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New technology smokes out illegal stormwater discharges

The City of Cape Town is excited to announce that the Water and Sanitation Department’s first trial of new smoke testing technology was a roaring success. Testing was conducted in various parts of the city and under different conditions to determine the system’s efficacy. This technology will now be used to detect illegal or unsanctioned stormwater discharges into the sewerage system.

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Eco Insulating the gap

GAP housing defines those residential units whose prices fall between government housing and those delivered by the private sector. A perceived gap exists in the monthly income requirements for prospective owners, meaning their levels of income are too little to enable them to participate in the private property market, yet too much to qualify for state assistance. The City of Cape Town induces the private sector to supply housing units at lower prices, and to encourage low income, employed individuals to build their own homes. 

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Western Cape metals and engineering cluster well-positioned to fuel growth investment

The Western Cape metals and engineering cluster is well-positioned as a hub to fuel growth and attract foreign direct investment into South Africa and across the African continent. The Western Cape has the capacity to increase its current exports and supply a wide range of metals and engineering solutions to Europe, the US, as well as the relatively untapped African market.

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The City’s Water and Sanitation directorate curbs water wastage

Despite a population that has grown by more than 30% since the 2001 census, the City of Cape Town – in partnership with its residents – have managed to keep water demand below the peak level recorded in 2001, while significantly reducing projected future demand thus deferring the implementation of further resources and associated infrastructure.

The City of Cape Town has through careful management, ingenuity and consumer education, managed to stabilise the demand on the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS).  Managing our resources is a shared responsibility and through this partnership with residents, the annual water demand is now growing at 2,3%, rather than the near 4% recorded in the period just prior to 2001.

Successful interventions include:

Extensive implementation of water pressure management in areas such as Retreat, Goodwood and Crossroads. Pressure management systems constantly regulate the pipeline water pressure which reduces water losses, pipe bursts and internal leaks and prolongs the life of the reticulation system. The major and minor pressure management projects are resulting in current annual savings of approximately 3,37 million cubic metres of water, worth around R31m per year.

A targeted retrofitting programme– the replacement of pipes and systems. Retrofitting and leak fixing in Samora Machel, Ravensmead and Fisantekraal has resulted in an annual saving per area of between R1,2 and R1,7m. This is over and above ongoing upgrading and maintenance of infrastructure.

Furthermore, there has been a downward trend in the incidences of burst water pipelines as a result of improved maintenance and upgrades to the reticulation network. This enabled the City to accomplish a major achievement in 2012/13 in bringing down its overall water losses (a combination of losses in pipelines and connections, meter inaccuracies and unauthorised consumption) to 14,5% - it is less than all other metros in the country which combined maintain an average of 29,7%.

“Also worth a mention is that this municipality has the lowest percentage of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) of all the major municipalities in South Africa,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.  

NRW is an international benchmark for water loss management. It includes the above mentioned water losses, as well as inaccurate meter reading and unread meters amongst others.

“The City celebrates water month every March, this is to enhance education and awareness on water conservation to all our communities. Cape Town is a water scarce region and it is through working together that we can make further progress possible in reducing the water demand,” said Councillor Sonnenberg.

As part of ongoing education and awareness programmes, over the past few weeks a total of 230 semi-skilled workers and supervisors. Also, approximately 100 community artists from areas like Langa; Du Noon; Masiphumelele; Delft Symphony Way TRA; and Enkanini, have been educated and employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme to educate their communities about saving water and where to report things like leaking taps. They form part of the City’s current programme to celebrate the City’s Water Month.

“Having attended a training session and seeing the commitment of the participants, I want to commend the workers for their role in this battle to secure our water supply. While the City is doing its utmost to prevent wastage, it is the consumer who has the most power to make an impact by both using water responsibly, and by reporting faults or illegal dumping and connections into the sewer system – both of these can lead to pipe bursts,” said Councillor Sonnenberg.

Residents can report leaks, burst pipes, water wastage and water by-law contraventions, to our 24-hour Call Centre on 0860 103 089 (choose the water option), via SMS to 31373 (maximum 160 characters), or via e-mail to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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