Stellenbosch Umasipala

The executive mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego would like to thank the business community and public of Stellenbosch for the support and donations received for the fire fighting teams involved in containing the Jonkershoek Fire.

A fire which started in the Jonkershoek Valley on Monday 9 March 2015 flared up again late on Tuesday (10 March 2015) afternoon. A South Easterly wind pushed it towards the Stellenbosch area. The fire also moved closer towards the Helderberg Basin which has put some farms potentially under threat.

Justin Lawrence, spokesperson for Cape Nature has indicated that the aim today is to conduct a back burn in the Stellenbosch mountains to reduce the size of the flammable area and bring the blaze under control.

The executive Mayor of Stellenbosch Conrad Sidego wishes to inform the public that due to this controlled fire there is more smoke but it does not mean that the fire has increased in size. ‘We are thinking of the fire-fighters who are battling to get this fire extinguished and under control. On behalf of the community of this valley I would like to express our gratitude for everything that these teams are doing to control this fire and to assure them that their hard work is valued by all.

Over 200 fire-fighters, including aerial support and ground crews from CapeNature, Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM), Working on Fire (WoF) and the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) are actively working to contain the blaze which is burning high in the mountains.

According to the joint operating team there is no immediate threat to life and property in the area".

'I urge all to stay calm and not panic as the firefighting team are doing all they can to contain the situation as soon as possible.’ Sidego says.

Approximately 2900ha of alien vegetation and fynbos has been burnt so far. There is an ecological concern as the last fire that took place in the area was in 2009. Many of the fynbos species in the area need between 12 - 20 years to produce enough seed to sustain the population after the fire.

The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is closed until further notice. The public is also requested to stay clear of the hiking trials and the general Coetzenburg area in Stellenbosch. All visitors and tourists to Stellenbosch and residents must please stay clear of the affected area.

Donations are welcomed especially sunblock products, water, colddrink, energy drinks and hygienic products. Contact Mr Zayne Malan at the Stellenbosch Fire Department on +27 874 8992 if you wish to make a donation for the fire fighting teams.

The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego together with the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, observed a test to reduce the spread of fire in temporary structures in informal settlements (Shack fires). The test was conducted on 19 February by the Departments’ Working on Fire (WoF) and Eco-Furniture programmes, and the Stellenbosch Municipality at the Lanquedoc Sport Field in Stellenbosch.

The new building design and material was tested to assess their effectiveness in reducing the spread of fires in informal settlements and in limiting their often devastating impact on people and property. Structures were built from the new material and dwellings based on materials commonly used in informal settlements were set alight in order to compare the speed in which they burned and the extent to which fire spreads from them.

Developed with funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) channelled through the Working on Fire (WoF) programme, and implemented by the Kishugu Group, the new material consists of compressed composite boards. The test was observed by DEA and its partners in the project, the non-government organisation Design Change, which has developed a new fire-retarding design for temporary structures based on the material, Stellenbosch Municipality and its Disaster Management Centre, WoF and WoF beneficiaries.

The project was developed through a process in which the DEA and its partners have been looking at the potential of using use invasive alien biomass in the construction of temporary structures and exploring options to reduce the spread of fires in informal housing, while the pressures of formal housing are being addressed wherever possible. Mayor Conrad Sidego, who welcomed the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Deputy Minister of Public Works, Jeremy Cronin emphasised the fact that we cannot continue with “business as usual in face of very dangerous sires in informal settlements. Dignity and innovation is at the heart of this project as the Stellenbosch espouses to be the innovation capital of South Africa while promoting the dignity and safety of all of its citizens.”

In her keynote address Minister of Environmental Affairs Mrs Edna Molewa explained the importance of finding solutions to ever the growing plight of shack fires. “These experiments demonstrate the commitment of our government and its structures to seek solutions to the plights of the poor. This will extend to the quality of life for those living in such settlements in the pilot projects that we shall again run with our same group of partners regarding the green, safe and secure structures that may be temporary options in such circumstances,” she said. The design of temporary structures based on the new material aims to provide a low-cost alternative that saves lives.

The design is intended not just for its fire-proof properties, but for benefits that include thermal properties, safety, noise reduction, flooding protection, food security, denial of access to rats and other vermin and greater human dignity.

If the new dwelling design and composite fire-boarding prove to be effective in reducing the rate of spread of shack-fires, the use of woody invasive alien biomass could play a meaningful role in the reduction of loss of life, property and livelihoods of millions of South African citizens.

This would mean that the ongoing clearing of alien invasive timber from water-catchment systems would create not only jobs, but contribute to protecting lives and livelihoods.

For media queries please contact Zolile Nqayi 082 898 6483 or Vernon Bowers 084 593 6491

ISSUED BY THE DEAPRTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND THE STELLENBOSCH MUNICIPALITY

The Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego will attend the opening of the Absolute Ablutions Container Unit (AACU) this week Wednesday, 18 February 2015 at Webersvalley Road, Jamestown, Stellenbosch. The US Consul General, Mr Teddy Taylor will host the event.

‘This event will showcase innovation in the field of a unit that is a totally self-sustained ablution facility that is easy to move, quick to set up and can treat sewerage on site..’ – Mayor Sidego.

The AACU, The Absolute Ablution Container is an advanced mobile ablution facility (toilets and showers) that incorporates U.S. technology with Stellenbosch design and innovation. Mayor Sidego will briefly address this event as it highlights innovation and partnerships that are taking place within Stellenbosch as the Innovation Capital of South Africa. ‘This is an US-South African partnership with a Stellenbosch company working on this innovation with international companies. Another proof that we are truly the Innovation Capital of South Africa.’

Representatives from the private and public sector, neighbouring municipalities, local government officials and diplomatic community will attend this session. The three companies that have been involved in the project are Zoeller Pump Company, Maskam and Absolute Ablutions.

Absolute Ablutions is a premier mobile toilet and ablution specialists in the world and as a manufacturer in Stellenbosch, employ 60 people as designers and artisans. Their innovative range of products have made it possible to deliver appropriate hygiene and ablutions in almost any circumstance. The AACU is developed to address the need for an autonomous ablution system which can process and recycle water for maximum efficiency before releasing semi- to fully processed waste into the environment. Maskam Water has worked with Absolute Ablutions to build a first of its kind, self-sustaining mobile ablution facility, including treatment of waste water and reusing it on site. Zoeller is a pump manufacturer that produces submersible pumps that are 100% factory-tested underwater for dependability.

The AACU is easy to set up, has a low operational cost and water is recycled and reused on site, part of that for toilet flushing. For further information see www.absoluteablutions.co.za.

Mayor Conrad Sidego met with industry stakeholders at the South African Leisure Tourism and Hospitality Association (SALTHA) conference at Spier. The Imbizo was held in co-operation with the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA). The Imbizo is a platform for tavern owners and role players to discuss issues of responsible alcohol selling, liquor licensing and problems of alcohol abuse.

The mayor welcomed participants to the Imbizo taking place in the heart of the Cape Winelands: considered to be the capital of the South African wine industry with more than 60 estates operating in this leading centre for viticulture and viticulture research. He further added that the wine industry added to this buoyant regional and national sector of the economy but also stressed the importance of the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in education, information sharing and character leadership.

Stakeholders who were in discussion and presentation sessions were Dr Osborn Mahanjana (ARA CEO), Mr Churchill Mrasi (SALTHA President), Mrs Leana Olivier (FARR CEO, Foundation for Alcohol Related Research), Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer (SAPS Police Commissioner), Ms Masechaba Sefulano (|Programme Director, SALTHA), Mongezi Memani (Nafcoc Western Cape (National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Monga Phaladi (Saltha Secretary General), Philip Prinsloo (WC Liquor Board) and Cllr Siyabulela Mamkeli (MMC City of Cape Town).

The main focus for discussion was the promotion of responsible selling and consumption of alcohol. It was highlighted that tavern owners play an important role in communities and share in the responsibility of responsible retailing and can play a significant role in curbing alcohol abuse in communities. Stakeholders also agreed that awareness about responsible drinking and selling of liquor was a shared responsibility and that with co-operation, communication and information sharing safety of lives, places and movement can be ensured.

A pledge was signed with 200 licenced tavern owners from the Western Cape to abide by the Code of Practice drafted by the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA). The code promotes the responsible sale of alcoholic beverages by encouraging taverners to refuse the sale of alcohol to underage minors, pregnant women and patrons already visibly intoxicated.

Die uitvoerende burgermeester van Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit, Conrad Sidego het veranderinge bekend gemaak aan sy Burgermeersterskomittee.

Die veranderinge is die volgende:

  • Raadslid Nyaniso Jindela wat voorheen plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling, Toerisme en Landbou hanteer het, sal nou die portefeulje Finansiële Dienste behartig.

  • Raadslid Sophie Louw (voorheen Korporatiewe Sake en Strategiese Dienste) sal nou die portefeulje Plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling, Toerisme en Landbou behartig.

  • Raadslid Martin Smuts (voorheen Finansiële Dienste) sal nou die portefeulje Korporatiewe Sake en Strategiese Diense behartig.

  • Raadslid Donovan Joubert is ‘n nuwe lid in die Burgermeesterskomittee waar hy na Inginieursdienste sal omsien. Hy neem die portefeulje by raadsheer Dawid Botha oor.

Burgermeesterskomitee met portefeuljes sien dus as volg daarna uit

Raadslid

Portefeulje/s

Aldridge Frazenburg

Gemeenskapsdienste

Valerie Fernandez

Geïntegreërde Menslike Nedersettings en Eiendomsbestuur

Nyaniso Jindela

Finansiële Dienste

Sophie Louw

Plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling, Toerisme, Landbou

Pietman Retief

Sport, Kultuur en Fasiliteite

Johanna Serdyn

Department Beplanning en Omgewingsake

Quintin Smit

Wetstoepassing en Openbare Beskerming

Martin Smuts

Korporatiewe Sake en Strategiese Dienste

Donovan Joubert

Inginieursdienste

 

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