City Environment Strategy

My speech delivered in the City of Cape Town council meeting. Allocated time = 2 min. The City often ignores its own strategies and reports, and those of external experts. Worse still, it does not properly budget for its implementation. Each point is referenced – these appear in the bullet after each point.

The City has had an Environmental Strategy in some form or another for over 15 years.

But what does it help if the strategy or policy is ignored continually, and even water and climate experts are ignored whose inputs ought to inform and update the policy or strategy, and the budget

For example – In the mid-1980s, a UCT Professor predicted that, by about 2015, many of the country’s larger cities will experience permanent drought conditions.

In 2002 DWAF warned of ‘absolute water scarcity’ in the foreseeable future, including in the Cape

  • Muller, M DWAF DG, 2002 “INTER-BASIN WATER SHARING TO ACHIEVE WATER SECURITY – A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE”

In 2005, the Western Cape Government published its first “State of the Environment” report and it warned that annual rainfall will decrease by up to 20%., and it warned of an increase in extreme weather events including droughts.

In 2005 the City published its IDP, referring to the “current” drought (back then), accepts CT is a water scarce region

The City’s 2006 “State of Cape Town” report says the same thing.

In June 2011, DWAF announced that the Western Cape could face dire water shortages within the next six years.

Proof that the City ignored ALL of these warnings, including its own documents, is that in January 2017 one of the Mayoral Committee members said that “there was no indication CT would face a drought” so it had shelved the TMGA extraction project till 2022.

That statement shows the City political leaders are oblivious to all the clear and repeated warnings by experts including the Citys own officials, and oblivious to the evidence all around us.

The ACDP is concerned that this strategy will become yet another City document that is ignored and does not inform the budget.

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