Bloomlane – a garden in the city

We are proud to announce that Woodstock is home to a number of projects which allow residents to engage in the process of local renovation and renewal. Our mission is to improve the area sustainably, from the roots up.

One of the projects that we are achieving this vision through is the pilot project collaboration with Streetscapes, where homeless people are given the opportunity to tend gardens and sell the produce for profit. This project served as a catalyst for other developmental projects in the area which have the potential to change the social and physical landscape of Woodstock.

The most recent of these innovations is the transformation of Hanwell Lane into an urban garden which will benefit the community.

What is the project about?

The project aims to create an urban food garden in Hanwell Lane, Woodstock. The garden will give people the techniques and space to grow fresh produce for feeding programmes. It will also be an area where community members can support one another through interaction and skill sharing. The main aim is to create a productive environment to empower the community. The hope is that this model will be applied in other suburbs throughout Cape Town.

What prompted the project?

The project was born out of the vision of Mr Graeme Allen. He lives next to Hanwell Lane and was frustrated by the level of vandalism and illegal dumping of waste in the street. He refused to believe this was the only option, and obtained a lease for Hanwell Lane to establish a community garden.

Mr Allen then spent six months communicating with other residents and the City Roads and Planning department to create a plan. This blueprint was then shared with homeowners in Roodebloem Road, Roberts Road, Beacontree Lane and Hillyard Street where local support was harvested. Eventually an agreement was signed by many local residents to turn Hanwell Lane into a community garden.

Who are the stakeholders?

This project is an example of what can be achieved in a community through collaboration. Mr. Allen has garnered support from invested partnership who are willing to see the project through to the end.

Connective Collective (CC) – a collection of people who provide platforms for sustainable community engagement. Their goal is to facilitate citizens in building communities that live in harmony with the earth.

Guerilla House – an urban permaculture training platform that educates and equips citizens using affordable regenerative technologies. They specialise in creating and running organic food gardens, water harvesting, soil building, animal systems, mushroom cultivation, grey water systems, alternative building technologies and waste regeneration.

Community – people living between Hilyard and Salisbury Streets, Roodebloem and Roberts Roads, and those that use Hanwell Lane for thoroughfare. They are encouraged to take ownership of the lane and invest where possible so that they can benefit from it flourishing.

Contributors – property owners neighbouring Hanwell Lane have contributed to the cost of gates and the further development of the project.

Woodstock Improvement District (WID) – we aim to utilise the community garden project to extend our social outreach programme.

Woodstock Residents Association​ (WRA) – facilitates engagement between local authorities and residents living in Woodstock. They provide a platform to share information, discuss differences and solve problems in the community.

 

What is the vision for this community project?

The ideal outcome is a community garden that benefits all who live and work in the neighbourhood. The lane will serve as a meeting space where people can interact, educational workshops can be held and resiliency skills can be obtained by anyone who would like to learn.

The partners are aware of the challenges this public space may encounter, and there are discussions underway on how best to approach potential problems. If you would like to view the vision for this project please contact ConnectiveCollective through one of the Public Participation Process (PPP) channels (see below) and we will forward you the full proposal. Feedback, both for and against, is welcomed as we would like to understand and communicate the community’s views.

Below are the various PPP channels that can be utilised to voice opinions or ask further questions about the project:

  • The email address hanwellgarden@gmail.com (which will also be displayed in the lane).
  • A post box in the lane for residents to hand write and deliver your views.
  • A telephone number, which residents can contact, and a WhatsApp group/ SMS group which residents can join to receive information about the project.
  • A Facebook page where residents can post their views and find more information about the project.

Here’s how to help your neighbourhood flourish

“I told no-one about the trouble I was in – not my wife, father, or my two brothers.” Ali* was riddled with shame and guilt when the pressure to provide for his wife and two children led to significant debt. Eventually, he lost his job as a call centre manager, and the weight of these mounting troubles combined with the fear of sharing his burdens led to Ali ending up on the street.

Thankfully, this story ends well! Ali* found help at the Haven shelter and became an employee. Now he earns a living by helping others that have gone through similar difficulties and impacting their actions. This story illustrates the ease with which external circumstances can spiral out of control and lead people to seemingly hopeless situations. Whatever the cause of their problems, with the right guidance, lives can be turned around.

Businesses are in the perfect position to provide the financial support that could help to change the face of our city. By contributing to organisations dedicated to assisting the homeless, we can help pick up those who are struggling in our society.

The immediate benefit is not only a better quality of life for those in need, but also, a more approachable storefront for business owners. This will be due to the lessening of informal squatting outside businesses due to people being housed in shelters which provide them with warm beds to sleep in.

It is important that the problem of homelessness be addressed with full focus. In a press briefing held by Councillor Suzette Little at the Civic Centre in 2015, the Mayoral committee member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development estimated that there were 7,383 homeless people in Cape Town. Of these, only about 2,521 sleep in shelters. Consequently, more than two-thirds are not accessing the tools and organisations to help them resolve their situation.

That is why we are encouraging citizens to give responsibly. Sporadic, unplanned giving only enables street living. If people are making money through begging and selling the latest trinket or sticker for small change, they may be deterred from approaching shelters for help. This is especially concerning as winter is on our doorstep, and many will be left out in the cold.

We believe whole-heartedly that lives can be changed with appropriate guidance. Shelters often have councillors and social workers on hand to help. In the case of local shelters, financial contributions can assist with the purchase of beds, bedding, food and toiletries, or salaries for councillors and staff, as well as rent for the space.

One of the projects we are currently involved in gives the homeless an opportunity to tend gardens in the city and live off the profit they earn, which is deposited into their bank accounts for safety. We run this project in conjunction with Streetscapes and are encouraged by the positive results so far. In this case, financial support from local businesses will help fund the fencing, compost, tools and seeds for the gardens.

In summary, we want to appeal to Woodstock businesses and community members to support the shelters and projects around the Woodstock area, and get involved with the local initiatives. Together we can help people like Ali* get back on their feet and positively influence our economy and the well-being of our beloved city.

*Name changed for privacy purposes.

Contact these shelters to be part of the change in Woodstock:

The D6 haven night shelter

021- 4627321

Email: sheila@haven.org.za

St. Anne’s

021- 4486792

Email: info@stanneshomes.org.za

Youth solutions

021 -4628006

Email: info@safyouth.org

Moira Henderson house

021 4612533

Email: lionel.adams@haven.org.za

Haven homes

021 4477422

Email: havenhomes@telkomsa.net

The Homestead

021 4617470

Email: https://homestead.org.za/contact/

Make it stop – illegal dumping has to go

Woodstock residents are struggling under the weight of waste. We are trying our best to keep up with the demand but it is an uphill battle. In this blog post, we take a look at one of the problems at the forefront of maintenance in Woodstock.

The Problem: Illegal Dumping

This includes not only rubbish, but also rubble. The practice costs Cape Town taxpayers millions of rands in maintenance on top of usual taxes. The last recorded amount readily available was mentioned in a Ground Up article in 2016 on illegal dumping. The estimated total was around R350 million a year, up by R150 million since 2013.

Not only does illegal dumping steal from taxpayers money, John Julies our Operations manager says that our cleaners’ efficiency is being compromised by constantly needing to deal with piles of illegally dumped waste/rubble. He claims that “it gives them less time to clean the main roads which in actual fact should be our main focus.” The cleaners can spend up to ±4 hours extra a day on trying to clear rubble that is haphazardly dumped all over the Woodstock area.

In order to deal with the problem correctly, our WID cleaning team will pick it up, take it to get weighed on the weighbridge in Tide street and transport it to the dumpsite. Again, wasting ratepayer’s valuable money and the WID cleaning services’ valuable time.

Frustration arises because of the fact that “residents have bins, but still dump their rubbish in the street” and this “contributes to up to 90 percent of the dumping in Woodstock” says Julies.

How it affects your business

As mentioned before, from a purely financial perspective, ratepayers that contribute to services being rendered are losing valuable money as constantly removing rubble is expensive. Other services are being neglected in the process. Rubbish strewn everywhere is also likely to discourage patronage to certain shops, which will significantly affect their revenue.

If not dealt with almost immediately, the wind carries waste into drain systems, creating blockages and water wastage in the area. This in turn, causes more problems as water wastage is, of course, no small issue in Cape Town.

Finally, there are very real health risks involved. On 22 April 2013, a three-year-old boy passed away after coming into contact with illegally dumped toxic waste in Delft. Although the waste found in Woodstock is not predominantly toxic, it does present real health risks. Especially to children who attend schools in the area, as well as being the breeding ground for disease.

The solution

The most proactive approach is to report illegal dumping to us, or fill in a C3 notification form. This will ensure that there is a public record kept of offences for future reference. Try to identify the vehicle’s registration number and/ or make of said vehicle so that they can be easily tracked.

Make sure that your business is following good practice and that your employees are aware of how to discard waste correctly. Encourage residents and patrons to take more care when discarding waste by putting up informative flyers or posters in your business. To help, Julies suggests that businesses and residents apply for a rubbish bin at the Civic centre in Cape Town. This will encourage others to do the same and make for a cleaner, safer society to benefit all residents and business owners in the long run.

Help stop illegal dumping and be rewarded

For any report on illegal dumping that leads to an arrest, there will be a R500 reward up for grabs.

Control room number to report: 021 462 1205

Illegal dumping hotspots to look out for:

  • Williams/Sussex
  • Williams/Station
  • Woodland Street
  • Pine Street
  • Beach road/Railway
  • Tide street
  • Bromwell street
  • Douglas Place
  • Aspeling street
  • Grey Street
  • Spring Street
  • Plein Street
  • Greatmorestreet
  • Devon street

Legal dumping spots:

https://goo.gl/UoJ7np

Game changers in the war on water wastage

There is much to be said about the fact that for the foreseeable future Day Zero should not become a reality. Capetonians are breathing a collective sigh of relief at not needing to queue for water anytime soon. The question remains, whose efforts led to staving off that dismal day?

Baseline Coffee

Coffee culture is serious business in Cape Town. Deon and Stacy, the founders of the Baseline coffee roastery, fully agree and live their slogan “Bad coffee shouldn’t happen to good people.”

Recent water saving ventures by this business have proved that they are as serious about conserving our most precious resource as they are about serving quality caffeine. The roastery has implemented changes including recyclable paper cups instead of ceramic, which save 60 litres of water a day previously used to wash cups.

A personal water meter has been installed so that they can monitor their water consumption. They also installed a 1000 litre water tank to supply their customers with non–municipal drinking water.

FCB Cape Town

This advertising agency has been around for a long time and stays ahead of the curve by keeping up to date with trends and evolving alongside the needs of the public.

If they’re half as creative with their campaigns as they have been with their water crisis strategies, we’ll all be buying their clients’ products in no time! They have made significant changes, starting with a move to bottled drinking water. This is also sometimes used for washing dishes.

The agency has also turned off the hydro boils in the kitchen and limited the use of the espresso machine to certain hours of the day. As a precautionary measure, they are also looking to replace crockery with recyclable or disposable alternatives.

The Test Kitchen

Winner of the best restaurant in the country not once but five times, we might have predicted that the innovative minds behind The Test Kitchen would get creative with their water conservation action plan!

Some of their changes include a complete overhaul of the menu to make food that can be prepared with less water and minimal sauces. Others include using the leftover melted ice to wash the floors and installing water saving taps.

The company has also collaborated with another Woodstock based business to serve food on plates that need no washing! Castle Framers constructed plates from obeche wood and coated them with nitrocellulose sealer to ensure the plate is water resistant. The clean look works well with the high – end customers at the restaurant, and every patron is doing their bit not to increase demands on our limited water resources.

We would like to congratulate these wonderful local businesses for taking responsibility and conserving water. Thanks to their efforts we hope to have water in our taps for the foreseeable future!

2017: Reflecting on small victories and big impact

In 2005 the Cape Town City Council approved a City Improvement District in Woodstock, and property owners rallied together to gather levies to fund it. Their efforts were successful, and the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) was formed.

Our mission is to “administer the area with dedicated, effective management, provide supplementary services to those already afforded by the City of Cape Town, and co-ordinate the provision of a well-maintained, safer, cleaner and greener environment for those who work, visit and invest in Woodstock.”

Looking back on 2017, we have made considerable progress in these areas, particularly in the fields of security and social work. Resident social worker Abigail Abrahams has led the campaign to assist the underprivileged community and affected much change in the area.

Abby has been integral in the practical aspects of helping those in need. She walks the streets to connect with people and learn about their needs. She has also established a working relationship with the WID drivers who refer her to areas where she is needed, based on their experiences on the ground.

In 2017, Abby assisted roughly 30 people every 2 weeks. She provided help in a number of areas – a typical week included providing advice and support with ID document processes, grant applications, typing up of CVs and just lending a sympathetic ear.

In one case, she was crucial in the repatriation of a minor with her family. She referred a 15-year-old girl, who had been sleeping on the street for 3 days, to the Department of Social Development. Thanks to this connection, the girl was then reunited with her relatives and returned home.

We are meticulous about detailing the activity of social work. The records for this year show a demonstrable impact on the community. These figures are hugely encouraging, and have informed a continued commitment to work in this necessary field over the coming years.

Another top priority in the area is security. The WID security team, in conjunction with the SAPS, have successfully apprehended criminals across many fields this year, including illegal squatters, thieves, illegal gamblers and substance distributors. The security team report suspicious behaviour and document the hotspots to help identify and arrest those who commit illegal acts.

Our security officers also went above and beyond to assist in the putting out of fires this year. This occurred 6 times one month according to an updated security report. The WID team is united by an ability to take initiative while showing care for the community and delivering their services with consistency.

Our goals for the following five years as laid out by our business plan read as follows:

– Keep Woodstock a clean and safe commercial area

– Maintain and improve working relationships with local authorities and essential service providers

– Provide innovative management of the area

– Lower the local crime rate

– Be sensitive to our social responsibilities

– Market Woodstock and preserve district identity

This seems idyllic, but is it possible in reality? The information about impact this year suggests these goals are achievable! For example, just this year, WID officers have prevented crime by providing an officer as a crime deterrent in numerous cases.

After reflecting on many separate social and security cases handled by the members of our team, we can say with confidence that if current standards are maintained, Woodstock should continue to go from strength to strength as a secure place for businesses and communities to flourish for years to come.

Level 6B water restrictions – let’s beat day zero

The water shortage in our city is a serious matter and one that none of us can avoid, it is each and everyone’s responsibility to continue working hard to save as much water as we possibly can.

To help in the process, the City of Cape Town has implemented Level 6B Water Restrictions that have been effective from the 1st of February 2018 until further notice.

This is applicable for both residential and commercial entities.

To read more and find out other ways to save water, please click this link and stay informed >https://goo.gl/i37qUG

Working together we can avoid day zero. Tell us what your business is doing to save water?

Woodstock artists and galleries: local talent on an international stage.

Woodstock bubbles over with culture. There are vibrant stories everywhere, from the historic buildings to the memories of local residents. If you’ve never stopped to engage with the wonder that is Woodstock, 2018 is a great time to start!

We at WID want to take you on a journey of our favourite area this year, starting with a look at two of the inspiring galleries right here on our doorstep.

  1. Greatmore Studios

This studio has a philanthropic ethos, providing space for both artists and the wider community to come together in creative activity. It is governed and managed by a board of trustees on behalf of the Greatmore Studios Trust.

As you might have guessed, it’s located on Greatmore Street! The street that feels like home with its spirit of togetherness. The studio is a hub of activity consisting of twelve studios, a digital arts facility and a social courtyard.

The Trust also own a house in Observatory to accommodate out of town visitors participating in their various programs and a minibus to transport participants to outreach projects.

The Greatmore Studios Trust was established in 1998 and registered as an NPO in 2007. The objectives of this body include:

  • Providing training and a studio environment for artists to allow them to build a professional practice and establish a career or employment.
  • Organising workshops for the exchange of practice and ideas amongst participants from different communities and cultures.
  • Making the arts accessible to new audiences and involving different people in the process of art making, including the exhibition of their work.
  • Supporting global workshops and residency programmes which enable South Africans to travel abroad and visiting artists to share their skills here.

  1. Stevenson

Located on the ground floor of the Buchanan building, this gallery is perfect for filling your lunch hour with some art. Take a break from your screen, step out of the office and pop in here for some inspiration. You won’t be disappointed.

Stevenson opened in 2003 and has spaces in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. The directors of this gallery are titans of the African art world, famous for finding and representing the most exciting talent. They were early to exhibit artists from other African countries, and now have an international exhibition programme which attracts attention from around the globe.

The gallery also publishes books in the form of exhibition catalogues. It is therefore possible to take home a taste of works by Stevenson artists including Steven Cohen, Kemang Wa Lehulere and Moshekwa Langa. Currently the work of more than 30 artists is represented in the gallery, of which two thirds are South African.

Woodstock residents are lucky to live amongst such creativity, and it’s both important and inspiring to make the most of the art around us. Why not take a trip to one of these, or the many other interesting galleries, this month? There’s so much to see right here on our doorstep!

Drought Business Support

 

Below are the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that we receive from business with regards to the drought, and their answers:

 

Q: How serious is the drought?

This is the worst drought in the region since records began. For the latest dam and consumption levels, please refer to the following resources:

 

Q: What is Government doing to address the drought?

A: All tiers of government are actively responding to the drought crisis through restrictions, reducing their own consumption, awareness raising, augmenting supply, amongst other interventions. For the latest updates please refer below:

 

Q: What can my business do?

Start your business’ sustainable water journey today to:

  1. Improve the understanding of our water use and risks
  2. Increase its water efficiency
  3. Reuse the water we use on-site
  4. Access alternative supplies of water
  5. Work with other businesses to build a better water future together

 

Sustainable water use journey

Figure 1: Stages in the sustainable water journey

 

1. Understand water uses and risks

As the old adage goes, you cannot manage what you do not measure. This is the first step on the sustainable water journey, and perhaps the most important. Businesses need to get a handle on what their water usage is, where it is being used and for what purposes. This can be done by conducting water audits, by installing smart-meters and/or sub-metering your business property. Metering has proven to be an incredibly effective strategy at identifying leaks, so that they can be fixed quickly. Metering alone has helped businesses reduce their consumption significantly due to the identification of leaks and the subsequent behaviour changes. It is also important to note that large water users (using more than 10 000 000 litres per annum) are required to report their water use to the City of Cape Town.

An example of how water use varies by type of facility indicated here.

Understanding how much water is being used, where and how will help you create a resilience plan with the greatest impact. Furthermore, it is important to evaluate the quality of water required for your various uses, for example, potable water is not required for flushing toilets and therefore alternative water sources could be explored. You also need to evaluate where your biggest risk from a lack of water may arise. If you (or your suppliers or customers) do not have access to water, how will this impact on your business?

Once your current consumption has been benchmarked, the next step is to create targets for your organisation, linking them to individual users and interventions. Here is an example of a water wise pledge by FEDHASA Cape, that reflects commitment to set targets and openness to accountability. Below are tools and case studies that can assist you in this process, categorised into sectors.

Commercial sector

The Green Building Council of South Africa’s energy and water benchmarking tool provides a guideline for the calculation of your office building’s water (and energy) use. The tool also benchmarks water (and energy) use relative to similar offices and provides an indication of how well your business is faring on scale of 1 -10. This tool has also been utilised to rate Growthpoint Properties in terms of water and energy efficiency on their free mobile app. The dti also financed a detailed report Baseline water use determination and target setting in the commercial sector. If this all seems too complicated, use on of the many international calculators, with the Kohler example being one of the simplest.

Hospitality sector

For hotels, lodges and B&B’s that wish to determine where and how water is used in their establishment as well consider what alternatives are available to reduce water consumption the AquaSmart Hotels tool is available on the Water Research Council (WRC) website. Note, it consists of two excel workbooks, the first is the tool itself and the second is a database where water consumption can be stored. Businesses in the sector can also consider utilising posters to encourage water saving by guests.

Health care facilities

For implementing water efficiency measures in health care facilities, refer to the technical memorandum on water use in hospitals.

Industrial sector

Industrial water use is highly process specific and therefore varies greatly. This is reflected in the range of Natsurvs undertaken by the Water Research Council (WRC) to consider the benchmarks for different industries ranging from laundry to abattoirs. A summary of the Natsurvs is included here with the full details of the Natsurvs available on the WRC website

For business that are interested in undergoing an audit of their water (and or energy, materials or waste) usage, the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) offers free Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) assessments, if you are interested apply on their website.

The importance of understanding water use along the entire value chain is illustrated by the case of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): 86% of their total water volume is used by their suppliers, while only 3% is used in their own operations. This allowed them to target water projects where they would have the most impact: by supporting farmers in India. In a similar manner, South African Breweries (SAB) noted that the irrigation of barley is a significant input when considering the full value chain and invested in an alternative irrigation method. SAB also supported invasive alien vegetation clearing to offset its water use, which allowed for the complete offset of their water use at SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth and its Newlands Brewery in Cape Town.

Agricultural sector

For businesses in the agriculture sector, the GreenAgri website provide a great overview of available options.

Households and small enterprises

For individuals that want to get to grips with how they can reach the 87 litres a day target, the City of Cape Town’s water consumption calculator helps you figure out where you are using water as an individual.

For the residential sector the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies(EDGE) green building certification system provides a measurable way for residential developers to optimise the performance of their building design.

 

2. Water efficiency interventions

Once your business has identified where its water is being utilised, the next step is implementing water efficient technologies, fittings, processes and behaviours. Toilets, taps and showers typically consume 40-60% of the total annual potable water use in domestic and commercial areas. Therefore, these fixtures are a high impact target area to address when looking to reduce water consumption. They are also relatively easy and cost effective to retrofit with water saving fixtures. Refer to the summary guidelines for the installations of alternative water installations in Cape Town for a comprehensive understanding of the risks and regulatory requirements. These interventions will again vary significantly by sector, but some generic examples are included below.

Water efficient fittings (typically easy to retrofit):

  • Hold-flush or dual flush toilets
  • Waterless urinals
  • Cistern displacement item (older toilets)
  • Low-flow aerated taps
  • Low-flow shower-heads
  • High efficiency pre-rinse spray valves
  • Water efficient dishwashers & washing machines
  • Automatic switch off devices / motion sensor devices – e.g. for cleaning conveyor belts

Water efficient practices:

  • Fix leaks and faulty / leaking equipment & service equipment on a regular basis
  • Uncomplicated reporting procedure for staff to report leaks
  • Optimise the operation of cooling systems
  • Sweeping or mopping floors rather than spraying down floors
  • Implement water wise gardening and do not irrigate with potable water
  • Only operate dishwashers and washing machines when fully loaded
  • Staff training and guest awareness programmes

Commercial Sector

Many of the water efficient fitting examples included above are relevant for offices, and are easy and cheap to install. For further suggestions, refer to the Alliance for water efficiency. Fournos Group, Tanaz Hair and Virgin Active also highlight some of the interventions they undertook when Gauteng faced drought conditions in 2015. This short ENC report highlights some of these interventions that include: more efficient cleaning and less frequent backwashing of pools. The US EPA has also developed an extensive guideline for best management practice in commercial buildings.

Hospitality Sector

There are a number of guidelines for the hospitality sector, including Best Practice Guidelines for Water Usage for Hotel Industry developed by the water supplies department of Hong Kong. This provides a useful guideline for hotels on where water efficiency interventions can be implemented.Green Hotelier also provides an overview of water efficiency interventions that should be considered their Water Management and Responsibility in Hotels article. In recognition of the severity of the drought, 120 hotel leaders in Fedhasa CAPE signed a water pledge on 5 October 2017 to reduce water consumption (through various measures) and to share water use data. FEDHASA Cape will also establish a water-wise task team to assist members in developing water wise policies and implementation plans. Here is an article on how the city’s top hotels are taking action in the drought climate.

Industrial Sector

There are a wide range of industrial sector examples of what can be achieved in terms when water efficient interventions are undertaken in manufacturing processes. Coca-Cola Beverages SA (CCBSA) have been able to reduce the amount of water required to produce one litre of soft drink from 2.13 litres in 2010 to 1.7 litres in 2016. Internationally, a wide range of interventions have successfully implemented in a wide range of companies. These include Ford, Kimball Office, MillerCoors, Cascade Tissue Group and BASF.

Households and small enterprises

For households and small enterprises that are interested in getting to grips with water efficient fittings, JG Afrika’s Domestic Water Saving Fixtures Report provides a great overview of possible interventions. This report proposes a DIY water efficient fixture installation guide for domestic / commercial water users to reduce potable water consumption (and associated costs) in homes and offices.

 

3. On-site reuse

Once the water use has been clearly assessed and efficient processes implemented, the third step is to consider onsite reuse. The primary intention of re-use is to cascade water use between processes where fit-for-purpose quality water is required. Depending on the intended use, the wastewater may require treatment prior to reuse, and may either be treated to potable or non-potable standard.  Greywater from commercial and residential properties can be re-used on-site either outdoors (for garden irrigation) or indoors for toilet flushing if treated. Current technologies for outdoor use range from simple low-tech adaptors to automated systems incorporating basic treatment and irrigation systems.

Table 1: Types of wastewater

Type Description
Industrial effluent This is any wastewater generated by an industrial activity.
Greywater Relatively clean wastewater from handbasins, showers, baths and laundries.
Blackwater Sanitation (toilet) water.

 

Industrial water reuse is an established and growing sector. For example, Ford has invested more than $21-million in a Wastewater Treatment Plant at its Silverton, Pretoria facility. The processes involved in treating industrial process water are complex, but are incentivised by the City of Cape through their industrial water rebate (section 11.16 of their Water and Sanitation Tariff Policies). This allows businesses to recover some of the capital costs they undertake to improve industrial effluent’s quality and quantity. For more information contact the City of Cape Town.

4. Alternative water-supply

In a drought as extreme as the current one, it may be prudent to explore alternative sources of water to secure your business continuity. However, this should not be pursued before the first three steps of the process have been exhausted. Below are the options available to households and businesses (noting that potable water supply remains the responsibility of the municipality):

Rainwater or stormwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting should be explored as a possible option to supplement supply, but treated with caution. The Western Cape is predominantly a winter rainfall region, and without significant storage, the captured rainfall may not last long into the summer. However it is a good option to explore if you have significant hard surfaces (roofing and paving) where rainwater could be funnelled and captured. To consider how much water you can collect consider that  each square metre of roof area collects 1 litre of water for every 1 millimetre of rainfall received.

The Bayside Mall presents an interesting case where both rainwater and stormwater is being harvested for toilet flushing and irrigation. CTM has also successfully installed at least two rainwater harvesting projects. In addition, CTM plans to consider rainwater harvesting on all new developments as well as part of renovations of existing stores. Utilise the Water Harvesting Tool to help you assess the viability of using rainwater to supplement your supply.

Water storage

Businesses should protect themselves from the risk of municipal water not being available or intermittent through the installation of on-site water storage. It is also important to note that Cape Town’s Water By-law (2010) section 52d require businesses to have some water storage on site.

Groundwater or borehole use

Groundwater or boreholes are a reliable means of accessing water, however the access to this water is limited and regulated carefully. There are effectively three categories of groundwater use:

  • Schedule 1 (of the National Water Act): This is for domestic and non-commercial use only. You will need to register your use with your municipality and ensure that you don’t exceed the abstraction limit of 10 kl/day. This water is typically used for watering residential gardens or common amenity areas
  • General Authorisation: This is when you are abstracting more than the Schedule 1 limit noted above or you intend to utilise this water for commercial purposes, but your usage is below your area’s general authorisation limit and therefore doesn’t require a water use license. The limits, as outlined in the General Authorisation for the Taking and Storing of Water, are very location specific. For example, in most of Cape Town, you can abstract up to 400 kl/hectare/year without requiring a water use license, however in Saldanha Bay and Swartland your general authorisation limit is 150 kl/hectare/year. It is also important note that some areas have a zero general authorisation level, and any water extraction above schedule 1 will require a water use license. You may also not extract more than 40 000 kl/year for one property, regardless of the area you are in. If you meet all of the criteria outlined in the General Authorisation, then you must register your groundwater use with DWS, which can take a few weeks.
  • Water use license: A water use license can be applied for through the DWS’s online Electronic Water Use Licence Application and Authorisation System (e-WULAAS). Please not that this process can take some time, with the department committing to a 300 day deadline from submission to notification of application decision.

Treated municipal effluent

Municipal wastewater is typically treated to “river quality” and returned to rivers or the sea. However, there is growing recognition of the usefulness of this resource for businesses and industry.  While the water has been treated to a safe standard it is not potable, thus not fit for human consumption. The water can however be used for irrigation and could also be treated further, if need be. The City of Cape Town is promoting the use of treated effluent and you can apply to collect this water from your nearest Waste Water Treatment Works (contact details are on the map). Treated effluent water is also substantially cheaper than municipal water so may be a financially sound manner to decrease your business’ use of municipal water. The application form can also be downloaded here.

 

5. Water partnerships and stewardship

This drought cannot be fought alone, and it requires everyone in society to work together to ensure we become more sustainable. There are some great examples of what can be accomplished when organisations collaborate to ensure the scarce water resources are used effectively. Strategic Water Partners Network South Africa highlights projects done by a range of stakeholders including: Anglo American, CocaCola, Eskom, Nestlè, SAB and Sasol. WWF-SA’s Water Balance Programme links corporate water users to the health of our natural infrastructure through positive investment into critical catchments. These investments are used to clear invasive alien vegetation to balance the participant’s operational water use, as well as to mobilise the collective action necessary to ensure the sustainability of these interventions.

Source: https://www.greencape.co.za/content/focusarea/drought-business-support  

GreenCape aims to help businesses collaborate and support each other on their water resilience efforts through the sharing of case studies, reports and industry events. Please share your water journey with us so we can publicise it and sign-up to become a member to ensure you receive all the latest correspondence on our events and reports.

Woodstock’s a festive winner

If you are looking for a fun day out and a bit of gift shopping, then Woodstock is the place to be this summer. This eclectic area is truly a melting pot of unique shopping, dining and drinking options. The December holidays are upon us which means relaxing, hard partying and cool summer nights, so start planning ahead to visit a couple of these cool places.

Where to eat, shop and be merry
I doubt you can go to Woodstock and not visit The Old Biscuit Mill. It’s one of the happiest places to be! To avoid the desperate search for parking in the area during Cape Town’s busy summer season, catch a taxi or try to Uber. You will find everything thing you need for the best weekend in one place – including Christmas gifts! With a number of vibrant quirky craft shops for specialised and personal gifts and some delicious food stalls tucked inside this gem of a place, it really is a one stop shop for a tasty weekend!

By contrast, The Palms offers a calmer hideout spot away from the crowds. It’s stylish, airy and offers a variety of things to do and see. For family dining we love the hearty sandwiches and light meals at FOODWELOVE. If you’ve got an extremely sweet tooth and are seeking for a special treat, look no further than ROCOCOA Restaurant. This spot offers incredible chocolates, and you can even make your own.

The perfect place for a beer
If all of that shopping and eating calls for a beer, Woodstock is the perfect place to be. The local talent is established in the craft beer scene, with Woodstock Brewery, Woodstock Co-op, Riot Beer, Devil’s Peak and many more homegrown brands which now feature in lists of top Cape Town breweries and beers.

Something new, or something vintage?
Whether you’re seeking contemporary staples with a twist or a truly different vintage find, Woodstock is your best bet once again! There are quite a few vintage shops around and they’re all perfect for a spot of treasure hunting. Try out Woodstock Vintage, Muse Vintage Emporium or Dress Me Up for some cool clothes from back in the day. Vintage vibes aren’t just limited to clothes, either. Also try out The Vintage Lamp shop at The Palms for some beautiful memorabilia. They restore and make antique and period light fittings, which could be a great and unusual Christmas gift.

Woodstock has got you covered for the festive season. For shopping, dining and drinking with the best vibe and unusual options, get out there and start experiencing how lekker local is.

Kids safety tips for the best family holidays

The summer holidays will soon be in full swing, and children will return from school to family care. Of course, this time together should not only be about making memories, but safety must always come first, especially when it comes to kids. Remind yourself of these tips, and then get planning for a happy summer together!

Appropriate babysitters

We understand that parents can’t be with their children all of the time. Whether it’s work, social events, or personal time to exercise there will be occasions when you will be elsewhere. Plan and make sure that whenever you are not with your children, someone else is. Only leave your children in the care of a responsible adult, and make sure they have met any babysitters before you leave them alone together.

Safe transport

Whenever kids are in a car, the child locks should be enabled, and babies or toddlers should be safely buckled into car seats. Older children, like all passengers, should wear their seatbelts at all times. Remember to adjust the headrests to the appropriate height to protect young necks in the event of a crash. Remember never to leave children alone in a car, even if you are just nipping into the shops for a pint of milk! If using public transport, keep a close eye on your children. In particular, be careful to keep your children the appropriate distance away from moving trains, buses and cars. Never leave children unattended in public places, including on platforms or bus stops.

Safety in public

When making the most of these holidays, and enjoying days out, remain aware of your children at all times. Whether you’re heading for the beach, to the cinema or out for a bite to eat, your offspring should be your primary focus throughout the day. Make sure that they are protected from potential hazards and make sure they are mindful of the danger strangers could pose. With young children, it is helpful to remind them that they should never go anywhere with an adult that they do not know.

First aid awareness

Refresh your memory of basic first aid and at the very least have appropriate basic supplies at hand. It’s advisable to keep a stock of plasters, child-friendly painkillers, a thermometer and antiseptic at hand in case of accidents. If you have the time, many organisations offer first aid training either in person or via online courses. These really could make a difference, so we strongly suggest participating. Save contact numbers for the emergency services, your family doctor and the appropriate security team in your phone and display these somewhere prominent at home too. We suggest putting a copy of this list on your fridge, and explaining to your children what they must do in the case of an emergency.

Child friendly environments

During the school holidays, children will be spending more time at home. They may be more curious or mobile than they were during the last vacation, so assess again whether your house is child-friendly. Remember to place all dangerous substances and objects out of their reach. Tidy all electrical wiring away and be sure to fence off swimming pools. For younger children, install safety latches on cupboard doors to prevent access to toxic cleaning products. We also recommend covering unused electrical outlets with safety caps and checking that outlets in the bathroom and kitchen have serviced ground fault circuit interrupters.

Don’t drink and parent!

Be very careful with using alcohol if you have children in your care. Apart from the difficulty of parenting on a hangover the next day, you’ll also be setting a bad example for your offspring and potentially putting them in danger by rendering yourself less active, responsive and responsible. Commit to healthy habits and lifestyle choices this summer to inspire your kids and to enjoy a happy and safe festive season together.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy the summer holidays as a family! We look forward to seeing all of our local families enjoying the Woodstock area, particularly in the upcoming sunshine.