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City extends condolences to the family of Professor Richard van der Ross, a Freeman of the CityIt is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Professor Richard van der Ross, a Freeman of the City of Cape Town.<p>​</p><p>It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Professor Richard van der Ross, a Freeman of the City of Cape Town.</p><p>He passed away this morning at the age of 96.</p><p>Professor Van der Ross was awarded the Freedom of the City, the highest civic honour, on 5 September 1988.</p><p>The Freedom of the City recognises the extraordinary contributions or acts of service to our city and its residents. These include upholding the rights of others, serving their community above themselves, and contributing to nation-building through outstanding service and achievements. </p><p>Professor Van der Ross was a recipient of the Freedom of the City along with other great giants including former President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.</p><p>Van der Ross was a great son of Cape Town who made an immense contribution to the city as a teacher and activist during Apartheid, the first editor of the Cape Herald, and the rector of the University of the Western Cape. Most recently in 2016, he released his book, ‘In Our Own Skins: A Political History of the Coloured People’. </p><p>This is a great loss to the city and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his two children, Ben van der Ross and Freda Brock, and his seven grandchildren, family and friends.</p><p>They are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong> </p>2017-12-12T22:00:00Z1
City brings data to life through its Open Data Portalformat. There have been more than 54 000 downloads off the portal since February 2015 which equates to, on average, 1 500 downloads per month.<p>​</p><p>The City’s Open Data Portal was launched with 29 datasets. As at the end of last month, this number has increased to 106 datasets available free of charge to members of the public in a useable format. There have been more than 54 000 downloads off the portal since February 2015 which equates to, on average, 1 500 downloads per month.</p><p>The Open Data Portal seeks to promote the use of the City’s data for broader social and economic benefit. It has been used as a source for events such as hackathons, data quests and data challenges. At these events, stakeholders come together to apply their skills to the different ways in which data can be used. A number of ideas are generated at these forums and some develop into applications or products.</p><p>The City is aware of the following applications that have been developed using data from the Open Data Portal:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">The City’s address data on the portal feeding into: <a href=""></a>, which is increasingly being used by a number of location lookup services such as Mapbox and Mapzen</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">An air quality application: <a href=""></a></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">A water watch online infographic using the City’s dam level data: <a href=""></a></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">An online budget tool using the City’s budget data: <a href=""></a></div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">An online platform developed by IBM using fire response data that will help to monitor fires</div></li></ul><p>‘The portal functionality has been incrementally enhanced. Additional plans are afoot to further improve the user experience of the portal as well as the content. One of the initiatives is to create a collaborative space on the portal for users to share information or case studies on how they have made use of the City’s data,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Raelene Arendse.</p><p>The following new features are being planned for the enhanced portal:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Grouping of information by theme so that people can easily find and download data in a variety of open formats</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The ability to view spatial data on a map and preview data in a tabular format before downloading</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The ability to filter data based on specific attributes before downloading</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Aggregating geospatial data by using charts and graphs</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Providing an option for users to mark certain datasets as favourites for easy access and for related datasets to be listed with all search results</div></li></ul><p>The new portal functionality allows for automated updates of data from the City’s Geographic Information System which means more up-to-date data being available to users </p><p>One of the key outcomes at a recent open data workshop was the establishment of an open data user group that will encourage discussion and an exchange of ideas on current and future datasets to be published on the portal. The user group will also allow the City to engage with users to better understand the data needs that might exist. This will keep the City vigilant and responsive to the needs of data users. The user group will also contribute towards better data governance in the City by raising any issues with regard to data quality or identifying data gaps which can be addressed through the open data steering committee.</p><p>‘We have set a goal to become a more data-driven organisation in line with our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan. Our data is available in a useable format at no charge and by opening up our datasets, we increase transparency and accountability. This in turn empowers residents and civil society organisations. We encourage more businesses and innovators to access the free data to make more resident-facing services available on digital platforms. This will help to further enhance service delivery to our residents,’ said Councillor Arendse.</p><p>Many of the suggestions that have been received from users (such as the need to visualise data before downloading) are reflected in the current redevelopment of the portal. Users have also expressed the need for more contextual information (metadata) about the datasets.</p><p>‘Based on available information, the data is being accessed by researchers, small businesses, professional consultancies, non-governmental organisations, entrepreneurs and residents. It is no longer business as usual at the City. We are looking to become a more evidence-based organisation that will be driven by data, while focusing tirelessly on our customers. </p><p>‘Our investment in technology platforms has positioned us well in terms of this goal. The growing volumes of data generated by and available to the City, which will likely be added to given the increasing use of smart technology, mean that we are in a good position to use our data to understand the needs of our customers better, increase response times, monitor trends and manage performance. We are getting on with building a data-driven organisation and being the most digitally connected city on the African continent,’ said Councillor Arendse.</p><p><br><strong>End </strong><br></p>2017-12-12T22:00:00Z1
Residents should not be forced into giving 'Christmas boxes' or bonuses to City’s Solid Waste staff Residents should note that there is a policy in place which strictly forbids its staff from asking residents for so-called ‘Christmas boxes’ and from soliciting donations. <p>​</p><p>Residents should note that there is a policy in place which strictly forbids its staff from asking residents for so-called ‘Christmas boxes’ and from soliciting donations. </p><p>‘City staff are appropriately remunerated and should not, under any circumstances, be asking residents for donations. If residents believe that excellent service has been provided they are of course at liberty to give a voluntary donation to staff as a gesture of thanks and goodwill,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. </p><p>Residents should please report any contraventions to the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089. Apart from the date, time and place, a vehicle registration number should be provided so that the alleged culprits can be identified. Residents can also report this to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Such reports will be investigated immediately. Where residents are willing to testify, the City will be able to prosecute offenders. </p><p>Residents should also be aware that certain opportunists attempt to pose as City staff at this time of the year. If residents suspect that the people who approach them are misrepresenting themselves, the matter should be reported to the South African Police Service immediately. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2017-12-11T22:00:00Z1
Public called to comment on draft Water Amendment By-law In 2015 the by-law was amended to ensure that the City could adequately monitor and control water-related services and also to oversee the plumbing industry<p>​</p><p>The existing Water By-law, as amended in 2015, was a progressive piece of legislation and, among other things, looked at the change in Cape Town’s demographics and associated water demand scenarios and water-wise strategy. </p><p>In 2015 the by-law was amended to ensure that the City could adequately monitor and control water-related services and also to oversee the plumbing industry. However, due to the impact of the worst drought in recorded history, the by-law requires further amendments.  </p><p>Key proposals now include: </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">reducing the demand on the municipal water supply by expanding the regulations on alternative water use and efficient plumbing fittings</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">enhancing enforcement of the by-law in relation to plumbers within the metro</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">strengthening the requirements for sub-metering on properties that have multiple accommodation units</div></li></ul><p>‘The amendments attempt to address the City’s emphasis on proactive governance to better adapt to the New Normal, which recognises our position in a water-scarce region,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.</p><p>This is in alignment with the City’s commitment to prioritising resource efficiency and security which forms part of the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.</p><p>‘At its core, the amendments seek to move Cape Town towards becoming a more resilient, water-sensitive city. This is another action to ensure that we are able not only to survive droughts of the magnitude that we are currently experiencing, but that we can thrive despite intense droughts. </p><p>‘It also sets out the roles and responsibilities of water users to ensure that we all take responsibility for conservation-based water management practices,’ said Councillor Limberg. </p><p>Members of the public may view the proposed by-law at subcouncil offices and at <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Comments may be sent to <a href="" target="_blank"></a> until 8 January 2018. </p><p>Please see <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for more water-related information. </p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p><p> </p>2017-12-11T22:00:00Z1






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