Public meeting: Social housing in Woodstock

The City of Cape Town is organising a public meeting at the Woodstock Hall (31 Plein St) on 18 July @6pm where Mayoral Committee Councillor Brett Herron (MMC for Transport and urban Development) will provide an update on the affordable housing projects in the area and answer questions.

The Woodstock Residents’ Association (WRA) invites all residents and interested parties to come to the meeting. The WRA is a civic association that promotes and supports the wellbeing of all residents living in the area. It provides a platform to share information, to discuss differences and to share agree on common approaches to solving problems in the community. The WRA also represents the community in its relationship with the local authorities and to helps facilitate engagement between local authorities and residents.

For any questions regarding the WRA or to join the Residents Association, contact us on committee@woodstock.org.za.

For any questions regarding the Affordable Housing public meeting, please contact councillor Dave Bryant on 021 487 2001 or dave.bryant@capetown.gov.za or contact Mayco member Brett Herron on 021 400 1298 or Brett.Herron@capetown.gov.za

Cape Town achieves record number of green dot households in May

The monthly update of the water map for May 2018 shows that 217 271 households achieved the dark green water-saving dot for their water conservation efforts. These households used less than 6 000 litres per month.

Some 182 404 households also achieved a light green dot status for usage under 10 500 litres per month and together with their dark green dot peers, a record number of 399 675 households had green dots in May 2018.

‘We continue to be proud of the achievements of our residents and of this metro. We thank our residents who are still painting the city green irrespective of the improved dam levels and rainfall that we have received. Importantly, we must try not to let our good water-saving effort go down the drain.

‘It is imperative that we carry on saving and that we continue to live the 50-litre life until the dams fill up sufficiently. The National Department of Water and Sanitation’s tough restrictions remain in place,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Visit www.capetown.gov.za/watermap to view the latest map.

Consumption is indicated on the map as follows:

  • Dark green dot: household using less than 6 000 litres per month
  • Light green dot: household using between 6 000 and 10 500 litres per month
  • Grey dot with small dark green centre: estimated water meter reading of less than 6 000 litres per month
  • Grey dot with small light green centre: estimated water meter reading of less than 10 500 litres per month
  • Solid grey dot: excluded property (including sectional title property or group housing / undeveloped property / water use is zero / no available information for the property / estimated water meter reading of more than 10 500 litres per month)

Please note: The map simply indicates water consumption for free-standing houses, not compliance with water restriction limits. Households with higher consumption may have many people living on the property and may have applied for a water quota increase, or may have an undetected water leak.

The map shows consumption information from meters read in the previous month, and may include a portion of consumption from the preceding month. This information is updated from the third week of the following month.

Households using more than 10 500 litres per month are not shown on the map. The point of this map is to encourage positive behaviour and not to single out bad behaviour. However, remember that consumption higher than 10 500 litres per month (no green dot) does not necessarily indicate water abuse.

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Planting life and a future – our collaboration with the Streetscapes project

One of the greatest challenges that we face as a community is the reintegration of destitute people back into society. Because of this our Social Officer, Abby, spends a lot of time and energy helping these people reach their full potential. Recently Abby came into contact with a local NPO called Khulisa – which roughly means to enlarge or magnify in Zulu.

Growing change

The organisation is an umbrella under which many different projects rest. Abby resonated with the Streetscapes programme which gives homeless people the opportunity to tend gardens in the city and sell the produce that they grow for a monthly income. Allowing the people to be responsible for their own income is key to integration, as many of these people have low self-confidence. Streetscapes provides training and counselling to support them in their growth and personal healing. Another benefit that the programme offers is to help with finances and savings. The money that is made by the vegetables that are sold is paid directly into the workers’ bank accounts which are set up for them by the Streetscapes staff.

High success rate

According to Jesse Laitinen, a representative of the initiative, this programme works well and there have been great success rates in the past. After 6 months of earning R2 400 per month, 77% of the beneficiaries had moved off the streets and 68% had addressed their dependency on alcohol or drugs. This high success rate is encouraging for the three candidates which are spearheading the pilot programme in Trafalgar Park on WID’s recommendation. Sara Marien Ndhlovu, Theo Luyando and Ndzimeni Wellington Ndayi will be enrolled in the three-month pilot programme between the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) and Khulisa, tending a garden at Trafalgar High School. If all goes well, they will be placed in different locations where similar gardens are being kept around the Woodstock area.

Ndhlovu describes this as ideal she sleeps on the streets in Woodstock in order to find odd jobs quickly. This programme will provide a safe way for her to regain her confidence and provide a stable income with which to support herself and her two-year old daughter.

Luyando had also made it clear that he was the perfect candidate for the project by his eagerness to get back on his feet. He has been homeless for just two years and is positive that the program will provide him with the opportunity he so desperately needs to rebuild his life from the foundations up.

The final candidate in the project is just as eager to generate income with his own two hands: Ndayi had worked for a company for nine years but then lost his job and shortly thereafter became homeless. At 48 years of age, the excitement about restarting his career is palpable. He is particularly excited to be in possession of an ID and bank account.

Safety nets

The contacts built through the programme will prove highly beneficial to navigating out of poverty, not to mention the restoration of dignity through meaningful employment. Throughout the duration of the course they will be monitored, with reports being sent to WID on a monthly basis regarding their progress. Abrahams will be in contact with the Streetscapes team on a regular basis to make sure that the candidates are being given the support they need to succeed and are also delivering on their agreements.

“I’m very excited to see this programme up and running,” Abby says, “it’s had its challenges but I believe that it will be very beneficial for everyone involved.”

How you can help

In order for the programme to be a success, public support is vital. We are asking local businesses to make whatever donation they are able to. The money will fund the fencing, compost, tools and seeds to run the garden. Maintaining the project costs roughly R2 000 per person, per month and the goal is to take on more people in the future. If you are able to, volunteers are often needed to help the workers in any capacity they are able.

Alternatively, if you have a skill that can be taught, we would be grateful for your time and donation of training for those currently looking for employment.

For more information, we encourage you to get in contact with Abby directly on 082 611 0591. You can help people change their lives by giving.

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.

Road closure notification – Open Streets

As we prepare for another Open Streets Main Road along the M4 next Sunday 25th February, please note there will be a disruption in the normal use of our roads.

Please see below road closure notification and poster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on how to get involved  in the event and what the programme will be please click on the link:https://goo.gl/vicHGB

See Facebook page for the event: https://goo.gl/9Y9wsw

Remember it is a day of fun so bring your friends, family, neighbours, and an activity or game to share with others. It’s your street for a day – what will you do?

 

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?