KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba 2018 to Address Pressing Topics

The annual KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba, to be held on the 22nd August 2018 at the ICC in Durban, South Africa is a revered platform for assembling provincial manufacturers and businesses to explore growth opportunities, uncover the latest manufacturing incentives and trends, as well as to network and collaborate with relevant contacts vested in the sector. The event has announced its agenda which includes a dynamic offering of engaging sessions discussing a range of thought-provoking topics, amongst which are the 4th Industrial Revolution, maximising the market for manufacturers and accessing new markets for manufacturers.

The conference will host forums on the 4th Industrial Revolution and its implication on manufacturing units within the sector. Well-versed industry leaders will impart their knowledge of opportunity development and management of threats whilst proactively implementing strategies to fortify competitive advantage and boost profits through the digitalisation of manufacturing operations. Panel discussions focused on this theme have been devised to educate both small and large manufacturers on the relevance that Industry 4.0 has to every company, thereby empowering manufacturing facilities to improve their innovation tactics and consequently their bottom-line.

A focussed session will delve into how industry players in the sector can thrive by maximising the manufacturing market making use of government grant incentives. Various tools are available to support industrialists in this endeavour and will be thoroughly unpacked, while a greater understanding of how government can contribute to the success of such firms though various incentives, investment opportunities and financial solutions will also be explored.

Moreover, forums have been set up to educate players of the manufacturing domain about the various financing opportunities available to them. These dialogues will explore funding options to encourage investment in South Africa’s manufacturing facilities, assisting them to initiate and execute potential projects. Numerous conditions are required to be met by candidates in order for businesses to gain access to funding initiatives and these panels will serve as platforms to inform potential applicants thereof.

The Conference programme offers a stage for robust discussion and debate on the everchanging nature of the manufacturing landscape which deems acquiring constant access to emerging markets essential. Managing these changes requires a thorough understanding of economic trends that will have a significant impact on manufacturers. Furthermore, forums led by industry experts will unpack prevalent growth opportunities in the small business manufacturing environment and how these smaller enterprises ultimately enable the accelerated growth of larger, more established manufacturing units.

The productivity debate is a pertinent topic within the manufacturing industry. Adopting technology, cultivating talent across the generations and encouraging skills acquisition are fundamental factors to enhancing productivity rates within the sector. Implementation of such strategies will be explored in detail to encourage manufacturers to grow their establishments and create a competitive edge that will see them at the forefront of the industry.

The KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba is where industry players converge to discuss prevailing and future concerns whilst acquiring access to relevant networks, content and ideas that empower individuals and manufacturing units to prosper in this highly competitive sector. The event represents the ultimate marketplace for practical educational opportunities that help industry professionals discover what incentives are available from the Province and government to support KwaZulu-Natal manufacturers in growing their businesses, thereby striving to contribute to South Africa’s manufacturing economy in its entirety.


The annual KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba will be hosted at Durban ICC , Durban on the 22 August 2018. The aim of the Manufacturing Indaba 2018 and its provincial roadshows is to focus on and boost the growth potential of key industry sectors, namely: automotive, construction, metals, forestry, paper & packaging, chemicals, aerospace & defence, industry products and services, and to provide a platform for informative and interactive sessions with the prime movers of the nation’s manufacturing sectors.


Master Builders South Africa Condemns Illegal and Violent Demands for Construction Work

Following confirmed reports of violent intimidation and harassment of its members and their employees by mafia-style business forums on construction sites in KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country, Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) – the country’s federation of construction companies – has been alerted of new reports of similar incidents by forums that have now organised themselves in Gauteng.

MBSA Executive Director, Roy Mnisi says the federation is gravely concerned about the spread of this trend to other provinces and has called for the country’s law enforcement agencies to assist in bringing sanity to the sector.

He explains that the forums’ modus operandi is to demand 30% of the entire construction contract price while claiming to be fulfilling government’s mantra of radical economic transformation. “This is being done without regard for the fact that main contractors may have already subcontracted a proportion of the work that often far exceeds 30% of the contract to SMMEs and/or black contractors.”

Due to the often-violent nature of these incidents, construction companies have been forced to delay work on affected projects, escalating their cost and rendering workers on such sites redundant for long periods on end, as efforts are made to deal with these forums.

Mnisi adds that the MBSA is committed to transforming the sector and to providing more support to emerging contractors, but emphasises that the violent and criminal nature of these disruptions has no place in a progressive economy. He warns that the use of violence, intimidation and harassment will only reverse the gains made to date in giving a legitimate voice to the call for transforming the industry.

“As a federation of employers in the building industry, we represent over 4000 members – the vast majority of which are small and medium-sized construction companies. They are sub-contracted at various levels in these major construction projects and, despite having scheduled their work accordingly, now often find themselves idle when work on sites is suspended,” says Mnisi.

In 2016, when similar incidents were reported in KwaZulu-Natal, MBSA engaged the local forums. All parties agreed on a roadmap for transformation and committed to continued and non-violent engagement, amongst other concessions. However, Mnisi shares some challenges experienced in managing the forums’ demands: “With the forums being numerous and, in some instances, not formalised, discussions with some of them sometimes achieve very little, if anything at all. Transformation is a very legitimate issue that must be addressed, but as an industry we are now at risk of losing the traction that we have gained if these incidents are allowed to fester and if we allow members of our communities to embark on illegal activities under the guise of pursuing radical economic transformation.”

He urges all genuine built environment-related business forums to engage MBSA and other legitimate voluntary associations in the sector to work together and find sustainable and lawful ways of addressing the imbalances of the past.

“As a federation, we require all MBSA members to comply with all BBBEE-related laws, Procurement Regulations and the Sector Charter Codes. We are working with our members to ensure speedy transformation of the sector. In 2016 a pledge was made in the form of a Transformation Declaration which commits all our members to programmes for sustainable and meaningful socio-economic transformation of the sector through skills development and wider economic participation. Through this Declaration, we have rolled out a Small Builders Development programme that provides support to largely black contractors. We have also been actively engaging relevant parties and secured commitments on behalf of our emerging-contractor members regarding Preferential Procurement Regulations and late/non-payment issues, because we realise the impact of such matters on small/medium sized construction companies,” concludes Mnisi.

The issue of on-site intimidation by business forums, along with others affecting the industry, will be addressed at the MBSA’s upcoming Congress in Port Elizabeth.

Master Builders South Africa is a federation of registered employer associations representing contractors and employers in the South African construction industry. For more information contact Mr Roy Mnisi on 011205900 or visit

Changing Landscaping Habits – Cape Town’s Day Zero threat to change landscaping habits says Easigrass

As dam levels in the Western Cape hover at around 20 percent, the water crisis in the Eastern Cape deepens and KwaZulu-Natal continues with its own water restrictions, home owners and businesses need to completely rethink their lifestyles and water usage habits for the long term, according to Herve (Trigger)Truniger, the national accounts manager for Easigrass South Africa.

As one of the Western Cape residents counting down to day zero when the taps run dry in the Mother City, he believes that South Africans will never look at water the same way again.

As day zero looms, residents have been urged to reduce their water usage from the already low 50 litres (13 gallons) of water per person, per day in an effort to secure what little reserves are left.

According to Truniger, in contrast, the average American uses 378 litres of water per day. That means 90 second showers, one toilet flush, one tooth brushing and two bottles of water to drink for Capetonians. Their US counterparts can indulge in 20 minute showers, flush the loo five times, brush their teeth at least twice and drink a minimum of five bottles of water.

Even in Canada and Europe, people are using eight times as much water has those living in Cape Town.

There’s no mention of luxuries like landscaping and gardening.

Yet, he believes it’s still possible to enjoy living in a beautiful urban environment in a water scarce country – provided that gardeners realise that there could be further day zeros to come if they don’t change their habits.

“We believe that drought friendly landscaping is critical when it comes to saving water. Many municipalities are still imposing stringent water restrictions with massive penalties for those overstepping their water usage allowances. In Cape Town, we have already been told to prepare for similar water constraints next summer, especially if there is not adequate winter rainfall. Droughts are cyclical and, in a country where water is in short supply and the population is growing, dry periods are likely to return more and more often,” he warns.

He admits that it has been alarming to watch lawns and plants dying and looks forward to both homeowners and businesses being able to replant and restore green areas.

“However, in the green space, landscapers and homeowners must seek alternatives such as laying artificial turf rather than replanting water guzzling lawns which they will need to replant again and again as droughts return. Artificial grass is not only aesthetically pleasing but means you can keep pace with inevitable water tariff increases, reduce overall garden maintenance costs whilst still saving water. It’s a win win,” he says.

Easigrass, the world’s leading artificial grass brand, is based in the United Kingdom and has been researching, developing and designing artificial grass for over 30 years. Recognized by horticultural and design associations across the world, it’s the geo-friendly alternative for gardens, playgrounds, sports facilities, balconies, rooftops, pools or interiors.

On home soil, Easigrass is backed by Van Dyck Floors which applies the same high international standards when it comes to quality, design excellence, product back up and guarantees.

Because European and South African grasses are completely different, Easigrass South Africa has researched, designed and launched nine artificial grasses that resemble popular local varieties. This means that Easigrass blends with indigenous and drought tolerant plants to produce attractive contemporary outdoor areas.

Although switching to Easigrass means an upfront investment, this will quickly be offset by reduced water bills and savings on garden services, mowing, fertilisers and weed killers. It will also ultimately provide safe and healthy areas for pets and children to play whilst improving drainage and layout of your garden.

Easigrass is fully perforated and, if installed with the correct base work, the water will drain through and penetrate the soil through the crusher dust base which is made from organic material and compacted. Easigrass is also fully recyclable.

“Your Easigrass investment, if installed correctly, will last you 15 to20 years. Two years ago, breakeven was within four to five years. The current water tariffs have upped this period to just one to two years,” explains Truniger.

Meanwhile, as people in Cape Town and beyond struggle to cope with drought conditions, here are some tips on keeping gardens alive from Easigrass:

  • Rather than wasting water on lawn, rather keep precious supplies for your shrubs and trees , this in turn helps the birds and the bees.
  • Use river pebbles and rock under shrubs and trees to stave off the heat and keep the ground damp. There are great advantages in using pebbles or rock as opposed to normal mulch  which absorbs a huge percentage of your precious water.
  • Water at the stem of the plant.
  • Rainwater and grey water harvesting is now a must. When you do not have to water your garden at all, your harvested rainwater and grey water will go a long way. Harvested rainwater can also be used to clean patios and outdoor areas.
  • Add a filter to your rainwater system and run it over dripline irrigation. This is the best form of irrigations as there is no water wastage and it sits underneath the mulch / pebbles / rock in your garden.
  • ry not to use brick paving or bitumen surfaces as they are often harsh and hot. Rainwater flows away as it cannot seep into the soil beneath.
  • Pots remain a great element to add to your garden as they retain water and nutrients very well.  Prepare pots correctly. Use pre-fertilised potting soil, in your pots knowing that the nutrients will not leech away as when used open soil. Use pebbles on top to retain the moisture. Three or four large pots, planted with colour, will quickly brighten up your garden.
  • When planting new plants add products that absorb water, such as hydrogel, to your soil. This will absorb the water and release it over time.
  • Use boreholes and well points sparingly. The next trend will be to use this water as drinking water. There is however, not an infinite supply through these sources.
  • When choosing plants always be water wise. Although it is good to look for indigenous plants, they are not always water wise. Therefore, be vigilant when making your plant choses. Aloes and succulents have become hugely popular. Mixed with water boulders and water wise trees this combination can create a lovely garden.

For more information, contact your closest Easigrass branch, log on to or contact us via email on

Source: Leadership Magazine

South Africa: Transnet seeks private sector investment

The privatisation of the country’s ports, railways, roads and other transport infrastructure has proved a thorny issue in South Africa over many years. Attempts to encourage private sector operation have generally produced a great deal of opposition.

Transnet’s proposals, therefore, carry political connotations. Yet at a time when the parastatal is being asked to do more and more but government finances are weak, it may have more success in gaining official backing for its policy.

In addition, its revenues have been affected by a three-year downturn in the price of the main dry bulk commodities it carries: coal and iron ore. Prices may have recovered somewhat but the outlook is still uncertain. Transnet is certainly one of the biggest companies on the African continent, although it is difficult to make a precise comparison because it is entirely state owned.

It is important to remember that one of the country’s biggest port facilities is already privately owned. Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) is owned by some of South Africa’s biggest coal mining companies, with smaller stakes held by empowerment interests.

Private sector companies also provide a wide range of logistics services, with Grindrod, in particular, developing a network covering the whole country and beyond. Grindrod is also expanding its own coal terminal at Richards Bay.

Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama first announced the policy at the eThekwini Maritime Cluster’s annual maritime summit in Durban in early April and the approach has been fleshed out since then. Gama said that the country needs R400bn ($30.25bn) in new logistics infrastructure but Transnet was unable to pay for it alone, so at least 25% should come from the private sector, which he believed had the required capital at its disposal.

Transnet has been criticised in recent years for its high port charges in comparison with many other countries around the world. However, Gama says that his company merely prices according to market conditions, while many other ports benefit from government subsidies. Indeed, according to the World Bank Global Logistics Competitiveness Report, South Africa is regarded as more competitive than China, India, Russia or Brazil.

Focus on Durban

By far the biggest planned Transnet project is the construction of a brand new container port on the site of the old Durban International Airport, about 25km south of Durban. However, given current financial constraints and lower than expected trade volumes, there is no fixed timetable for its development. At present, Transnet is focusing on improving its infrastructure elsewhere.

Work will begin this year on deepening three berths at Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 from 12.8 metres to 16.5 metres. This will allow access for the new generation of Super Post Panamax vessels at low tide as well as high tide.

The chief executive of TNPA, Richard Vallihu, said: “The continued investment in infrastructure and modernisation of our flagship Port of Durban is pivotal in meeting the ever increasing demands of the maritime industry, in particular, the ever increasing size of container vessels pulling into our ports.”

Appointment system

The company is also seeking to improve the efficiency of its operations in ways that do not require capital outlay. For instance, at the start of April it introduced an appointment system for the delivery of containers at Durban’s Pier 1.

Haulage companies are required to book a slot for delivery in order to spread activity over the course of the week, avoid congestion and reduce allegations that drivers pay bribes to avoid the queues that build up at peak times. Transnet has set a goal of ensuring that all trucks are processed within 35 minutes.

Some freight forwarders oppose the policy, arguing that they cannot be so precise as they are subject to delays from their own customers. Transnet Port Terminals’ general manager for container operations in KwaZulu-Natal, Julani Dube, said: “We have done the necessary research and tracked all movements and transactions over the past year to know where the problems are and what is realistically achievable if we get the necessary buy-in from stakeholders to implement the container appointment system.”

Source: africanbusinessmagazine

Engen fuels “transporting hope in a tanker”

South Africa is in the throes of a water crisis as it faces drought and water scarcity across the country. Committed to assisting the drought-stricken area of Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal, Engen Petroleum has joined forces with Cargo Carriers, Oasis Water and Water Shortage South Africa (#WSSA 2016) to help supply water to the Klipfontein Water Treatment Plant in Vryheid.

Water is filtered and treated at the plant to ensure quality levels. The water then flows to the municipal pipes in the area, which directly supplies a Vryheid community that has been experiencing severe water shortages for some time now.

Director of Oasis Water, Koos de La Rey says they came up with a logistics solution which they are very excited about.  “Rather than fill up and deliver bottles of water individually, we fill up trucks with bulk water from our Witbank site, which we then deliver to the plant in Vryheid,” he says.

According to Andre Jansen Van Vuuren, Marketing Director at Cargo Carriers, the first 32,000 litre load was delivered on 26 January.  “Since then we’ve managed to deliver a load a day. With partners like Engen and Oasis Water on board, we are able to continue delivery. Our plan is to transport 32,000 litres a day for the remainder of the week.”

Engen’s part in the initiative is to provide ‘fuel assistance’ and keep the water trucks on the road.  Mike Stead, Commercial Business Manager at Engen says, “Water shortages are an ever-urgent priority and Engen is proud to be playing our part by contributing 400 litres of fuel per trip.”

“By the end of the week we will have donated over 200,000 litres of water”, adds de La Rey “People can survive without many things but they cannot live without water. There is no alternative for it and this drought is a real problem. We hope that our involvement will help to alleviate some of the suffering in the Vryheid area.”

“This project has truly been a humbling experience for us – knowing that we have helped to make a difference by ‘transporting hope in a tanker’ and joining forces with other committed South African companies,” adds van Vuuren.

Engen General Manager: Corporate Affairs, Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray says the company continually strives to place its customer first. “As a company that cares about the communities in which we operate, Engen is honoured to play a small part in helping the people of Vryheid in this time of need.”

Source: cbn

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KZN approves development of R3.5bn south Durban logistics park

KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu has given the go-ahead for construction of the R3.5-billion Clairwood Logistics Park and Distribution Centre near the Durban port.  This is expected to end a three-year conflict between developers Fortress Income Fund and community groups in the South Durban basin, which have repeatedly appealed against approvals, citing multiple issues including increased traffic congestion, noise and environmental degradation.  Print Send to Friend 1 0 Mabuyakhulu’s department stated that the amended environmental-impact report received from Capital Property Fund in September 2014 complied with stringent regulations and adequately addressed concerns raised during appeals. Capital Property, which has since been incorporated into JSE-listed Fortress, bought the strategic site from Gold Circle for R430-million in 2012. The race course was subsequently closed ahead of development into warehousing and distribution facilities measuring 350 000 m³.

The remainder of the site will become paved yards to service these facilities and will include a rehabilitated wetland area accessible to the local community. The site is the last remaining flat land available for development in south Durban. It is just 11.2 km from the existing container terminal entrance and 3.5 km from the site set aside for the proposed Durban Dig-Out port. The South Durban basin, in which the logistics park falls, is one of the oldest parts of Durban and is home to heavy industry including oil refineries, chemical plants and logistics facilities that are interspersed with residential developments. Infrastructure is dated and inadequate and the area experiences significant traffic congestion as a result of its proximity to the port.  The environmental authorisation (EA) that accompanied Mabuyakhulu’s announcement noted that the shortage of flat land for development into modern logistics facilities, coupled with basic supply and demand market forces, had created a quantifiable need for a development of this nature. “The Clairwood Logistics Park will not only meet growing demand for A-grade logistics and distribution facilities in the south of Durban, but also improve the livelihoods of surrounding communities through job creation,” said Fortress development manager Nico Prinsloo. Construction, which is expected to create an estimated 18 900 jobs over the next four years, is expected to start in the first quarter of this year. The logistics park is also expected to result in the creation of more than 4 600 permanent jobs once fully operational in 2020.  The EA has reduced the area for development of the site and has spelt out how Fortress must proceed with both construction and rehabilitation of the site to create a sustainable wetland area and incorporate indigenous fauna and flora. The R3.5-billion investment includes R110-million that will be spent on extensive upgrades of municipal roads and infrastructure surrounding the facility. “This will not only improve traffic flow into and out of the site but will ease overall traffic flow in the area and significantly improve road safety, especially for learners attending schools close to the site,” said Prinsloo. The Clairwood Industrial Park and Logistics Centre will significantly increase the eThekwini municipal rates base in the area once fully developed while also significantly increasing Durban’s contribution to KwaZulu-Natal’s gross domestic product.

Source: engineeringnews

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Msunduzi offers pupils full bursaries

Pietermaritzburg – Two matriculants from the Emafakatini Location near Vulindlela were bursting with excitement yesterday when Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela announced they would receive full bursaries to study at university this year.

The two young women, Thobeka Ngcobo and Nonsikelelo Ngcobo (not related), were among 16 pupils who received full bursaries yesterday at the city hall.

As part of the mayor’s special projects, Ndlela also named 58 pupils whom the council would assist in paying their registration fees. This is the fourth year the mayor’s office has awarded these bursaries.

Thobeka Ngcobo, who received four distinctions in matric last year, said she was one of the first in her family to attend university.

 “I never thought I would get this opportunity. It is my dream come true,” she said.

The ecstatic Ngcobo would study for her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Westville.

“My results from matric were very good. I received As in mathematics, accounting, Zulu and business economics. I am so grateful for this opportunity,” she said.

Ngcobo said that her parents were very proud of her when they received the news that she would be studying at a tertiary institution.

“We didn’t have the money for my studies. We suffered a little in our lives so I am very grateful for this gift from the mayor and the municipality,” she said.

Nonsikelelo Ngcobo would study for a Bachelor of Education degree at UKZN’s Edgewood campus.

The project by the mayor’s office awarded the bursaries to pupils who hail from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose parents earn less than R1 000 and who excelled at school.

More than R400 000 in bursaries was awarded yesterday.

Msunduzi’s youth manager Sibongile Mchunu said they chose the pupils very carefully.

“We looked at the pupils who did exceptionally well at school, but did not have the funds to further their studies,” she said.

The 74 pupils to benefit were from the Edendale, Vulindlela, Imbali and Azalea areas in Pietermaritzburg.

The pupils would study a range of courses, varying from engineering to teaching, to horticulture.

Ndlela advised the pupils to concentrate on their studies, as this was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for them.

“Education needs sacrifice and you should pursue your studies. Entertainment can take the back seat until you qualify in your respective fields,” he advised the pupils.

Ndlela told the pupils that they were the “lucky ones” and they should not waste the opportunity.

Source: news24

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DA calls for drought to be categorised a national disaster

Five provinces have so far been declared disaster areas since the country experienced its worst drought in 23 years.

Scientists have determined that 2015 was the warmest year since 1880‚ when records began to be kept.

The five provinces include KwaZulu-Natal‚ Free State‚ North West‚ Limpopo and Mpumalanga. And if the Eastern Cape‚ Northern Cape and Western Cape‚ have been luckier‚ certain districts in these provinces have nevertheless been declared disaster zones.

The DA wants the minister to declare a national disaster “to address the effects of South Africa’s worst drought in 23 years that has seen ordinary South Africans without water for protracted periods of time”.

Minister of Agriculture Senzeni Gokwana has said that a national disaster cannot be declared‚ because not all provinces are affected by the drought. But the DA is arguing that the Disaster Management Act defines a national disaster as one affecting more than one province and‚ minimally‚ affecting a single province which is unable to deal with it effectively.

The DA said in a statement on Monday: “The current drought has seen thousands of head of livestock die across all provinces which has potential to compromise food security as well as having an enormous impact on South Africa’s already struggling economy‚ and is now resulting in towns and communities running dry.

This is compounded by the continuing energy crisis‚ increasing consumer goods prices and joblessness; with the poor bearing the brunt.”

Source: timeslive

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Cape Town tightens water restrictions

Level two water restrictions will be implemented in Cape Town from New Year’s Day as the Western Cape has had a disappointing rainfall season and dams are on average emptier than last year.

Authorities say the restrictions will save about 20% of the city’s daily water usage. People who use alternative resources will also have to adhere to the restrictions.

Water restrictions are already in force in most parts of the country as the worst drought in decades tightens its grip.

Cape Town’s decision comes on the back of Durban’s eThekwini metro issuing a warning for stringent water use. It says domestic, commercial and industrial water consumption is to be reduced by 50% in areas north of the city and by 15% in the Central Business District.

The worst drought in decades tightens its grip on SA

The metro has banned irrigation and urged consumers to implement water saving measures. KwaZulu-Natal was last month declared a disaster zone due to the ongoing drought.

Many municipalities are forced to implement water restrictions, with the Midmar Dam at its lowest level in 65 years.

Meanwhile, in the northern Free State, nearly 800 small scale farmers who’ve been affected by the drought have been given booster packs to assist them feed their livestock.

Agriculture MEC Oupa Khoabane visited Parys and Sasolburg to hand over 780 parcels of fodder, drinking water and medication. He said government is committed to providing some relief to those affected.

Source: sabc

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Call to cancel ‘wasteful’ water slide events

Cape Town – Petitions have started making the rounds on social media calling for the cancellation of a water slide event scheduled to be hosted in Cape Town next month.

A 304m slide will be erected in Constitution Street in the city centre on December 19 and 20 and February 6 and 7.

According to the event’s website, the slide’s decline will be between 12 and 45m, with a 26m pool to catch sliders. It will use between 30 and 40 kilolitres of water per event.

The event will also take place throughout the country from December to February.

But while Slide the City’s website says spring water will be used and transported to the event in tankers, people have slammed an event taking place at a time of countrywide concern over water scarcity. There is drought in a number of provinces, with KwaZulu-Natal the most affected.

Two petitions – one demanding for the event to be cancelled across the country and the other calling for its cancellation in Cape Town – have picked up support fast, with about 4 400 signatures by Sunday.

Derna Stemmet, the nationwide petition creator, said: “We all know South Africa is going through a big water crisis and holding such an event in numerous cities is definitely not going to help.

“Citizens are being told to use water responsibly and sparingly, to understand the value of water, but at the same time government is allowing an event to take place using 30 000 to 40 000 litres of water per event.”

Stemmet said the water could be used for a better purpose.

The other petition, Stop the City of Cape Town From Allowing Slide the City Events During a National Water Crisis, says it would not only be irresponsible, but unjustifiable to allow frivolous use of clean water at this time.

But spokesperson Priya Reddy said the city would not provide treated drinking water for the event.

“Non-potable spring water is being provided. Forty kilolitres charged at the applicable tariff will be transported to the organisers’ holding pool by tanker.

“Treatment of the spring water will be performed by the organisers on site.

“We applaud the public’s rightful concern over the prospect of wasteful consumption of our most precious resource, but would like to assure them that the use of drinking water for this event was never contemplated.”

She said the organisers would be urged to make the water available for irrigation of nearby parks or recreational facilities after the event.

Slide the City says they recirculate water during the day and in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Knysna, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, the water will be put through a filtration system, then into tankers and delivered to the municipality to be used where it is needed most.

Source: iol

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