City visit: a step towards filling the info gap

Persistent lobbying over many months by the MDGA paid off this week when a high-level delegation of key decision-makers from the City of Cape Town (CoCT) met with members of the MDGA ExCom in the Marina to map the way out of our continuing water crisis.

Lead by Cllr Zahid Badroodien, the newly elected Mayoral Committee member for Water and Sanitation, the 11-strong delegation also included the heads of Reticulation, Pump Stations and Cape Nature.

While emphasising that the MDGA had called the meeting in the spirit of constructive engagement, Richard Midgley, the MDGA ExCom’s Chairman, was forthright in expressing residents’ concerns: “The algae is out of control, our waterways have now been closed for over seven months and we are in a worse position than we were a year ago.”

Point made: Pierre Maritz (left) discusses pump station maintenance with Cllr Zahid Badroodien (centre) and Richard Midgley

“We are not talking here about a public access issue,” continued Richard. “This is a real problem for residents around Zandlvei, particularly in the Marina. The waterways crisis impacts on our members’ lifestyles; makes them question their reasons for choosing to buy and live here; and, worst of all, the situation dramatically affects the value of their properties.”

While acknowledging the wider service delivery challenges facing the CoCT, Richard also pointed out that the MDGA is virtually powerless when it comes to keeping the Marina’s 1,352 households fully informed about what is happening on Zandvlei. “On our members’ behalf, we have a single purpose for calling this meeting: to understand the causes underlying the sewerage spills and to learn how the CoCT plans to remedy the situation so that our waterways can be reopened and kept clean and safe. A lack of information simply exacerbates residents’ frustrations.”

In the same co-operative spirit, members of the CoCT delegation took turns to outline the measures that their departments are currently taking to reinforce and maintain Cape Town’s water and sanitation infrastructure – and stop sewerage from entering Zandlveli.  

Among other positives, all sewerage lines in Muizenberg, Constantia, Bergvliet, Meadowridge and Tokai have now been relined and the CoCT is currently assessing quotes from contractors to finish cleaning lines in Lavender Hill and Seawinds. Relining has been instrumental in eliminating sand from the sewerage system, preventing pump station failures and damage. All CoCT’s pump stations are also being retrofitted with grids to prevent damage while manholes are being fitted with covers to prevent illegal dumping. Issues with pump station telemetrics have also been resolved. In addition, Pierre Maritz, Manager, Reticulation, committed to forwarding service/maintenance records for all 10 pump stations in the Marina to the MDGA office. Overall, the CoCT has committed a significant capital budget to pump station upgrades and pipe replacements for this financial year and most of this budget has been allocated to Zandvlei.

Potentially, the most important action arising from the meeting was a commitment to setting up a dedicated technical sub-committee to address the ongoing sewerage spills into Zandvlei and the extremely high nutrient load that is feeding the current algae blooms. Not a silver bullet or magic wand, perhaps, But certainly a step in the right direction.

Commenting on this advance, Richard Midgley said: “Regular meetings with the City’s most technically skilled decision-makers will go a long way to applying pressure on the authorities to deal decisively with the problems that we currently face.

“We fervently hope that the spirit of partnership we took away from the meeting will lead to effective long-term solutions for Marina residents, our neighbouring communities and the precious environment that we share.”

“Meanwhile,” added Richard, “on behalf of Marina residents, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all members of the CoCT delegation for taking the time to hear our concerns and commit to finding solutions.”

The MDGA will continue to persist in its efforts towards ongoing constructive and productive engagements with CoCT on behalf of all Marina residents.

CoCT delegation in full

Cllr Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation; Abdulla Parker, Manager, Stormwater and Sustainability; Pierre Maritz, Manager, Reticulation; Abongile Duna, Manager, Pump Stations; Sigqibo Nogaya, Head, Reticulation Wastewater Conveyancing; Andrew Taylor, Sewer Engineer, Water and Sanitation Department; Alistair Lee, Engineering Hydrologist, Project Manager; Dalton Gibbs, Regional Manager South, Nature Conservation; Kyran Wright, Manager, Zandvleie Estuary Nature Reserve; Elethu Zembe, Catchment Planner; and City of Cape Town’s Odwa Ndesi.

City warns of possible refuse collection delays


1 OCTOBER 2021


Residents advised of possible delays in refuse collection service

Residents should be aware that there may be delays in the refuse collection service due to vehicle availability. Read more below:

Every attempt will be made to clear bins on the scheduled day. Should a delay be experienced, residents are asked to leave their bins out until 21:00 each day until it is collected. City teams will be putting in extra hours and will work over the weekend to clear any backlogs as well, should this be necessary.

Where there are refuse collection delays, residents are asked not to resort to illegal dumping if delays cause refuse to build-up to the point where it cannot fit in the wheelie bins. Please see below for tips on how to free up space in wheelie bins.

Any inconvenience is sincerely regretted.

Residents are reminded of the following:

Covid-19 mitigation guidelines for domestic waste disposal:

Residents are encouraged to follow the guidelines for disposal of their domestic waste to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. The guidelines are aligned to provincial protocols for managing general household waste.

1.    Waste items, such as used tissues, wipes and other disposables, that have been used by someone who has or is suspected of having Covid-19, should be disposed into a separate container.

2.    This waste should be double-bagged.

3.    Please keep this waste on the property for at least five days before placing it out for collection in the bin.

4.    Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

5.    Please wash your hands after handling the bin.

6.    Sanitise the handle and lid, where possible, before placing your bin out for collection and before bringing it back onto your property.

7.    Keep a physical distance from City staff at all times.

How to make more space in your bin:

·               Residents are encouraged to take their clean, dry recyclables to one of the City’s drop-off facilities. Alternatively, residents can make use of an accredited recycling collection company. Recycling eases pressure on collections services, in our landfills and on the environment. Recyclables are also typically bulkier than other household waste types, causing bins to fill up far more quickly than if they are separated.

·               Garden greens are also accepted at selected drop-off facilities. Alternatively, residents can make use of private accredited service providers to collect garden greens.

·               Where possible, residents are encouraged to practice home composting, as this will allow further space in the bin during this period.

Bin care:

·               Please wash and disinfect your wheelie bin regularly, especially when placing it outside and when bringing it back inside.

·               Please retain and freeze any meat product (i.e. leftover food in the form of chicken, red meat, off cuts, etc.) until collection day before placing into the bin, so as to prevent the breeding of flies.

·               Store your bin in a cool place, avoiding direct exposure to the sun, to reduce/prevent flies breeding in your bin. It also helps to spray your bin with insecticide to restrict and inhibit the breeding of flies.

·               Please remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling waste.

Submit a service request via one of the following channels:  

·               Call 0860 103 089

·               Online

·               Visit a City walk-in centre (see to find the one closest to you)

Residents should please always remember to take note of the reference number provided.

Elections: apply for your special vote now

The Electoral Commission encourages South Africans to apply for special votes. Voters who will not be able to cast their votes on 1 November 2021 at their voting station and those voters who are not able to travel to the voting stations because of physical infirmity or disability can vote by special vote on the two days preceding Election Day.

Applications for special votes opened on September 20 and will close on 04 October 2021 at 17h00.
Eligible voters, who are unable to travel to the voting station and have successfully applied for a special vote will be visited at their places of residence or confinement on 30 or 31 October 2021.

Sy Mamabolo, the Chief Electoral Officer encouraged eligible voters who cannot travel to their voting stations or those who will be away from their voting districts on election day to apply for a special vote. “Everyone’s vote counts.

If you’re a registered voter and you cannot vote at your voting station on Election Day, you can apply and if approved vote by special vote”. Mamabolo said.

He appealed to those who would be on duty on Election Day – November 01 – such as police officers, nurses, doctors and members of the media – to apply for special votes. If approved, this category of voters will cast their ballots at their voting station of registration on 30 or 31 October 2021.

Requirements for special vote are:

To qualify for a special vote, a person must be registered as a voter, they must apply by the cut-off date and time which is 04 October 2021 at 17h00. On the day of special votes approved voters must present a green bar-coded Identity Book, a smart Identity Card or a valid temporary identity certificate.

Registered voters may apply for a special vote if they:

1. Are unable to vote on voting day in the voting district at the voting station where registered to vote (voting station special vote); and

2. Are unable to travel to their voting station where registered to vote owing to physical infirmity or disability (home visit special vote).

Methods of special vote applications

Voting Station Special Votes:

1. Voters may apply online

2. Apply via SMS – send voter ID number to 32249

3. Apply in person or by causing an application, appendix 25 form, to be hand delivered to the Municipal Electoral Office.

Home visit Special Votes:

1. Voters may apply online

2. Apply in person or by causing an application, appendix 25 form, to be hand delivered to the Municipal Electoral Office.

Once the Electoral Commission has received and considered a special vote application, a voter will be notified by SMS about the status of their special vote application.

To check the status of your special vote application, send your ID number by SMS to 32711 or visit

Issued by: Independent Electoral Commission

‘Let’s Give Dignity and also uphold the law’

City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato has called on residents to ‘give dignity’ by ensuring donations help people to get off the streets sustainably. In an open letter, the Mayor says the City is receiving a significant increase in complaints related to people living on the street. In response, the City and NPO partners are offering daily social assistance, while working to uphold the rule of law in partnership with residents, Neighbourhood Watches, and the South African Police Service (SAPS). 

“As the Mayor of this City, I take pride in how our City looks, how it works for everybody who lives in it, and how we care for those who are struggling to make ends meet. I am concerned national disaster regulations are creating a situation that is unsustainable, alongside attempts to set dangerous precedents in our courts. I will do everything I can to bring this into balance. No person should live on the streets, and we must not create homes on streets,” reads Mayor Plato’s open letter to residents.

“We need to end the cycle of dependence on direct handouts, and we can only do that by giving responsibly. The City’s Give Dignity Campaign advocates for alternative, more impactful ways of helping people get off the streets sustainably.”

Direct handouts such as tents and cash do not help efforts to encourage people living on the streets to accept more sustainable solutions, said the Mayor.

“It is important that your donations incentivise reintegration, and go directly to supporting persons who have committed to rebuilding their lives off the streets.”

Disaster Regulations must urgently change

Temporary national Disaster Management Regulations have brought about restrictions on how all public and private landowners are able to respond to illegal occupations, states Mayor Plato’s open letter. To remove structures deemed as ‘occupied’ under the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land (PIE) Act, an eviction order must be obtained.

But, the temporary disaster regulations limit the ability of courts to grant eviction orders. Currently, it is possible only to remove temporary makeshift structures that have been abandoned or are incomplete, and to clear the vicinity.

“This is causing a crisis in cities across South Africa, and I have raised my concerns directly with President Ramaphosa. Thousands of people have illegally occupied land and public spaces, including train tracks, sand dunes, sidewalks, and thoroughfares, in stormwater detention ponds, and on privately-owned land, to mention just a few examples. There are also basic service demands emerging from new illegally occupied areas, even in cases where the land is unsuitable or dangerous for habitation.

“In many instances, court processes will need to be followed to address these issues. This is going to be a major challenge, but it is one we must urgently take on. My call remains for the President to urgently make the necessary regulatory changes for the sake of the rule of law, the greater good of our communities, and the development goals of our cities,” states Mayor Plato.

The Mayor further outlines how the City is fighting in the courts to retain the existing right of all public and private landowners to protect property.

“The well-established legal right – known as ‘counter-spoliation’ – is being targeted by the South African Human Rights Commission, EFF and Legal Resources Centre. Their application argues that a court order should be obtained before acting to prevent a land invasion in real-time, even in cases where structures are half-built and unoccupied. We are opposing this application and the chaos it is intended to bring about,” said Mayor Plato.

Cape Town is a ‘Caring City’

While shelters and social welfare is the constitutional mandate of national and provincial government, the City is going above and beyond to assist.

The Mayor’s open letter outlines several initiatives Cape Town is involved in as a ‘Caring city’, including:

  • A Reintegration Unit working daily to link willing individuals to shelters, reunite families where possible, and offer support to obtain ID documents, social grants, employment training, and EPWP jobs;
  • An emergency Covid-19 grant-in-aid package worth R34 million released to NPOs;
  • Funding for Safe Spaces and the expansion of shelters operating on City-owned land;
  • Annual Winter Readiness campaigns working with shelters to care for more people when the worst weather arrives.

“There are many stories of personal triumph by persons who were once on the street and whom we have helped that I am very proud of,” said Mayor Plato. “We are all equal before the law”

Mayor Plato’s open letter states that Law Enforcement officers are ‘duty-bound to apply the law equally, and to respond to the hundreds of complaints from residents each month about anti-social behavior, breaking of by-laws, and crime committed by some people living on the street’.

When all offers of social assistance are rejected, only then does the City issue compliance notices and fines – the key legal mechanisms available to enforce by-laws.

“The City issues thousands of notices and fines each year, including to people living on the street, as we are all equal before the law. Sometimes it is difficult to balance the needs of different people and communities. That is why we are guided by our laws and policies, and apply these equally while playing our part to help those willing to accept it. ‘It is no crime to be poor or down on your luck, but every single resident has to comply with by-laws, and the law in general,” said Mayor Plato.

What the public can do to Give Dignity

By donating via a SnapScan QR code, or directly to a shelter or NGO, residents can help fund warm beds, social worker support, substance abuse rehab, and other support to help people stay off the streets on a sustainable basis.

“Our caring staff and NPO partners are committed to offering people a hand up, but when that fails, the City must be allowed to apply the rule of law. Let’s all keep giving and volunteering towards sustainable solutions while supporting the efforts of the City, NPOs, and enforcement agencies to make our streets safer,” concludes Mayor Plato’s open letter.