>SAFA has not provided any proposals around how it would like the remaining playable fields to be booked in order to ensure that the most effective and equitable approach is taken</li><li>SAFA has yet to present any proposals around how it intends to adapt its season during this water crisis. Indeed, the communication we have seen issued from SAFA has focused on:<br>o   (a) the intention to continue with business as usual despite the continued destruction of the grass playing fields, an approach that will render many of them unplayable for years to come as the City will not have the money to reinstate these fields when all the grass has been stripped <br>o   (b) blaming the City for not accommodating their usual fixtures and play hours despite numerous and lengthy engagements around the impact of the water crisis on the maintenance of grass fields</li></ul><p>We do not know how else we can get the message across to SAFA that, as part of the ‘new normal’ we all find ourselves in, the City’s ability to irrigate its grass playing fields is severely compromised. Continued play on these fields will mean that they will be stripped of all grass. It takes in excess of R400 000 and 3 million litres of water to reinstate a field once it has reached this state. This means that it will likely be many years before the City will be able to get these fields back to a reasonable state for play. </p><p>If the soccer fraternity recognizes this fact and reduces play on these fields until the rains come, there is a chance that soccer leagues can be accommodated on fields later in the year. We recognise that the current water crisis is negatively impacting on the functioning of the various sports codes and we are committed to working with all concerned to ensure that the impact is minimised, whilst still taking the necessary steps to preserve the city’s remaining water resources. The Social Services Directorate is also reprioritizing budget in the financial year starting in July 2018 to improve sporting facilities by building additional artificial pitches, sinking new boreholes and expanding the treated effluent reticulation network to allow for better irrigation of playing fields which we are not allowed to irrigate with potable water.</p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-02-20T22:00:00Z1






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