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V&A Waterfront screens solar-powered show for Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an annual global event highlighting the environmental challenges facing our planet and is celebrated on the last Saturday in March for one hour from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time. During that hour people are encouraged to switch off their lights as a symbolic gesture of unity to reflect on our impact on the planet as part of a global citizen movement of positive change for the environment. This year, the V&A Waterfront is working with Sunshine Cinema, a solar-powered mobile cinema, to host their first solar-powered Earth Hour event. By using solar energy and battery packs, Sunshine […]

Bold action from the tourism industry to #savewater

In December we wrote a piece about how Level 3 water tariffs would affect tourism businesses. We were feeling like Cassandra, a character from Greek mythology who was gifted with the power of prophecy but cursed that no one should believe her since the piece attracted no comments.  But we imagine that the issue became a reality for tourism managers in January when they opened their rates bills and discovered that their water bills were at least double what they were expecting. There are two issues here – the first is how tourism businesses are charged for water and the second how much water […]

Peninsula’s holding tanks for sanitation system saves water

After being awarded the most energy efficient retrofit building in Cape Town in 2014, The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel continues to be greener than ever, by partaking in yet another sustainability initiative. Their latest project focuses on lowering water consumption through the capturing of ground water in holding tanks on the hotel’s roof, facilitated by The Peninsula’s unique rooftop pumping system, which is then used for sanitation purposes. “At The Peninsula, groundwater is channeled from rainwater and surrounding mountains, into underground streams beneath the hotel’s parking area. We have taken advantage of this unique positioning by creating borehole pumps that suck […]

Good reasons for energy efficiency in your tourism business

Rising input costs – you’re not alone As a tourism business owner, you may wonder if you alone are feeling the bite of rising costs – electricity, water and fuel among them. According to the TBCSA Tourism Business Index for the first quarter of 2016, the cost of inputs contributed a whopping 56% to tourism business performance – sadly negatively, not positively. This trend was also forecast to continue into the second quarter, and the rising cost of electricity was mentioned separately as an additional factor that would negatively affect business performance. Although the issues of high overheads were soon […]

Cape Town hotel’s bucket brigade recycles water in the CBD

Capetonians in the CBD may have noticed men and women watering plants on traffic islands with buckets. They are the staff members of the Townhouse Hotel on the corner of Mostert and Corporation streets, who are helping save water by recycling shower water used by hotel guests. This water recycling idea was the brainchild of GM Jacqueline Williams. “I was driving home one afternoon and I heard someone on the radio mention that she showers with a bucket to catch water and then recycles it in her garden. My husband laughed when I asked him to buy me buckets but […]

10 tips for the best ever Cape Town experience

South Africa’s “Mother City” – Cape Town: world renowned for its natural beauty, rich history, incredible cuisine, diverse cultures complete with an amazing range of music, languages and neighbourhoods, night life, activities – you name it, you’ll find it here! And all perfectly well suited to the ever-increasing number of visitors who are seeking unique experiences in travel destinations. This modern-day explorer, however, also realises that there are do’s and don’ts that contribute to the quality of this experience. Ways in which s/he can ensure that locals embrace them into the Capetonian experience, that respect the realities of natural resource […]

Caring for tourists in the Western Cape

It’s not a nice position to be in – in a foreign place and in distress. Tourists who have been a victim of crime or have been hurt in an accident, are often in shock, are bewildered and vulnerable. They don’t know what to do and don’t know who to turn to. The Western Cape Ministry of Economic Opportunities has a plan to help tourists in distress – the Tourism Safety and Support Programme, aimed at providing help and care for tourists who have been victim of a crime or a serious motor vehicle accident during their stay in the […]

Let’s get tourists on the bus this festive season

This festive season, its going to be more convenient for both visitors to Cape Town and locals to get out and about as MyCiTi has extend its operating hours to shopping centres and beaches. We all know what Cape Town is like in December – it’s the busiest time of the year with tourists and local fun seekers visiting the beaches, shopping centres, Table Mountain, coastal areas and other popular destinations. Places are busy, but so is traffic. Using the MyCiTi bus service is more convenient that using a private vehicle. It has a number of routes to local beaches and […]

The costs of Level 3 water tariffs on your business

Like many of Cape Town’s accommodation establishments, B.I.G Backpackers in Green Point is housed on a property that was once residential, but has since, within the City of Cape Town’s land use policy, been repurposed for business. We’re not going to talk here about zoning and the land use of properties. Instead we’re going to talk about how B.I.G Backpackers is being charged for water and sanitation and how the Level 3 water restriction tariffs that are going to come into effect on 1 December 2016 will affect the cost of business. B.I.G Backpackers is on the City of Cape […]

Water in Rands and sense

Ah summer is here… Bring on the hot, sunny days, more ‘bums in beds’, and a shared spirit of festiveness! What summer also brings, however, is the Mother City’s dry season and, on the back of a particularly low rainfall year, this is going to pose some grave challenges with respect to water consumption in the Mother City. Although it’s still the beginning of our summer season, our water reserves are looking drier than ever. Cape Town – and the entire Western Cape – faces serious drought conditions in the coming months, similar to the patterns we have seen across […]