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CITY OF CAPE TOWN

28 JUNE 2018

STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE DEPUTY MAYOR, ALDERMAN IAN NEILSON

No Day Zero for 2019 if appropriate water restrictions are maintained

Summary 

  • At this early stage of the winter season, our dam levels are already in a much stronger position than we were at the end of winter last year
  • Provided that adequate water restrictions are maintained, the City is confident that there will be no prospect of reaching Day Zero in 2019
  • While we hope to reduce the current water restrictions in the near future, and the tariffs associated with them, this decision is dependent on National Government relaxing restrictions on releases from the water supply system 

The levels of the dams supplying water to Cape Town have been rising consistently and significantly over the past six weeks. As at today, total dam storage capacity is at just over 43%, and we still have more than two months of expected winter rainfall ahead of us. Over the last few months, our collective water usage has been around 520 million litres per day. 

This may be compared to the situation at the end of winter last year, when dam levels were at 38% and consumption was over 600 million litres a day. 

Having analysed this new data, we are now in a position to state that not only have we managed to avoid Day Zero this year, but we will also safely get through summer in 2019. This is due to the amount of water already in the dams, our intense water demand management programmes, our unrelenting communication, awareness and the behavioural change it has effected over the past two years, as well as the continued support and sacrifice of Team Cape Town. 

We have shown what we can achieve if we all pull together and work towards a common goal. I would again like to thank all Capetonians for their enormous water conservation effort this past summer. It was our combined effort that ensured that we got through the summer without running out of water.  

I know that it has been very difficult for both private residents and businesses to operate under the current stringent restrictions and that many sacrifices have been made by millions of residents. We hope that continued rains will enable a progressive reduction in the stress felt by all. 

While we hope to reduce the current restrictions in the near future, and the tariffs associated with them, that decision is dependent on National Government relaxing restrictions on releases from the water supply system. If the National Department of Water and Sanitation agrees to relax restrictions, we expect to be in a position to proceed with a stepped reduction of water restrictions and the associated tariffs. 

Until then, let us all please keep up the good work and keep saving water for a little while longer. We have to ensure that we make a permanent change to our approach to water usage. 

What has changed since January 2018

At the beginning of the year, we were in the extended stages of a devastating, deepening and unprecedented drought. For three years in a row, our rainfall had been significantly lower than in previous years. The 2017 rainfall was the lowest in recorded history at only 40% of the long-term average. This resulted in a substantial decline in the levels of the six large dams that supply water to Cape Town, the surrounding municipalities and agriculture. 

In January, projections of the rate at which the dam levels were falling indicated that we could reach a level where emergency measures would have to be implemented in April 2018. This became known as Day Zero. This projection was made despite the fact that the City had already halved its summer consumption rate, from 1 200 million litres per day to 600 million litres per day. 

We did, however, have three things in our favour to ensure a rapid drought response: our pre-existing water demand management programme; our highly skilled engineers and professional staff; and the residents of Cape Town. 

These combined elements allowed us to reach the start of our winter rainfall season without running out of water. The reason we never reached that projection of Day Zero was due to the enormous effort and sacrifice of both urban and agricultural consumers to cut consumption levels even further throughout the summer. 

Due to the incredible water conservation efforts of our residents, and the ground-breaking interventions instituted by the City to reduce consumption, our dam levels bottomed out at 20% by the end of the summer. This was just 7% above the level at which we would have had to start restricting consumption to 25 litres per person per day. We still had capacity to spare at that time should the winter rainfall come late and be inadequate. 

Fortunately, the rains started early in our winter (May) and fell at rates closer to the average than in the previous years. It was only then that we could see that circumstances had changed. After some six weeks of good rain, we are now in a more favourable position that enables us to recalibrate our future projections and to make a much more accurate forecast for 2019. 

In short, almost half-way through our winter, we are already in a much stronger position than we were at the end of winter last year. 

Based on this information, and provided that adequate water restrictions are maintained, we are now confident that there will be no prospect of reaching Day Zero in 2019. 

How Cape Town did it

We are now in a much better position, not only due to the encouraging rainfall we have seen so far, but also because of the incredible cooperation of our residents and due to the various technological and human interventions initiated by this municipality to drive down consumption. 

These included: 

  • the success of an extensive and dedicated communication, awareness and behavioural change campaign to encourage a behavioural shift among residents
  • the continuing roll-out of pressure management across the City, which is currently achieving savings of more than 62 million litres of water a day and climbing, as more pressure zones are created across the metro
  • the installation of water demand management devices for those who contravene water restrictions
  • a leak repair programme to minimise water losses, especially among indigent residents
  • steep tariff hikes
  • the City also took a holistic approach to managing the crisis and attempted to maximise all alternative water resources in a very short period of time. Thus, for instance, we looked at temporary desalination and increased extraction from springs, among others 

Looking ahead

While we hope at some point in the next few months to be in a position to relax the current restrictions, and the tariffs associated with them, this decision will have to wait until National Government relaxes restrictions on releases from the water supply system. 

I have requested a meeting with the National Minister of Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti, to discuss this and other matters pertaining to our future water resilience as a matter of urgency. 

Urban water resilience implies the capacity to anticipate, absorb, adapt, respond to and learn from shocks and stresses, to protect public health and well-being and the natural environment, and to minimise economic disruption. 

The experience of the past three years and the reality of greater rainfall variability than in the past has meant that we have had to adjust our approach towards what needs to be done to ensure our future resilience. Now that we have navigated our way through the immediate drought crisis, it is necessary that we review our water supply strategy and augmentation plans to ensure that what was devised in a period of crisis is appropriate for longer-term sustainability and resilience. We are in the process of reassessing our New Water Programme; in particular, our future water mix and the role of permanent desalination in the supply mix. 

In this recalibration, we are working closely with a number of local and international partners like the World Bank, the Stockholm International Water Institute, and the 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, to ensure that our revised programme provides the best possible response to our reality. 

We need to think very carefully about our long-term capital programme, particularly regarding permanent desalination, groundwater and water reuse and how this will impact on our budget and our water tariffs. 

In partnership with the custodian of water resources, the National Department of Water and Sanitation, we also need to address critical issues such as resource allocation and inter-basin transfers to ensure the sustainability of our water resources. Many operational challenges and deficiencies came to light during this drought.   

The City and National Government will need to sit down and work through these issues thoroughly to ensure that future drought management is effective and has minimal impact on economic activity and public well-being.  

At the same time, we need to ensure that our focus on behavioural change and attitudes towards water and demand management does not let up. As demand for water grows, it is not only diversification of supply that is required to address future risk, but also a sustained campaign to entrench the behaviour changes we have seen over the past months. 

Until such time as we are able to reassess our situation, let us all therefore continue to implement these changes and keep saving water. 

Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for all water-related information.

 

In order to be able to address the concerns raised by the trade and lodges as to the late arrival in Hoedspruit, which has impacted guests’ afternoon game drives, Airlink’s revised schedule will depart Cape Town International at 10h50 (was 12h20) and arrive in Hoedspruit at 13h20 (was 14h50) and depart again from Hoedspruit at 14h00 (was 15h20) and arrive in Cape Town at 16h40 (was 18h00) Mondays to Sundays.

From September 2018, Airlink will introduce one of its 98 seat Embraer 190 E-Jet to the route which will provide customers with enhanced comfort by way of 92 economy class seats with a generous seat pitch, and 6 expansive business class seats. The E-Jet cabin layout features two plus two abreast seating, with large eye-level windows allowing in lots of natural light, and ample overhead bin space to accommodate carryon items. Every seat offers either a window or an aisle option.

Airlink looks forward to setting a new standard for guests using its services on the route.
Airlink apologizes for any inconvenience or disruption caused to customer itineraries due to these additional schedule changes, but we are confident that these enhancements will resolve all concerns raised in regard to the previous schedule.

(credits: www.flyairlink.com)

Airlink confirms that it will from 19 June 2018; introduce further enhancements to its Johannesburg to Hoedspruit and Cape Town to Hoedspruit services. Additionally, on 1 August 2018 Airlink will add a second flight between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit, in response to market requests, for additional capacity and convenience.

The revised flights will depart Johannesburg International at 13h00 (was 11h50) and arrive in Hoedspruit at 14h00 (was 12h50), and depart again from Hoedspruit at 14h30 (was 13h20) and arrive in Johannesburg at 15h30 (was 14h20), Mondays to Fridays. Flights from Cape Town International will depart at 12h20 (was 11h15) and arrive in Hoedspruit at 14h50 (was 13h45) and depart again from Hoedspruit at 15h20 (was 14h20) and arrive in Cape Town at 18h00 (was 17h00). The current flight schedule on Saturdays and Sundays will remain the same, due to Hoedspruit Airport operating hour constraints.

The supplementary morning flights commencing in August will depart Johannesburg International at 09h50 and arrive in Hoedspruit at 10h50 Mondays to Sundays. The flight will depart Hoedspruit at 11h20 and arrive in Johannesburg at 12h20.

Airlink apologizes for any inconvenience or disruption caused to customer itineraries due to these schedule changes, as we continue to enhance our schedule to match our customers’ requirements.

(credits: www.flyairlink.com)

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world showcasing breathtaking scenery, a rich wildlife population, many diverse cultures and a comfortable climate.

South Africa has two very different rainfall patterns. In the Western Cape the rainy season is during winter – June, July and August. The remainder of the country has summer rains.

So, when is the best time to visit South Africa? We rather recommend determining what you would like to see when deciding on a timeframe to come visit South Africa.

Seasons in South Africa:-
Spring: starts September to November
Summer: starts December to February
Autumn: starts March to May
Winter: starts June to August

June, July and August are the best months for game viewing on Safari as the dry weather attracts the animals to the waterholes. On the other hand, during September and October, the animals drop their young.

The best beach weather is late Spring to early Autumn. Mid-summer offers the hottest weather, but it is also a very busy time with inland holidaymakers visiting the beautiful coastline.

Namaqualand flowers in the Western and Northern Cape are best seen in spring – September to November.

Whale watching season is from June to the end of October.

The best seasons for hiking are spring and autumn when the weather is mildest.

Whether you are discovering the many gourmet restaurants; art & nightlife scenes, white beaches of Cape Town; enjoying a typical local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browsing the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sampling some of the world’s finest wines around the picturesque Cape Winelands – whichever time you come, South Africa will not disappoint in any way!

Why visit Kenya?

This country has many world famous national parks of which most boast the Big 5.

Kenya has a variety of ethnic groups of which the Masai with their intricate beadwork and striking red robes are probably the most well known.

The great migration is probably the most graphic example of Kenya’s fame when annually hundreds of thousands of Wildebeest, Zebra and other game migrate across the great the Serengeti.

Types of Safari you can experience in Kenya:

  • Fly-in Safari staying in luxurious accommodation tailored to the travelers specifications
  • Hot air balloon Safari
  • Private tour with an experienced & knowledgeable local guide
  • 4 x 4 Safari
  • Accommodated or camping overland (for the more budget conscious traveler)

When is a good time to visit Kenya?

There are two rainy seasons in Kenya – the long rains of March and April and the short rains of October through to December. During the rainy season the park roads can become challenging to pass and with the rains the mosquitoes are also more prevalent.

The dry season is the best for game viewing as the animals are forced to congregate at the waterholes ensuring sightings during certain times of day.

From June to October the annual Wildebeest migration takes place with thousands of animals coming from the Serengeti in July to October into the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Kenya Safari options: (please click on below links)

6 Days Amboseli, Lake Nakuru & Masai Mara Budget Safari

13 Day East Africa Luxury Lodge Safari

8 Day Kenya & Tanzania Luxury Tented Camp Safari 

13 day Kenya & Tanzania Overland Adventure

Coming face to face with a giant Silverback Mountain Gorilla must truly be one of the most genuinely breathtaking wildlife experiences you will ever have!

What to expect on the day of your gorilla trek?

Arise early and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime: coming face to face with the rare but critically endangered Mountain Gorillas – only about 800 remain in the world!

Following breakfast, transfer to the national park offices where you will join other trekkers, be divided into groups of 8 and allocated a gorilla family to track as well as a gorilla tracking guide.

After a pre-tracking briefing by your guide on the gorillas, your assigned gorilla family, what to expect, how to behave with the gorillas, as well as appropriate safety precautions, you will be driven to the trail-head for the start of a thrilling adventure.

Always led by a specialist guide, armed ranger and sometimes some porters and trackers. Participants can expect to walk long distances across steep valleys and ridges in thick forest vegetation and sometimes muddy conditions with rain overhead, which can be challenging and require a degree of fitness. However, average fitness is sufficient for this trek and no one should feel discouraged from tracking the gorillas. There has been guests over the age of 70 years successfully tracking the gorillas without any assistance. Visitors that need assistance always find it readily available as many porters will assist at a small fee all the way up and down. Granted, the time taken can be quite unpredictable – anything from 2 to 8 hrs or longer for persons of all types of fitness.

But the thrill and pleasure of coming face to face with these majestic giants in their natural habitat and spending the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life – feeding, playing, raising their young, climbing up and down the trees, moving recklessly, sleeping, resting and sometimes wrestling (especially juveniles seem to love this a lot) – makes every effort in their quest worthwhile.

Remember to bring the following along for your trekking experience:
* passport for registration
* appropriate waterproof hiking boots
* light rain coat
* we recommend long pants and long sleeved tops to protect from stinging nettles
* a pair of old gardening gloves can help grabbing onto the vegetation
* a walking stick that comes in very handy especially when hiking downhill
* a small waterproof backpack is an excellent idea to carry a light snack, bottled water as well as protection for your camera

Afterwards, hike back to base where your driver will be waiting to drive you back to the lodge for a well deserved shower and lunch, or dinner depending on the time taken on the trek.

Hi Gelle.
Thanks.
It’s been fab. I loved the Belmond eagle. Just loved the place.
But Selinda and Belmond were both fab with Belmond being my absolute favorite.
Game drives were very special too. Loved it.
Africa is truly beautiful. I leave a piece of my heart here each time.

Khadijah and Family ( March 2018 – Luxury Fly-in Botswana Safari )

Hi Gelle, I just got back a couple of days ago, we had an incredible trip, the safari was more than we had expected. Our safari operator was great, our guide Enock was a super guy, great eye for spotting birds and animals, very patient and knew a lot. Accommodations and meals were great, great cooking. I can also report that every toilet we visited was spotless, except for one in a lonely picnic area that had been taken over by a band of baboons and you can imagine what it looked like.

Thanks for everything and we will look forward to a new African adventure, God willing, in a few years.

Regards,

Antonieta and Family  ( Feb 2018)

Hi Gelle,

Mozambique was amazing! The accommodation was so nice, and the package you organized for our honeymoon was perfect. Both Amy and I loved every second of our time there, thank you so much for organizing the trip for us. A special thanks for finding the honeymoon special and organizing the upgrade! The beach suite was so much better than I expected.

Kind regards,
Jadon ( Honeymoon Mozambique

Hi Gelle,

Wow, we had the BEST time on Honeymoon! It was a complete surprise for me. Jadon even packed my bag. I only found out where we were going when we were about to board our international flight from Joburg to Vilankulo. The Bahia Mar was exceptional. We were pampered and made to feel like royalty. They went out of their way to ensure we had a memorable time from arranging boat trips to go snorkelling and exploring the local town on a tuk tuk. I cannot thank you enough for arranging everything. It was so incredbly special and I will cherish the memories in my heart forever.

See attached some photos 🙂

Kind regards,
Amy ( Honeymoon Mozambique Dec 2017 )