City Releases Utility Service Budget | Western Cape Government


City Releases Utility Service Budget

30 March 2010

The City of Cape Town has budgeted to spend some three point five billion rand (R3.5 billion) on its 2010/11 Capital Budget, and almost nineteen point three billion rand (R19.3 billion) on the Operating and Revenue Budget, says Alderman Clive Justus, Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services.

Maintenance and repair have received priority spending throughout the Utility Services Directorate, with a three percent allocation above inflation.

Alderman Justus says that the Utility Services Capital Budget totals one point six billion rand (R1.6 billion), which is split between the three main functions that comprise the Utility Services Portfolio: Electricity, Solid Waste and Cleansing, and Water and Sanitation. It has been prepared with the goal of investing in people and infrastructure to grow the economy.

Utility Services follows the Council's strategy, as reflected in the Integrated Development Programme (IDP), to develop and improve infrastructure, to facilitate economic growth, to create opportunities for residents, and to improve the quality of life for all.


The City has earmarked almost R538 million to upgrade the Metropole's electricity network in the coming financial year. This forms part of the Council's three point five billion rand (R3.5 billion) Capital Budget proposed for 2010/11.

Four years ago the City commenced a five-year energy savings programme to encourage residents and business to consume less energy and strive to achieve a 10 percent saving on direct consumption by 2011.

"This means people need to use less energy and use it more efficiently. We must continue to be aware that these savings must continue, especially as the economy changes for the better," said Alderman Justus.

Whilst the City has already gone a long way to meeting the 10 percent (10%) energy savings requested by ESKOM, eliminating the need for further pre-emptive load shedding and the necessity to save energy remains a high priority.

The City has, for example, led the way by making sure all of its buildings are fitted with low energy lamps, geyser insulation and timers. The City is actively promoting new developments which are required to be energy efficient and has endorsed the use of alternative energy sources such as its own Steenbras Pumped Storage Scheme. Here off-peak electricity is used to store water, which can then produce one hundred and sixty 160 Mega Watts (MW) of hydro- electric power when demand for electricity is high.

The City also supports the Darling Wind Farm and the City, having already accumulated substantial electricity credits from this source, will now open it to the public in the form of Green Energy Certificates to those people who wish to purchase 'green electricity'. The City will, in terms of its 20-year agreement, continue to purchase electricity from the Darling Wind Farm, subject to availability.

The City's extensive electrical infrastructure consists of more than seventy (70) main substations with transformers and switchgear, as well as thousands of kilometres of electrical cables and overhead power lines criss-crossing the city from Atlantis and Gordon's Bay, right down to Cape Point.

The Electricity budget includes upgrades of main substations such as Retreat (R16. 7 million); Rosmead Avenue (R134.3 million); Strand (R47.2 million); Roggebaai (R174.1 million); Parow South (R13.7 million); Oakdale Phase 1 (R55.8 million) and Langeberg in the northern suburbs (R20.1 million). In addition, a new main substation will be built to serve Century City (R55.5 million). These are total project costs spread over a number of years.

"A pro-active planned maintenance and replacement programme is followed to ensure that that we avoid any crises, such as Eskom's experience last year," said Alderman Justus. "It is essential that the City takes timeous action to replace and maintain its equipment and infrastructure," he added.

This year, capacity at Retreat main substation will be increased by replacing the underground cables, two power transformers and switchgear. The Retreat sub-station, which was built 40 years ago, services the suburbs of Meadowridge, Bergvliet, Diep River, Constantia, Heathfield, Retreat and Tokai. This energy reinforcement project will provide additional capacity for further development until 2025.

These upgrades will reduce the risk of power failures. The City constantly monitors the state of all its electricity plants to determine their condition and the loads they can carry. An analysis of this data identifies the equipment that is ageing and reaching the end of its useful life. The Strand substation upgrade will increase the load capacity in the Strand, portions of Somerset West, Nomzamo, Lwandle and Broadlands. The Langeberg station improvement will replace ageing equipment and ensure additional capacity in the Cape Gate, Kleinbron, Vredekloof and Langeberg Ridge areas. The Rosmead upgrade will improve electricity supply to the areas of Bergvliet, Claremont, Constantia, Hout Bay, Heathfield, Kenilworth, Lansdowne, Newlands, Ottery, Plumstead, Wetton and Wynberg. Finally, the Parow South upgrade, which feeds into the Parow industrial area and adjacent residential suburbs such as Ravensmead, will provide additional capacity for industrial growth.

An amount of R79.9 million has been provided for new service connections and associated infrastructure, whilst R58.1 million has been provided to address augmentation of the system to cater for increased load and growth.

Electricity income accounts for some 32 percent of the City's total income, whilst the contribution to rates from electricity amounts to approximately 10 percent of all revenue received from the sale of electricity.

Waste Management Services

The most important tasks for Solid Waste Management Services are the replacement of the now almost full landfill sites with a new regional landfill site; set up of the new infrastructure and investigation of alternative service delivery mechanisms; and the creation of partnerships that will effectively reduce the volume of waste entering the municipal system. This will ensure the ongoing and effective service of Solid Waste Management Services, necessary to cope with growth and economic development.

The largest chunk of the R295.5 million Solid Waste Management Services Capital Budget for the 2010/11 financial year is earmarked for the development of landfill infrastructure and integrated transfer stations.

The former Provincial MEC for Planning and Environment, Minister Pierre Uys, took a decision in 2009 to situate the new regional landfill site at Kalbaaskraal, but objections from adjacent landowners have stalled preliminary work from proceeding with this site until clarification of the legal aspects of an appropriate site have been resolved.

"Various waste minimisation and other recycling initiatives are essential for reducing the volume of waste," said Alderman Justus. Partnerships with the private sector will enable growth in the recycling economy. An overall target of a 16 percent has been set, while the City committed to a national target of 20 percent during the FIFA Football World Cup event. Our staff are committed to achieving this figure.

"It will be necessary for us to encourage initiatives developed by the private sector that will create markets for recyclables," said Alderman Justus. In turn, this will create the potential for job creation in the formal and informal sector that will lead to poverty alleviation.

The City's 2011 business plan for waste management also creates opportunities for innovation and a change in behavioural patterns of all our communities.

Of the estimated 900 000 households in the city, 99 percent receive a basic weekly refuse collection service in terms of City policy. The remaining one percent is due to unplanned growth in informal settlements where emergency facilities are provided until a formal basic service is introduced.

The Solid Waste and Cleansing Department plans to replace 30 full maintenance lease compactor trucks in its refuse removal fleet at a cost of R67 million. The 'full maintenance lease agreement' for the hire of these vehicles will be coming to an end in the next two financial years and the City needs to ensure that the fleet is in place to continue with service delivery.

Cape Town's 3.6 million residents currently generate a massive 4 600 tons of waste per day. With the current growth in waste generation, this will translate into a mountain of 1.8 million tons of waste next year -all to be collected, transported, minimised and disposed of, from an area covering 2 487 square kilometres.

One way of extending the life span of these specialised vehicles is to shorten the distances to disposal sites. The City is therefore building the Oostenberg Integrated Refuse Transfer in Kraaifontein, which will reduce the distances between collection and disposal and will be able to process 960 tons of refuse per day. The construction of the Tygerberg Integrated Refuse Transfer Station is to commence in the 2010/11 financial year and, on completion, will be able to process 2 800 tons of refuse per day.

Water and Sanitation

The City proposes to spend R308 million of its capital provision in the next financial year for upgrading the water and sanitation infrastructure.

Alderman Justus said that in order to avoid an Eskom-type crisis, the City still needs to add additional capacity by upgrading as soon as possible. "We are developing new infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing metropole.

Being the oldest South African city it would cost approximately R27 billion to totally replace the water & sanitation infrastructure," he said. The City also has to constantly plan to replace ageing infrastructure. The backlog of water mains replacement will become unmanageable if infrastructural replacement is not accelerated now.

The City is also systematically replacing ageing water pipes. "Over the past three years we have succeeded in accelerating the pipe replacements from 7.4 kilometres per annum to approximately 46 kilometres per annum, and anticipate continuing at least at this accelerated rate," said Alderman Justus.

Further investments in bulk water infrastructure are planned, including the implementation of the Bulk Water Augmentation Scheme that will increase the overall capacity of the City's bulk water treatment plants and supply system. Possible additional water resources for the future will be investigated by, amongst others, the exploration of the Table Mountain Sandstone Group Aquifer, and the assessment of the feasibility of further water re-use by the desalination of sea-water.

Capital Funds amounting to R9 million have been provided for the continuation of pressure management projects to reduce non revenue water losses from the present 24 percent. This project is further supported by the leaks project, the roll-out of water management devices, and the encouragement of treated effluent re-use for irrigation and for industrial uses, thereby reducing demand on the high quality potable water supplies. All projects are part of the ten-year R750 million Water Demand Strategy, which has already achieved a 26% reduction in the unconstrained water demand.

In addition, plans are also afoot to continue with a R38 million sewer replacement programme. The City's sewer network consists of some 8 400 km of pipelines. The replacement programme follows a city-wide audit of the sewer system. "The City has done an overall review across the metropole and we have started replacing where the need is greatest," said Alderman Justus. The past two years have seen 24 km of sewer pipelines replaced and similar lengths will be replaced annually.

In 2009 alone, the City had to clear over 86 000 blocked sewers. It can cost anything from R200 to many thousands of rands to unblock a sewer and Alderman Justus appealed to residents to respect the sewerage system. "Please use the sewage systems for their intended purpose and not as a place to dispose of unwanted items," he said. He said vandalism of the sewerage is a major problem in some areas.

The City is currently close to completion of a R285 million upgrade and enlargement of the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Plant and the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility costing R150 million in the northern area, to be named the Fisantekraal Waste Water Treatment Works. On completion, these two plants alone will be able to treat wastewater from about 140 000 homes in Cape Town.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

Alderman Clive Justus
Mayoral Committee Member
Utility Services
Tel: 021 400 1206
Cell: 083 628 4136

Dr. Les Rencontre
Director: Electricity Services
Tel: 021 446 2007
Cell: 084 563 3411

Rustim Keraan
Director: Solid Waste Management
Tel: 021 400 2210
Cell: 084 371 1507

Philemon Mashoko
Director: Water and Sanitation
Tel: 021 400 4859
Cell: 083 577 9230