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.
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.”
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.”
Soneike High School in Kuils River is busy establishing itself as a space learning centre and learners are encouraged to broaden their horizons.
Learners at the school are involved with a programme to launch Africa’s first private satellite.
The school has partnered with XinaBox and the Avery Dennison Foundation to expose learners to coding, recording and reading data as well as various aspects of space.
XinaBox CEO, Bjarke Gotfredsen, said the company purchased the first privately owned satellite in Africa with the goal of having high school learners being able to build satellites.
Soneike High School Principal Ronel Baker said the school wants to be the hub of space studies in the Western Cape. The school and its partners hope that the programme will encourage learners to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
Learners have also visited Sutherland and the South African National Space Agency (Sansa).
The Avery Dennison Foundation recently visited Soneike HS to experience firsthand how their contributions are making a positive impact on the program.
For more information about the partnership with XinaBox:
Renowned education Professor Jonathan Jansen paid a visit to non-profit school Christel House South Africa in Ottery recently to learn first-hand how the school works towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
With a mission to break the cycle of poverty, the school works to empower their students to reach their economic potential through character-based and career-focused education.
As a staunch believer in transformative education himself, Jansen, a Professor at Stellenbosch University, applauded Christel House’s education model which picks for poverty over talent.
“Understand Christel House, and you have the keys to solving our national school crisis,” Jansen posted on his personal Facebook page after the visit.
Jansen has also offered to return to the charity school to work closely with the Grade 7 girls on developing their journalistic talent.
Professor Jansen was impressed at how Christel House admits students from Cape Town’s most impoverished communities and gives them an opportunity to rise above their circumstances.
Jansen is the perfect embodiment of a success story. As the many students enrolled at Christel House, Professor Jansen came from the Cape Flats.
Jansen encouraged the students to believe in themselves, to respect themselves and praised, in particular, the school’s remarkable grade 12 academic achievements.
“If anyone tells you that you cannot do Maths, bring me their number,” he told the students to roaring applause.
Despite their challenging socio-economic circumstances, Christel House students go on to achieve exceptional results, outstripping their peers by 400% in Mathematics and English and attaining a 100% matric pass rate since inception.
The school has matric subject averages of 80% and higher and is ranked 8th in the Western Cape for Economics. 96% of Christel House graduates continue to study, are gainfully employed or both.
Donate to Christel House:
Christel House is a registered non-profit organisation and a 100% of all donations benefit Christel House’s projects and programs. All South African donors are eligible to receive a tax-deductible 18A certificate and companies can receive B-BBEE points for their contributions as a 100% of Christel House’s beneficiaries are Black. To donate to Christel House, visit https://sa.christelhouse.org/donate
Good news for green fingered residents: A small adjustment to the terms of Level 3 restrictions now allows for garden irrigation using water-efficient methods.
With our dam levels sitting at just over 53% in comparison to approximately 24% this time last year, the City says a slight easing of the restrictions is reasonable, but it’s not for wasteful use.
Various methods of water-efficient irrigation are available such as dripper systems, drip-lines or soaker hose irrigation systems. A sub-surface or ‘direct-to-root irrigation methods are highly efficient and affordable.
However, the City says those who prefer to use a bucket or a watering can may continue to do so.
Water efficient irrigation methods using potable water are now allowed for a maximum of one hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays either before 09:00 or after 18:00.
Keeping Level 3 watering restrictions at the top of mind, residents can now make use of either a sprinkler, or a hosepipe fitted with a self-closing nozzle but only for one hour on a Saturday.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Water Services Xanthea Limberg says the drought was tough on us all, and required many lifestyle adjustments and behavioural changes.
“While this aspect of Level 3 restrictions has been relaxed, residents are reminded that the need for ongoing restraint and adherence to daily consumption limits remain in place. The personal water use limit remains at 105 litres per person per day, and the City’s collective water usage target is 650 million litres per day.”
Please see the following links for information on:
· Level 3 restriction guidelines: http://bit.do/L3-guide
· Level 3 water and sanitation tariffs: http://bit.do/L3-tariffs
· Level 3 overview: http://bit.do/L3-overview
· Level 3 FAQs: http://bit.do/L3-faqs
Cape Town has been chosen as the preferred host city for the 2023 Netball World Cup.
It is the first time that the largest women’s sporting event in the world will be hosted on African soil.
The South African team, which consists of the City, Netball South Africa, national and provincial government, was notified on Thursday by the International Netball Federation that its delegation offered a successful bid for the prestigious tournament.
The announcement was made at the Cape Town International Convention Centre to great fanfare.
The team showcased the Mother City’s world-class facilities, infrastructure as well as expertise in hosting major international events.
City officials say securing the Netball World Cup will aid the country in promoting women’s sports and raise the profile of netball as a key sport.
The CTICC will also be the host venue. It be transformed into a world-class netball centre that meets all of the International Netball Federation requirements.
According to the Western Cape Government, the World Cup is likely to pour R2.5-billion into the economy.
Photo and video credit: Nehna Singh, City of Cape Town