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!

A helping hand for Woodstock

The primary mandate of Woodstock Improvement District (WID) is to provide safety, security and cleaning services in the Woodstock area. A big part that is sometimes forgotten about is the impact of social upliftment in the community.

Abigail Abrahams, Woodstock’s own Mother Teresa and WID social manager, is the lady behind the many heart-warming things that happen to help those in need. It’s a tough job to keep track of who needs help, but Abi does this by walking the streets, connecting with people in the area and getting to know each family and individual in need – personally. She also gets assistance from the WID drivers who drive her to hot spots in the area. She is so well-known and revered in the community that some of the vagrants even pop in at the office if they need advice or help.

Poverty and homelessness are big issues in Woodstock, as it brings all sorts of destructive activities to the area and the streets. However, these people are also our eyes on the street and are often willing to help as soon as they see that someone cares for them and actually want to help.

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Over the years, WID has formed relationships with a few organisations so that they know who to contact when help is needed. St. Anne’s and ACVV help with assistance for mothers and children, and if they don’t have the capacity to help, Social Services (for children), or shelters like the Haven Shelter (for adults) are contacted. The ultimate goal is to get every person in need placed in a home or shelter, as there are currently 65 homeless people in the area and this is still increasing. WID also assists with getting IDs, going to SASSA to apply for grants, gives counselling and advice, refers clients to drug rehabilitation centres, and assists with typing CVs so unemployed people can find work.

To get a better understanding of why there are so many homeless people, it is important to understand how they got there and what the reasons are. Many of these vagrants are rejected by their families or they’ve come out of prison and land up on the street. Prostitution is also a big issue among the women on the street, as many of them see this as a way to earn enough money to support their drug addiction.

WID currently works with SAPS and other organisations in the community on a holiday programme that will start on 12 December. This programme will focus on child development and keeping children off the streets during the festive season. Pamphlets will also be handed out to raise awareness for the ‘16 days of activism for no violence against women and children’ United Nations campaign that kicks off from 25 November till 10 December.

In 2017, WID will focus specifically on providing those in need with food hampers and clothing. “If we can make these people feel good and look good, they should have more confidence to go for interviews or to go back to their families at home,” says Abigail. To make a success of this initiative, the help of the community will be greatly appreciated and will make a big difference. To do your part and give back this festive season, please donate old clothes by taking them to WID offices at 41 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock. For any other donations, or to help with volunteer work or projects during the holiday period and next year, please send an email to abigail@wid.co.za or give us a call on 021 462 7321.

Lastly, to keep Woodstock safe for everyone is a public effort and we’d like to ask every business and resident in the community to help us by giving us a call or sending us an email if there is anything we should know about. Let’s make this festive season a safe and blessed one for everyone in the area.