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Tourism month launches with water savings focus


A Western Cape hotel group has reduced its water consumption by more than 17% over the past year.

The Tsogo Sun hotel group has introduced a range of water-savings measures. Yesterday (4 September 2017) a visit was paid to the group’s SunSquare hotel in the Cape Town City Bowlby Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The visit marked the official start of Minister Winde’s programme for Tourism Month.

Sunsquare has put the following water savings methods in place:

  • Pressure valves on showers allow for a maximum flow of 8 litres per minute;
  • Urinal sensors;
  • Reduced pressure of hand wash basin taps;
  • Back of house shower pressure valves allow a maximum flow of up to 3 litres;
  • Extra hot water return line to provide hot water on demand;
  • Sheets and towels are not changed unless requested by guests;
  • No table cloths are used in restaurant;
  • Linen serviettes replaced by paper serviettes;
  • Building management system to alert high water usage, leaks etc.

This week the City of Cape Town instituted Level 5 restrictions and a further increase in pressure management. The upper limit of 87 litres per person and the overall target of 500 million litres per day of collective consumptions remain in place. The managers of commercial properties must, with immediate effect, ensure that their monthly consumption of the municipal supply of water is reduced by 20% compared with a year ago.

The average water level for dams across the Western Cape is 33.6%.  Dam levels were at 61% for the corresponding period last year, towards the end of the province’s usual winter rainfall period.

Tsogo Sun’s Operations Director for the Cape region, John van Rooyen says, “Tsogo Sun is committed to saving water at its properties in Cape Town. Hotels in the group have introduced several measures to save water. These include installing aerators and flow restrictors on taps as well as low pressure shower heads.
“Staff members are also constantly monitoring water usage against certain targets through newly installed dashboards. The frequency of replacing linen and towels has also been reduced.
“Guests and staff are made aware of the water-saving measures introduced at the hotels, and asked to assist with using water sparingly, through various initiatives including posters displayed in public areas as well as awareness cards containing tips on how to save water that are handed to guests on check-in. Since implementing these water-savings measures, Tsogo Sun’s hotels in the Western Cape have decreased their water consumption by approximately 17.8%, amid increased occupancy levels.”

Garry Reed, general manager at the Southern Sun The Cullinan, highlighted some of these initiatives during the visit.

Minister Winde said: “Research has found that in developing countries, tourists use between three and eight times more water than residents. We know that water is key for economic growth, and central to many tourism experiences. This is why we need the tourism sector to partner with us to conserve water.

“It is important to celebrate business leaders in water savings like Tsogo Sun. You are helping us transfer this message to tourists. By showcasing these best practices, we are urging other establishments to follow your lead. This is a crisis and we need everyone to play a role in conserving water.”

Minister Winde encouraged the sector to sign the Western Cape Government’s draft Economic Sector Water Security Declaration.

Minister Bredell said: “We are seeing the very real effects of climate change. For the past 3 years, we have experienced below average rainfall. The City of Cape Town has its plan in place, and we will be getting all municipalities on board. All high-risk municipalities will go onto level 5 water restrictions. We’re also working with geo hydrologists to manage our groundwater.

“Recovering from this crisis is not going to be easy, but if we work together we can avoid Day Zero.

“We need to showcase and share best practices like Tsogo Sun, everyone must step up and do their bit to save water.”

Throughout the month, Minister Winde will be releasing brief profiles on business leaders who are saving water.

Highlights from Minister Winde’s programme for Tourism Month include:

First Thursday focus on tourism products in partnership with Wesgro

Date: Thursday, 7 September

Venue: 142 Long Street, Cape Town CBD

Time: from 5pm onwards

Khayelitsha-based Airbnb entrepreneurs growing tourism through tech

Date: Monday, 11 September

Opening of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

Date: Thursday, 14 September

Provincial Lilizela Awards

Date: Tuesday, 19 September

Journey to Service Excellence awards

Date: Tuesday, 26 September

Viewing of new Sunsquare City Bowl hotel

Date: Wednesday, 28 September

Source: Western Cape Government

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