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Two City security escorts killed in Philippi, Mayor offers R100 000 reward The armed security guards had driven to the site in Phola Park in their own company vehicle, while a City vehicle transported five operational staff. <p style="text-align:justify;">The armed security guards had driven to the site in Phola Park in their own company vehicle, while a City vehicle transported five operational staff. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On arrival, the teams disembarked to gather tools and inspect the pipe. While busy, two armed men approached the City vehicle and another two headed to the toilet block where multiple shots were fired.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">While the City staff and residents fled to safety, sadly both private security guards passed away. A female City staff member was also injured from a hard fall. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Law Enforcement and the SAPS cordoned off the crime scene, and the criminal investigation is ongoing.</p><p>Various City services are being severely impacted by criminal attacks in parts of Philippi, including Kosovo informal settlement where a stormwater upgrading project is under way.</p><p>Tactical response and security escort services are being provided to both staff and contractors in the Philippi area due to the ongoing safety threats.</p><p>'Our message to Philippi residents is this: we will not stop delivering services in your community, but our frontline staff are under attack and need your help. Use our 24-hour tip-offs hotline to report the criminals disrupting water and sanitation services and upgrades in the community. You can remain anonymous and the City is offering a reward of up to R100 000 for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the murderers behind the attacks on our staff and contractors. Together we can root out the criminals blocking progress in communities.</p><p>'The City extends our heartfelt condolences to the families of two security contractor staff, who so tragically lost their lives in the shooting in Phola Park, Phillippi on Tuesday 23 April,' said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.</p><p>The City has set up a 24-hour hotline (0800 00 6992) and rewards system to encourage residents to help the City and the authorities to tackle extortion. This forms part of a metro-wide anti-extortion campaign titled <em>'Kwanele! Enough! Genoeg!'. </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> 'We as a City are shocked at the senseless act which has claimed the lives of two men hard at work serving the community. Arrangements have been made for staff to receive medical attention and trauma counselling. These horrendous experiences deeply impact everyone, especially those working at the forefront of service delivery.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">'In hotspot areas particularly, the City works closely with community leaders to ensure that service delivery can continue despite many challenges. No unrest was reported prior to the team being deployed in this instance.</p><p>'The alarming number of attacks on staff while on duty, working to maintain a dignified service standard in informal settlements, led to the City spending over R8,5 million for private security escorts in the 2023/24 financial year alone. Unfortunately ruthless targeting persists and has now claimed two more innocent lives,' said Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Councillor Badroodien added that the latest attacks in Philippi follow recent incidents targeting staff elsewhere in the city. On Wednesday 17 April, City staff were also robbed in two separate incidents on the same day. In the one incident, a team was busy responding to a blocked sewer pipe in Clarke Estate, Elsies River when one of the staff was robbed of his cellphone. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the second incident, a team of five was held at gunpoint and robbed of their personal belongings including cellphones while they were in Blue Downs attending to a burst water pipe. </p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>Anonymous tip-offs are encouraged:</strong></p><p>Phone 24/7: 0800 00 6992</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:SSIMS.SSIUReporting@capetown.gov.za" target="_blank">SSIMS.SSIUReporting@capetown.gov.za</a></p><p> <br></p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-04-23T22:00:00Z1
Emerging talent brush up on the business side of art The exhibition started on Monday 22 April and runs until 3 May.<span><p>The exhibition started on Monday 22 April and runs until 3 May.</p><p>Twenty artists participated in the capacity building training programme that focused on business and professional development, as well as career strategies.</p><p>The final step is the collaborative group exhibition, which offers an opportunity for practical application of the concepts learnt during the programme, and networking opportunities.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/Emerging%20Artists%2024424%204%20.JPG" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:946px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>This year's theme is Abantu Abasha which means 'a new generation', and inspired artists to explore the meaning and perception of self-reflection through their art form. </p><p>Curated by Richard Kilpert and Devon Anderson in collaboration with the participating artists, it showcases a collective effort in bringing forward diverse perspectives and artistic expressions.</p><p>'Art is a wonderful medium to express talent, but also to comment on social issues. The programme also allows for networking between artists and creates opportunities to develop skills and explore different genres. We are proud to see so much enthusiasm and the level of expressive freedom. We would like to thank those artists who participated in the programme and wish them luck with their careers,' said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross. <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/Emerging%20Artists%2024424.jpeg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:1778px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>The exhibition is being hosted at The Lab, 14 Clyde Street, Woodstock. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 10:00 – 15:00 and Saturday from 10:00 - 14:00. The exhibition is closed on Sunday. </p><p>Visiting the exhibition is by appointment only. For more information or to book please phone 068 241 4526 or send an email to <a href="mailto:emerging@capetown.gov.za" target="_blank">emerging@capetown.gov.za</a></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><br></p>2024-04-23T22:00:00Z1
Court gives greenlight for road to allow Masiphumelele direct access to opportunitiesFinally, we have an outcome that will allow us to go ahead and execute a project that we believe will bring huge relief to the community of Masiphumelele<p>The City planned and applied for environmental approvals  in 2017 already to extend Houmoed Avenue to provide residents from Masiphumelele with better access to Noordhoek village and surrounds; and to also give the South African Police Service, the Fire Service and ambulances quick access in times of need or emergencies. </p><p>However, the project has been delayed for nearly eight years after the Noordhoek Environmental Action Group appealed the environmental approvals that were granted by the Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.</p><p>'Finally, we have an outcome that will allow us to go ahead and execute a project that we believe will bring huge relief to the community of Masiphumelele in the form of improved access, and savings in terms of transport fares and commuting time. I am relieved, and excited to get going on this,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>The approvals allow the City to extend Houmoed Avenue from the intersection with Buller Louw Boulevard to Lekkerwater Road in Sunnydale and from Lekkerwater Road to Fish Eagle Park in Masiphumelele. </li></ul><p>'By extending Houmoed Avenue the risk of flooding in parts of Masiphumelele will be mitigated because we will implement draining infrastructure to divert runoff from rain events to stormwater channels. The biggest benefit, however, is that an extended Houmoed Avenue will make it substantially easier for residents from Masiphumelele to get to work, school, shops, and other destinations in Sunnydale and Noordhoek. Also, once complete, the police, fire services and ambulances will be able to respond quicker with an additional access route,' said Councillor Quintas.</p><p>The City undertook an environmental impact assessment (EIA) in terms of the National Environmental Management Act and the regulations promulgated in terms of the Act due to the presence of wetlands inside the road reserve.</p><p>This process included a freshwater specialist assessment of the wetlands area and ecosystem; an assessment of the impact of the proposed road extension on the local fauna and flora and environment; and a proposed environmental management programme to address the environmental impacts and environmental rehabilitation to restore the remainder of the wetland to its former condition.</p><p>'I want to give those concerned about the natural environment our full undertaking that we will do all we can to mitigate any impact on the wetlands inside the road reserve and the leopard toads. I trust the Noordhoek Environmental Action Group will accept the outcome of the court's ruling and allow us to go ahead,' said Councillor Quintas. </p><p>Currently, the majority of local road users in this area are travelling along Kommetjie Road (M65) as this is the only access route between Kommetjie, Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Capri, Noordhoek, Fish Hoek and beyond. By extending Houmoed Avenue the City can provide a much-needed alternative route to residents from Masiphumelele, Sunnydale and Capri. As such, the Houmoed Avenue link could relieve the traffic volumes along Kommetjie Road in the longer term as well.</p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-04-23T22:00:00Z1
False Bay Nature Reserve boasts a legendary hippo population, one of which is to be relocated​Many Cape Town residents may be unaware that the City has its very own pod of Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) that has called the Rondevlei section of the False Bay Nature Reserve home since 1981.<span><p>The hippos were lost to Cape Town approximately 300 years ago after being hunted to extinction, and as a result, we also lost an ecosystem engineer from the wetlands of the Fynbos Biome. This unfortunate situation was reversed through the great vision of dedicated conservation biologists when two males were re-introduced to the Rondevlei section of the False Bay Nature Reserve in 1981.</p><p>They were joined by two females in 1983, and thus the initiative of restoring some of our natural heritage began.<br></p><p>These hippos have shaped the False Bay Nature Reserve since their re-introduction and we are proud to have them persist in this urban environment. The main reason for their introduction was to control the invasive Seashore Paspalum (<em>Paspalum vaginatum</em>) which was transforming the wetland habitats at Rondevlei. They were quick to oblige and this horrible invasive was quickly put in check.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/Hippo1.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:453px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p><strong>Imminent relocation of young male</strong></p><p>'Naturally, hippo pods contain approximately 10 to 15 individuals and comprise of one dominant male and females with calves. As the male calves come of age, they would naturally disperse to find their own territory.</p><p>'Rondevlei's original dominant male is impressively still present which requires the need to relocate some of the older male offspring to protect them from the dominant male's effort to remove the threat they pose to his dominance in the pod. The City has successfully implemented relocation operations in the past. </p><p>'We are currently planning for another relocation to safeguard a young male – this is the very same male that trended on social media platforms when he escaped from Rondevlei in the early morning hours of Saturday, 13 April 2024, to evade the dominant male. Quick response from the City's Biodiversity Management Branch, Quemic security ranges and SAPS ensured that he was herded back into the reserve. </p><p>'Once captured, the animal will be transported to his new home in a special container designed for this purpose. The City will inform the public once the relocation operation has been concluded. The timeline is variable as the capture depends on the animal's movements and environmental factors,' said the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/Hippo2.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:642px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p><strong>Hippos are endemic to Africa</strong></p><p>They do not naturally occur anywhere else in the world. Their semi-aquatic nature can make them difficult to see during the day when they are in their wetland habitat. It is primarily at night when they venture out of the water to graze on grass in the surrounding areas.</p><p>These fascinating and impressive animals shape the ecosystems and benefit a suite of other species, including changing plant communities, distribution of nutrients, and physically changing the environment with their pathways and wallow depressions.</p><p>Hippos need relatively large foraging ranges as they consume 25 to 40 kg of plant material a day. The urban environment and smaller reserves constrain the natural habits of such large animals, thus, requiring careful management. These game management practices are for the benefit of the species as a whole and consists of pragmatically considered factual information, culminating in required actions to ensure the welfare of the population. </p><p>Globally, hippos are classified as Vulnerable to extinction and while South Africa's population is not classified as threatened, they face multiple threats including habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict, climate change, and unregulated trade. <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Images%202/Hippo3%20centre.jpg" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:1261px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p><strong>Rondevlei's hippos</strong></p><p>Given the ongoing threat to their wetland habitat and the highly threatened terrestrial Fynbos Biome habitats, the City has a significant responsibility to protect this special population of Hippopotamuses. Not only are they are an iconic species, they form a critical part of the ecosystem, are a wonderful attraction for visitors, and an integral part of the False Bay Nature Reserve's environmental education programme.</p><p>'This pod of hippopotamuses gives us a glimpse into the past, reminding us of the natural heritage of the Fynbos Biome and the magnificence of what Cape Town used to be prior to the development of the city. We proudly continue our vigilant care of these unique creatures, and I encourage Capetonians to come take a look at them at Rondevlei,' said Alderman Andrews.<br></p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2024-04-23T22:00:00Z1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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