Notice of immediate implementation of water rationing across Cape Town
The City of Cape Town has activated water rationing to forcibly lower water usage in line with water restrictions across the metro as phase 1 of its critical water shortages disaster plan.
Water usage remains dangerously high above required levels.
Rationing will lead to intermittent supply, likely during peak water consumption hours in the mornings and evenings. It won’t result in a complete shutdown, but some areas may experience short water outages. Service will be restored as quickly as possible. Please note the following key points:
Please keep up to 5 litres of water available for essential use only during rationing.
Please do not store excessive water.
Definitive timetables of the outages cannot be provided as water systems must be managed flexibly to avoid damage to critical infrastructure.
When you experience a loss of water supply and before you contact our call centre, please check your neighbour’s supply first to see whether it is likely a case of rationing.
If you reside in or operate from multistorey buildings, ensure that the water supply system (booster pumps and roof-top storage) is in working order in compliance with the Water By-law.
The City is not liable for any impact on or damage to private infrastructure resulting from the rationing or associated operations.
Please ensure that all taps are closed when not in use to prevent damage/flooding when the supply is restored. Ensure that you take the necessary steps, such as speaking to your insurer if possible, to mitigate potential damage and for fire prevention.
When supply is restored, the water may appear to be cloudy from the extreme pressure reduction exercise. Please do not waste the initial water. Use it for flushing.
Water management devices are also being installed city-wide to limit excessive consumption.
Further restriction levels and usage targets will be announced at short notice and as necessary to drive down consumption to a safe level. Critical services such as clinics and hospitals will be largely unaffected. This phase is intended to help us avoid more extreme phases of the disaster plan.
Phases of the critical water shortages disaster plan Phase 1: Activated: water rationing through extreme pressure reduction and limiting supply Phase 2: Disaster restrictions (water collection points) Phase 3: Full-scale disaster implementation (extreme rationing at distribution points)
Cape Town is situated in a water-scarce region. Climatic unpredictability, such as this protracted drought, must be seen as the New Normal which affects all aspects of our lives. In Cape Town, the Western Cape, and many other parts of South Africa, this severe drought continues.
Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for all further information required, including information on the Water By-law. We will only get through this together.
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
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Handouts hurt City’s Street People
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
10 OCTOBER 2017
Handouts hurt City’s street people
This, below, was the key message during an event to mark World Homeless Day, hosted by the City of Cape Town in partnership with Oasis ‘Reach for Your Dreams’. Read more below:
The City today 10 October 2017 renewed its call to residents to refrain from giving handouts directly to street people.
This was one of the issues discussed at an event to mark World Homeless Day, attended by more than 100 street people.
The event was hosted by the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department, in conjunction with non-governmental organisation, Oasis ‘Reach for Your Dreams’. Also in attendance were other NGOs, the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Social Security Agency.
World Homeless Day is now in its seventh year. It aims to highlight issues affecting homeless persons as well as the role communities can play in responding to homelessness.
‘We are constantly reminding residents about the harm in giving money directly to street people. While they may think they’re doing a good deed, in reality it only discourages street people from accepting social services. Giving money perpetuates chronic homelessness as well as various other social issues. The City has a number of programmes to help street people, but we can reach far more people in a more meaningful way if the public support the interventions that will assist with reintegrating and helping street people rather than giving handouts that are nothing more than a plaster on a wound requiring far greater care.
‘Often the donations obtained on the street will actively prevent reintegration. While members of the public will complain about the structures erected and activities undertaken by street people, they will often also continue to incentivise such behaviour through donations directly to the street person while forgetting about the person who leaves the street to return home or moves to a shelter. The City therefore encourages people to donate directly to the NGOs working with street persons to ensure that we support street people that attempt to rebuild their lives off the street,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
The City has a dedicated Street People Unit that provides a range of services including:
Relocation of street people to various shelters in the city
Reuniting street people with their families/community of origin
Assistance with access to identity documents and social grants
Access to substance abuse rehabilitation programmes
Short-term work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme
‘While the Street People Unit is doing good work, it cannot operate in isolation and so we rely heavily on other role players like the NGO sector, the City improvement districts and the Western Cape Government to augment our interventions. Building transversal relationships within the City but also with external partners is critical to our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan, but also breaking the mould in how we address issues of homelessness,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area South, Councillor Eddie Andrews.
During the 2016/17 financial year, the Street People Unit responded to nearly 15 000 complaints about street people and successfully offered assistance to more than 2 600 individuals. The Reintegration Unit reunited 82 persons with their families during this period.
Once a client has accepted offers of social assistance, they are relocated to a shelter temporarily while the reintegration officer establishes whether the client can be reunified with their family and identifies additional needs of the client in respect of other services like healthcare, substance abuse interventions or access to grants and other social services.
‘We need to take the long view on this and move away from the perception that law enforcement is the be-all and end-all solution. The reality is that our Law Enforcement Department’s powers are fairly limited and their interventions serve only to displace the problem. The criminal justice system has weaknesses that make law enforcement particularly ineffectual in responding to complaints about by-law transgressions by street people. While we are engaging national government to remedy these criminal justice system shortcomings, we also maintain that social development interventions are more effective and more appropriate than an enforcement approach to homelessness.
‘Social intervention, though time consuming, is ultimately how we will reduce the number of people living on our streets. But again, I remind residents that it’s futile to complain about the presence of street people in your neighbourhood or public open spaces while enabling the behaviour through handouts,’ added Alderman Smith.