Tag Archives: city of cape town

Joggers and Birthday Parties at the Jack Muller Danie Uys Park in Bellville (2017-10-28) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 16 NOV 2017

Around 2013 the City of Cape Town embarked on an ambitious project to upgrade its aging district parks, with the goal of developing world class, public open spaces of which the local communities could be proud of.

One of these spaces that saw (and is seeing) a significant upgrade (to the tune of around R15 million) is my old home town of Bellville’s previously dilapidated 13 hectare large Jack Muller Park.

Earmarked to be developed as a facility capable of hosting major events,  the Jack Muller Park (also known as the Danie Uys Park) saw the installation of a borehole based irrigation system (as a part of the City of Cape Town’s commitment to reducing water demand on potable water resources) as well as the updating and laying down of new footpaths throughout the grounds.

The large picnic area was completely revamped, and loads of fresh instant lawn was laid down. Bathroom facilities were updated, new security structures were built around the park, kids play areas were added (as always, the jungle gyms are a hit with the little ones), a dedicated biodiversity section was established, the amphitheater rehabilitated, and of course (it is currently a very popular thing for public spaces to do), an outdoor gym was installed.

We visited the park recently in order to celebrate Damen and Michelle’s kid’s birthday with our friends and I was pleasantly surprised to see just how popular the park seems to have become.

There were loads of birthday parties, joggers and outdoor enthusiasts to be seen, and the environment appears to now genuinely be a nice one to visit.

We’ve been to the outdoor cinema held here before, and I know that music concerts are sometimes hosted as well, but by far the most popular activity for the park must be the weekly Bellville Parkrun, which sees hordes of joggers and walkers arrive at 08:00 on a Saturday morning to tackle the timed 5km fun run.

One day I suppose we should actually join them.

So, a great free green space option if you are looking to get some fresh air in Bellville then.

(Bonus: You might have noticed that the last picture in the photo gallery looks very different from the rest in terms of landscape scene. This is because that photo was taken on the same day but at a very different location! After our turn at Logan’s birthday party in the park, we raced back to Somerset West to make the pirate-themed spitbraai social get together for Emily’s Vergeet-My-Nie playschool. We arrived a tad late, meaning that the girls and I set out into the backwaters of Lourensford Estate in the hopes of catching up with the treasure hunt party that had already set out. Hence the lush green photo opportunity.)

Related Link: Jack Muller/Danie Uys Park

Water Savings in Cape Town My Life 14 FEB 2017

As pretty much each and every Capetonian that gives a damn knows by now, Cape Town is currently gripped by a rather alarmingly large water shortage thanks to the drought-like conditions that we’ve experienced over the last two years or so in the area.

The City of Cape Town has of course already implemented level 3B water restrictions, which essentially translates into a lot of dead lawns everywhere, as well a quite a few people in the paving industry with rather broad smiles at the moment.

The guys in the pool industry less so I would imagine.

This is of course not one of the city’s big water supply dams. It is however a duck pond near our house, which rather illustrates the problem quite nicely. More or less.

Anyway, the point of this post is to mention that I’m rather pleased with our attempts at saving water thus far.

January and February 2016 saw us use around 22 kl of water per month, whilst this time around in 2017 we’re managing with only 8 kl of water per month.

Naturally, the garden isn’t particularly happy, but we have been keeping bits alive where possible with grey water harvested from the girls’ evening bath and our shower sessions.

(If you are not familiar with the term, grey water is classified as water from baths, showers, hand basins and clothes washing machines/laundry, suitable to re-use for non consumption purposes. Toilet and kitchen sink water is classified as black water, which is obviously more of a no no).

Although we probably should have done this a lot sooner at the start of summer, Chantelle’s dad has since helped us out by rerouting the pipes leading out from the showers, washing machine and bath into a system of flexible pool cleaning pipes jutting out our walls.

Honestly, the house is looking slightly silly now, but this is certainly a hundred times more convenient than all those buckets we were carrying about! :P

City of Cape Town Tracking Black Bins General Nonsense 08 NOV 2014

I was quite pleased to see a press release coming out of the City of Cape Town saying that essentially they were starting to fit all existing 240-litre municipal wheelie bins with identification tags to ensure more efficient service provision and revenue accuracy.

The tags will allow the City to monitor each bin serviced and to identify bins that are lost, stolen, or illegally serviced without being City property (i.e. someone sneakily bought an extra bin for their property from a plastics shop and now puts double the refuse out whilst only paying for a single load.)

Apparently the City services in excess of 800 000 wheelie bins each week, and this service is provided by means of personnel, trucks and wheelie bins at a cost of almost R1 billion per annum. In rendering the service, virtually every public street in the entire municipal area is traversed each week.

Cape Town City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg had the following to say on the matter: “The tagging of bins will allow for the service of each individual bin to be monitored. This will provide the means to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness in managing labour, vehicles and services because the date, time, and location of each bin lifted will be recorded. This innovative project forms part of our commitment to creating a well-run city”.

Cool, because what that basically means is that we’re getting another large data set to start mining. Truly this is the age of Big Data, which as a software engineer needless to say excites me – however, and this excites me more, the prospect that maybe now my bin will finally stop being stolen is even better. There is nothing more annoying than watching bin pickers strolling around the town pushing bins around when you just know that some hapless bloke is going to arrive home from work that evening to find his municipal bin gone (but not with the wind).

south-africa-municipal-black-wheelie-bin

Anyway, the project will be managed by external service provider RAMM Technologies (a company currently under tender by the City and which provides services to several departments in the Utility Services Directorate) and which has been appointed by the Solid Waste Management Department’s Collections and Drop-offs Branch to perform the refuse bin identification exercise. It will see numerous crews, consisting of RAMM contracted staff, moving throughout the city in various suburbs over the next couple of months. These crews will be tagging each individual refuse bin in order to compile a geo-database of all the City’s mobile refuse bins.

For the public to easily identify these crews, RAMM crew members will be required to carry an identification card containing the following information:

  • City of Cape Town logo
  • Photograph of the crew member’s face
  • Member’s surname
  • Member’s first name/s
  • RAMM operations’ telephone number

For more information, residents can contact RAMM Technologies on 086 111 7266 or send an e-mail to ops@ramm.co.za.

Alternatively, the City can be contacted on 021 444 7127 or via e-mail to HeidiCarla.deBeer@capetown.gov.za.

Cape Town Stadium under Falcon Guard General Nonsense 09 OCT 2013

cape town stadium falcon scarlet on patrolI came across this interesting piece of news the other day – The City of Cape Town has gone and appointed a Peregrine Falcon as the official pitch protector for the Cape Town Stadium!

Essentially this is a bit of an environmentally friendly, technically non-lethal way for the stadium pitch to be kept clear of pigeons, who are the biggest obstruction when it comes to grass seeding.

Approximately 120 kg of perennial rye seed, an all-year grass cultivar, is planted monthly on the stadium pitch to repair the damage caused by sporting events and concerts. Pigeons cause the most destruction before the seeds start to germinate by consuming up to 70% of the planted seed. Consequently, the rye grass does not grow. The pigeon activity makes it difficult to keep the grass on the pitch dense – a requirement for top-quality sporting events.

The officially appointed falcon goes by the name of Scarlet, and she belongs to one Hank Chalmers, the owner of Eagle Encounters – the largest raptor rehabilitation center in Southern Africa. She was brought to the centre four years ago with a broken wing and foot after having been hit by a car. Her prospects were dire but after eight months of intense rehabilitation she was able to fly again. She will, however, never fly well enough again to hunt and survive in the wild.

Scarlet will be flown weekly at the stadium over the next six months (basically flying a lure-chase pattern created by a falconer standing in the middle of the pitch) to reinforce the presence of the predator. Thereafter, the frequency of the visits will be reduced to the level required to manage the pitch.

According to the experts, “This is a non-lethal programme. The aim is not to kill but to deter and to change the behaviour of the target species – in this case the presence of the falcon causes pigeons to adopt a new pattern of behaviour – away from the stadium. Unlike other bird-deterrent devices, the target species never becomes habituated to the presence of a live bird of prey.”

Nevertheless, I suspect there is going to be a lot of guano clean up at the stadium for the next couple of weeks, thanks to some very shit-scared pigeons flying around!