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Western Cape Business 2020 edition

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A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Western Cape. The Western Cape has several investment and business opportunities. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, a special feature examines the water sector in the light of the drought which led to many people rethinking their approach to this vital resource. The journal contains news and information from business and investment agencies and bodies such as the Cape Chamber of Commerce, the Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum and Wesgro, the Western Cape’s dedicated tourism, trade and investment agency for the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town. Updated information on the Western Cape is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title.


SPECIAL FEATURE Community members at work on the WaterWise Ways project. Image: Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve. 1.2-billion litres-per-day in 2015, by the middle of 2018 the figure was 516-million litres. While the taps were not literally turned off (the dreaded “Day Zero” was averted), pressure in the pipes was drastically reduced. The International Water Association’s Water Loss Conference in Cape Town in May 2018 reported that two of the world’s largest advanced pressure control systems are operating in Cape Town. Restrictions on water use were introduced (car washing was outlawed completely, for example) and shopping centres introduced waterless sanitation. Cape Town’s hinterland thankfully experienced good winter rains but the town of Beaufort West in the Karoo continues to face a real crisis. In 2017 Cape Town hosted Water Desalination Symposium Africa, further evidence that relying on rain to ensure reliable supply in the future is not being contemplated. Old Mutual’s large campus in Cape Town is off the water grid. Since 2018, a waste-water filtration plant has been harvesting 650 cubic litres of drinkable water for staff members on the Pinelands site. It is estimated that the City of Cape Town will be able to save up to 15 000kl of water in the course of a month by not having to provide water for the 9 000 people who populate the campus. The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) announced that investment into the Green Economy reached R1.2-billion in 2017/18. DEDAT also works on long-term water resilience with various stakeholders through an “Economic Water Security Workstream”. Other steps to secure future water supply include the expenditure of R5.9-billion over five years by the City of Cape Town on desalination projects, aquifer extraction and water reuse. The National Department of Water and Sanitation is supposed to be responsible for bulk water supply, but the local authority has had to step in. To find the money to deal with the drought and the longerterm effects of climate change, the City of Cape Town issued a green bond for the first time in 2017. It was over-subscribed and allowed the city to get started on implementing its Climate Change Strategy. Some of the long-term projects falling under the strategy include new electric buses, energy efficiency measures in city buildings, improved sewerage plants and the rehabilitation and protection of coastal structures. ■ WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2020 36

Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency Rethinking water usage and stormwater management. South Africa has always been a water-scarce country, but recent events have focused the minds of all citizens to the pressing need to preserve water resources and to use water more intelligently. One response at national level was to create nine Catchment Management Agencies. The Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA) is the southernmost of the catchment agencies and falls mostly in the Western Cape. BGCMA offices are located in Worcester and George which enable the agency to assist local authorities, other water authorities and local communities. Change is needed Among the steps that South Africa needs to take are changing the pattern of water usage, conserving water where groundwater recharges are feasible and focusing on capturing and storing stormwater in urban areas. This is according to the BGCMA’s Acting Water Use Manager and Geohydrologist, John Sibanyoni. John also suggests that municipal budgets “have at least a hydrogeologist and an engineer for water supply”. John, who has an MSc Geohydrology from the University of the Free State and is a Certified Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), Contact Details Address: 101 York Street, Dormehis Drift, George 6530 Enquiries: John Sibanyoni Tel: +27 23 346 8000 • Fax: +27 23 347 2012 Email: Website: believes that the country and its citizens really need to focus or engage in interventions such as those outlined above. The drought afflicting the Karoo region is the result of a combination of factors, not limited to climate change and the lack of specialist skills in municipalities. The reliance on surface water as the sole supply of water is a key reason for the current situation, according to John. Dams in the Breede water management area have done relatively better than the Gouritz area, under which the Karoo falls. Catchment agencies are not responsible for the disbursement of funds but the BGCMA has been involved in various drought relief initiatives. BGCMA is participating in technical planning for new wellfields for water supply in local municipalities such as Beaufort West. Other activities that the BGCMA provides as assistance to local authorities include: • Water scarcity and usage awareness campaigns • Fast-track the finalisation of licence applications • Media tour participation. Another important function of the BGCMA is to issue licences for water use, ranging from existing use permits to high-level commercial usage licences. ■ 37 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2020

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