Tag Archives: urban management

Salt River Business Improvement District 2023 Roundup

It’s been another year of successes and tackling challenges head-on for the Salt River Business Improvement District. As part of our renewed commitment to public safety and urban cleaning and management, we persist in leading the way toward the continuous improvement of Salt River as a thriving business and residential hub.

Our CID team has increased their presence on the ground, resulting in improved statistics across the board for 2023. We’ve driven more kilometres in our patrol vehicles, engaged with more members of the public and attended to more service requests and urban defects than ever before. We’ll continue with this increased presence in the community in 2024 and the years beyond.

This year, with 51 CIDs now in operation in the City of Cape Town, the new CID by-law and policy has come into effect. Geocentric, who has now been working with city improvement district initiatives for more than 2 decades, is proud to be responsible for over 25% of the total CIDs in operation. 

In addition to taking care of the public’s safety and urban cleaning, our CID placed a focus on greening areas across Salt River in 2023. These urban beautification projects will be continued throughout 2024, in line with the goal of continuously upgrading our community. 

2023 Salt River Business Improvement District Stats

“Despite the challenges of a struggling economy, ongoing load shedding and higher fuel prices, the aim of the SRBID remained focussed on delivering top-up services to the public spaces of Salt River throughout the year,” says Gene Lohrentz of Geocentric Urban Management, tasked with the delivery of our City Improvement District services.

The SRBID Board and Geocentric management team is committed to finding innovative, efficient and cost-effective ways to continue delivering on the vision for a safer, cleaner, well-maintained and vibrant community.  We look forward to more opportunities to make a tangible difference in 2024.

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

As the festive season approaches, it is essential to prioritise safety at this time, as crime, accidents and fire hazards are usually on the rise during the holiday period.

Being mindful of potential risks and hazards can help safeguard you, your business and your property – from road safety considerations to vigilance against petty crimes in crowded business premises to more serious crimes such as hijacking and robbery. 

Along with keeping your personal safety in mind, if you are a business owner, it is imperative to be vigilant and proactive in implementing strategies that protect your assets, property and staff during the busiest time of year. 

Prevention is better than cure. That’s why we urge property and business owners to make every effort to prepare their properties, businesses, staff and themselves against opportunists and criminals with our safety tips below:

Emergency Numbers

Quick access to relevant emergency numbers can be the difference between life and death. We have compiled a comprehensive list for you to save and share for easy access to these numbers.

Once again, our 24-hour security control room is always available for your public safety emergencies.

Whatsapp group info 

If you’re interested in staying informed about our initiatives, as well as the newest developments in your improvement district, you can become a member of our SRBID business WhatsApp group by:

• Sending a WhatsApp message to 081 869 8911.

• You will need to include your Name and Surname or the name of your business

• You will need to include your street address, which should be within the boundary of the CID

• We will add you to the relevant CID Community Group

Rules and regulations for communicating will be stipulated in the group.

AGM 2023 Save the Date + spring cleaning, greening & beautifying Salt River

Mid-October, we hold our Annual General Meeting (AGM 2023) to review the year’s activities and begin our planning for 2024/25. This Spring, we have also undertaken several urban beautification projects, adding greenery and cleaning up public areas of Salt River to improve the community experience of people living in, working in and visiting our area. We also celebrate new additions to our globally renowned urban art collection. Read on for more.

SAVE THE DATE! Our AGM 2023 is coming up

All stakeholders are invited to a review of the year’s activities and planning for 2024/25.

Resolutions presented at the AGM can only be voted for by bonafide members. All non-members wishing to take part must be registered before 6 October.

View all AGM documents here.

AGM Details

Tuesday, 17 October 2023, 15:00

Conference venue at DoubleTree by Hilton, Upper Eastside, 31 Brickfield Road.

RSVP: info@srbid.co.za

Spring greening Salt River

Our Salt River Circle is one of the most used intersections of our area if not the City of Cape Town, used by many Cape Town motorists and pedestrians every single day.

For the last two years, the Salt River Business Improvement District has been working on beautifying the Salt River Circle. The fist step was to plant new beds in the open spaces of the circle with a waterwise plant. That immediately brought greenery and purple flowers to the circle.

Our next step to further beautify the traffic circle was the addition of some potted plants. We brought in eight planters that we have positioned on the inner side of the circle.

Our CID looks after these plants with the help of the City. Thanks go to City Parks, in particular to Ward Councillor Yusuf Mohamed, for providing us with a water point so that we can easily water the plants at the circle, which is key to the success of the upgrade of the circle and ongoing beautification of our district.

A new mural added to the Salt River street art collection

Salt River has developed into one of Cape Town’s best-known hubs for street art, where homeowners, business owners and developers have decorated large portions of their buildings with beautiful artwork in the form of urban murals. The IPAF international public art festival, recognising the legacy of wonderful urban art in the area, has contributed significantly to this development over the last few years.

New additions to our urban artwork is very welcome. It often bears the expression of the hopes and dreams of our society, in a philosophical and uplifting way that encourages others to express themselves creatively through art and to live in a more open-minded and accepting way, as well as simply adding beauty and art to our area, and further drawing visitors to come and appreciate the art.

At the same time as rejecting the negative scourge of graffiti – differentiated from urban art as illegal and unwanted tagging and slogans being sprayed onto public infrastructure that we as the SRBID remove on a regular basis – our CID patrol officers and staff also monitor and protect the urban art from being vandalised.

This new mural below is ‘Herstory’ by Creative Yeti and can be found at 45 Yew Street.

New mural in Salt River: 'Herstory' by Creative Yeti at 45 Yew Street, Cape Town

New CID By-law Policy

The new CID by-law policy came into effect from 1 July, which serves “To provide for the establishment of City Improvement Districts; to provide for additional rates; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.”

The City of Cape Town’s by-law and policy regarding the establishment and management of City Improvement Districts has gone through several iterations over the years since the concept of a CID was first tested in the year 2000.

The latest revisions of the by-law and policy comes as more than 50 CIDs are now in operation.

The by-law is available to download online here at openbylaws.org.za.

Logging a service request with the City

You too can assist with urban management and the growing number of faults and service requests that the City and WID deal with on a daily basis. By reporting water and electricity faults and other maintenance requirements such as potholes, missing road signs or blocked stormwater drains, through the correct channels, we and the City are able to attend to these service requests and log their status in an effective way.

There are multiple channels through which you can do this – the easiest being the online portal at capetown.gov.za/servicerequests, which is also now available in the City of Cape Town mobile app.

View all the steps to log a service request on the flyers below.

Are You Ready to Go with the Cape Town Winter Flow? Essential Tips for a Smooth Season + Loadshedding Updates from the City

As the chilly and wet winter season approaches, it’s time to prepare ourselves for the unique challenges and delights that it brings.

From the brisk air to the rain-soaked streets, Cape Town winter demands our attention and readiness. Here, we explore practical tips to help you navigate the winter months with ease. From maintaining your home and business’ functionality to prioritising safety on the roads, these essential suggestions will ensure you’re well-prepared to go with the flow this winter. Let’s dive in and discover how to make the most of the wet season while keeping everything running smoothly.

Cape Town winter readiness tips

Are You Ready to Go with the Winter Flow?

Clear the Clutter from Your Gutter
Keep your gutters in optimal condition by ensuring they are undamaged, securely attached to your building, and free from any branches.

Shine A Little Light
Combat the winter darkness by checking your outdoor lights. Make sure they are waterproof, functioning properly, and free from obstructions.

Trim Your Trees
Give your trees the care they deserve. Trim any dead, diseased, or damaged branches to prevent breakage during storms.

Stop the Slip
Create a safe environment by adding doormats, anti-slip coatings, and slip grip strips to stairs and slippery tiles, reducing the risk of accidents.

Clean Your Cameras
Maintain clear visibility by cleaning the lenses of your cameras. Remove dust particles that can cause a muddy mess when it rains.

Be Reliably Roadworthy
Ensure the safety and punctuality of your employees by keeping your vehicle fleet in top shape. Check headlights, rear and brake lights, tyre tread, and windshield wipers.

Protect Our Pedestrians
Promote pedestrian safety by encouraging your staff to wear bright reflective clothing and to drive with caution on the roads.

Report and Respond
Take action when needed. Report instances of flooding or blocked drains through www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests or the Call Centre on 0860 103 089. Power outages can be reported via SMS to 31220 or email power@capetown.gov.za. In case of emergencies, dial 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone to reach the Public Emergency Communication Centre.
Read more: Are You Ready to Go with the Cape Town Winter Flow? Essential Tips for a Smooth Season + Loadshedding Updates from the City

City Update: Top new load-shedding trends impacting Cape Town’s neighbourhoods

Constant load-shedding at high stages and the Cape Town winter demand is bringing new load-shedding-related trends to the fore while some existing impacts.  

‘The City is closely monitoring the Eskom situation. There are new trends caused by load-shedding that are having an impact on neighbourhoods and in some cases, existing load-shedding impacts have worsened. There is a lot of pressure on our energy teams on the ground. Not only are the same teams doing all the load-shedding-related work in addition to the normal maintenance and repairs, but due to the long outages per day, the window in which to effect repairs has also been halved. This is impacting services and we thank customers for understanding that we are in an extraordinary situation and all of our teams, across City departments in fact, will continue to do their best to assist residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.  

Impact of load-shedding and new trends

  1. Shorter-than-scheduled load-shedding: With the non-stop Eskom load-shedding at high stages, especially Stage 6 load-shedding, Eskom is sometimes ‘over-shedding’. It must then suddenly move to a lower stage to prevent system instability. The change is so abrupt, that it is impossible to communicate timeously. Unfortunately, the City does not have control over this.
  2. Overloading of the system due to peak-time demand spikes between 16:00 and 21:00: Geysers, pool pumps, uninterrupted power supplies and other electrical equipment left on when the power goes off for load-shedding all come back on at the same time when load-shedding is over. This overloads the system so areas can’t be switched on at the same time. What makes the situation even worse, where network trips after a load-shedding cycle, the City cannot assume it is due to overloading of the network. The network must be physically inspected for damage, theft or vandalism and it is thus extra time consuming to restore the supply. 
  3. Protecting the grid by switching on in phases: To prevent large area outages, the City is now switching power back on in phases. This means the City is making full use of the switching window it has. As an example: shedding takes place between 20:00 and 22:00 with a window of approximately 30 minutes to switch everyone back on, provided it can be done without harming the power grid.
  1. Increase in very short notice of load-shedding changes and many changes in a day (or even an hour!): The City will continue to do its best to provide information as timeously as possible on its social media pages and website.
  2. City protection stretched: The City tries to provide up to two stages of load-shedding protection where feasible. At the high stages of load-shedding, it becomes more challenging. Over weekends, when the demand is lower, the City often sheds close to the same stage as Eskom to build reserves for the week ahead. It does the maintenance of the Steenbras plant too.
  3. Service requests spike and delays: Often a fault takes longer to repair as teams have to wait for the end of load-shedding before work can be completed. This might add a few hours to the request. Also, where we previously had a 24-hour window for repairs under normal circumstances, with higher load-shedding intervals, the window has shrunk to 10 or less hours a day to do the same repairs with the same staff in half the time. This is leading to backlogs.
  4. Storm-related damage on top of load-shedding-related outages placing pressure on teams.
  5. More household electrical appliance damage due to power surges when the power comes back on after load-shedding: This happens when electrical appliances are not switched off prior to the power coming back on. This is most evident where home installations do not have surge protection devices fitted and it is recommended that all consumers utilise registered electrical contractors to fit such surge protection devices.
  6. Reduced planned maintenance: To avoid further inconvenience for the public and also due to the stretched capacity of our staff, planned maintenance is suspended during elevated levels of load-shedding resulting in a build-up of maintenance backlog.  This will have an impact on the distribution network beyond load-shedding.
  7. Vandalism and theft increase: Load-shedding creates a window of opportunity for vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure. Residents are reminded to remain vigilant and report incidents. The City offers a R5 000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

We leave some streetlights on to deter vandals and criminals. The cost of leaving the lights on are minuscule compared with the cost of replacing the damaged infrastructure. City teams and law enforcement monitors hotspots but the situation is intense.

Report incidents by:

SMS: 31220

Email: power@capetown.gov.za

  1. Increased violence against City teams: Assaults and robberies of teams on the ground often affects repair work.

Explainer: What happens when Eskom declares a certain stage of load-shedding?

  • The City and Eskom’s electricity control rooms remain in contact. The City’s control room is staffed 24/7.
  • Once Eskom has declared a particular stage, and the City’s control room has been notified, the City demand is determined, and depending on the Eskom stage, how much protection the City is able to offer through its Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme. The City aims to protect by up to two stages where possible, especially in the lower stages of load-shedding. Areas are switched remotely as per the schedule from the network control centre. Each area is switched remotely from a substation in that area. If there is a problem with the switching, operators need to be physically dispatched to resolve the issue. Although there is a central system for switching, it cannot be applied in all areas due to the configuration of the grid and also exclusions that apply, such as for hospitals.
  • This City’s electricity generation plan is conveyed to the communication team who writes up the new notice as fast as possible and sends it to the City’s social media channels and the City’s website for publication, day and night, and over weekends.
  • Sometimes, there are some communication delays for instance if the City is awaiting the declaration from Eskom or if there are changes in the middle of the night.
  • Sometimes, alerts must be revised a couple of times due to the Eskom situation changing multiple times in a short space of time.
traffic lights cape town out

Important tips

  • Communication and connectivity: keep devices charged, find out which parts of the metro will have power
  • A family plan: Staying in touch with our vulnerable friends and families; children, learners, teachers, elderly, those living on their own requiring assistance
  • A work plan for health and safety and productivity: reducing the number of people having to travel and occupy an office; how to keep operations safe 
  • Keep cash at hand
  • Keep fuel in the car  
  • Store medications and perishable items safely
  • Secure your property and business 
  • Support your local Neighbourhood Watch 
  • Follow the City’s social media pages
  • Private travel and public commuting: check the impact of load-shedding
  • Congestion and traffic: Treat intersections where the lights are out as four-way stops

Progress of other components of the load-shedding protection plan:

  • City’s biggest power tender, a 500 MW dispatchable energy tender issued on 6 April 2023.
  • Phase 1 of the 200 MW renewable energy from IPPs tender: Contracts for this phase remain on track for final awarding within 2023.
  • Power Heroes Programme tender: Process for the awarding of contracts under way. This is an initiative to unlock incentives for residents through third parties for voluntary energy savings, which will entail automated remote switching off of power-intensive devices at peak times.
  • Cash for Power feed-in tariff increased by 10,15% for 2023/24, plus 25c per kWh incentive: Cape Town is the first city in the country to offer households and businesses cash for their excess rooftop solar power.

First quarter 2023 updates & meet our Salt River Business Improvement District manager

2023 is well underway and as we embark on a year that promises to elevate our Salt River Business Improvement District to new levels, we’d like to introduce you to our manager and provide some essential reminders and updates from SRBID and the City.

Meet our Salt River Business Improvement District manager!

Continue reading First quarter 2023 updates & meet our Salt River Business Improvement District manager

Salt River Business Improvement District 2022 roundup & safety tips for the holiday season

2022 has been a year for celebrating successes for Salt River Business Improvement District and tackling new and ongoing challenges. We renew our commitment to providing top-up services to the City of Cape Town with a special focus on public safety, urban cleaning and management, continuing to lead the charge in the continual improvement of Salt River as a residential and business area.

As we round up 2022 following our recent AGM held in November, we recap on the year’s work, successes and statistics.

Salt River Business Improvement District’s achievements of the last year are a testament to the team’s commitment, experience and increased on-the-ground presence  –  led by the capable hands of Geocentric, who have been working with city improvement district initiatives since 2001 and responsible for a total of thirteen of Cape Town’s improvement districts from Salt River through to Strand, Tyger Valley and Wynberg.

“The rollercoasting aftermath of Covid lockdowns steadily calmed down in 2022, yet conditions remained difficult as significant increases in the cost of living and the continuous challenges of load-shedding remained at the forefront,” says Gene Lohrentz, director of Geocentric.

“In the face of these new challenges, the Salt River board and management team have remained steadfast in our commitment to providing high-quality top-up services in Salt River. Embracing and implementing adaptability into our vision now seems entrenched in our day-to-day operations as well as our strategic thinking.”

2022 Salt River Business Improvement District stats

Stay safe this festive season

From increased fire hazards in Cape Town to countrywide holiday travel to seasonal crime spikes, there are many reasons to up our vigilance these summer months and to take the necessary precautions to stay safe.

Home and Work Checklist for Fire Safety

  • Ember-proofing any area, requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to staff and run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • If you have access to water, wet the roof and gutters to stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short as possible as it helps slow the fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around that are regularly maintained and train your staff on how to use them safely and correctly.

Safety Tips To Prevent Property Crime

  • Ensure your property can be secured properly. This includes checking all locks, gates, doors, windows and roller shutters.
  • Ensure there are no gaps in your fence or perimeter wall or unintentional points of access to your business or home that may need additional security.
  • Make sure all bushes or trees close to your walls, gates and fences are trimmed, to avoid the possibility of intruders hiding or using them to access your property.
  • Adequate lighting around the perimeter of your property acts as a good deterrent
  • Connecting outdoor lights to timers and motion sensors act as an additional deterrent.
  • Have an alarm installed by a reputable security company with armed response.
  • The key to effective security lies in being able to detect a potential intruder before they gain access. Adding detection beams and sensors of electrical fences vastly contributes to property security
  • Ensure your alarm is in working order. Business and property owners should test their alarms at least once a month and should the system require servicing this should be arranged as early as possible.
  • Please ensure that all the key holder information is available and ensure that key holders are available and able to come out to the property should the alarm activate, and checking be required.
  • Don’t leave ladders, spades or tools outside as these can be excellent break-in tools.
  • Ensure that remote controls for automatic gates and garage doors are not left lying around.
  • Always be alert to vehicles or persons following you into your entrance or the parking area.

Road safety tips

  • Check your vehicle before travelling long distances  –  including tyre tread and pressure, oil and water, wind-screen wipers, headlights and brakelights and ensure your spare tyre, jack and emergency warning triangle are all intact and stored in your vehicle
  • Leave early to be prepared for road congestion during busy periods
  • Take breaks to avoid road fatigue which can cause accidents
  • Be aware of pedestrians particularly when passing broken down vehicles or public transport
  • Never drink and drive

Read more

Contact details

As the year draws to a close we remind you once again of our important contact details to report emergencies and incidents.

For Public Safety Emergencies contact our 24-hour control room

  • 021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

Emergency numbers

  • 10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)
  • 107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

City Of Cape Town

  • General Enquiries: 0860 103 089 – Sms 31220 (Electricity)
  • Cable Theft: 0800 222 771
  • Roads And Storm Water: 0800 656 463 – Sms 31373
  • Metro Police & Traffic: 0860 765 423

Visit our Contact page for more details and  capetown.gov.za for more City of Cape Town Emergency Numbers.

Join our WhatsApp Community Group

If you are curious about the work we do and want to stay up to date with the latest developments in your improvement district, you will be able to join our SRBID business WhatsApp group by:

• Sending a WhatsApp message to 081 869 8911

• You will need to include your Name and Surname or the name of your business

• You will need to include your street address which should be within the boundary of the Salt River Business Improvement District

• We will add you to the Salt River Business Improvement District Community Group

Rules and regulations for communicating will be stipulated in the group.

Illegal Dumping: What It Is and How to Stop It

Did you know? That annually over 180 000 tons of waste are cleared from illegal dumping hot spots! That costs the city, and you as the taxpayer, a staggering R350 million a year just in clean-up. In other words, cleaning illegal dumping costs 20 times more than collecting waste from wheelie bins. That is why to create a clean, healthy and safe community we take our work tackling illegal dumping very seriously. 

“Illegal dumping is a severe problem that puts our community at risk of injury and illness and pollutes our ecosystem. In addition, illegal dumpsites can serve as magnets for other criminal activities,” says Gene Lohrentz, CEO of the urban management company, Geocentric

Here is what we have learnt when it comes to illegal dumping. 

What is illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping is the disposal of unwanted materials in inappropriate places. Be it household rubbish, building waste or industrial debris, improper disposal has disastrous effects on the environment, economy and community.

Our teams are dedicated to cleaning our community and have cleaned thousands of cases of illegal dumping in the last year!

Protecting Property Values

Our daily work with the City of Cape Town’s (COCT) Solid Waste By-law Enforcement Unit protects our district from plummeting property values. By cleaning, we keep our community member’s properties safe by preventing pest issues, blocked storm drains and plastic pollution.  

Clean streets don’t just look great, they also improve the value of properties. The study ‘Value of cleaner neighbourhoods’ found that residents will pay up to 57% more to live in a clean neighbourhood. By being part of the solution business owners can help protect and even increase the market value of their property and make their establishments more inviting for customers. 

Protecting Public Health 

Vermin are attracted to dump sites making these sites sources of disease and infection. Anyone near a dump site risks getting sick both from the hazardous materials dumped and from the diseases spread by rats. These diseases aren’t only formidable – they’re often fatal. Rat urine is responsible for diseases like Leptospirosis ( causing kidney and liver damage) and Hantavirus, a debilitating viral bronchial disease. Rats also gnaw at cables, transformers and electrics causing expensive damage to businesses.

By cleaning up this waste before it attracts vermin, we put a stop to these health hazards before they happen. 

Preventing Floods 

Water sustains life, but it can also cause widespread destruction, as we saw during the recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. As our most precious and essential resource we must treasure it – for if we don’t, we will suffer. 

Illegal dumping is a terrifying threat to the water management of our district. When it rains, excess litter is swept into drains and sewers, blocking them and causing trash flash floods. Flooding, and the infrastructure damage it causes, puts immense pressure on emergency services when they are needed most.

To make sure our city can handle the rain we collect all dumping regularly and clean the stormwater drains as part of our winter preparedness programme. 

Pulverizing Plastic Pollution

A large percentage of waste illegally dumped is plastic. We are well aware that its consequences are far-reaching, but we are tackling this challenge too. When possible, we sort the waste and recycle what we can instead of sending it all to a landfill. By sorting recyclables, we help reduce the waste in our waterways and create employment opportunities. 

We understand it’s almost impossible to recycle all waste. However, we also know that big things have small beginnings. We all make small changes to bring about positive collective transformation.  Where possible, we must all take the opportunity to recycle.

How You Can Help Combat Illegal Dumping?

The COCT provides the tools necessary to crack down on illegal dumping and needs citizens to get involved. By reporting dumping you help the City make improvements and encourage others to do the same. Plus, it’s an easy way to beautify your neighbourhood and help keep it safe.

Although the issue is vast, if we all play our part together, we can create a greener, cleaner future for ourselves and future generations.

If you spot something, say something!

To report illegal dumping in your community:

  • Call 0860 103 089 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za. 
  • If you have the culprit’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her you can shortcut the process and call 021 400 6157

Contact details: 

If you have any safety concerns to report, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

Trial By Fire – Fire Safety In Cape Town’s Summer

Cape Town fires 2021. Source: Associated Press.

Cape Town’s fire season occurs from November through to May which are our hottest, and driest months. Together with our beloved south-easterly “Cape Doctor” – which adores clearing our city of pollution – these arid conditions create ideal opportunities for wildfires to spark and quickly rage out of control. 

From our homes and businesses to our beloved Table Mountain National Park, there are various organisations in place to manage fire safety and intervene both to avoid fires and to control them when they happen. 

It’s true that fires are a part of the South African landscape and occur naturally in grasslands, woodlands, fynbos, and sometimes in indigenous forests. However, there has been a disastrous loss of natural diversity in our fynbos ecosystem and an invasion of Australian wattles, Eucalypts and Mediterranean pines. Now, our fires burn hotter for longer and each fire destroys more than the last. Meaning it’s more important now than ever to actively keep your home, family and business safe and to protect the life and value they hold. 

Home and Work Checklist for Fire Safety

  • Ember-proofing any area, requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to staff and run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • If you have access to water, wet the roof and gutters to stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short as possible as it helps slow the fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around that are regularly maintained and train your staff on how to use them safely and correctly.

Other interventions that you can implement on a larger scale include considering your construction materials if you are remodelling and supplementing them for fire-resistant alternatives. You should also ensure full continued compliance with all local and national fire safety codes and think about installing fire protection systems such as overhead sprinklers. 

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, a fire can happen to any size business at any time. That is why protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority. Following the above steps will help you avoid any fires breaking out and minimise fire-related damages. While there may be no such thing as truly “fireproof,” these guidelines are an excellent starting point for safeguarding your business. 

Additional Resources

Preventing fires in the Western Cape

City of Cape Town  –  Basic Household Fire Safety

Fire is Everyone’s Fight Toolkit of guidelines and posters with lesson plans

Sanparks  –  Fire management / Table Mountain National Park Fire Management Plan

Contact information for  the Fire and Rescue Service Department

24-hour emergencies: 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)

General fire safety enquiries: 021 590 1971 / 021 590 1975

To report a fire : Hotline: 086 110 6417 or The City’s Regional Fire Control No: (021) 590 1900

Welcoming a new year, new challenges and new triumphs

As we charge into 2022, there is undeniable trepidation surrounding the new challenges and triumphs the year will bring. This year we will continue to create an urban ecosystem that is safe, accessible and inviting to all the workers, visitors and community members of our district. As in years before, we are unwavering in our commitment to the property and business owners of our area and intend to consolidate and elevate our services based on the successes of last year.  

In 2022 we strive to:  

  • Create a safe and clean public environment by addressing issues of maintenance and by cleaning our streets, pavements and public spaces.  
  • Increase public safety through proactive visible patrolling and by supporting the efforts of the SAPS, City of Cape Town and private security providers.  
  • Manage existing and new public infrastructure for the future benefit of our community members.   
  • Decrease property-related crime to protect community members through our security-related partnerships and to protect property values to attract new investment to the area.  
  • Support the promotion of the businesses in our area by implementing urban greening, promoting energy efficiency initiatives, widening our recycling networks and bettering our risk and disaster management services.  
  • Support and promote social responsibility in the area and assist with the management and upliftment of people living on the streets.  
  • Encourage the maintenance and upgrading of private properties and public spaces in the area. 

We believe in the heart of our institution that the challenges we face are not insurmountable. 

Together with the City of Cape Town, our partners, outreach initiatives and local business owners, we will continue to strive towards reinvigorating our urban environment. Ultimately, together we can create a stable, safe, clean area that is prosperous for our community both economically and socially.  

Headlines from the City  

The City of Cape Town warns to be aware of scammers posing as electricity officials to gain access to your wallet and home. All officials will have an identification card with the City logo, with their name and surname and a photo. If you have any doubts call the COCT on 0860 103 089 to confirm their ID and work order number. 

The City of Cape Town urges their suppliers to be cautious of fake Request for Quotation (RFQ) emails sent to them as if it is being sent from the City. Please report any suspicious emails to the City for further investigation.  

Struggling to pay your rates and taxes? The City of Cape Town has a wide range of financial relief options available. To learn more, click here.   

Top 10 Tips To Keep Your Store Safe This Festive Season

While many of us see the festive season as a time to kick back and relax, for the retail sector it is the busiest time of the year. With high volumes of high-value stock, seasonal staff and more capital flowing through our premises than any other time of the year staying safe is a definite priority. 

Maintaining visibility throughout your store, being alert to suspicious activity and taking precautions during the opening and closing of your facility are excellent places to start. However, there is more you can do to keep yourself, your business and your employees safe this festive season. 

10 Things To Keep Your Store Safe:

  1. Suspicious vehicles  – Be vigilant of what is around your business, especially at opening and closing times.
  2. Suspicious persons – People who intend to shoplift often wear inappropriate clothing for the weather – such as heavy coats during hot days.
  3. Be prepared for a crisis – Having a list of emergency numbers clearly visible means your employees know who to call in an emergent situation.
  4. Be prepared for crime – Placing static panic buttons in strategic areas of your store, like in the cash office, storeroom, or under the till register can help employees call for help in armed robbery scenarios.
  5. Shine a light – Keep the premises well-lit, both inside and out, especially at night so that patrols and security can clearly see potential intruders. 
  6. Travel together – Two or more staff members should leave the premises together at the end of shifts.
  7. Stay visible – Use a clearly public entrance to the business and avoid any secluded entry points not covered by surveillance cameras.
  8. Clean your cameras – Make sure all individuals can be clearly identified by the cameras as the video footage assists the SAPS with investigations.
  9. Test your cameras – Inspect your CCTV cameras regularly, ensuring they are fully functioning without any blind spots.
  10. Deposit cash ASAP – Do not keep a large amount of cash inside the store and change your pattern of banking to avoid being tracked and targeted. 

Sustainable security is a balance between a safety-conscious employee culture, a properly equipped property and employers who prioritise creating a safe working experience. Letting your customers and staff know that you care about their safety this busy season will make your customers feel safe and your staff feel valued – both of which boost your confidence and your bottom line. 

If you have any safety concerns to share, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

How to Prepare Your Property For the Festive Season

After a challenging 2021, filled with great uncertainty and change globally, many of us are looking forward to wrapping things up for a well deserved holiday with family and friends. Ensuring that your property is secure and your business protected is the best Christmas gift you can give yourself and will give you the peace of mind that will allow you to relax and recuperate. 

Here are our top tips to keep your property safe so you can enjoy the merry season: 

Protecting Your Property:

  1. Ensure you have an alarm – Have an alarm installed by a reputable security company that you trust. Effective alarm systems include armed response services, detection beams, window sensors and electric fences.  
  1. Make sure that your alarm system is working – This includes checking that the backup battery works by doing a final test with your security company. 
  1. Do a thorough physical perimeter check – Ensure there are no access points, such as gaps in the fence, that intruders could enter through.
  1. Check your access points – Make sure that all doors, gates, windows, locks, security bars and roller shutters are in proper working condition and properly locked when you leave the premises.  
  1. Remove potential tools – All wooden pallets, tires and other items that could be used to breach the perimeter of your property must be stored away and all trees and bushes must be trimmed to ensure possible intruders can’t hide in them. 
  1. Collect all keys – All copies of keys, access cards and remote controls for gates and garage doors that are not in use during your absence must be handed in and secured.
  1. Check your emergency contact – The emergency contact number should be for someone with access to ALL entry points of the property. Their contact details should be displayed on the outside of the property for emergency services to contact them in case of fire, theft or crisis. 
  1. Be prepared for an emergency – Keep a list of emergency service providers such as a plumber, electrician and general contractor handy. You should also phone them and get the details of the appropriate staff that will be on call during the festive holidays.
  1. Do your banking beforehand – Do not leave any valuable items or cash on the premises if they cannot be properly secured. 
  1. Install adequate exterior lighting – This serves both as a deterrent and to help authorities catch suspicious persons lurking near your property. Connecting outdoor lights to timers and motion sensors can also help you save on your power bill.
  1. Check the lights – All exterior lights should be in working order as they are a deterrent to criminals and essential for the detection of a potential intruder by security. 
  1. Do your CCTV camera maintenance – If you have CCTV cameras on your premises, ensure they are placed strategically with no blind spots and have been inspected and that their backup batteries are in proper working condition. 

Prevention is better than cure, and we urge all property owners to make every effort to properly prepare for the coming weeks. After a challenging year for all, we sincerely hope that you can rest easy in the knowledge that we will be working through the festive season to keep your homes and businesses safe. 

To share your story with us and stand a chance to be featured in one of our future newsletters email us at media@geocentric.co.za.

If you have any safety concerns to share, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

To contact the City of Cape Town 

Please use the City’s Customer Services call centre to request a service or query your account. You will receive a reference number that you can use to track the request. The best option is to use the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za and select ‘Service Requests’ on the home page, then follow instructions and capture each location as a separate request. The service selections and location determine to which department the request is routed by the system.

You can also send an email to the call centre contactus@capetown.gov.za for each request stating the request, location, complainant’s name, complainant’s contact details and any additional comments. 

You can also SMS 31373 (Maximum 160 characters) OR Call 086 010 3089

To report

Street People

  • Call 0800 872 201

Illegal dumping

Traffic or Taxi issues

  • Call 021 596 1999 or 0860 765 423

Drugs

  • Send an email to Drug.stop@capetown.gov.za
  • For drug treatment and support contact the City’s toll-free helpline on 0800 43 57 48 (0800 HELP 4 U).

Illegal Activity

  • Contact Law Enforcement/Metro Police on 0860 765 423 or 107

Emergency

  • In a life or property threatening situation…
  • Call 107 from a landline or 112 from a cell phone or 021 480 7700

Water and Sanitation related complaints (Burst pipe, water outage, blocked drain, etc.)

Faulty water management devices

Water restriction violation

Solid Waste Department

  • Call centre: 0860 103 089
  • Email: wastewise@capetown.gov.za

Electricity

Faults and enquiries

  • Call centre: 0860 103 089
  • Email: faultreporting.centre@capetown.gov.za
  • SMS: 31220