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City releases latest report on coastal water qualityThe latest report covers coastal water quality for a 12-month period from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021<p>​The latest report covers coastal water quality for a 12-month period from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021. It reflects the outcome of statistical analysis of 2 400 bacterial sample tests taken from 99 sites along Cape Town’s coastline from Silwerboomstrand on the Atlantic to Kogel Bay on the east side of False Bay, all-in-all a stretch of 307km.<br> <br>‘This is the third Know Your Coast report issued by the City. The report includes the sampling outcomes of the previous five years – that is from 2017 to 2021 – which is pivotal in understanding the longer term trends in coastal water quality for Cape Town’s beaches. <br> <br>‘The value of this reporting is that it also allows the City to continuously monitor the impact of pollution on our coastal environment and to measure the success of interventions made in prior years. By following the trends, we can also see where challenges persist and this then guides future interventions to improve water quality,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.<br> <br>Apart from the annual Know Your Coast report, the City also publishes bi-weekly data updates on our web portal for those interested in the latest sampling outcomes. <br> <br>‘There are multiple sources of coastal pollution. First off, we need to acknowledge that all of us living and working in Cape Town has an impact on our natural environment. Secondly, the City has an important role to play in ensuring that our infrastructure is well maintained and able to cope with our population growth. Thirdly, and importantly, the City cannot prevent or limit pollution on our own. We need partnerships with residents, and behaviour change where residents refrain from littering, illegal dumping in our sewers and stormwater mains, and to not dispose of grey water or any other substances in the stormwater mains. It is a fact that everything that is dumped in our rivers, canals, streams, and stormwater mains eventually finds its way into the sea,’ said Alderman Andrews.<br> <br>The 2021 report confirms that, overall, there have been no significant changes in coastal water quality in Cape Town between 2020 and 2021. Also, in instances of a ‘poor’ rating, this can mostly be attributed to three or fewer samples or discrete spikes in bacteria counts, as opposed to consistently high counts of bacteria. <br> <br>Marginal improvements have been noted in some areas, while a number of areas are considered as chronically polluted, such as Lagoon Beach and Three Anchor Bay in the vicinity of the stormwater outlet, Sunrise Beach, Strand Pavillion jetty, and Monwabisi Beach.<br> <br>The trend and pattern remains constant where stormwater outlets and river mouths remain significant sources of pollution. This confirms that sewer blockages and overflows, illegal discharges, and general urban run-off and waste disposal discharged via the city’s stormwater system and rivers have a significant impact on our coastal environment and coastal water quality. <br> <br>Wastewater effluent from the City’s Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTWs) has an impact on coastal water quality results in specific areas. The City is addressing this with major upgrades planned, or already under way, at the Zandvliet WWTWs, Potsdam, Mitchells Plain, and Macassar. <br> <br><strong>Disclosure of coastal water quality results:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">the Know Your Coast, 2021 report is available on the City’s website at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. The report presents the key findings, as well as interventions in addressing identified challenges</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">the City is publishing updated information on coastal water quality, which now includes the latest raw data results on our web portal every second week. Residents and visitors can access the web portal at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">the City recently added 11 sites to its existing 88 coastal quality sampling points. We are now monitoring 99 points, twice a month. These sites were added to improve our knowledge of coastal water quality and to assist us in addressing problems as and when they arise. The additional sampling points are located at: Three Anchor Bay, Glen Beach, Camps Bay, Noordhoek beach, Fish Hoek beach, Muizenberg at Surfer’s Corner, the Helderberg Marine Protected Area, Strand, and Gordon’s Bay. </div></li></ul><p> <br><strong>In summary, the key findings for 2021 are as follows: </strong><br><strong>Atlantic coastline:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">The water quality at 20 out of the 28 recreational beaches and tidal pools met the minimum requirement for recreational activities such as swimming and surfing as opposed to 19 beaches in 2020.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">When compared with 2020, the water quality improved at four locations in 2021: at Silverboomstrand Resort, Table View, Rocklands Beach, Camps Bay tidal pool A, and Llandudno Beach.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The water quality regressed into the ‘poor’ category at three beaches, among which Saunders’ Rocks tidal pool, Bakoven Beach and Long Beach, Kommetjie. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Notable changes are that Table View has achieved ‘excellent’ status; while the Three Anchor Bay sites have continuously been ‘poor’. The additional sampling point at the north-west side of Three Anchor Bay (further away from the stormwater outlet) has consistently yielded ‘excellent’ results. This highlights the substantial impact that the stormwater outlet has on water quality at Three Anchor Bay.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Bakoven Beach displays fluctuating results and has regressed to the ‘poor’ category. This is likely attributed to the Beta Road pump station that has failed multiple times during the 2021.</div></li></ul><p> <br><strong>False Bay coastline:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">The water quality at 22 of the 33 recreational beaches and tidal pools met the minimum requirement, as opposed to 15 beaches in 2020.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">When compared with 2020, the water quality improved at nine locations: Boulders Beach, Fish Hoek Beach, Dalebrook tidal pool, Mnandi Beach West, Mnandi Beach East, Macassar Beach, Strand Harmony Park and Bikini Beach.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Up to 11 recreational beaches were rated ‘poor’. These were Seaforth Beach, Simon’s Town Long Beach, Clovelly, Muizenberg station, Muizenberg Pavilion, Sunrise Beach, Monwabisi Beach, Strand Murray Street, Strand Pavilion jetty, Gordon’s Bay and Gordon’s Bay Milkwood.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">The water quality regressed into the ‘poor’ category at four locations: Seaforth Beach, Simon’s Town Long Beach, Muizenberg Station and Gordon’s Bay. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">While Fish Hoek Beach has yielded an ‘excellent’ result only once in the last four years, it is useful to note that the additional site located in the popular bathing area, adjacent to Galley Restaurant and close to Jager’s Walk, has yielded consistently excellent results since inception and, as such, is rated ‘excellent’. This again highlights the impact of stormwater outlets on coastal water quality as reflected in water quality results at those sample sites located next to such outlets. </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Readings for Muizenberg station and Muizenberg Pavilion were rated ‘poor’. The poor results for these areas are likely attributed to stormwater discharge and sewage spills into Zandvlei, which discharge to the east of these sampling points. Despite poor results at both ends of Muizenberg Beach, a new sampling point (Muizenberg central) located in front of the ablutions/Shark Spotters building is rated ‘good’. This sampling point was chosen as it is a popular recreational area. The Muizenberg area has also undergone extensive sewer infrastructure upgrades in the last 18 months, and the effects should become apparent in the following reporting period.</div></li></ul><p> <br><strong>How to prevent ocean pollution:</strong><br>The disposal of litter and substances in the stormwater system has a huge impact on our coastal water quality.<br> <br>In terms of various City bylaws, it is illegal to discharge any substance that may harm the quality of the water in the stormwater system. <br> <br>We all share the responsibility to prevent pollution from entering our ocean. The coastline is one of our most important socio-economic, cultural and environmental assets, and we need to do everything possible to protect it. <br> <br>‘It is very difficult to trace the source of pollution in stormwater, so I want to appeal to residents to please inform the City if they are aware of waste dumping or discharging of substances into the stormwater system. In the meantime, the City is managing and investing in its network sewers and wastewater treatment facilities, which serve the population of Cape Town to reduce pollution and minimise the impact of our city and its residents on the environment,’ said Alderman Andrews.<br> <br><strong>Please report the following:</strong><br>•       Blocked drains and illegal waste discharge into the stormwater system<br><strong>Online</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> <br><strong>Whatsapp</strong>: 060 018 1505<br><strong>Email</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><strong>Call</strong>: 0860 103 089<br><strong>SMS</strong> to 31373 (maximum of 160 characters)</p><p> </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;"><strong>Illegal dumping</strong></div></li></ul><p>Call: 021 4444 6231/6224/3 if you have the suspect’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her; or send an email to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> <br>Call 0860 103 089 or go online to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> to notify the City about dumping that needs to be cleared<br> <br>‘I encourage residents, stakeholders, and others working in this sphere to go online and read the report. It provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the water quality at all of our popular beaches over the past five years. I also want to reiterate that the quality of Cape Town’s coastal water concerns all of us. We can improve our coastal water quality by sharing the responsibility through preventing pollution and to collectively reduce the amount of waste we release into our natural environment,’ said Alderman Andrews.<br> <br>The Know Your Coast report on coastal water quality for the 2020 calendar year is also available online at: <a href=""></a>.<br> <br><strong> </strong><br><strong>End</strong><br> </p>2022-06-29T22:00:00Z1
City believes reinstatement of joint Rail Enforcement Unit will curb vandalism ‘The City of Cape Town is keen to help revive the Prasa Rail Enforcement Unit (REU)<p>​</p><div>‘The City of Cape Town is keen to help revive the Prasa Rail Enforcement Unit (REU), which operated successfully as a three-way government partnership between October 2018 and July 2020. The Unit was an effective deterrent against vandalism – it conducted inspections at hot spot areas and scrapyards; recovered stolen cables and goods, made arrests for among others, possession of stolen goods, drugs, assault and malicious damage to property. The City believes the revival of the Unit would be a meaningful intervention that has previously been shown to work and will have a positive impact on safeguarding the network. We are engaging the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) at the moment about this,’ said Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.</div><div> </div><div>The REU was launched by the then National Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande in October 2018 at a cost of R48 million. It delivered an immediate improvement in the safety of Metrorail commuters and rail infrastructure.</div><div> </div><div>National government, the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town each contributed a third to the funding of this Unit, and provided an additional 100 City Law Enforcement officers to the existing security personnel in an effort to help support the security challenges faced by Metrorail. </div><div> </div><div>However, the REU ceased to operate in July 2020 and we are hopeful that Prasa will rejoin what was an effective partnership at curbing vandalism.</div><div> </div><div>Over the years, the rail network has experienced decline because of rampant vandalism by organised syndicates. The sharpest increase in vandalism was seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. </div><div> </div><div>The Safety and Security directorate met with Prasa and a preliminary agreement was reached to reinstate the Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) along with several other critical interventions to ensure that the safety of commuters and rail infrastructure was achieved.</div><div> </div><div>‘The proposal is to sign a new Memorandum of Agreement, which would guide the apportionment of costs between the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government and Prasa to deliver on the reinstatement of the REU as rapidly as possible. The REU would be supported by drones and the Eye-in-the-Sky digital surveillance and evidence management, with enhanced information management and investigative support, as well as improved revenue protection mechanisms to ensure that safe and effective rail commuter transport can be reinstated as quickly as possible and protected against further vandalism,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith. </div><div><br></div><div>The City is keen to pursue a multi-year agreement with Prasa of between five to ten years that will ensure the sustainability of rail safety for commuters.</div><div> </div><div>The rail agency recently told Parliament that security is its biggest challenge.</div><div> </div><div>Reports that Prasa requires R1 billion to address persistent vandalism to the network is of huge concern. Notably, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo called for a special commission of inquiry into Prasa.</div><div> </div><div>The City hopes that the unit can be revived as valuable measure to address vandalism and protect the service for the benefit of residents.</div><div> </div><div> </div><div><strong>End</strong></div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>2022-06-29T22:00:00Z1
City Health ready to respond to Monkeypox City's Health Service ready to respond to Monkeypox<p>​</p><p>The City of Cape Town's Health Department is working closely with other spheres of government and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases to manage any potential outbreak of monkeypox in the metropole.</p><p>Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus. It can spread from animals to humans, and also between people. Spread is through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms (particularly the rash). However, the risk of infection to the South African population remains low, given the low transmissibility of the virus. The Monkeypox virus is far less transmissible than Covid, for example. </p><p>Symptoms include a fever, intense headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions. The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever, and is most prevalent on the face, palms and soles of the feet. It can also be found on the mouth, genitals and eyes.</p><p>Symptoms typically last between two to four weeks and go away on their own without treatment; however, infants, children, pregnant women and those with comorbidities or immunity problems may be at risk of more serious disease. </p><p>City Health Clinics are prepared to test and provide supportive treatment to those who are symptomatic, as well as, provide guidance and information to them and their loved ones.</p><p> </p><p>City Health Outbreak response teams, which include Primary Health Care and Environmental Health Services will assist in case management and contact tracing, similar to what was done during the Covid-19 pandemic, and investigate localised outbreaks in congregate settings.</p><p> </p><p>'The news of our first case of monkeypox will no doubt cause some concern and anxiety for our residents. It is important to note that due to the low risk of transmission, a wide spread outbreak of Monkeypox is highly unlikely. City Health will do everything possible to help mitigate the impact of the virus. Our health response was severely tested during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I think the experiences will be extremely valuable in managing any future disease outbreaks. However, we remind the public that health is a shared responsibility. Please do ensure that you are alert to the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, and that you help create awareness within your family and community, without fear-mongering or judgement, and to steer clear of spreading fake news. If you are unsure about what to do, seek advice at your nearest clinic or private health service provider,' said the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.</p><p> </p><p>For more information on the virus, please refer to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases Fact Sheet: <a href=""></a><br></p><p><br></p>2022-06-28T22:00:00Z1
City embracing technology to benefit informal settlements residents ​The City of Cape Town’s Informal Settlements Department is testing new technologies, which will greatly benefit some of its most vulnerable residents in a new pilot project at its Bosasa Phase 2 development in Mfuleni.<p>The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, visited the area yesterday, 28 June 2022, to see department officials rolling out the pilot project. The first phase of the project saw 1 000 structures within the area marked and numbered with a unique Quick Response (QR) code and City specific paint within just five hours. Field maps were created to indicate the associated number of each structure. This phase was successfully completed last week on Wednesday, 22 June 2022.</p><p>The next phase, which began yesterday, will see department officials returning to the numbered structures to obtain consent and to proceed with the electronic capturing of survey questions. While this is ongoing, survey data will be displayed live on a dashboard with immediate access to individual information.</p><p>‘As far as we know, this will be the first project of its kind for a metro in South Africa. The intended result of this pilot project will be direct interaction between the City and residents in informal settlements, providing up to date data for planning and budget purposes. Most importantly, each structure owner will be issued with a residence certificate linked to their respective Identity Document (ID), Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, electricity meter number, name, address and QR code. Importantly, it has been ensured that this entire process is Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) compliant. </p><p>‘We are very excited about this new method of socio-economic surveys. We are adapting to and making use of new technologies, even in the most vulnerable of communities, so that we may continue to provide the best possible services to our residents. The goodwill and cooperation of residents is apparent and appreciated,’ said Councillor Booi.<br> <br> <br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2022-06-28T22:00:00Z1







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