The City of Cape Town is currently implementing Level 2 Water restrictions. This is due in part to the low dam levels. It is everyone’s responsibility to save water.
Here are some useful tips on how you can save water:
Save water throughout your home
Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day – that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.
Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.
Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.
Save water in your garden
Water your garden before 09:00 or after 16:00 (or even later on hot summer days). Avoid watering during windy periods and only water your garden when necessary.
Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns. Professional greywater recycling systems are also available for purchase.
If you have an overflow pipe that drips into the garden, place a bucket beneath the drips and use the saved water to water pot plants.
Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
Use a mulching lawn mower that allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn.
Don’t mow lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer.
Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you wash your car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time. Or, to save even more water wash your vehicle using a bucket of water.
Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you water your garden.
Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered.
Adjust your irrigation system for the season and switch it off during rainy weather – even if it is borehole or wellpoint water.
Watering the garden less frequently, but deeper (for longer) encourages a deeper root system, which results in stronger plants. This practice can make water-wise plants out of most established plants.
Save water in your kitchen
Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.
Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.
Rinse water can be reused for the next cycle of washing up before being discarded.
Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge so that you don’t run lukewarm water down the drain when waiting for it to cool.
Run tap water into a bottle when waiting for it to heat up.
Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, sunlight or microwave rather than placing them under running water.
Save water in your bathroom
Close the tap when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 20 litres per month. Use a mug of water to rinse your toothbrush.
Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water. This saves up to 45 litres per month.
A half-filled bath uses about 113 litres, a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres. Shower rather than bath, if you have to bath make it a shallow one or share it.
Reuse bath water in your garden.
Install a new water-saving toilet or put a clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand in the toilet cistern. This could save you up to 7 300 litres each year.
A toilet leak can waste up to 30 litres an hour – check if your toilet is leaking by adding a few drops of food dye to the cistern. If the colour seeps into the bowl, you have a leak, which should be fixed as soon as possible.
Install a water-saving shower head, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force and turn off the shower when soaping or shaving.
Save water in industries, businesses and schools
Automatic flushing urinals are the ultimate water wasters. If they cannot be replaced immediately, turn off the water after hours and over weekends – schools doing this have saved up to R5 000 on their annual water bill.
Flush valves should flush for just two to four seconds and urinals for six to eight seconds.
Regular maintenance of toilet fittings will save unnecessarily flushed water.
Ensure your plumbing systems are regularly checked for leaks.
Use a broom to sweep forecourts and other paved areas. Do not use a hose for this purpose.
Potable water must not be used to dampen building sand or other building material to prevent it from being blown away.
Every day we make mistakes that leave our homes vulnerable to a break-in. A burglar will always choose the easiest target and that’s good news for you – it means you have a lot of influence on whether you become a victim or not.
Hiding keys by doorways – leaving keys near door ways is very risky as you risk someone duplicating your key and breaking in whenever they want.
Leaving out mail – an overflowing mailbox is a good sign that no one is home as well as it allows criminals to steal your mail and gain personal information.
Open windows – windows are often the easiest entry point for burglars to access your home as doors can be sturdy and deadlocked.
Leaving valuables in sight – valuables should be left out sight so that burglars and stored away as expensive items signal that you have money and is a clear indicator to a burglar that your home is worth targeting.
No visible security – securing your home with burglar bars and visible security measures is a huge deterrent to burglars.
Not maintaining your yard – a messy yard is a signal to a burglar that you are an easy target as untrimmed trees and hedges make for potential hiding places.
Updating social media – avoid using social media to let strangers know your whereabouts as you never know who is following you online.
A lifeless home – leaving lights and the TV / Radio on a timer can signal to a burglar that someone is home.
The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department has launched a new and improved website, loaded with useful information that may assist residents, learners, students, educators and visitors.
The City is confident that the use of interactive diagrams, video clips, posters and brochures to present information in a more user-friendly way will significantly improve the experience of those visiting the Water and Sanitation Department’s new website, making it easier to access information and to interpret it.
‘For instance, by visiting http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/Water residents will be able to access a detailed explanation about water tariffs and how we bill them for water usage, and how to apply for a water management device, or to be connected to the City’s water system. Selling your house? We list a few things to consider and we provide a brochure for new homeowners as well,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.
The website is loaded with useful information for those interested in water and the way in which the City manages this scarce resource, such as:
how to report faults
how to log account enquiries
how to prevent sewer blockages
how to apply for a plumber’s licence with the City
tips on saving water
latest dam levels and historic levels, dating back to 2011
educational material on the Cape Town water and sanitation system
details of important projects that the department is working on
ongoing commitments to enhancing services to residents in informal settlements
Today is Workers’ Day in South Africa – a public holiday that has its origins internationally, within the historical struggles of workers and their trade unions.
The day celebrates the rights of workers, and recognises their struggle for fair working conditions and employment standards. It has been a holiday since 1994, and has ties to the International Workers’ Day celebrations enjoyed in many other countries.
In pre-1994 South Africa, the demand for the annual observance of the day as a public holiday became a rallying point for workers and their trade unions, and was one of a number of significant dates to symbolise and mobilise resistance to the apartheid government and its racial policies.
While it is still an important day for workers in particular, it’s a chance for all South Africans to have a day to themselves, and for those who do work, to enjoy a well-deserved break.
No more confusing PDFs, no more outdated schedules that are almost as frustrating as the power outages themselves – News24 has developed a nifty app that allows you to check exactly when your neighbourhood will be hit by load shedding.
The free web application, Grid Watch allows users to type in their suburb name, and will then churn out an easy-to-understand schedule that shows when your area is set for a power outage, depending on what schedule (Schedule 1, 2, 3A, 3B) Eskom is operating on at the time.
The best part? The app will show you schedules for the next two weeks.
The news site reportedly has plans to develop the app for Android and iOS, so you can check it out on the go.
The new schedules below are designed around the days of the month and reflect Eskom’s decision to implement loadshedding nationally on a regular basis and over weekends. They replace the previous schedules, which were designed around days of the week and were applicable for occasional loadshedding during peak demand times.
Loadshedding stages depend on the extent of the shortage of generation capacity to meet the country’s electricity demand, with stage 1 being the least serious, and stage 3b being the most serious.
Loadshedding outages generally last for about 2,5 hours, with one area being affected at a time during stage 1 and four areas being affected at a time during stage 3b.
So the end of the year is just around the bend and I’m sure you couldn’t be happier! There are those of you who will already have your end-of-year holiday planned to a tee. Then, of course, there are those who haven’t even had time to think about it. Either way, the holiday season is coming up and you’ve got to be ready. Whether you are traveling across an ocean, driving to somewhere amazing in South Africa, or even staying put at home, you’ll want to be ready no matter what.
Now to make sure you are ready for your incredible holiday, we’ve put together a helpful checklist to make sure your getaway trip doesn’t unexpectedly break down. Make sure you have the following before you hit the road:
House-sitter – Just one less thing to worry about.
Suntan lotion – For obvious reasons.
Your smile – So often overlooked but can make or break a vacation.
Phone charger – Or even better one for your car. You don’t want to lose connection with the world.
Cash for souvenirs – Be that cool friend, it’ll score you major points.
Your trusty camera – To capture all the amazing memories and moments along the way.
ID/Passport – Proof that you are a proud South African!
Entertainment – Like books, music, board games and more; it’s time to start chilling out your way.
Map/GPS – The sooner you get to your personal paradise, the better!
Emergency Numbers – Save the person to contact in an emergency under ICE (In Case of Emergency)