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City encourages weekday burials amid increase in fatalitiesThe City’s cemeteries continue to experience an increase in burials week-on-week, as the metropole grapples with the third wave of Covid-19 infections.<p>The City’s cemeteries continue to experience an increase in burials week-on-week, as the metropole grapples with the third wave of Covid-19 infections.</p><p>In the last seven day reporting period, a total of 638 burials were completed at City cemeteries, up from 488 the week before.</p><p>Of these, 215 burials took place at Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park, 130 at Maitland cemetery, 103 at Wallacedene and 74 burials at Welmoed cemetery.</p><p>At the Maitland cemetery, the availability of public graves has been impacted by a high water table, brought about by heavy rainfall experienced to date this winter. </p><p>‘What we are experiencing now is similar to the previous two waves of Covid-19 infections, when fatalities increased sharply. The City has sufficient capacity to accommodate burials, but if one considers the number of burials at Klip Road in the past week, that equates to an average of 30 a day, which means a lot of foot traffic in and out of the cemetery, increased risk of close contact and increased pressure on staff to manage the situation. We therefore need a collective effort to ensure that we are able to manage the situation effectively, and in the best interests of public health and safety,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.</p><p>The City urges funeral organisers to consider weekday burials to help alleviate the pressure on cemeteries, as well as alternatives to burial where this is not prohibited on religious grounds. </p><p>In the last week, the Maitland Crematorium completed 84 cremations, while 32 others were transferred to private crematoria while maintenance work on one of the cremators at Maitland was being finalised.</p><p>At the same time, cemetery visits will likely resume from 10 August, dependent on a reduction in the Covid-19 caseload. This is to ensure that cemetery operations can focus on the increase in burials currently being experienced.</p><p><strong>THIRD WAVE MANAGEMENT</strong></p><p>The City also urges continued vigilance among the public in general, to help mitigate the risk of infection during this third wave.</p><p>While the country has moved to Adjusted Alert Level 3, Cape Town’s infection and fatality rates remain high. </p><p>‘It is important that we all continue to abide by the health and safety protocols that have become a part of life since the start of this pandemic. This also applies to those who have been vaccinated. Remember, the vaccination reduces the risk of serious illness, but does not mean that you cannot contract Covid-19 and infect others, so the same rules still apply to everyone, vaccinated or not.</p><p>‘As the vaccination campaign extends to other age groups, I also want to renew my appeal to those who have qualified, but who have not yet registered, to please do so. Our public health facilities continue to prioritise persons 60 and older for walk-in registration and vaccination, as well as our 50 to 59 age group. The more people we vaccinate, and the quicker we do it, the sooner we can achieve population immunity and free ourselves from this pandemic,’ added Councillor Badroodien.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2021-07-26T22:00:00Z1
By-law aims to provide clarity, improve health and safety, enhance management of informality The City of Cape Town, as with other metros in South Africa, has seen an unprecedented increase in unlawful occupation since the start of the Covid-19 national lockdown in March 2021. <p>​</p><p>The City of Cape Town, as with other metros in South Africa, has seen an unprecedented increase in unlawful occupation since the start of the Covid-19 national lockdown in March 2021. </p><p>Official assessments show the unlawful occupation have been primarily orchestrated, large-scale occupations driven by criminal syndicates or so-called ‘shack farmers’, especially exploiting those who were adversely impacted by Covid-19 in particular. Occupations have mostly happened on completely unsuitable land - in dams, ponds, wetlands, roads and nature reserves. </p><p>A clear and holistic way forward is required to navigate the complexities of the human settlements reality and to ensure that new plans and programmes for the inclusive development of Cape Town are protected from the negative consequences brought on by unlawful occupation. </p><p>Hence the introduction of the draft Unlawful Occupation By-law, which is undergoing public participation. The draft by-law is expected to streamline procedures underpinning the effective resolution of complaints, and to mitigate risks to the City, individuals and landowners by ensuring necessary and ongoing enforcement actions are supported by legislation.</p><p><strong>Unlawful occupation means:</strong></p><ul><li>Health and safety hazards for those settling on unsuitable land, such as with the flooding that we have seen again recently. Some 70% of the new recently occupied areas are on unsuitable land, such as in dams and ponds designed to catch water especially during times of heavy rainfall. </li><li>Planned projects and programmes, such as the R3,3 billion earmarked capital spend on human settlement projects over the next three years are at risk. Unlawful occupation leads to the redirecting of budgets for services and programmes at the cost of planned projects. </li></ul><p style="text-align:left;">• Criminal syndicates dictate the development of Cape Town.</p><p><div style="text-align:left;">• People are settling in areas where no provision for bulk services have been made.</div></p><p><div style="text-align:left;">• People are settling on railways, which means tens of thousands of people do not have access to public transport. </div></p><p><div style="text-align:left;">• People are setting on nature reserves, not suitable for human habitation. </div></p><ul><li>With the criminal land syndicates, illegal connection syndicates are thriving. The spike in unlawful occupation has seen a spike in illegal connections. This places the electricity supply infrastructure at risk, and often leads to existing communities being in the dark due to the overloading of the system. </li><li>People settle on top of bulk services infrastructure. If there is a blockage or a problem that needs fixing, the City then cannot access the infrastructure. </li></ul><p style="text-align:left;">• Illegal water connections are made that jeopardises the water supply system. </p><ul><li>Unlawful occupation often impacts on waterways and pollution of water resources as there are no sanitation facilities in place. </li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The City’s new Human Settlements Strategy contains a profound shift to enable the greater provision of affordable housing opportunities, based on partnerships and new ways of delivery and to address growing informality. But all these plans are placed at risk with unlawful occupation. </div></li></ul><p style="text-align:left;">Local government cannot solve the great need for affordable accommodation on well-located land on its own. It takes all three spheres of government, the private sector, and residents working with us. However, urgent policy and legislative reforms are needed to address the major obstacles to human settlements delivery, which include unlawful occupations, National Government budget cuts, a weak national economy, a fragmented, haphazard and unclear lack of national policy implementation, including an absence of an adequate national redistribution policy. And it is against this backdrop that informality is set to grow. </p><p><strong>Unlawful occupation and the new Managed Settlement Programme</strong><br>At the heart of the draft Unlawful Land Occupation By-law and framework, is the development of the Managed Settlements Programme. The programme intends to create the opportunity to allow residents to lawfully and safely erect informal structures on land that has been prepared for service access and infrastructure installation. This would be the rapid, affordable housing solution that is required. </p><p>Housing and permanent service access are captured within the Constitution of South Africa as being elementary to the basic needs of all residents of South Africa. In the resource constrained environment in which the City finds itself, providing housing and services for all, and at the same time, is not possible. However, an alternative source of provision, namely a Managed Settlement Programme, must be piloted and the City needs to lead this initiative. It will need the cooperation of communities and civic organisations to help the City make this a success. Further orchestrated unlawful occupations or incitement to occupy illegally will jeopardise such a pilot programme to the detriment of all. </p><p><strong>Managed Settlements Programme </strong><br>To work with informality and to reduce the risks that spur on unlawful land occupations, the City needs to identify those elements that the informal housing system does well and shape them into a better managed development response. This includes legally enabling residents to erect their own structures on identified land parcels; ensuring safety and environmental integrity; providing temporary basic services where possible with the future possibility of connection to the City’s infrastructure grid.</p><p><strong>Examples of what the informal housing system does well:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Rapid construction time</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Complex modular design</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Self-organisation</div></li></ul><p>The new plan to address informality thus comprises a sustainable, legal housing response that is not a temporary relocation area. </p><p><strong>It comprises progressive improvement over time and formalising the informality with for instance</strong>: </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Electricity prepaid meters</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Individual services per site</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;"> Occupation recognition</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Permission to upgrade own structure with formal building material (with conditions)</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Option of site ownership</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Access criteria</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Screening criteria</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Case history (i.e. from where did they originate)</div></li></ul><p>Apart from safeguarding vital plans and programmes, the draft by-law thus provides for identifying and developing land for managed settlements, interim and emergency services to unlawful occupants of land, and voluntary relocation of unlawful occupants to managed settlements including <strong>transporting them</strong>. Furthermore, it specifically includes the City policies which are aligned to the national housing policies and frameworks and has been drafted to ensure its constitutionality and its alignment with the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act.</p><p><strong>Powers in the by-law</strong><br>It is important to note that the powers to summons, issue admission of guilt fines, arrest, and search, are those conferred on law enforcement officers under the Criminal Procedure Act. The by-law now limits and explicitly states that law enforcement officers can:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Direct a person to stop prohibited conduct, remove an obstacle, and to leave and remain out of a specified place</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Issue compliance notices as well as notices to appear in court or pay a fine</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Arrest a person who commits an offence in terms of the by-law and to search a person if necessary </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Impound goods and materials as per the City’s Standard Operating Procedure on the Impoundment of Goods and Animals, 2012</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Require identification</div></li></ul><p>Unlawful occupation is already an illegal act as defined by common, statutory, and public law legislation in South Africa and an ordered approach is required to protect municipal land from illegal occupation attempts. We owe this to future generations of a growing city who will require land for schools, hospitals, transport, housing, community facilities, and more and we cannot allow our plans and programmes to be jeopardised. <br>                                               <br>Comments can be lodged until 31 July 2021 and can be sent via email to <a href="mailto:unlawful.occupation@capetown.gov.za" target="_blank">unlawful.occupation@capetown.gov.za</a>.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2021-07-26T22:00:00Z1
City attends to high volumes of electricity service requeststy of Cape Town teams continue to attend to a high volume of electricity service requests triggered by recent severe storms, load-shedding and ongoing infrastructure vandalism<p>Larger area outages caused by infrastructure damage also take longer to resolve. These are especially caused by illegal connections, ongoing vandalism and by trees and shrubs growing into electricity infrastructure. Added to this, Covid-19 and last week’s load-shedding continue to impact operations and health and safety regulations must be adhered to in the interest of staff, contractors and customers. It must also be noted that many areas across the metro remain highly volatile. Although the City does its best to attend to requests as soon as possible, it cannot jeopardise staff and contractor safety. Electricity teams often have to get law enforcement escorts in some areas. </p><p>City teams will continue to do everything in their power to attend to outages in the shortest possible time. It is often not possible to give an exact time for restoration where damage to infrastructure is involved and where an outage affects a large area. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience suffered. Residents are assured that City teams are attending to outages as quickly as possible.</p><p>‘There are a number of areas across the metro which are currently experiencing unplanned outages. Our teams are attending to these and we thank our customers for their understanding. </p><p>‘Customers should please bear in mind that storms can cause area outages, which take longer to resolve. These are especially caused by trees and shrubs growing into electricity infrastructure. Added to this, Covid-19 continues to have an impact on operations. City teams will continue to do everything in their power to attend to outages in the shortest possible time. It is often not possible to give an exact time for restoration where damage to infrastructure is involved and where an outage affects a large area,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti. </p><p>Customers are requested to report outages via the City’s service channels to alert the technicians to intervene. </p><p><strong>For service requests (please only log on one channel and do not log the same request multiple times):</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Call Centre: 0860 103 089</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">SMS: 31220 (Please note the free SMS service does not apply)</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Email: <a href="mailto:power@capetown.gov.za" target="_blank">power@capetown.gov.za</a> </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">e-Services: <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests" target="_blank">www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests</a> </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Please note, during inclement weather, service requests increase and this can impact on the time required to fix an outage. The City thanks all residents for their understanding.</div></li></ul><p><br>End<br></p>2021-07-26T22:00:00Z1
Cape Town dam levels increase to 97,5% As dam levels have been increasing following substantial rainfall recently, some residents might be questioning whether water tariffs can be lowered<p>As dam levels have been increasing following substantial rainfall recently, some residents might be questioning whether water tariffs can be lowered. It is important to keep in mind that the amount of water in our dams, which we share with several other municipalities, does not directly influence the cost of delivering the overall water and sanitation service.</p><p><strong>The City appreciates that tariff structures can be tricky to understand, so would like to highlight the key points below.</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">The cost of providing the service remains largely the same regardless of how much or how little water flows through the system.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The service includes the treatment and scientific quality testing of water; operation, repairs and maintenance of infrastructure; and transport and treatment of wastewater.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The amount to be recovered to fund the service however depends on how much water is used by the customers.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Tariffs also need to include the cost of the New Water Programme (NWP), which aims to produce approximately 300 million litres (Ml) per day through groundwater abstraction, desalination and water re-use by 2030.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The NWP aims to build resilience to the effects of climate change, and future droughts, ensuring a safe, reliable water supply for generations to come.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The City does not budget for a profit from the sale of water and seeks to keep costs of service delivery as low as possible.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The water tariff is made up of a fixed part and a usage part. It is a model used by numerous municipalities all over the country and helps provide a reliable water service. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The fixed/variable tariff model helps stabilise revenue streams so that the impact of variations in consumption are reduced to the benefit of operations and maintenance programmes. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">If the fixed portion of the tariff model was removed, the usage part of the tariff will need to be increased significantly to compensate.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Residents who are registered as indigent do not pay the fixed part of the water tariff and receive a free allocation of water monthly.</div></li></ul><p>More information about the City’s Water Strategy can be found here: <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/general/cape-town-water-strategy" target="_blank">http://www.capetown.gov.za/general/cape-town-water-strategy</a></p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2021-07-25T22:00:00Z1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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