Water crisis high on sub-council agenda

A range of topics were discussed at the monthly Sub-council 12 meeting, including the water crisis and the draft electricity supply amendment by-law.

Two presentations were done by the City’s housing department and the Mitchell’s Plain Chamber of Commerce at the meeting on Thursday April 20 at the Lentegeur Chamber. The meeting was chaired by sub-council chairperson Sheval Arendse.

Mr Arendse, who is also the Ward 82 (Tafelsig) councillor, opened his chairperson’s report by paying tribute to Stacha Arends, the 11-year old Tafelsig girl who was found dead at Swartklip sportsfield on Tuesday March 28. “It consoles me that a suspect has been arrested, as her death has shaken the community, who wanted to set the bush alight where her body was found,” he said.

Mr Arendse mentioned that thousands of people marched from Paulsberg Road, Tafelsig, to Town Centre on Thursday March 30 to demand a stop to crime in the area. “A number of people broke away from the planned route and headed for the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court, demanding that the suspect be handed over to them,” he said.

Mr Arendse said Tafelsig Primary School also held a vigil for Stacha while messages of support streamed in for her family. “Let us remember this family and all other families affected by the untimely death of their loved ones,” he said.

Water crisis

According to the City of Cape Town as of Monday April 24, dam levels are now at 23.3% (storage levels), which is 0.9% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 13.3%. The latest consumption is 745 million litres, which is 45 million litres over the previous target of 700 million litres.

“It will take a number of consecutive winters of good rainfall for our dam levels to recover – and there is no guarantee that we will have above average rainfall in the coming winter,” Mr Arendse said.

Mr Arendse said increasing our efforts to reduce water use is the best way to manage a drought. “We have begun controlling the supply from our large Faure Reservoir, by reducing pressure at the reservoir itself. If the pressure is lower, less water flows at a time,” he said.

Mr Arendse added that it is an innovative pilot project which has lowered pressure to the central and southern suburbs. He said it is estimated that it is saving approximately 25 million litres of water per day. “This work continues and consumers in the higher-lying central and southern suburb areas will also start to notice a drop in water pressure,” he said.

Mr Arendse said as from Monday April 10, the City has also commenced with the reduction of pressure in connections to the distribution system over a wide area, which include Blackheath, Kleinvlei, Kuils River, Delft, Macassar, Firgrove, Somerset West, Strand, Gordon’s Bay, and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in an effort to reduce water losses through leakage in pipework.

Mitchell’s Plain Chamber of Commerce

A presentation was done by the Mitchell’s Plain Chamber of Commerce at the meeting but 10 minutes into the presentation chairperson Sean Achim was stopped and councillors gathered for a caucus.

Councillor Eddie Andrews, the Mayco member in charge of Area South, said the chamber has embarked on an extensive consultative process with key stakeholders but they have yet to consult with Sub-council 12 which has now been agreed to.

“This is imperative as the members of Sub-council 12 felt the presentation made some proposals that we would like to further discuss with the view to inform the chamber of substantial developments in Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.

Mr Achim said the chamber is excited about the offer given to them by Mr Arendse, to present their contribution to the City of Cape Town’s IDP 2022 document. Their meeting will now take place at an activity day.

“Through our engagement with all of our members and the broader business community of Mitchell’s Plain, we have been tasked with the responsibility of bringing the needs of all local business to the attention of the ward councillors and the City.

“Our responsibility has been to deeply engage with the business community prior to engaging with the councillors and now we have been given a commitment from the sub-council to these proposals with them,” he said.

“We are positive that this will bear the kind of fruits that will be seen for years as the starting point of radical economic transformation for our people,” he said.

Open Streets Mitchell’s Plain

The Sub-council 23 councillors were impressed with the success of the Open Streets Mitchell’s Plain event that took place in Eisleben Road on Sunday April 2.

Open Streets is a platform to demonstrate the potential of streets by making some of them temporarily car-free. Mr Arendse said residents were eager to experience Eisleben Road as a pedestrian-only zone. “This is clear by the large number of requests and proposals we have received from people who wanted to organise activities, perform, and sell food. There is a real desire to use our streets differently,” he said.

The draft electricity supply amendment

The City of Cape Town has submitted the draft electricity supply amendment by-law 2017, for public participation.

The current City of Cape Town Electricity Supply By-law was passed by the City in 2010. The by-law regulates the relationship between the City and electricity consumers, and protects and safeguards the integrity of the electricity network infrastructure to ensure a secure supply of electricity. It is only applicable in the Cape Town area of electricity supply.

According to the City of Cape Town, terms of Section 17 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, Act 32 of 2000, the public and interested parties or groups are given the opportunity to submit comments until April 15.

Illegal dumpers

Over the past seven months the City’s law enforcement department has impounded nearly 70 vehicles used in the act of illegal dumping.

The amended by-law allows the City to impound the vehicle of a person caught dumping illegally. The offenders can only reclaim their vehicles once they have paid an admission-of-guilt fine as well as the impoundment release fee.

A total of R278 000 in admission-of-guilt fines and impoundment release fees for 47 vehicles amounting to R390 000 have been paid over a seven-month period by people who were caught dumping and had their vehicles impounded. The fines were issued since January this year; 124 for littering, 369 for dumping; 1 282 compliance notices issued, 139 wheelie bins impounded and 67 vehicles impounded.

You can report illegal dumping to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.