While Eskom is currently implementing Stage 2 rotational loadshedding which will continue until 11pm, the power utility has announced that there will be no loadshedding tomorrow Sunday 24 March.
This is due to several improvements to the system over the last few days, including emergency diesel which arrived via ship, aswell as boiler leaks being fixed.
The power utility has thanked all South Africans for their patience and cooperation throughout this difficult period, although the damage on the economy is yet to be determined after almost a week of Stage 4 loadshedding, which ended yesterday.
Date: 23 March 2019
Eskom stops loadshedding tonight @eNCA @ewnupdates @SABCNewsOnline @IOL @News24 @Fin24 @TheCitizen_News @mailandguardian @SowetanLIVE @Radio702 @CityPowerJhb @CityTshwane @City_Ekurhuleni @eThekwiniM @CityofCT @CityofChoice_1 @MangaungCity pic.twitter.com/kNWgJkB2Cm
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) March 23, 2019
It’s almost a year ago now that Cape Town nearly ran out of Water! Many of us who lived through the drought crisis in 2017-2018 can still recall the fear that it instilled in all Capetonians.
The fact that we averted Day Zero is remarkable – and many in the world see it as remarkable.
That’s one of the reasons why a collective of academics and practitioners will be launching the Cape Town Drought Response Learning Initiative and Film Library on Tuesday 26 March.
This brand new trans-disciplinary project is a world first and sets out to document and capture key lessons from the water shortage that came close to being a catastrophe for Cape Town.
In this way, Cape Town and other water-challenged cities around the world can be better prepared in future; because of course we are just witnessing the beginning of profound climate disturbance.
WWF South Africa board member Dr Jackie King has been named the 2019 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for her game-changing contribution to global river management.
She has been recognised for having “advanced the scientific understanding of water flows, giving decision-makers methods and tools to assess the full range of costs and benefits when managing or developing river systems”.
Based in Cape Town, Dr King is an aquatic ecologist who was a researcher, lecturer and supervisor of postgraduates at the University of Cape Town for almost four decades.
In 2016, she was awarded WWF South Africa’s prestigious Living Planet Award. The award is given to exceptional individuals in South Africa who inspire people to live in harmony with nature.
Read more about this extraordinary water hero HERE
Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato invited visual artists to exhibit and promote their work on the Concourse Level of the Cape Town Civic Centre as part of the municipality’s Human Rights Day commemorations.
It also forms part of the City’s Emerging Artist Programme which aims to assist under-resourced artists with access opportunities to showcase their work.
The skills training provided helps these artists to move from the studio to the professional market.
Plato says Cape Town has a huge talent pool but the work of these artists and many others sometimes goes unseen by members of the public.
“We want to create a space where skilled artists are able to display their work and get much-deserved exposure.”
The Emerging Artist Programme will run seven exhibitions until June this year. Each exhibition will open at the South African Sendinggestig Museum as part of the First Thursdays event.
In 2018, a staggering 20 193 items valued at R1 774 993,70 were not returned to libraries. The City’s Library and Information Service hopes the lure of Fine Free Week, which coincides with South African Library Week, will see most if not all of these items returned.
This year, the theme for Library Week is Collaborate @ Your Library. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zaid Badroodie has urged patrons to take hands with librarians to make access to information a reality by returning those items that are long overdue.
No questions will be asked and any fines that have accrued on these items will be waived.
SA Library Week was initiated in 2001 for libraries across the country to use as an opportunity to market their services and to promote the important role that libraries play in a democratic society by advancing literacy, making the basic human right of freedom of access to information a reality, and promoting tolerance and respect among all South Africans.
“Library Week also coincides with Human Rights Day. The Bill of Rights recognises the freedom of access to information as a basic human right. It is therefore concerning that four of the top titles not returned last year are study guides. By not returning items, someone else is being deprived of the right to access those materials and, in this case, are denied an educational resource.”
Patrons are reminded that, while no fines will be charged, previous fines will not be written off during this week. This means if you take back currently overdue items, you will not pay a fine on those materials returned.
However, if you have already accrued a fine for late/lost or damaged items returned to the library previously, you will still be liable to pay that fine.
The ratings agency Moody’s has changed its rating of the City of Cape Town municipality to stable due to its ground breaking management of the drought crisis and its efforts to avert Day Zero.
In a statement, the City says the ratings agency also views the development of the City’s Draft Water Strategy as favourable.
The Moody’s report affirms the City’s Baa3/Aaa.za ratings which are underpinned by Moody’s view that the City administration will maintain its historically robust financial performances as well as its conservative debt management.
Good rating opinions are crucial for prudent financial planning as the better the rating, the lower the interest charged on debt.
Moody’s also expects the City to maintain its robust liquidity profile in the next three years despite the intention to fund 34% of its capital expenditure from its own funds. Debt levels will remain lower than its rated peers in the country, the report states.
Almost 50% of its R25 billion capital expenditure plan will be invested in water and sanitation infrastructure including ongoing water intervention strategies, which is intended to further insulate Cape Town from future shortages, reads the report.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance Ian Neilson says this rating and analysis is great news for Cape Town, its residents, businesses and investors.
“It shows that the City administration is moving in the right direction to enhance Cape Town’s future resilience while at the same time, it acknowledges that this City as well as its people overcame one of the greatest crises in its history. It was able to do so because of the strong management of the metro, its level of professional skills and spirit of partnership that saved the day.”
Eskom says it will continue to implement Stage 2 load-shedding until Sunday, 17 March 2019, as a result of a shortage of generation capacity due to plant breakdowns and the need to manage diesel and water resources.
The power utility says the management of the diesel and water resources is essential to ensure that the impact of the potential stage of load-shedding in the week ahead can be reduced.
The system outlook for next week further indicates a high risk that Stage 2 load-shedding may be implemented until the middle of next week.
The power utility has again appealed to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period. Switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.
Eskom customers can check their load-shedding schedules on the Eskom website (loadshedding.eskom.co.za) or through the customer contact centre on 0860037566.
City-supplied areas are experiencing load-shedding according to Stage 1 until further notice.
Check the City schedule HERE
A receptionist at a learning academy in Cape Town was in tears when teachers and learners held a fundraising event to help her with her medical bills.
The teachers and learners from Forest Village Learning Academy in Blue Downs held a shavathon in aid of a fundraising event to help assist Hayley Daniels who was diagnosed with stage 3 breath cancer.
Daniels says during the shavathon the learners had their hair sprayed in colours and some teachers, the janitors and some parents opted to have their head shaved by Daniels herself.
Daniels has nothing but praise for the school and says she has been overwhelmed by the support and love. She says she won’t let the cancer get her down, and is determined to stay positive.
“The first time we got the news,I was in absolute shock, but then you realise you have a family to fight for, your diagnosis does not have to be terminal. I’ve heard of stage 4 cancer patients that have recovered, that are in remission..it is possible to beat this thing, you have to remain positive. The minute you start doubting yourself..the minute you start getting depressed about the situation – that is when this disease is going to take over your life.”
Citrus growers from Southern Africa will export a record crop of close to 137 million boxes of citrus fruit to more than 100 countries this year.
The Citrus Growers Association says the rise in exports should translate into job opportunities, more foreign exchange revenue and a growing economy.
A provisional export estimate was presented to the Citrus Marketing Forum this week – a body representing citrus growers and exporters.
The CEO of the Association Justin Chadwick says the citrus industry has enjoyed two record crops for the export market in succession. Last year’s crop yielded a revenue of nearly R19 billion.
The main drivers of growth are in the soft citrus and lemon categories. However, the net growth in these categories is somewhat muted due to a 3% decline in Valencia oranges.
Valencia oranges make up the biggest portion of the citrus export market at 39%, followed by navel oranges (20%), lemons (16%), soft citrus (13%) and grapefruit (12%).
Chadwick ascribed the increase to the resilience of the citrus industry and its ability to adapt to technological changes and overcome challenges.
“Our local citrus industry is one of the country’s most important fruit groups by value and volume. It yields a revenue of over R20 billion per year of which 92% comes from exports, and provides jobs to more than 100 000 people.”
The City of Cape Town and the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa Cape, are hosting a capacity-building workshop for 38 interns that aims to equip them with the full spectrum of vocational and life skills for future employment within the hospitality sector.
This skills development programme builds on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between the City and FEDHASA in 2016 for a pilot project that saw 20 young people being placed with FEDHASA members to gain practical work experience for a period of 18 months.
38 candidates are participating in phase two of the agreement this year, taking the total to 58 candidates who are benefiting from the training.
Through this intervention, participating youths go through a rigorous and well-structured training programme designed to give them a foot in the door for job opportunities in the sector.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management Grant Twigg the the importance of these partnerships are vital to young people.
“Too many youth are unemployed, sitting idle and unsure of which career path to follow. Tertiary institutions are not the only places of higher learning that are available to them. Such training programmes prepare them for the world of work and this is something they should strongly consider as their future endeavour. All that’s needed for this particular training programme is a matric certificate.”
In terms of the MOA, FEDHASA will set and follow its own training criteria and framework. The objective is to enhance the individuals’ chances of securing permanent employment. The City will pay them a stipend from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
In addition, the skills programme has a built-in wellness programme which focusses on personal development, personal branding and communication, among a host of other areas to ensure the interns are well-rounded individuals upon completion of the programme.