Cape Town has just been voted as the best city in the world… again!

Cape Town has just been voted as the best city in the world… again!

British tourists have voted Cape Town the best city in the world for the fifth consecutive year.

After a poll of 90,000 readers in the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards, the South African city of Cape Town was victorious, beating Vancouver and Tokyo to the top prize. Remarkably, it’s the fifth consecutive year that Cape Town has been named number one – and with all eyes on South Africa in 2018, the centenary year of Nelson Mandela’s birth, few would bet against it repeating the trick in 12 months time.

Enver Duminy for Cape Town Tourism says the recognition will aid in creating more job opportunities for locals.

“These accolades pave the way for even more innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation within the tourism sector.”

“They also accurately reflect the variety of experiences Cape Town has to offer visitors, from unparalleled natural beauty, to delicious, intimate culinary adventures in our many restaurants.”

Sporty, stylish, stunning, sociable… if Cape Town was a person, it would be that Hollywood starlet we all secretly envy. A coming-together of cultures, cuisines and landscapes, there’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, a singularly beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park.

So, whether you’re after natural scenery, or interested in indulging in the diverse food scene Cape Town offers, you won’t be let down.

Apart from the weak rand, which is making travel to South Africa very appealing to foreigners, Cape Town is only very accessible in terms of accommodation.

Cape Town currently has the 21st biggest Airbnb market in the world, and guests can stay in high profile Cape Town suburbs for a fraction of typical area prices – whilst also immersing themselves within local culture.

A high percentage of locals are also using Airbnb for staycations within SA’s borders.

For hotel stays, SA hotel prices low in comparison to other African hubs. The average rate for a hotel room in Addis Ababa is about R3 212 per night, which is more than double what guests would pay in Cape Town – an average of R1 448 per night, according to a 2015 survey.

The rest of the upper end of the ranking has a familiar look. Vancouver has played second fiddle to Cape Town for the last five editions of the awards, while Venice, Sydney and New York are perennial members of the top 10.

Here’s the full top 10 list:

  1. Cape Town
  2. Vancouver
  3. Tokyo
  4. Venice
  5. Sydney
  6. New York
  7. Seville
  8. Florence
  9. San Francisco
  10. Rome

Sources: Telegraph Travel Awards, December 3, 2017

More Information

This post is sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

Water Saving Tips

Cape-Town-Water-RestrictionsThe 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 usefill 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.

Original Source: Cape Town Green Map

Motorists encouraged to renew vehicle licence discs online

licenserenewalMotorists whose vehicle licence discs will expire on 31 October 2015 and are renewable by 21 November 2015 will not be receiving renewal notices. The City of Cape Town asks motorists to act proactively to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made and to renew discs online.

The National Department of Transport’s (DOT) transfer of the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) to the Road Traffic Management Centre has also affected motorists whose licence discs expired at the end of September 2015 and are renewable by Wednesday 21 October 2015. This transfer has been the reason that motorists have not received notices to renew their annual motor vehicle licences.

Motorists are requested to check their current licence disc for the expiry date and if it is due to either:

Renew your licence online:

  • Please go to http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/eservices/Pages/default.aspx
  • Under the Motor Vehicle Licensing tab, click on ‘register’ (for new applicants) or ‘login’ (for those already registered for e-Services)
  • You will be prompted to complete an online registration form and will be required to upload the necessary documents
  • The application process takes three working days for new applicants and two working days for applicants who are already registered
  • Phone the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to find out the amount owing should you not know the licence amount due

Or

Renew your licence at your nearest vehicle licensing office:

Take your identity document, complete a green Application for Licencing of Motor Vehicle form (ALV form), and renew your licence at the counter.

As a rule, motorists receive a 21-day grace period in which to renew their licence discs from the end of their renewal period.

‘The City apologises for any inconvenience and is doing everything in its power to ease the discomfort of motorists. We ask that the DOT and the Road Traffic Management Centre resolve the transfer of the eNaTIS as soon as possible and that this problem is sorted out before November, which is traditionally the busiest month of the year for motor vehicle disc renewals,’ said the City’s acting Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Alderman Belinda Walker

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Tolling trial of the century to commence in High Court today

3331291425STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER: TRANSPORT FOR CAPE TOWN, COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON

Tuesday, 11 August 2015, will mark the first day of the City of Cape Town’s long awaited application to the Western Cape High Court for reviewing and setting aside SANRAL’s proposed tolling of portions of the N1 and N2 freeways.

Our application could be regarded as the trial of the century as the outcome will have far-reaching consequences for the future of our city and the generations who live here for decades to come.

The application has been set down for argument over a number of days and is the culmination of a commitment by this government to do whatever it takes to prevent SANRAL from imposing an unjust, unwarranted and devastating tolling decision on our city. It took four years of hard work and court preparation by our staff, our legal team and a team of experts.

Since we took the decision to declare an intergovernmental dispute with SANRAL and the National Ministers of Transport and Environmental Affairs, we have witnessed and experienced unprecedented efforts by SANRAL to conceal the truth from a democratically elected government and the people we were elected to serve.

SANRAL’s actions were inconsistent with our Constitution and the principles of transparency and collaboration.

It required extraordinary efforts on our part, including an application to the Supreme Court of Appeal, to get to the truth of this proposed tolling project, and to be able to share that truth with the residents of Cape Town.

SANRAL was determined to withhold facts, such as the real costs of the tolling of the N1 and N2 freeways; the proposed toll fees to be paid by motorists; and the terms of the proposed agreement with the preferred bidder, Protea Parkways Consortium (PPC). The application for secrecy that SANRAL and PPC brought to the court would have had far reaching implications for our rights to access to information and media freedom if we had left it unchallenged.

Our fight for access to this information was motivated by the need to fully comprehend the likely impact of tolling the N1 and N2 on our city and our residents so that we could properly challenge the decisions that were made. It was also motivated by our commitment to protect the values of our democracy. We gained access to this information only after we brought another successful application in the High Court to compel SANRAL to provide it to us.

Today we will begin to present our case for a court order that essentially scraps the tolling of the N1 and N2. Our case against SANRAL is complex and contained in court papers that run into thousands of pages of reports and documents.

In the simplest terms we will argue that:
· The decision of the then National Minister for the Environment to provide an environmental authorisation for the tolling without considering the socio-economic impact of tolling, as he was required to do, was unlawful

· The decision of the then Minister of Transport to declare the highways as toll roads was also unlawful since he failed to consider the merits and impact of tolling

· The SANRAL Board never made the decision to declare the N1 and N2 as toll roads as it was required to do. By implication, we will argue that the decision to toll was made by the CEO of SANRAL who was unauthorised to do so

· The decision and the implementation of tolling will have a damaging impact on our city and regional economy and those impacts have not been properly considered

· The tolling of the N1 and N2 will cause disproportionate financial harm and hardship to the poorest of our residents

· In 2013 SANRAL was about to enter into a contract with PPC which would have been reckless and irrational. The City obtained an interim order preventing that agreement being signed

· One example is the proposed agreement requires SANRAL to reimburse PPC for any loss of revenue caused by the National Minister setting toll tariffs at rates lower than PPC’s tendered rate. PPC’s tender is 84 c/km including VAT. National Government recently capped the e-toll tariffs in Gauteng at 30 c/km including VAT. If motorists in the Western Cape and Gauteng were to be charged the same, then SANRAL would have to pay PPC a conservatively estimated R29 billion – in addition to the tolls which motorists would have to pay to PPC. SANRAL’s contingent liability is more than what it would cost SANRAL to construct the upgrades proposed by PPC and to continue maintaining and operating the N1 and N2 freeways as it currently does. SANRAL and the National Government never considered this massive risk and were unaware of it until the City discovered it when analysing the documents which SANRAL tried to keep secret

· The costs of the proposed tolls on the N1 and N2 significantly outweigh the benefits to toll-paying motorists
We have prepared a compelling case against the proposed tolling of the N1 and N2 and we will do our utmost to prevail.

I cannot predict the outcome of the arguments that will ensue in the days ahead, but I remain reasonably confident and optimistic. The fight to prevent urban tolling will not end with this hearing, nor with this case.

It will take all of us who are opposed to the inequity of this scheme to stand together, to voice our objections, and to fight to prevent it. I am of the firm view that the proposed Winelands Toll Scheme is as irrational, reckless and dangerous to our future as the Gauteng e-tolls scheme was and is.

The people of Gauteng took a firm stand against the scheme that was imposed on them. I am calling on the people of Cape Town to do the same.

Issued by: Integrated Strategic Communication, Branding and Marketing Department, City of Cape Town

Making Sense of Your Water Bill | City of Cape Town

Water_Slide_water_v1The 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
  • consumer information for residents and businesses
  • by-laws and tariffs policy
  • vacancies

Read more

Happy Workers Day!

Load ShedToday 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.

Dogs to be reined in on these 14 Cape beaches

Cape Town, renowned as a sun-worshiping hotspot, has become a hotbed of conflict between beachgoers who want a dog-friendly beach environment and those who complain about the negative impact of dogs on the city’s beaches.

The areas under consideration are detailed as follows:

Kommetjie – proposed change at Long Beach, Kommetjie from free-running to no dogs

Soetwater – status quo, no dogs allowed

Witsand – status quo, dogs free-running

Misty Cliffs – minor change – Dogs on leash before 09:00 and after 18:00

Millers Point – status quo, no dogs allowed

Fisherman’s Beach – proposed change to no dogs

Frank’s Beach – proposed change to no dogs

Windmill Beach – proposed change from free-running to dogs on a leash

Burghers’ Walk – status quo, dogs on a leash

Water’s Edge Beach – proposed no dogs allowed

Seaforth Beach – proposed no dogs allowed

Long Beach, Simon’s Town – status quo, dogs free-running

Mackerel Beach – status quo, dogs free-running

Shelley’s Beach and tidal pool – status quo, no dogs allowed

Glencairn Beach and tidal pool – proposed change to no dogs allowed

Fish Hoek Beach – status quo of no dogs in the corner on the Jaggers Walk end of the beach, proposed dogs on a leash from the lighthouse to the start of Clovelly Beach

Clovelly Beach – proposed change from a free-running area for dogs to time restrictions for free-running dogs – Dogs on leash between 09:00 and 18:00

Wooly’s Pool – status quo, no dogs allowed

Kalk Bay Tidal Pools – status quo, no dogs allowed

Dalebrook Beach and tidal pool – proposed no dogs allowed

Danger Beach – proposed change from free-running area for dogs to dogs on a leash

St James Beach and tidal pool – status quo, no dogs allowed

Muizenberg Beach including Surfer’s Corner – status quo – Dogs on a leash December – March before 09:00 and after 18:00. Dogs on a leash April – November

Sunrise Beach – status quo

Sonwabe Beach – proposed dogs on a leash with horses at all times

Strandfontein Beach – status quo, no dogs allowed

Nine Miles Beach – proposed dogs on a leash with horses at all times

Blue Waters Resort – status quo, no dogs allowed

Beyond Blue Waters Resort – Dogs free-running at all times

Beachgoers have until 30 April to add their input by contacting Helen Jordaan, Professional Officer: Beach Amenities Coordination Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department City of Cape Town

Helen.jordaan@capetown.gov.za
Tel:       021 400 1691
Fax:      021 425 4705

The Burning Hills of Cape Town

The Burning Hills of Cape Town

The massive fire raging in the southern peninsula mountains is set to burn for at least another two days – perhaps longer.

With the Cape Town Cycle Tour taking place on Sunday, the battle to contain the fire raged on on Tuesday, with helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and ground teams fighting the blaze spread out over a vast area – fuelled by thick fynbos that has not been burnt since the huge fire of 2000.

The focus of the firefighting on Tuesday morning was Hout Bay and Tokai, where two helicopters waterbombed flames above the multimillion-rand Tokai plantation for hours, landing at Reddam to “hot fuel” – refuelling without switching off.

One helicopter focused on a thick stand of bluegums just south of Elephant Eye cave, while the other waterbombed the line of fire creeping north along the top of the plantations. Later they were joined by a fixed-wing aircraft that dropped three-and-a-half tons of water at a time. They were helped by the drop in the fierce south-easter overnight, but then the wind changed to a north-westerly during the day, pushing the smoke back over Constantiaberg and making further flying impossible because of poor visibility.

Late Tuesday afternoon the two Working on Fire helicopters and one from the SA Air Force were waterbombing flames that were moving down towards Clovelly and above Kalk Bay and St James, filling their 1 200-litre Bambi buckets off Fish Hoek beach.

Roadside residents stopped to watch them thudding overhead, waterbombing the fire line over and over, working in a light turned orange by smoke.

The choppers can no longer take water from the dam in Silvermine as the water level has become so low from the firefighting and SANParks has to ensure the survival of the aquatic life in the dam.

The fire has also hampered traffic in the southern peninsula. One commuter took 35 minutes to travel the 8km from Kalk Bay to Lakeside on Tuesday morning.

The fire started early on Sunday above Boyes Drive in Muizenberg and spread right across to Hout Bay by Monday morning.

Five houses have been destroyed by fire in Noordhoek, as well as the luxury Tintswalo Lodge at the bottom of Chapman’s Peak.

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ICC Cricket Fixtures 2015

cricket fixtures
Click on image to download and print pdf.

The Muizenberg blog and Chas Everitt are happy to bring you the key information for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, including dates and times for every fixture in Australia and New Zealand.

The tournament will be jointly held across Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2015.

New Market in Muizenberg

vlei-market-muizenbergThe Vlei Market – Outdoor food and goods market in Muizenberg:

Locals of the far south can look forward to a new outdoor morning market launching next month in the Muizenberg area. The Vlei Market is a food and craft market that will be held on Saturdays at the False Bay Rendezvous overlooking the Zandvlei Reserve in Muizenberg.

Organisers promise a variety of great food stalls offering tasty treats, as well as a selection of interesting goods and crafts. There is plenty of parking inside the venue, and the market will provide a fun kid-friendly environment.

The Vlei Market kicks off on Valentine’s Day (14 February 2015) and plans to run every Saturday morning – weather permitting – from 8.30am until 2pm.

Potential traders wanting more information are invited to contact Justine at thevleimarket@gmail.com or on 084 561 8152.

The Vlei Market – Event Details:

Where: The False Bay Rendezvous, Vlei Road, Muizenberg
When: Launch date – 14 February 2015, 8.30-2pm. Thereafter weekly on Saturdays, weather-permitting.
Who to contact: Justine at thevleimarket@gmail.com or on 084 561 8152.