Cape Town Mayor outlines status quo of water crisis

During a recent speech delivered at the Atlantis Aquifer, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille thanked Capetonians who had been making efforts to cut their water usage, saying that about half of water users had restricted their daily usage to 87 litres per day.

But added that this was not enough. “We need each and every Capetonian and business on board as a partner on this journey,” she said.

“We are in an unprecedented drought crisis and this phase is critical because if the City and residents don’t do enough together and simultaneously, we will run out of water.”

She said the City was doing everything in its power to ensure additional supply, including finding and hiring the country’s best team of experts who were working 80-hour weeks with the metro to ensure that additional water could be brought ‘online’.

The Atlantis plant was one of several sites for alternative water sources which form part of the ‘Water Resilience Plan’.

The City of Cape Town had recently refurbished many of the boreholes around this West Coast area to increase the production of this plant. She pointed out that these boreholes formed a part of the City’s unique Artificially Recharged Aquifer System and said a lot of work had gone into ensuring an increase in the volume of water from this aquifer system.

Prior this work, the system had been producing around four million litres of water per day. “We have now increased the yield from this aquifer by an additional five million litres per day.”

The water is serving homes and industrial businesses in Atlantis, Mamre and Pella on the outskirts of the West Coast, which is quite a vast area. “So the additional capacity will be welcomed,” the Mayor said.

“This work demonstrates our commitment to addressing this current drought crisis. I repeat my commitment that I will not allow a well-run city to run out of water.”

She added that she had made it clear when the site of a new desalination plant with the V&A Waterfront had been announced: “we have a plan and we will supply water, but we need Team Cape Town to assist us”.

In the meantime, the City of Cape Town announced that Level 6 water restrictions will be implemented from 1 January 2018, which means that households using more than 10,500 litres per month could face fines and penalties. A proposal for a drought charge of between R45 and R2 800, depending on the value of the property, has also been tabled.

Take a look at these shocking photos of the Theewaterskloof Dam looking more like a desert than a body of water:

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Partnership can benefit night shelter and SWCID

The night shelter in Somerset West, which has existed at the same address on Church Street for 30 years according to social worker Nicolene Andries, has in the past five years taken significant strides towards becoming better known to the community as well as more effective in its mission.

This can partly be ascribed to the partnership between the shelter and the Somerset West City Improvement District.

The shelter’s approach in recent times has been to ‘go big’ with stakeholders, role players and partners, says Nicolene. In the past one of the biggest drawbacks had been the fact that the community of Somerset West was largely uninformed or unaware of the shelter and its activities. “Since I became involved five years ago, the interest and involvement has however grown daily,” she says.


One of the main advantages of the partnership between the SWCID and the Shelter is the job creation programme which not only offers hope to the shelter’s clients, but also holds a benefit for the community in the sense that Main Road gets tidied up and cleaned.


Gene Lohrentz of Geocentric says the partnership with the shelter is based on Geocentric’s Social Work Action Team concept. He says the principle is threefold:

  •  We partner with the NGO and through them provide the opportunity to engage and refer homeless people who we find on the streets of the CID to a place of safety and assistance where they can access social services.  The NGO gives us the opportunity to refer them and works as a partner with us to get as many people off the street as possible


  •  The next step is to deal with the question of how to support the process of getting people to remain off the street.  The CID undertakes to pay a contribution to the shelter fees of any referred person for the first two weeks, which gives the NGO enough time through their social worker to access the person and find help. Thereafter the CID offers SWAT opportunities, which in short is a programme where the shelter identifies persons who have started their rehabilitation to come and work in a team back in the CID area performing tasks such as general cleaning, urban maintenance and landscaping and gardening. The CID pays a stipend for these services to the shelter, who in turn pay their clients.  The clients have the ability to support their stay in the shelter, as they are now earning money to pay their shelter fees.


  •  The last part of the partnership is the skills transfer that takes place from the shelter social workers to the CID patrol officers who walk the streets once a week: the shelter social worker helps the patrol officers to engage with homeless people and mentors the patrol officers in how to deal with these challenges.


Nicolene confirmed that regular training or mentoring sessions were being planned, to ensure a better mutual understanding between the shelter’s clients and the CID patrol officers.

(Read more about the shelter on the website )





Improved communication is paying off, says SW CID Chairperson

In a message delivered at the AGM of the Somerset West City Improvement District by board chairperson Ms Michelle Theron, she said the CID had started operations in Somerset West on the 1st September 2015.

“I have worked in Somerset West CBD for 12 years and have been privy to the steady decline over the years of our town and the positive changes over the last two years. We have seen some remarkable improvements in town since the inception.”

She said the best of these were a complete absence of Abortion/ Enlargement and other pamphlets stuck to infrastructure and then also this year the painting and upgrading of said infrastructure.


“We also have an improvement in communication between parties and service providers in town which has led directly and indirectly to initiatives in our community.” She pointed out that the latest of these was the Night Shelter that was now supplying cleaning staff directly to ClD. The cleaners receive a small stipend, which gives them some hope for their future.

“Our security initiative is visible and has been a huge help in attracting attention to the plight of our town and that of commuters and shoppers.” Ms Theron said there was much more happening at ground level than the reported arrests being made. The security staff was visible, they offered a deterrence to crimes, they were on hand and could act as the eyes and ears of our town, they knew the repeat offenders and as such had great insight into what was happening in town.

They strengthen the ranks of the SAPS in police operations and are also the initiators and supporters of these operations. Ms Theron said they were “an easy phone call away and responded within minutes”.

She went on to say that in this regard the amount of hidden weapons/trolleys/ fake security bibs that were being removed from our town had had a lasting impact which could not be measured, “as our town is growing, the steady stream of people moving into Somerset West is never ending, our town is exploding and thus I cannot imagine that crime statistics will tell a true tale”.

She said sitting in the centre of town day after day, and knowing that one can now walk around in a clean centre, that the armed robberies of the past had all but ended, that there were expert eyes watching and were on call if help was needed, was “truly priceless”.

I think we have a lot more to do, but the CID has provided the communications the facts and the vision and mission for our town and if we carry on the path as set out our town and the people in it will be enabled to make it great again.


Somerset West City Improvement District AGM 2017

SOMERSETWES LOGO FINALThe SOMERSET WEST CITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NPC will be hosting a Annual General Meeting and all stakeholders are invited to a review of the year’s activities and planning for 2018/19.

Date: 31 October 2017
Time: 16:00
Venue: The Farm House Coffee Shop Restaurant, The Trading Post Centre, 53 Caledon Street, Cnr Caledon & Myburgh Street, Somerset West.

Resolutions presented at the AGM can only be voted on by bona fide members of the SOMERSET WEST CITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NPC. This membership is available free of charge to all owners of commercial or industrial properties within the SRA footprint, but they must be registered before 17 October 2017.

For further information please e-mail or call 083 255 7657

Please click here to go to our AGM Page and download the relevant documentation

Become a member of the Somerset West CID NPC

Membership of the SRA, which is a non-profit company registered under the Companies Act, is open to all the registered property owners who are encouraged to apply for membership so that they may exercise their rights to influence the business of the SRA. Membership cannot be denied to a registered property owner and as a member the property owner is entitled to attend, participate and vote at members meetings of the Company held under the auspices of the Companies Act.

Should a member be unable to attend they may give another individual their proxy to attend and vote on their behalf. Non-members may attend and participate at members’ meetings but cannot vote and as such may thus have limited influence on the SRA’s activities.

Membership application forms can be downloaded from the link below – once complete please send the form back to

Click below to download the Membership Application Form


WhatsApp Image 2017-02-20 at 14.45.54This morning’s chain of events was certainly not what 4 burglars from Cape Town had planned for their day! All praise goes to observant Somerset West CID Public Safety Officers who noticed a car being broken into in Libri Lane, Somerset West around 8:20 this morning.

They radio’ed through to our Operations Centre for backup who dispatched our Armed Response Teams in full force.

The burglars immediately scattered with our team hot on their heels. It didn’t take Armed Response Supervisors Levitt and Fredericks and Officers Visser, Fielies, Greeff and Swartz long to apprehend all four burglars!

Two were caught in Bright Street and two near Radloff Park.

Congratulations to all involved – this certainly showed excellent team work between our Somerset West CID Public Safety Officers, Armed Response Team and Operations Centre! Also hoping the message will be put out there to encourage burglars to be doing their shopping elsewhere!

A quote from a witness ” SAPS & Secure Rite were brilliant they never stopped. Amazing Work”.

From the owner of the car  “a big thank you to all the Secure Rite officials that were involved in capturing the thieves that tried to steal my car at Libri Lane SW. I can’t explain how much easiness comes to mind when security companies respond that quick. Once again from myself & my family thank you very much”.

Overall city water use still exceeding restriction target

The City of Cape Town is calling on residents to intensify their efforts to save water. Overall usage of drinking water is currently approximately 10% higher than the required savings target to prevent drawing dams down to dangerous levels by the end of summer.


The City of Cape Town advises residents that overall water consumption since the imposition of Level 3 restrictions is still 10% above the savings target of 800 million litres per day. In order to protect our water resources, residents have been asked to keep their water consumption over the coming summer months in line with their consumption over winter.


“The start of the hot summer months generally carries with it a spike in water use as residents fill up their pools and use more water in their gardens. If we are to meet our targets, residents will need to cut these activities back to winter levels, or intensify their efforts to save in other areas to keep their consumption in line with how much they used during winter. Approximately 70% of water in Cape Town is used by residential customers, and as such these consumers will have the biggest influence on how secure our future water supplies are”Alderman Ernest SonnenbergCity Mayoral Committee Member: Utility Services


Residents who would like to save water could consider harvesting rainwater or installing a borehole or water-well provided they register these with the City. This investment will also result in savings for residents in the long-run.

In addition to adhering to restrictions, residents can also employ the following tips in their homes:


  • Ensure that washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them
  • Rinse dishes and vegetables in a basin of water rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden
  • Reuse rinse water for the next cycle of washing up
  • Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, at room temperature, in a basin of water, or in a microwave rather than placing them under running water
  • When using taps, don’t let the water run down the drain while waiting for the hot water or for the water to cool. Rather collect the water in a bottle
  • Close the tap when brushing your teeth
  • Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water
  • Shower rather than taking a bath – a half-filled bath uses 113 litres of water, while a five-minute shower uses about 56 litres
  • Install a water-saving showerhead, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force, and turn off the shower when soaping
  • Reuse bath water in your garden
  • Install a new water-saving toilet
  • Check if your toilet is leaking. Furthermore, residents can place a 2-litre bottle filled with sand into their cistern to reduce the amount of water used with each flush
  • Ensure that gardens do not require large amounts of water to maintain


For more information on water restrictions as well as a more exhaustive list of water savings suggestions, residents can The City will also be advising consumers of restrictions in an insert in their next municipal invoices. We encourage residents to familiarise themselves with these restrictions and display them prominently in their homes.


If residents would like to get clarity on any of the restrictions, they can also view the FAQ document at the link above. If this does not provide an explanation they need they can send an enquiry to Residents who would like to report contraventions by members of the public can do so by contacting the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089, sending an SMS to 31373, or sending an e-mail to


Click here to read and download the formal water restriction notice from the City of Cape Town

Meet our new SWCID Manager

swcid 1The SWCID has a new manager. Ernst van Zyl joined the Geocentric management team on 1 October 2016.

Ernst takes over the reins at an exciting time for the SWCID. The SWCID has been in operation for just over a year and want to accelerate its implementation in year two of the 5-year Business Plan.

The SWCID will also establish its own offices in November 2016 and hope to provide an even better opportunity for property owners, businesses and the general public to interact with the SWCID management and staff.

As soon as our new office location is finalised we will inform everyone



The SOMERSET WEST CITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NPC will be hosting a Annual General Meeting and all stakeholders are invited to a review of the year’s activities and planning for 2017/18.

Date: 2 November 2016
Time: 17:00
Venue: The Farm House Coffee Shop Restaurant, The Trading Post Centre, 53 Caledon Street, Cnr Caledon & Myburgh Street, Somerset West.

Resolutions presented at the AGM can only be voted on by bona fide members of the SOMERSET WEST CITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NPC. This membership is available free of charge to all owners of commercial or industrial properties within the SRA footprint, but they must be registered before 19 October 2016.

For further information please e-mail or call 083 255 7657

Please click here to go to our AGM Page and download the relevant documentation

We are there to help

2016-10-06-PHOTO-00000255Our Public Safety team is always there to help and assistance to the public is very important to us. On Thursday 6 October 2016 Somerset West CID Public Safety Patrol Officers Andro Nel and Richard Klaushi assisted a member of the public to start her vehicle. Well done!

Please save our Control Room number – 0860 10 30 99 – If you are in the Somerset West CBD and need assistance we are there to help as far as we can.


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