Cape Town Mayor outlines status quo of water crisis

During a recent speech delivered at the Atlantis Aquifer, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille thanked Capetonians who had been making efforts to cut their water usage, saying that about half of water users had restricted their daily usage to 87 litres per day.

But added that this was not enough. “We need each and every Capetonian and business on board as a partner on this journey,” she said.

“We are in an unprecedented drought crisis and this phase is critical because if the City and residents don’t do enough together and simultaneously, we will run out of water.”

She said the City was doing everything in its power to ensure additional supply, including finding and hiring the country’s best team of experts who were working 80-hour weeks with the metro to ensure that additional water could be brought ‘online’.

The Atlantis plant was one of several sites for alternative water sources which form part of the ‘Water Resilience Plan’.

The City of Cape Town had recently refurbished many of the boreholes around this West Coast area to increase the production of this plant. She pointed out that these boreholes formed a part of the City’s unique Artificially Recharged Aquifer System and said a lot of work had gone into ensuring an increase in the volume of water from this aquifer system.

Prior this work, the system had been producing around four million litres of water per day. “We have now increased the yield from this aquifer by an additional five million litres per day.”

The water is serving homes and industrial businesses in Atlantis, Mamre and Pella on the outskirts of the West Coast, which is quite a vast area. “So the additional capacity will be welcomed,” the Mayor said.

“This work demonstrates our commitment to addressing this current drought crisis. I repeat my commitment that I will not allow a well-run city to run out of water.”

She added that she had made it clear when the site of a new desalination plant with the V&A Waterfront had been announced: “we have a plan and we will supply water, but we need Team Cape Town to assist us”.

In the meantime, the City of Cape Town announced that Level 6 water restrictions will be implemented from 1 January 2018, which means that households using more than 10,500 litres per month could face fines and penalties. A proposal for a drought charge of between R45 and R2 800, depending on the value of the property, has also been tabled.

Take a look at these shocking images of the Theewaterskloof Dam looking more like a desert than a body of water:

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PICTURES: BVID sees major improvement with cleaner streets

Getting a brand new project off the ground is no easy task, a fact to which the recently launched Beaconvale Improvement District (BVID) team can heartily attest.

Launched on Monday, 31 July 2017, the BVID’s main objectives for the first few months of operation have been to improve safety in the area and get the streets cleaned up.

While you can read more about the safety improvements in Chairperson Sean Lavery’s summary of the first few months {insert link to article}, here’s a quick overview of what the cleaning teams have been up to.

From as early as day one, the BVID’s Cleaning and Maintenance Team – with assistance from the MES Team – were deployed to pick litter, de-weed, remove posters and sweep the streets. These basic tasks still form part of the day-to-day cleaning schedule, however the team also often has to deal with urgent tasks that require immediate responses. These include illegal dumping and removing debris from the road following a motor vehicle accident.

The removal of illegal dumping has proven to be a particularly arduous problem in the area, but one the cleaning team has tackled with great results.

Areas within the BVID that seem to be particularly susceptible to illegal dumping include:

  • Riley Street
  • Tredoux Street
  • Parow Station
  • Van der Spuy Road
  • Jan Smuts Road
  • Glen Hurst Street
  • Otto Street
  • Connaught Street
  • Van der Stel Street

Take a look at the following before-and-after photos from various cleaning projects taken on over the past few months:

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“The area really looks amazing. With the litter continually being cleaned up, it’s really just a lot tidier and more inviting,” says Lavery.

When asked whether any greening projects will be introduced into the area, Lavery said that at the moment they’re concentrating on keeping the area clean, but that gardens will hopefully be on the agenda in the near future.

Beaconvale Improvement District – an overview of the first 4 months

Since launching on 31 July 2017, Beaconvale Improvement District (BVID) has brought a “quick and obvious” turnaround to an industrial area that “was not in a great state at all”.

So says Chairperson Sean Lavery in an overview of the BVID’s first four months of operations.

“One of our biggest challenges was the fact that there was a lot of work to do. It took quite a few weeks for the guys to make inroads. But the upside of that is, the change was apparent very quickly. You could see the difference,” he explains.

Measures that have been put into place in the area include:

  • The appointment of safety officers in partnership with Zonewatch Security
  • The appointment of cleaning teams
  • Improvement of lighting

According to Lavery all the teams have been performing above and beyond the initial expectations.

“The safety officers have, for instance, been walking people who work in the area and commute by train from the station in the morning and back again in the evening. Just being able to make people feel safe in their working environment is a big achievement on its own.”

With the year now drawing to a close, Lavery and team hope to build on this with the majority of the year’s R3.6million budget being pushed toward further enhancing safety services – investing in additional patrol vehicles and officers – as well as cleaning.

“We are also hoping to put some money aside for other projects, such as installing CCTV cameras throughout the area and erecting a fence on the corner of Van Riebeeck Street and Fransie van Zyl to improve the safety of workers walking to and from work.”

These official improvements have also had a positive knock-on effect among businesses, as the visible care being taken of the area encourages others to take more responsibility of their own.

While it’s still early days, Lavery believes that Beaconvale’s businesses are satisfied with their investment and that they can look forward to many more improvements over the coming months and years.

Ultimately, the BVID hopes to attain the following goals:

  • Reduce crime significantly by proactive visible patrolling and cooperation, along with existing SAPS and City of Cape Town Law Enforcement, as well as other security service providers in the area
  • Create a safe and clean public environment
  • Manage existing and new public infrastructure
  • Protect property values
  • Attract new investment
  • Support the promotion of the BVID industrial area as a safe and clean environment by promoting greening, energy efficiency, recycling and risk/disaster management
  • Support and promote social responsibility in the area


“It has been a privilege dealing with Gene and Geocentric in getting the Beaconvale CID set up. He has assisted and guided the steering committee throughout the process and continuously delivered on time,” Lavery concludes.