Tag Archives: urban management

Illegal Dumping: What It Is and How to Stop It

Did you know? That annually over 180 000 tons of waste are cleared from illegal dumping hot spots! That costs the city, and you as the taxpayer, a staggering R350 million a year just in clean-up. In other words, cleaning illegal dumping costs 20 times more than collecting waste from wheelie bins. That is why to create a clean, healthy and safe community we take our work tackling illegal dumping very seriously. 

“Illegal dumping is a severe problem that puts our community at risk of injury and illness and pollutes our ecosystem. In addition, illegal dumpsites can serve as magnets for other criminal activities,” says Gene Lohrentz, CEO of the urban management company, Geocentric

Here is what we have learnt when it comes to illegal dumping. 

What is illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping is the disposal of unwanted materials in inappropriate places. Be it household rubbish, building waste or industrial debris, improper disposal has disastrous effects on the environment, economy and community.

Our teams are dedicated to cleaning our community and have cleaned thousands of cases of illegal dumping in the last year!

Protecting Property Values

Our daily work with the City of Cape Town’s (COCT) Solid Waste By-law Enforcement Unit protects our district from plummeting property values. By cleaning, we keep our community member’s properties safe by preventing pest issues, blocked storm drains and plastic pollution.  

Clean streets don’t just look great, they also improve the value of properties. The study ‘Value of cleaner neighbourhoods’ found that residents will pay up to 57% more to live in a clean neighbourhood. By being part of the solution business owners can help protect and even increase the market value of their property and make their establishments more inviting for customers. 

Protecting Public Health 

Vermin are attracted to dump sites making these sites sources of disease and infection. Anyone near a dump site risks getting sick both from the hazardous materials dumped and from the diseases spread by rats. These diseases aren’t only formidable – they’re often fatal. Rat urine is responsible for diseases like Leptospirosis ( causing kidney and liver damage) and Hantavirus, a debilitating viral bronchial disease. Rats also gnaw at cables, transformers and electrics causing expensive damage to businesses.

By cleaning up this waste before it attracts vermin, we put a stop to these health hazards before they happen. 

Preventing Floods 

Water sustains life, but it can also cause widespread destruction, as we saw during the recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. As our most precious and essential resource we must treasure it – for if we don’t, we will suffer. 

Illegal dumping is a terrifying threat to the water management of our district. When it rains, excess litter is swept into drains and sewers, blocking them and causing trash flash floods. Flooding, and the infrastructure damage it causes, puts immense pressure on emergency services when they are needed most.

To make sure our city can handle the rain we collect all dumping regularly and clean the stormwater drains as part of our winter preparedness programme. 

Pulverizing Plastic Pollution

A large percentage of waste illegally dumped is plastic. We are well aware that its consequences are far-reaching, but we are tackling this challenge too. When possible, we sort the waste and recycle what we can instead of sending it all to a landfill. By sorting recyclables, we help reduce the waste in our waterways and create employment opportunities. 

We understand it’s almost impossible to recycle all waste. However, we also know that big things have small beginnings. We all make small changes to bring about positive collective transformation.  Where possible, we must all take the opportunity to recycle.

How You Can Help Combat Illegal Dumping?

The COCT provides the tools necessary to crack down on illegal dumping and needs citizens to get involved. By reporting dumping you help the City make improvements and encourage others to do the same. Plus, it’s an easy way to beautify your neighbourhood and help keep it safe.

Although the issue is vast, if we all play our part together, we can create a greener, cleaner future for ourselves and future generations.

If you spot something, say something!

To report illegal dumping in your community:

  • Call 0860 103 089 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za. 
  • If you have the culprit’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her you can shortcut the process and call 021 400 6157

Contact details: 

If you have any safety concerns to report, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room  

Trial By Fire – Fire Safety In Cape Town’s Summer

Cape Town fires 2021. Source: Associated Press.

Cape Town’s fire season occurs from November through to May which are our hottest, and driest months. Together with our beloved south-easterly “Cape Doctor” – which adores clearing our city of pollution – these arid conditions create ideal opportunities for wildfires to spark and quickly rage out of control. 

From our homes and businesses to our beloved Table Mountain National Park, there are various organisations in place to manage fire safety and intervene both to avoid fires and to control them when they happen. 

It’s true that fires are a part of the South African landscape and occur naturally in grasslands, woodlands, fynbos, and sometimes in indigenous forests. However, there has been a disastrous loss of natural diversity in our fynbos ecosystem and an invasion of Australian wattles, Eucalypts and Mediterranean pines. Now, our fires burn hotter for longer and each fire destroys more than the last. Meaning it’s more important now than ever to actively keep your home, family and business safe and to protect the life and value they hold. 

Home and Work Checklist for Fire Safety

  • Ember-proofing any area, requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to staff and run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • If you have access to water, wet the roof and gutters to stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short as possible as it helps slow the fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around that are regularly maintained and train your staff on how to use them safely and correctly.

Other interventions that you can implement on a larger scale include considering your construction materials if you are remodelling and supplementing them for fire-resistant alternatives. You should also ensure full continued compliance with all local and national fire safety codes and think about installing fire protection systems such as overhead sprinklers. 

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, a fire can happen to any size business at any time. That is why protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority. Following the above steps will help you avoid any fires breaking out and minimise fire-related damages. While there may be no such thing as truly “fireproof,” these guidelines are an excellent starting point for safeguarding your business. 

Additional Resources

Preventing fires in the Western Cape

City of Cape Town  –  Basic Household Fire Safety

Fire is Everyone’s Fight Toolkit of guidelines and posters with lesson plans

Sanparks  –  Fire management / Table Mountain National Park Fire Management Plan

Contact information for  the Fire and Rescue Service Department

24-hour emergencies: 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)

General fire safety enquiries: 021 590 1971 / 021 590 1975

To report a fire : Hotline: 086 110 6417 or The City’s Regional Fire Control No: (021) 590 1900

Welcoming a new year, new challenges and new triumphs

As we charge into 2022, there is undeniable trepidation surrounding the new challenges and triumphs the year will bring. This year we will continue to create an urban ecosystem that is safe, accessible and inviting to all the workers, visitors and community members of our district. As in years before, we are unwavering in our commitment to the property and business owners of our area and intend to consolidate and elevate our services based on the successes of last year.  

In 2022 we strive to:  

  • Create a safe and clean public environment by addressing issues of maintenance and by cleaning our streets, pavements and public spaces.  
  • Increase public safety through proactive visible patrolling and by supporting the efforts of the SAPS, City of Cape Town and private security providers.  
  • Manage existing and new public infrastructure for the future benefit of our community members.   
  • Decrease property-related crime to protect community members through our security-related partnerships and to protect property values to attract new investment to the area.  
  • Support the promotion of the businesses in our area by implementing urban greening, promoting energy efficiency initiatives, widening our recycling networks and bettering our risk and disaster management services.  
  • Support and promote social responsibility in the area and assist with the management and upliftment of people living on the streets.  
  • Encourage the maintenance and upgrading of private properties and public spaces in the area. 

We believe in the heart of our institution that the challenges we face are not insurmountable. 

Together with the City of Cape Town, our partners, outreach initiatives and local business owners, we will continue to strive towards reinvigorating our urban environment. Ultimately, together we can create a stable, safe, clean area that is prosperous for our community both economically and socially.  

Headlines from the City  

The City of Cape Town warns to be aware of scammers posing as electricity officials to gain access to your wallet and home. All officials will have an identification card with the City logo, with their name and surname and a photo. If you have any doubts call the COCT on 0860 103 089 to confirm their ID and work order number. 

The City of Cape Town urges their suppliers to be cautious of fake Request for Quotation (RFQ) emails sent to them, as if it is being sent from the City. Please report any suspicious emails to the City for further investigation.  

Struggling to pay your rates and taxes? The City of Cape Town has a wide range of financial relief options available. To learn more, click  here.   

City Improvement District By-Law & City Improvement District Policy

We believe that you are an expert in your area and have seen the positive change we can make first-hand.  You know better than anyone, where our precious resources are best spent and we value your contribution in helping us plan for future projects. 

The legislative structure governing much of our work in your area is up for amendment. We hope that the proposed changes of making the processes of starting and running a CID  more structured will improve the efficiency of CIDs citywide. 

Your suggestions on the proposed amendments to the CID by-law and City improvement district policy can be submitted online here,   emailed to CityImprovement.Districts@capetown.gov.za or written to, City of Cape Town, PO Box 298, Cape Town 8000

Comments and objections may be submitted from 16 August to 15 September 2021.

Our Speeding Awareness Initiative – No Need to Speed

It’s no mystery that for many of us, a work commute is an unavoidable and chaotic part of our lives. Shockingly,  1 third of all deaths on our roads are caused by motor pedestrian collisions at speed. Closely followed by passenger deaths, making up 32% of road fatalities. This leaves countless families shattered simply because drivers were in a rush. Our speeding initiative shares our top insights on how to curb speeding in your area.

Tygervalley Improvement District – Collaborating with the City of Cape Town

A common occurrence we see daily in the Tygervalley Improvement District  (TVID) is this. Imagine there is a truck or a visitor is pulling into an opposite bay, and you are a driver speeding. You overtake the truck quickly but don’t see the pedestrians walking in front of the vehicle. Leaving you with 0 reaction time to brake.

This causes a potentially fatal collision for the pedestrian. Derails the driver’s life who is liable to criminal charges. Costs the business cleaning up the accident dearly. Most importantly, it is incalculably devastating to the passengers, drivers, and pedestrians’ families.

The solution to stopping speeding? Simple, slow down.

Every morning and afternoon, thousands of dedicated employees make their journey to work by foot, taxi, bus, and car. Here is the good news – we have a simple solution. Simply slow down, pay attention and obey our speeding laws and safer South African streets are just around the corner.

As the Tygervalley Improvement District, we are helping to stop speeding by:

  • Making sure all traffic and speeding signs are clearly visible and in good condition.
  • Continuing to develop creative ways of implementing sustainable road safety strategies. We are also working together with the TVID population to adjust these programmes to your specific needs.
  • Collaborating with the City of Cape Town to implement and maintain traffic speed enforcement measures. These include cameras, speed management obstructions and traffic officers patrolling the greater TVID area.
Tygervalley Improvement District – Implementing sustainable anti-flooding road safety strategies

As a driver, you can help us curb speeding by:

  • Slowing down. In industrial areas, the National Road Traffic Act states that drivers should not exceed 60 km/h. This ensures that you have sufficient time to react to unforeseen situations and will avoid unnecessary fines.
  • Remaining aware and vigilant. Keep your eyes on the people, other drivers, and potential obstructions in your line of sight and off your cell phone. 
  • Being aware that the TVID is an industrial area and likely to have pockets of congestion throughout the day. Be mindful to allow yourself more time to get where you are going.
  • Being patient. We have many slow-moving vehicles carrying remarkably heavy loads that are too large to manoeuvre quickly so don’t pass when it is not 100% safe.
  • Our streets are lined with driveways, side streets and loading bays that trucks need to turn into. Please do not park in any of these zones, as this will lead to a traffic jam until you are found and move your car out the way to safety.
  • Maintaining a safe following distance. If you are unsure of what this is for the different vehicle types, watch this excellent video guide on “The Time Distance Ratio”   by Arrive Alive.

As a business owner, you can:

  • Create parking zones for clients and 3rd party suppliers. This will prevent them from needing to slow down and to park either in an open employee bay or illegally on the opposite side of the road.
  • Respect the boundary markings of roads. Red lines, pavements, pedestrian walkways, and cyclist paths are carefully calculated to keep the flow of people into the area safe and swift. Please do not park vehicles in these designated areas.
  • Make provisions for pedestrians so your employees and the employees of the businesses around you are not forced to endanger themselves by walking on the road.
  • All your employees who come to work in their own vehicles should be educated on the dangers of speeding and carpool where they can to save on parking space.
  • Ensure that all employees who need parking bays are provided with a place to put their vehicles. The best time to make these alterations would be during a Facade Improvement intervention.
  • If you are a fleet manager – have multiple company cars or have an internal employee transport system – introduce a telematics system. This will allow you to target your speeding awareness interventions to the drivers who need them.

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), traffic accidents cost our already strained South African economy a whopping R176 Billion in 2020. We also missed the target set out in the UN decade for action road safety amendment by miles, despite a months-long lockdown that restricted movement.

Traffic Enforcement 

Traffic enforcement is a last resort for the TVID. While we would prefer not to implement these measures, we are charged with the duty of making the Tygervalley Improvement District safer for all. Traffic enforcement to curb speeding vehicles will be a necessary consequence if we all don’t slow down.

In a time where so many of us are only just scraping by financially, we simply shouldn’t waste money paying expensive traffic fines for speeding incidents that are 100% easily avoidable.

We truly believe that together we can make the roads of the Tygervalley Improvement District  (TVID) a safer space for our community and would love to hear your #GoodNews and suggestions, simply mail us at info@tvid.co.za.

If you have any safety concerns to report, please contact one of the following numbers:

  • SAPS (South African Police Services) – 10111 
  • City of Cape Town Disaster Management. – 107
  • Geocentric Control Room – 021 565 0900

 

TVID Takes Matters in Hand

Tygervalley can be assured of a dedicated and comprehensive service being rendered by the TVID (Tygervalley Improvement District), as can be concluded from a report on activities in the area during the past few weeks. 

On the Public Safety front there was a large amount of activity that can set the area’s tenants and residents at peace. 

TVID Urban Safety Team

The public safety officers regularly patrolled within the TVID to secure the safety of the businesses and 

the public. Some of the responsibilities executed, were the following: 

Engaging with all people in the public space to ensure that everyone is aware of our presence and activities. This is done in conjunction with and in support of law enforcement who oversees such activities.  If something suspicious is found, Law Enforcement Officer and or SAPS acts accordingly 

Most of the security activities involving engagement with the public, appear in Havenga Street, Durban Road, Willie Van Schoor Street, Edward Street and Carl Cronje Street. 

According to TVID Manager Clifford Oostendorp, the reason for this is that beggars, bin scratchers and car guards moving from Bellville to Durbanville or from Durbanville to Bellville pass through the Tygervalley area.  

Examples of engaging with the public are the following: 

  • TVID Public Safety Officers engaged with a suspicious-looking man who was in possession of a “tik lolly” on the corner of Oakdale Street and Durban Road. Officers confiscated the item, gave him a warning and removed him out of the area. 
  • On Durban Road officers engaged with a person who had in his possession an undisclosed amount of City of Cape Town blue refuse bags. Our officers confiscated the bags and removed him out of the area. 
  • On 25 October 2017, Public Safety Officers engaged with intoxicated vagrants who were loitering in public in front of Virgin Active, Sportica Road. The persons were cautioned. (See photos) 

Loitering 3

  • Officers also engaged with suspicious-looking men who were in possession of knives on Carl Cronje Street. (photos) 

dangerous objects 1

  • Persons begging for money at Edward Street, Willie Van Schoor Street, Durban Road and Bill Bezuidenhout Street respectively, were cautioned
  • Various suspicious-looking persons were stopped and searched in Edward Street. 
  • On Edward Street, public safety officers engaged with illegal car guards.
  • People scratching in bins at Misspell Street, Durban Road and Sportica Street respectively, were cautioned and requested to leave the area. (photos) 

bin-scratching 4 bin-scratching 1 bin-scratching 2 bin-scratching 3

Geocentric Launches New App

“As Geocentric we are very proud to launch our new mobile phone reporting application,” said Gene Lohrentz of the urban management company recently. “This is another way in which we are enabling our CID business and property owners to interact with their City Improvement District Management. Geocentric Reporting App 2

“We want our CID contributors to become part of our family by interacting with us about issues they might encounter.  The mobile application makes that possible on the devices most people have with them every day.” 

The Geocentric app allows users to easily report issues in the City Improvement Districts managed by Geocentric Urban Management based in South Africa.  Currently the areas covered by this Application include Beaconvale Industrial Area, Elsies River Industrial, Glosderry, Maitland, Salt River, Somerset West CBD, Stikland Industrial, Strand CBD and the Tygervalley CBD.  

With this application users can report urban defects, crime incidents, public safety issues and general comments.  “We will acknowledge your report and provide you with feedback throughout the process.  We will also send you ‘Alerts’ of problems in your CID area, such as water leaks or power outages and we can even send crime alerts and safety tips to your mobile phone. 

The Geocentric Reporting Application is Free of Charge 

Simply install it and register as a user when using it for the first time.  If you need any help, please contact support@geocentric.co.za 

Geocentric Reporting App 1

Let’s get started! 

  • Simply download and install the App from the Google Play or Apple App Store  
  • Register as a user, using the app when you open it for the first time 
  • We will send you a confirmation email and you will have to activate your app by clicking on the activation link in the email – this is to ensure we are dealing with people and not spammers. 
  • Go to your email and verify your email address 
  • Log in and you are ready to go! 

Urban Management Trolley Introduced

The Geocentric Urban Management Trolley Project was initiated in 2017. 

The aim of the project is to provide urban cleaning and maintenance teams with a platform to improve their daily tasks, assist with moving of equipment and tools and enable recycling while performing their tasks. 

A few design considerations were introduced into the design of the trolley including 

  • The ability to move heavy loads of litter or recycling from one point to another without effort or potential injury 
  • Create high visibility for the cleaning and maintenance teams 
  • Have quick and easy access to tools and equipment 
  • The ability, even when fully loaded, to easy ascend and descend kerbs and sidewalks 
  • Be able to separate waste as they work to support the recycling initiative 

To achieve some of these design principles, Geocentric looked at simple solutions from other designs, for example, the stair-climbing suitcases used by so many travellers.  By scaling up the design for the urban management trolleys, we could produce a sidewalk and pavement climbing trolley where the urban management worker needs minimum effort to get onto and off pavements to perform their duties.  

(See photos of step 1, 2 and 3 illustrating this concept.) 

step1

step2

step3

The trolleys were also designed to be pushed from any side with key tools located in the middle so that it is in fact easy to use it for a two-man team operation.  On each side of the trolley a plastic tool box allows storage for small tools. 

Recyclables like tin cans, glass and plastic bottles are collected by the urban management workers throughout the day as they clean the streets and public spaces and at the end of each day they separate the items into baskets whereafter Geocentric recycles the items. 

trolley 4

This is another way in which we make CID operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly as we prevent a vast amount of waste from simply going to landfills. 

trolley 5 trolley 6

Geocentric have rolled out these trollies in the Elsies River and Beaconvale City Improvement Districts and plan to roll them out to all the other CIDs under Geocentric management through the course of 2018. 

 

Cleaning Team Multitasks

The task of the TVID’s maintenance and cleaning team is to clean within the TVID in order to sustain a fresh environment. The following duties were recently completed within the TVID: 

  • Cutting of grass and de-weeding at Havenga Street, Misspell Street and Durban Road respectively. 

See ‘Before’, ‘During’ and ‘After’ pictures to illustrate:

BEFORE

Before 3 Before 2 Before 1

 

DURING

During 1 During 2 During 3

 

AFTER

After 3 After 2 After 1

  • TVID Cleaning and Maintenance Team was deployed to empty green bins in our area. 

greenbins 1 greenbins 2 greenbins 3 greenbins 4 greenbins 5 greenbins 6

  • The Cleaning and Maintenance Team was also deployed to clear and remove illegal dumping in the TVID area. (See ‘Before’, ‘During’ and ‘After’ pictures.) 

BEFORE

illegal dumping (before)

 

DURING

illegal dumping (during)

 

AFTER

 

illegal dumping (after)

  • The team also re-aligned and painted bollards and street signs at Durban Road, Edward Street, Willie Van Schoor Street and Antrum Park respectively. 

bollards 1 bollards 2 bollards 3 signs 2 signs