City of Cape Town awards water saving stars certifications

2nd November 2023 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has recognised 17 businesses and organisations for efforts in implementing good water management practices at their premises.

The various commercial and industrial businesses, residential estates, educational campuses and healthcare facilities received a special Water Star Rating Certification during a ceremony held at the Old Mutual Head Office in Pinelands last week.

Water Star Rating Certification was introduced by the City of Cape Town in 2016 to promote a different aspect of regulation which goes beyond enforcement.

“Self-regulation, coupled with appreciation of the efforts made to comply with water by-laws as part of their organisational culture, has proven to motivate many industries to make sustainable changes in a positive way,” said Cape Town Water and Sanitation MMC Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

“This is one of multiple community initiatives to help deliver on the commitments made in the City’s Water Strategy. It promotes the drive for cleaner inland waterways and Cape Town becoming a water sensitive city.”

The certifications are based on the degree of their compliance with the City of Cape Town’s water-related by-laws, as well as their advocacy for water conservation and prevention of water pollution.

Recipients of one star are certified as compliant, having demonstrated adherence to all of the relevant legislation, which in itself is worthy of recognition, while a five-star certification can be achieved for applying best practices in water use, water supply, water conservation and water discharge.

“The 17 recipients this year represent a diverse range of industries and sectors, who voluntarily participated in the comprehensive assessments. Among them, Finlar Fine Foods, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital and the University of Stellenbosch (Tygerberg Campus) were the three top-performing organisations that achieved five-star rating,” said Badroodien.

Finlar Fine Foods installed a commercial reverse osmosis filter plant in 2019; reevaluated cleaning methods to reduce water consumption and reported on a yearly saving of over R400 000 owing to the implementation of water-saving solutions.

Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is using a greywater harvesting system which channels wastewater from the renal dialysis filtration plant and the autoclaves used to steam sterilise medical equipment to the ablution facilities, and installed a desalination plant which supplies 100% of the hospital’s water, saving 60 000 kl of water a year.

Stellenbosch University (Tygerberg Campus) installed water efficient fittings across the campus; removed taps from bath tubs and discontinued car washes; switched irrigation systems from potable water to alternative water; introduced alternative water sources such as a greywater-centralised system and borehole water; and ran a ‘War on Leaks Programme’, which focuses on educational awareness to change behaviour, as well as installed electronic meters to detect leaks.

Organisations that achieved between two- and four-star certification included Kronendal Retirement Village; Double Tree by Hilton Cape Town; AECI Food and Beverage; the Vineyard; Kay's Caravan Park; PEPKOR; University of Western Cape; Pick n Pay (Zevenview); Plascon Kansai; Long Beach Mall; Grandwest Casino and Entertainment World; University of Stellenbosch (Bellville Park); Cape Town International Convention Centre; and Sanlam Life Insurance Limited.

“We want to congratulate the participants whose endeavours have become so successful that their stories can now inspire others. We also invite more organisations to take up the call to review how water is used within their operations and find ways to make adjustments aligned with legislation and work together with the City to be water wise,” Badroodien concluded.