February 14, 2018

International Childhood Cancer Day

February 15, 2018

International Childhood Cancer Day which highlights the need for concerted global actions to address the growing challenge posed by this non-communicable disease. Globally, childhood and adolescent cancer is threatening to overtake infectious diseases, as one of the highest causes of disease-related mortality in children.

It is a day when we come together to continue the work to “Advance Cures and Transform Care” and to make childhood cancer a national and global child health priority.

Much work remains to be done. According to IARC (2015), the reported worldwide incidence of childhood cancer is increasing, from 165,000 new cases annually to 215,000 cases for children 14 years and younger and 85,000 new cases for 15-19 year-olds. Many more remain uncounted and unreported due to a lack of childhood cancer registries in a large number of countries.

While the number of children with cancer is much less compared to global incidence of adult cancers, the number of lives saved is significantly higher; survival rates in high-income countries reach an average of 84% and are steadily improving even in less-resourced areas of the world where there is local and international support.

The ICCD campaign’s ultimate goal and unified message is “Advance Cures and Transform Care”. This message spotlights the inequities and glaring disparity of access to care in most low- and middle-income countries where 80% of children with cancer live. Children and adolescents in Africa, Asia and Latin America and in parts of Eastern and Southern Europe do not yet have access to appropriate treatment including essential medicines and specialized care. Currently, where one lives often determines one’s ability to survive childhood cancer.

The 188 member organizations of Childhood Cancer International (CCI) in 96 countries as the largest non-profit patient support organization for childhood cancer and the 1000 healthcare professionals from 110 countries who are members of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ask everyone to come together in solidarity to make sure children and adolescents everywhere have the chance to survive cancer and live long, productive and meaningful lives.

“The chance for a cure, the chance to live, should not be an accident of geography. There is nothing scarier than realizing that your child has cancer. However, there is nothing more tragic than knowing that treatment and cure does exist for your particular child’s cancer and with excellent outcomes, BUT… that it is not available for your child. Why? Because your child happens to live in the wrong hemisphere! It is time to take action to stop this cruel atrocity… makes your voices heard on International Childhood Cancer Day and demand from world leaders to ACT and HELP SAVE ALL CHILDREN regardless of where they live!”
(HRH Princess Dina Mired, mother of childhood cancer survivor, President-elect, UICC).

For the next 3 years ICCD will build on a campaign to:

  1. Build global awareness that more than 300,000 children each year are diagnosed with cancer.
  2. Build global awareness that many types of childhood cancer are curable if given:
    • The right to early and proper diagnosis;
    • The right to access life-saving essential medicines;
    • The right to appropriate and quality medical treatments, and;
    • The right to follow up care, services and sustainable livelihood opportunities for survivors.
  3. Work towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 to reduce premature mortality one-third by 2030.
    • Too often when it comes to childhood cancer we are faced with a response of “but.”
    • “But” there aren’t enough children to develop new drugs;
    • “But” the treatment is too expensive;
    • “But” there aren’t enough doctors,
    • “But”…Link to source and more information


January 19, 2018

Day Zero now likely to happen – NEW EMERGENCY MEASURES

From the City of Cape Town.

18 JANUARY 2018

STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR PATRICIA DE LILLE

In summary:

  • Day Zero is now likely
  • 60% of Capetonians won’t save water and we must now force them
  • Punitive tariff to force high users to reduce demand
  • 50 litres per person per day for the next 150 days
  • Drought Charge likely to be scrapped by Council

We have reached a point of no return. Despite our urging for months, 60% of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day. It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero. At this point we must assume that they will not change their behaviour and that the chance of reaching Day Zero on 21 April 2018 is now very likely.

The people who are still wasting water seem to believe that Day Zero just can’t happen or that the City’s seven augmentation projects – set to produce around 200 million litres per day – will be enough to save us. This is not the case and, while our water augmentation programme will make Cape Town more water resilient in the future, it was never going to be enough to stop Day Zero.

The crisis has reached a new severity, necessitating a series of new emergency measures:

A punitive tariff

We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water. We must force them. We have listened to the comments of thousands of residents asking for fairness. Council will on Friday be voting on a punitive tariff that will charge residents exponentially higher rates for water usage above 6 000 litres per month.

The table below outlines the difference between the current and the proposed punitive tariffs:

Consumption per month Current Tariffs – total household water bill New Tariff – total household water bill
6 000 litres

 

R28.44 R145.98
10 500 litres R109.50 R390.82
20 000 litres

 

R361.06 R1 536.28
35 000 litres

 

R1 050.04 R6 939.57
50 000 litres

 

R2 888.81 R20 619.57

I will personally fight to ensure that the proposed punitive tariff exempts those who are using less than 6 000 litres per month.

Provision will be made for households larger than four people to ensure that they are not unfairly penalised. We ask residents to contact the City beforehand on water@capetown.gov.za or enquire at their nearest walk-in centre.

The proposed Drought Charge is likely to be dropped after a massive outcry from Capetonians that it was unfair. I understand that response and it has personally been a tough lesson for the City. I just want you to know that the City proposed the charge because we wanted to keep delivering important and essential services during this crisis. I wanted to continue making Cape Town a city that delivers opportunities for all. We are now going to have to make deep cuts to important projects.

50 litres per day for 150 days

We will be moving to level 6B restrictions with a new limit of 50 litres per person per day to make up for the many months of missing the 500 million litre per day collective consumption target. The new restrictions will come into effect on 1 February 2018.

The new daily collective consumption target is now 450 million litres per day. This will be in place for 150 days after which the City will reassess the situation.

Level 6B restrictions will also limit irrigation using boreholes and wellpoints.

Advanced Day Zero preparation

The City has also advanced its planning for Day Zero with approximately 200 sites having been assessed. The City will be announcing everyone’s local collection points from next week so that communities can begin preparing for that eventuality.

We will also be making detailed Day Zero contingency plans available soon to answer all questions that residents and businesses might have.

In terms of the City’s work, we have been working hard to reduce demand through advanced pressure management, massively ramping up the installation of water management devices at high consumption households.  Our teams are also significantly intensifying the leak detection and repair programme, and we are rolling out education and awareness campaigns and extending our use of the treated effluent system which offsets the use of the drinking water for non-potable purposes.

Teams are working around the clock to deliver the emergency plan for desalination, groundwater and water reuse. But, as I have already said, this alone will simply not be enough to avoid Day Zero without savings from all residents.

Cape Town, this is the moment where we can bring about the fundamental behaviour change that is needed to save us all from running out of water.

The time to act for everyone’s sake is now.

So if we reduce the demand enough now, we can still get our water delivered to our houses and not have to queue daily for our allocation.

For more information

This post was sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

 

December 6, 2017

Cape Town Water Crisis: What you’ll have to pay in ‘water tax’

Source: The South African

Date: 2017-12-05

It is all but confirmed that from February next year, Cape Town will be introducing a “water tax” or a water levy or a water surcharge. Call it whatever you will.

The purpose of the charge is to raise more capital for long-term drought solutions. But it’s also a bit of a Catch22. Since the City is generating less income from water – with everybody saving so much – they are collecting less revenue. Thus meaning less money to pay for solutions.

But just how much will you have to pay?

Let’s take a look.

 

 

Cape Town’s proposed water levy charges

Residential property value (in ZAR) Water tax (ZAR)
400k none
600k 35
800k 45
1m 50
2m 115
3m 170
4m 225
5m 280
6m 340
7m 420
10m 565
20m 1120
50m 2800

But really, if your property is valued at R4 million, we’re pretty sure you can afford the R200 a month to pay your surcharge. Weren’t you spending that on filling your pool before restrictions anyway?

The City of Cape Town is searching for an additional R1bn per year while the dams recover from the unprecedented drought conditions.

Cape Town’s water use has spiked over the last few weeks. With rainy season well and truly over and the tourist season set to begin, it’s crunch time to avoid day zero.

More Information

This post is sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

December 5, 2017

Cape Town has just been voted as the best city in the world… again!

British tourists have voted Cape Town the best city in the world for the fifth consecutive year.

After a poll of 90,000 readers in the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards, the South African city of Cape Town was victorious, beating Vancouver and Tokyo to the top prize. Remarkably, it’s the fifth consecutive year that Cape Town has been named number one – and with all eyes on South Africa in 2018, the centenary year of Nelson Mandela’s birth, few would bet against it repeating the trick in 12 months time.

Enver Duminy for Cape Town Tourism says the recognition will aid in creating more job opportunities for locals.

“These accolades pave the way for even more innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation within the tourism sector.”

“They also accurately reflect the variety of experiences Cape Town has to offer visitors, from unparalleled natural beauty, to delicious, intimate culinary adventures in our many restaurants.”

Sporty, stylish, stunning, sociable… if Cape Town was a person, it would be that Hollywood starlet we all secretly envy. A coming-together of cultures, cuisines and landscapes, there’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, a singularly beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park.

So, whether you’re after natural scenery, or interested in indulging in the diverse food scene Cape Town offers, you won’t be let down.

Apart from the weak rand, which is making travel to South Africa very appealing to foreigners, Cape Town is only very accessible in terms of accommodation.

Cape Town currently has the 21st biggest Airbnb market in the world, and guests can stay in high profile Cape Town suburbs for a fraction of typical area prices – whilst also immersing themselves within local culture.

A high percentage of locals are also using Airbnb for staycations within SA’s borders.

For hotel stays, SA hotel prices low in comparison to other African hubs. The average rate for a hotel room in Addis Ababa is about R3 212 per night, which is more than double what guests would pay in Cape Town – an average of R1 448 per night, according to a 2015 survey.

The rest of the upper end of the ranking has a familiar look. Vancouver has played second fiddle to Cape Town for the last five editions of the awards, while Venice, Sydney and New York are perennial members of the top 10.

Here’s the full top 10 list:

  1. Cape Town
  2. Vancouver
  3. Tokyo
  4. Venice
  5. Sydney
  6. New York
  7. Seville
  8. Florence
  9. San Francisco
  10. Rome

Sources: Telegraph Travel Awards, December 3, 2017

More Information

This post is sponsored by Chas Everitt Cape Town South

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