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City reaffirms commitment to greater service delivery, water resilience on World Toilet Day<p>World Toilet Day is an opportunity to take stock of the City of Cape Town’s achievements in sanitation provision thus far and to redouble our efforts to discover solutions to the challenges that constrain further sanitation rollouts in informal settlements. It is also a chance to celebrate the commitment demonstrated by Cape Town collectively to drastically change our habits to reduce unnecessary water wasted through toilet flushing. </p><p>The City has been recognised by National Government, as communicated recently by the Financial and Fiscal Commission, as providing the highest percentage of full-flush toilets and weekly refuse removal in the country, with around 93,8% of households in the city having access to a flush toilet. Still, there remains much work to be done in the face of ongoing population growth and increasing degrees of climate variability.</p><p>Working with our communities and private- and social partners is key to enhanced access to safe and adequate sanitation. Where we are able to do so, we always prefer to install full-flush toilets. But alternative solutions such as portable toilets must be explored too in areas where the installation of full-flush toilets is not possible. Portable toilets make access in these areas safer for the most vulnerable among us, like children and the elderly, and especially at night. </p><p>National Government’s masterplan document states that the provision of waterborne sanitation is unsustainable and South Africa must adopt waterless sanitation technology where appropriate. The City fully supports this approach as a means of enhancing access to safer and more sustainable sanitation for all of our residents. </p><p>This is especially important for us as a city having successfully emerged from the recent rare and severe drought. Technology and thinking outside of the box, the creation of stronger partnerships with our communities, private-sector led programmes and projects for the wiser use of resources, are required for Cape Town, and indeed South Africa, as we continue to deal with rapid urbanisation. </p><p>We have, over the past couple of years, witnessed a significant paradigm shift in terms of the use of drinking water for toilet flushing. </p><p>According to the Water Research Commission traditional toilet designs have been in existence for some 150 years. Thus, new ideas and technologies are imperative in the broader effort to strive for water resilience. Until such time as new innovation is taken up one cannot separate the concepts of sanitation and water security. Throughout our extensive communication drives during the intense grip of the drought we appealed to all residents to avoid unnecessary water wastage through flushing. It has been deeply heartening to see the efforts of the business and commercial sectors in particular, installing alternative water systems for toilet flushing.</p><p>The City engaged extensively with the plumbing sector, launching a plumbing checklist to assist plumbers and residents to apply best practice systems through retrofitting all kinds of properties with water-efficient technologies. </p><p>It also implemented a programme which saw staff maintenance teams working overtime on private sector plumbing contracts for fixing leaks, and retrofitting City-owned buildings as far as possible. This amounted to a spend of over R700 million over a three-year period. These are just some of the interventions implemented in adapting to the New Normal and working to review our operational methods. That said, the work must be done responsibly and in accordance with our guidelines for alternative water systems.</p><p>Just last week the Water and Sanitation Department’s Water Star Rating Certification system gave formal recognition to work done towards sophisticated water management, conservation and pollution control in the business sector, government departments, education and health institutions, and residential estates. </p><p>Companies like Old Mutual (Pinelands), Astroenergy, Virgin Active Constantia, and SAB (Newlands) were certified as champion innovators that have found unique or extraordinary ways in which to manage water wisely, limit water pollution and thereby protect the environment.</p><p>On 31 May 2018, Council voted to approve a number of proposed amendments to the Water By-law. These changes were aimed mainly at improving clarity, as well as preparing the city for a more water-scarce future. </p><p>These amendments included reduced cistern capacity and a requirement for new developments to install water conservation and demand management systems, or alternative water systems, which must be approved by the City before development proceeds.</p><p>All automatic flushing cisterns fitted to urinals must be replaced immediately with either manually operated systems or properly maintained non-manual apparatus which causes the flushing device to operate only after each use. This is especially common in public facilities, for example in restaurants and shopping centers. </p><p>New approaches to urban water- and wastewater management are non-negotiable and the City is currently embarking on a new chapter of large-scale investment in water- and wastewater facilities across the city. </p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2018-11-18T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#4503b6b7-2995-4930-b0ee-8a6ea65687ed;L0|#04503b6b7-2995-4930-b0ee-8a6ea65687ed|Toilet;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#42a5cfbc-fbfc-4ba8-9ff9-65b6e2a2d27d;L0|#042a5cfbc-fbfc-4ba8-9ff9-65b6e2a2d27d|Hygiene;GP0|#424fbb2f-e27c-44db-b853-dbbdb893d37a;L0|#0424fbb2f-e27c-44db-b853-dbbdb893d37a|Water1

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